Mother Teresa  

Mother Teresa was a heroine because she dedicated her life to serving the less fortunate.   
Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. She had a loving family. Her mother, Dranafile, was a very religious woman who told Agnes that, "serving the poor was a way to serve God." Her father Nikola, owned a construction company and imported luxury foods. He too was a religious and generous man who gave money to the poor. Agnes also had a sister, Age and a brother, Lazar. The Bojaxhiu family was well off by local standards.   
As a young girl Agnes believed she had a calling from God. She understood that her role was to minister to the poor. She faced difficult choices on her way to becoming a nun and a servant to God. The first of these was leaving her family and the comforts of her home. She also had to give up any thoughts of marrying and having children. Agnes finally accepted the choice of becoming a nun. After years of work and study, Agnes took her vows and adopted a new name, Sister Teresa, after the patron saint of missions, Theresa of Lisieux. During her work as a nun she had another "calling" from God. She believed she was ordered to leave her convent and help the poor and live among them. Sister Teresa faced the obstacle of fear among the people she helped. Many believed she wanted them to become Christians. Some even threw stones at her. Through this challenge Sister Teresa remained determined to continue with her efforts. Later in her life she was able to raise money for her increasing works by persuading, begging and using the press to her advantage.  
When Sister Teresa was 40 years old the pope approved a new order called the Missionaries of Charity with Sister Teresa as mother superior. She then became Mother Teresa as she is commonly known today. Her persistence in forming the mission helped to better serve the poor and to persuade others to recognize and help the poor as well. Mother Teresa's compassion led her to bathe the poor, nurse the lepers and house the orphans. Her selfless ways of caring for others more than for her self-changed the lives of many people in India and eventually around the world.   
Mother Teresa made many lasting contributions. There are thousands of Missionaries of Charity nuns and more than 550 centers in 126 countries because of her. She set up schools, orphanages, and medical clinics. Mother Teresa brought worldwide attention to the lives of the poor. 
Mother Teresa died on September 6, 1997. She dedicated her whole life to serving the poor even through challenges and obstacles. She improved the lives of many. Mother Teresa was a small but powerful woman. She proved that the power of love can change millions of people's lives and inspire the world. That is why Mother Teresa is a hero.  

Teresa's spiritual struggle may have been painfully long, but it was a struggle felt by most believers in an age of doubt and skepticism. In that sense, it was truly exemplary. 


 
In what ways did the person you researched work on behalf of the poor? 

Mother Teresa acquired basic medical training before she started helping the poor. At first, she started her work on her own with very little support. At times, she was forced to borrow food so that she could feed the hungry. Later, she was joined by several women, forming the Missionaries of Society. She established orphanages, clinics, nursing homes and leper colonies to ensure that people were cared for, and she received world recognition because of her charitable activities. 
 
When she was in her mid-30s, she experienced a rare spiritual grace: actually hearing the voice of God. This prompted her to devote her entire life to the "poorest of the poor. "For the following decades, until her death at age 87, she worked with the poor, founded a religious order and traveled around the world preaching God's love, without any interior experience of God's presence. It is this fidelity to her original call, this willingness to carry out her ministry without