For "Protagonists of Fraternity" Mother Teresa: founder of the Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic order of nuns dedicated to helping the poor. She is still considered today one of the greatest personalities in the dissemination of a culture of peace and brotherhood.

Madre TeresaAgnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, now known as Mother Teresa, was the third and final child born to her Albanian Catholic parents, Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu, in the city of Skopje (a predominantly Muslim city in the Balkans).
Both before Nikola's death and especially after it, the Bojaxhiu family held tightly to their religious beliefs. 

When Mother Teresa was 17 years old, she made the decision to become a nun. Having read many articles about the work Catholic missionaries were doing in India, Mother Teresa was determined to go there. Thus, Mother Teresa applied to the Loreto order of nuns, based in Ireland but with missions in India.

In September 1928, 18-year-old Mother Teresa said goodbye to her family to travel to Ireland and then on to India. She never saw her mother or sister again.For nine years, Mother Teresa continued as the principal of St. Mary's. After two years was granted to Mother Teresa permission to leave the convent for one year to help the poorest of the poor.

In preparation for leaving the convent, Mother Teresa purchased three cheap, white, cotton saris, each one lined with three blue stripes along its edge. This later became the uniform for the nuns at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.

Rather than going directly to the slums, Mother Teresa first spent several weeks in Patna with the Medical Mission Sisters to obtain some basic medical knowledge. Having learned the basics, 38-year-old Mother Teresa felt ready to venture out into the slums in December of 1948. Mother Teresa started with what she knew. After walking around the slums for a while, she found some small children and began to teach them. She had no classroom, no desks, no chalkboard, and no paper, so she picked up a stick and began drawing letters in the dirt. Class had begun.

Soon after, Mother Teresa found a small hut that she rented and turned it into a classroom. Mother Teresa also visited the children's families and others in the area, offering a smile and limited medical help. As people began to hear about her work, they gave donations.

In March 1949, Mother Teresa was joined by her first helper, a former pupil from Loreto. Soon she had ten former pupils helping her. At the end of Mother Teresa's provisionary year, she petitioned to form her own order of nuns, the Missionaries of Charity. Her request was granted by Pope Pius XII; the Missionaries of Charity was established on October 7, 1950.

There were literally millions of people in need in India. Droughts, the caste system, India's independence, and partition all contributed to the masses of people that lived on the streets. India's government was trying, but they could not handle the overwhelming multitudes that needed help.

While the hospitals were overflowing with patients that had a chance to survive, Mother Teresa opened a home for the dying, called Nirmal Hriday ("Place of the Immaculate Heart", ndr.), on August 22, 1952. In 1955, the Missionaries of Charity opened their first children's home ("Shishu Bhavan", ndr.), which cared for orphans.

By the mid-1960s, Mother Teresa had established a leper colony called Shanti Nagar ("The Place of Peace", ndr.) where lepers could live and work.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, awarded to the person "who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

When Mother Teresa passed away, she left behind over 4,000 Missionary of Charity Sisters, in 610 centers in 123 countries. After Mother Teresa's death, the Vatican began the lengthy process of canonization. On October 19, 2003, the third of the four steps to sainthood was completed when the Pope approved Mother Teresa's beatification, awarding Mother Teresa the title "Blessed."

Frearly sourced: http://history1900s.about.com/od/people/a/motherteresa.htm

 

 

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