The most popular post ever on my blog was the Time Inc magazine: 100 Women Who Changed the World, and within that post, the most popular link has been to the picture of Mother Teresa. She is a figure who captivated the world with her outreach to the poor in Calcutta. So when I saw this new magazine, I knew it would be a source to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the life of this amazing woman.
This magazine provides a 2-page timeline of the important events of this dynamic, diminutive woman from her birth in 1910 to her death in 1997 and continues right up to Pope Francis naming her as a candidate for canonization. After an introduction by Dr. Rick Warren called “Unconditional Love”, that compares the ministries of Pope Francis and Mother Teresa called, “A Francis Saint, a Teresa Pope”.
The book is divided into 8 chapters, each addressing a different “chapter” of her life. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skpje, at the time part of the Ottoman Empire and now the capital of Macedonia. Gonxha was the third child of Nikola, a merchant, and his very pious wife, Drana. Her father spoke 5 languages and travelled extensively for his business. Mother took the family to mass where Gonxha (flower bud) sang in the parish choir. She knew from the age of 12 that her calling was to work with the poor.
There is a chapter about her work teaching in Calcutta as a Sister of Loreto (an Irish religious order) where she eventually became headmistress. In 1948, however, Teresa gained permission to begin a ministry among the poor of Calcutta, and in 1950 starts the Missionaries of Charity.
There is so much to learn about this shy woman who, although ministering to the poor and lepers of India, came to meet and rub elbows with the great and famous. She won the Nobel Peace Prize (1979), expanded mission houses around the world, and visited with Pope John Paul II (1983) which was when she had her first heart attack.
Although people began clamouring for her sainthood in 1998, it wasn’t until this year that she was named a saint by the Vatican. Her face has been featured on a U.S. stamp, her letters have been published, and some 300 books about her for adults and children both. This magazine, Mother Teresa: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint, is an excellent beginning source to know more about the life of Saint Teresa. It is available online from Amazon and wherever books and magazines are sold. * * * * *