Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity (1910-1997)
+ Agnes Bojaxhiu was born in Albania and became a religious sister with the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland, receiving the religious name Teresa.
+ In 1928, Mother Teresa, as she was known (the Sisters of Loreto used the title “Mother” rather than “Sister”), was sent to her congregation’s mission in India. Moved by the poverty and suffering of the people of Kolkata (Calcutta), Mother Teresa received permission to begin working with the poor outside her community.
+ In 1950, she organized the Missionaries of Charity. By 1957, the Missionaries had added ministry to Hansen’s Disease patients and disaster relief to their work.
+ The recipient of numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa came to personify Christian charity throughout the world. Her simplicity and faith endeared her to Christians and non-Christians alike.
+ Prior to her death in 1997, Mother Teresa also founded a male branch of the Missionaries of Charity, a separate community of priest cooperators, and a lay affiliate program.
+ Beatified in 2003, she was canonized in 2016.
Although she was not affiliated with the Franciscans, Mother Teresa had a great devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi. Each day, the Missionaries of Charity recite the well-known “Prayer of Saint Francis” during their act of thanksgiving after communion.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”—Saint Teresa of Calcutta
God, who called blessed Teresa, virgin, to respond to the love of your Son thirsting on the cross with outstanding charity to the poorest of the poor, grant us, we beseech you, by her intercession, to minister to Christ in his suffering brothers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(the proper collect for the commemoration of Saint Teresa of Calcutta [approved by Congregation of Divine Worship and Disciple of the Sacraments])
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.