Of all the modern people canonized as saints by the Roman Catholic Church, Mother Teresa was the most famous. She was widely admired for her dedication and her charity and almost as widely criticized for her doctrinaire approach to religion. This paper will examine her life before she began working with ill and dying people in the ghettoes of Calcutta and founded her religious order. The paper will consider the influences that formed her later life.II. Early LifeThe woman who would later become the famous throughout the world as Mother
Teresa was born as Agnes Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in the city of Skopje, which is now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, a part of the former Yugoslavia. This country is bordered by Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. She came to be known as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, with Gonxha meaning flower bud. Biographers disagree on whether that was her middle name or a nickname she was given later in childhood. Her parents were Nikola and Dranafile (Drana) Bojaxhiu, and she had an older brother and sister named Lazar and Aga. The area of Eastern Europe where she was born was a melting pot of ethnic groups that remains a political hot spot today. Both Agnes's parents considered themselves ethnic Albanians, though they came from a part of Yugoslavia that was once part of Serbia
[...] It remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 1913, when the Serbs conquered it again. Agnes's father Nikola was a merchant from a prosperous merchant family and had a thriving business. He was also interested in politics and encouraged the family to discuss issues at home. He was progressive in that he believed in education for girls and arranged for his daughters to be educated. Nicola's interest in politics led to a major change in the family situation when Agnes was 8 years old. [...]
[...] Faith and Compassion: The Life and Work of Mother Teresa. Rockport, MA: Element Rice, Tanya. The Life and Times of Mother Teresa. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers Spink, Kathryn. Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco The Miracle of Love: Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Her Missionaries of Charity, and her Co-Workers. San Francisco: Harper & Row Wikipedia. Skopje. Retrieved on May from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skopje Wikipedia, Skopje, retrieved on May from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skopje Kathryn Spink, Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997); Kathryn Spink, The Miracle of [...]
[...] For nineteen years Mother Teresa lived a comfortable life within convent walls, isolated from the pressures of the world and dealing only with the educational concerns of girls from privileged homes, while the Bengalese nuns were given the job of educating the poor students. When circumstances changed in the form of World War II, crop failure, and Indian independence, it is no surprise that Mother Teresa jumped at the chance to take more risks and lead a more eventful life. [...]
[...] Christians were a minority, and most of the Christians in the area were Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholic. Roman Catholics made up a tiny minority, and as a result were tight knit and fiercely protective of their faith. Drana was very religious and when she assumed the role of head of the household, the family discussed religious issues instead of politics at home. Agnes was particularly influenced by one priest, a Croatian Jesuit named Father Jambrekovic, who taught her the spiritual exercises of the Jesuit founder, Ignatius Loyola: “What have I done for Christ? [...]
[...] Life as a Nun Agnes chose to join a religious order called the Loreto Sisters. This was an Irish branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose work in Bengal had been praised by Yugoslavian priests. The role of the Loreto Sisters in India was to educate girls. Thanks to her parents' progressive views that girls should have a full education, at 18 Agnes was qualified to train as a teacher. This choice started Agnes off on a trip that must have been very exciting to an 18-year-old girl who had lived a fairly isolated life. [...]
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