World Famous People
A Lesson of Love
World Famous People - Mother Teresa. Mather Teresa or her real name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu as their youngest child on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. Mother Teresa played role of mother for all those suffering from diseases, who were unwanted in society and had no one to look after them. She taught the world lesson of love and humanity and also taught to believe in God.
There is an adage in India "Swami Tinhi Jagachaa Aai-vinaa Bhikaari" i.e. "If you don't have mother to love you, you are no more than a beggar even if you are a king of earth and heaven". It is believed that it was impossible for the creator (God) to take care of (and be with) us for all the time, so he created mother who could take care of us right from our birth, who could play the role of our friend, teacher, guardian, nurse, protector etc. We (most of us) are lucky to have mother who showers blessings and love on us, but there are some who could never see their mother, who never received even a single word of love from their mother, who lived all their lives in misery and had no one around when they were suffering and were waiting for death... (The list is endless) A pious soul from Albania who made her abode in India became mother for all those who were alone and suffering.
From her childhood, Agnes attended prayers and received first communion when she was five years old. She followed the message of love throughout her childhood. Agnes and her family faced a tragedy when she was just eight years old, her father died leaving the family in financially weak situation. Drane not only played the role of a mother, she also became father for her children and helped them develop good characters. As under her mother's influence and guidance of a priest, Agnes became more interested in missionary work.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa) decided to become a nun to carry out missionary work and spread the message of love and humanity in the world. She became a Catholic Missionary nun (1928) and changed her name from Agnes to Teresa, which was influenced from the name of Saint Therese of Lisieux. She joined the Irish order 'The Sisters of Loretto', which is known for their missionary work in Indian subcontinent. Further she was sent to Calcutta on 6 January 1929, to carry out the missionary work in India where she worked as a teacher at St. Mary's High School. On 24 May 1937, Sister Teresa made Final Profession of Vows to become 'Spouse of Jesus For The Eternity' and became 'MOTHER TERESA'. She continued her work till 1944 when she was made Principal of the school. Further, few months later, she was diagnosed of Tuberculosis and was sent to Darjeeling for treatment. When she was on her way to Darjeeling, she received a call which she explained ‘A call from within’, she was ordered to serve poor people living in misery and who had no one to share their troubles, their children had no clothes, no food and had no hopes of better life. This shook Mother Teresa and appealed her so much that she resigned from the St. Mary's High School and also from the Sisters of Loretto to serve those who needed her most.
Teresa started going into slum areas and educate people (children as well as adults) where there were no schools for them. She saw that there were no basic facilities such as clinics and hospitals for the poor people in the slums, so she learned basic medication and started treating those who couldn't afford medications. Her efforts appealed some of her formal pupils and they formed a group, which is known as 'Missionaries of Charity'. This group further started a facility wherein they brought the people who were dying on the streets and had no one to look after them. People started joining the noble cause and donation was flooded on the name of the center that was working under Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa used this donation and the force of thousand of missionaries who had joined her, to establish centers for those in need all around the world. Mother Teresa even pioneered in building a center for those suffering from AIDS and provided shelter to thousands of patients.
Mother Teresa stood as an icon of peace, love, and service to humanity and soon became a known personality for her work all over the world. She also received about 124 prestigious awards such as: 'Padmashree Award' (in 1962 from the President of India), 'John F. Kennedy International Award-1971', 'Bharat Ratna' (Jewel of India), 'Order of Merit' from Queen Elizabeth, 'Nobel Peace Prize - 1979' (the prize money of which, she had requested to be donated to poor people), 'The Pope John XXIII Peace Prize', 'Medal of Freedom' (which is highest US Civilian award) and few more.
Near 1980, Mother Teresa started Homes for those women who had no one, prostitutes, orphanages, drug addicts, people suffering from various incurable diseases etc. and in 1985 a new Home for those who were suffering from AIDS was established.
All her life, Mother Teresa helped and served people suffering from diseases, people struck by calamities, those who were unwanted in society. She even challenged people not to choose an option of abortion and said "Do not kill the child, I want the child, give the child to me!" All her life, she stood, acted and carried all the responsibilities of a mother for all those who needed her, soothed those who were in pain, gave a smile to those who had no hopes from life. She traveled to places where nature’s fury had killed thousands of people and thousands of people had lost everything, she helped them and brought them to the Homes she had established for them.
Love, humanity, serving others selflessly, to hold hand of those who have no one are the greatest lessons we should learn from Mother Teresa. She taught us to believe in GOD for he is the only one who cares for us even when we forget him or curse him when we are in trouble.
Mother Teresa went on for the journey of eternity on 5th September 1997 at Calcutta leaving orphan once again to her followers and all those who loved her.
By Nilesh Parekh