A woman who bowed down before the image of God and before those who had been defeated, destroyed, left to die…
She said many things worthy of being quoted, but one stands out for me:
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Think about that and about this…
Certainly I have to conclude that Mother Teresa was one of the most influential women of history. I grew up with her around and I always used to think, back in the 1990’s, that the world was safe, no matter how many things were going on, as long as Teresa of Calcutta was walking this earth. When she died on the 5th of September of 1997, I thought there was a hole in the cosmic plane of earth and a little bit of the love of Heaven was removed.
However, the love came back in the legacy…
Teresa of Calcutta founded, in 1950, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity and they serve in over one hundred and thirty countries. They run houses to help those very ill and dying, they operate soup kitchens, orphanages, and schools. And they are an order for those women who wish to serve God in Christian fashion and work in the service of the poor, who take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and who take a fourth vow: to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”.
She was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, on the 26th of August, 1910, in what was part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, which is now Skopje, North Macedonia. She lived in Skopje for eighteen years, then in Ireland and then moved to India, where she lived for most of her life.
Mother Teresa is a Catholic Saint. She was canonised on the 4th of September, 2016. Her feast day is celebrated on the 5th of September, which is the anniversary of her death. Although she dedicated her life to the service of those whom others usually ignore, and founded a religious organisation dedicated to service which in 2012 had over 4.500 nuns, she is still the subject of criticism. She is critisised for her views on abortion, which is ridiculous because everyone knows that the Catholic Church does not accept abortion and considers an abortion akin to a murder.
I would like to conclude by quoting Mother Teresa speaking about the love of God. Many people may believe that God does not love those who are sick, those who live in abject poverty, those who are marginalised and shunned, but she knew the formula, the golden rule, you could say…
“God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.”
Mother Teresa suffered from heart problems since her first heart attack in Rome in 1983 while she was visiting the Pope. She had numerous heart attacks and her health declined. In 1996 she had malaria and she also broke her collarbone. On the 13th of March, 1997 she resigned as the Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity and on the 5th day of September she passed away.
The Indian government gave her a state funeral. She was loved and respected all over the world. She saw no boundaries, no limitations, no religions, she saw the need to help, to bring at least a smile to create peace. Upon her death, the former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar said: “She is the United Nations. She is peace in the world.” A United Nations like Mother Teresa I can respect.
On the 4th of September, 2016, His Holiness Francis canonised Mother Teresa at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square. Witnessing the ceremony were tens of thousands of people, including 15 government delegations and 1,500 homeless people from across Italy.