Thursday, August 26, 2010

Remembering Mother Teresa

It was probably 1985 or 1986, when University of Delhi had conferred Honorary Degree on Mother Teresa. I was in the Students Union from Kirori Mal College and had the opportunity to be present for the occasion. I was a little hesitant to go as there was a dress code.for the function. My friend Sanjeev Mishra gave me his tie and coaxed me to go. Finally, I witnessed the function, which otherwise I would have certainly regretted. We posed for photograph with her ( I am still trying to get a copy of it)and took her autograph on the brochure for the Convocation at Sir Shankar Lal Concert Hall.
She signed her name with the message, "God Bless You'.

This is her life history -

Born on. Aug. 27, 1910, was Albanian, originally named Agnes Gonxha Bejaxhiu, she entered the order of the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto at the age of 18.

Lead me from death to life,
from lies to truth
Lead me from despair to
from fear to trust
Lead me from hatred to love
from war to peace
Let peace fill our heart,
our world
our universe
peace, peace, peace. . .
Mother Teresa
Aug 27, 1910 - Sep5, 1997
In 1928 she joined a religious order and took the name Teresa. The order immediately sent her to India.
She taught in the order's school in Calcutta until 1946, when she experienced what she described as a "call within a call" to aid the desperately poor of India in a way that required she leave her convent. She received permission from Rome to do this and began her work by bringing dying persons from the streets into a home where they could die in peace and dignity.
She became an Indian citizen that same year. In 1950, she founded a religious order in Calcutta called the Missionaries of Charity. The order provides food for the needy and operates hospitals, schools, orphanages, youth centers, and shelters for lepers and the dying poor.
Almost 50 years later, the Missionaries of Charity have grown from 12 sisters in India to over 3,000 in 517 missions throughout 100 countries worldwide
In addition to the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa has received other awards for her work with the needy. These awards include the 1971 Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and India's Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1972.
Mother Teresa died a very peaceful death on September 5, 1997 leaving behind her a legacy. A legacy of selfless service to people in need. She was 87.
Mother Teresa was a living saint and she will be greatly missed around the world.
May she rest in peace.

Mother of Dying Destitutes of Calcutta:
In 1952, she opened the 'Nirmal Hriday', Home for Dying Destitutes, in a dormitory, formerly a Kali temple hostel, which was donated by the city of Calcutta. The Missionaries of Charity began to treat lepers there in 1957. Two years later, they opened the first house outside Calcutta, in Drachi. Soon afterward, they expanded to Delhi and other cities.
Though her Calcutta clinic was the center of Mother Teresa’s growing charity and the place she called home, her work expanded the globe, with more than 500 missions in 120 countries. Wherever people needed comfort, she was there: among the hungry in Ethiopia, the radiation victims at Chernobyl, the rubble of Armenia’s earthquake, in the squalid townships of South Africa.Her order opened one of the first homes for AIDS victims.


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