Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, (1910-1997) was born in Skopje North Macedonia on 26 August 1910. After living in Skopje for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life. Teresa was in her early years when she was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries and their service in Bengal, by age 12, she was convinced that she should commit herself to religious life. Her resolve strengthened on 15 August 1928 as she prayed at the shrine of the Black Madonna of Vitina-Letnice, where she often went on pilgrimages. On 10 September 1946, Teresa experienced what she later described as “the call within the call” when she travelled by train to the Loreto convent in Darjeeling from Calcutta for her annual retreat. “I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them”.
On 17 August 1948, she stepped out for the first time in her white and blue sari, for which she was so well known, Clad in a white, blue-bordered sari, she along with her sisters of the Missionaries of Charity became a symbol of love, care and compassion for the world. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, known the world over as Mother Teresa, an Albanian-born Indian citizen who abided by her religious faith of Roman Catholicism to serve the unwanted, unloved and uncared people of the world. One of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, she led all her life serving the poorest of the poor. She was a ray of hope and for her service to the humanity she was honoured with Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
During the last years of her life, despite increasingly severe health problems, Mother Teresa continued to govern her Society and respond to the needs of the poor and the Church. By 1997, Mother Teresa’s Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members and were established in 610 foundations in 123 countries of the world. In March 1997 she blessed her newly-elected successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity and then made one more trip abroad. After meeting Pope John Paul II for the last time, she returned to Calcutta and spent her final weeks receiving visitors and instructing her Sisters. On 5th September 1997 aged 87 years, Mother Teresa’s life came to an end. She was given the honour of a state funeral by the Government of India and her body was buried in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. She was canonised by Pope Francis on 4 September 2016.