In a country which has developed a long way since 1910, the year Mother Teresa was born, it is quite unfortunate to say that that there are few things that remain. One of these things is the evils of society that treats the destitute and the poor as “untouchables”.
The images of a poor man carrying his wife’s body on his back from the morgue to his house with his daughter created an uproar on social media a few days back. These are the exact kind of people whom Mother Teresa championed a cause for.
The ‘Call Within The Call’
Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. Even many educated people in India have the misconception that she is Italian, because she was a Roman Catholic nun, but on paper, Teresa was Macedonian.
She entered India as a nun to teach in schools and she did this for seventeen years. Though she believed that she had a religious calling to be a “nun”, it was only after this period of time that she experienced a “call within a call”. In 1946, when India was still under the British rule, Mother Teresa decided to dedicate her life for the destitute.
Soon after, she established the Missionaries of Charity with the little financial help she had. Later on, tremendous funds poured in, but Mother Teresa utilized it completely for her mission and expanded it internationally. However, India was her major priority and she began all this in the slums of Calcutta.
Service Mattered More Than Money
“I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.”
In most of her interviews to the press, Mother Teresa always said that she worked for the love of God. She moved to New York and even worked secretly in Beirut to help the children there. While some critics say that Mother Teresa advocated her religion while doing charity, she actually worked for people of all religions, with no regard for social or religious divisions. Even in Beirut, she helped both Christian and Muslim children secretly.
A Living Legacy
Most of Mother Teresa’s awards came only after her death. Her last day on earth was September 5, 1997, which is also Teacher’s Day (quite a coincidence). Although she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “bringing help to suffering humanity”, she was only beatified in 2003. In 2015, Pope Francis granted her sainthood, but still she is simply referred to as ‘Mother Teresa’ rather than ‘St. Mother Teresa’.
Nearly two decades after her death, it is inevitable that Mother Teresa’s legacy still continues and it will till the brink of human extinction. Not only did she leave more than 4000 Missionaries of Charity after her death, a huge number of people around the world began to quit their jobs in order to take up a mission similar to Mother Teresa’s.
The Google Doodle is missing, but the fact that the world is still celebrating Mother Teresa’s birthday is more than enough proof to denote that she has left a lasting legacy behind.
As we remember the ‘Mother’ on her 106th birthday today, it could be rightly said that a replacement for her could never be found. The world is indebted to her deeds of compassion, and so is humanity.