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Mother Teresa was born August 27, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, as Gonxhe Bojaxhiu from Albanian parents Nikollë and Drandafille Bojaxhiu.
Her father was a successful and well known contractor,(Unternehmer) her mother was a housewife.She was the youngest of three children.
Mother Teresa′s family was a devoted(treue) catholic family, they prayed every evening and went to church almost every day.
It was her family′s generosity, care for the poor and the less fortunate(weniger Glücklichen) that made a great impact(Einfluss) on young Teresa′s life.
By the age of 12, she had made up her mind; she realized that her vocation(Berufung) was to aid the poor.
When she was 18 years old, she decided to become a nun, travelled to Dublin, Ireland, to join the Sisters of Loretto.
After about a year in Ireland, she left to join the Loretto convent in the northeast Indian city of Darjeeling, where she spent 17 years teaching and being principal(Direktorin) of St.Mary′s High School in Calcutta.
In 1946 her life changed forever: While riding a train to the mountain town of Darjeeling to recover from suspected tuberculosis, on the 10th of September she said she received a calling from God "to serve him among the poorest of the poor."
Less then a year later she got permission to leave her order,so she moved to Calcutta′s slums to set up her first school.
"Sister Agnes" who was a former student, became Mother Teresa′s first follower.
Others soon followed, and papal approval(päpstliche Zustimmung) arrived to create a religious order of nuns called the Missionaries of Charity.
The foundation was celebrated Oct. 7 1950, the feast of the Holy Rosary.(Rosenkranz)
To identify herself with the poor she chose a plain white sari with a blue border(Saum) and a simple cross pinned to her left shoulder.
Their mission was as she would say when she accepted the Nobel Peace prize: "to care for the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers(Aussätzige), all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned(gemieden werden) by everyone."
With the help of Calcutta officials she converted a portion of the abandoned(verlassenen) Temple to Kali (Hindu goddess of death and destruction) into Kalighat Home for the Dying, where even the poorest people would die with dignity(Würde).
Soon after she opened Nirmal Hriday ("Pure Heart"), also a home for the dying, Shanti Nagar (Town of Peace), a leper colony and later her first orphanage was opened.(Waisenhaus)
Mother Teresa and the sisters continued opening houses all over India caring for the poor, washing their wounds, soothing their sores, making them feel wanted.
But her order′s work spread across the world after 1965, when Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa′s request to globally expand her order.
Whether it was in Ethiopia feeding the hungry, in the ghettos of South Africa or whether it was in her native country Albania when the communist regime collapsed, Calcutta′s Mother Teresa "the living saint" was there.
In 1982, at the height of the siege in Beirut she convinced the parties to stop the war so she could rescue 37 sick children trapped inside .
Mother Teresa became a symbol of untiring commitment (unermüdlichen Einsatz) to the poor and suffering.
She was probably the most admired woman of our time, received many awards and prices for her outstanding work and she used her reputation traveling all over the world raising money and support for her causes.
1962: She received the Pandma Shri prize for "extraordinary services"
1971: Pope Paul VI honored Mother Teresa by awarding her the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize.
1972: The Government of India presented her with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
1979: She won the Nobel Peace Prize
1985: President Reagan presented her the Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award.
1996: She became the fourth person in the world to receive an honorary U.S. citizenship.
When she received the Nobel Prize she wore the same trademark 1$ sari and convinced the committee to cancel a dinner in her honor, using they money instead to " feed 400 poor children for a year in India"
Today Mother Teresa′s "Missionaries of Charity" have 570 missions all over the world, comprising 4000 nuns, a brotherhood of 300 members and over100,000 lay volunteers operating homes for AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis patients.They also run soup kitchens, children′s and family counseling programs, orphanages and schools.
Mother Teresa′s health was deteriorating,(verschlechterte sich ) partly because of her age, partly because of the conditions in which she was living, partly because of her trips all over the world, opening new houses and raising money for the poor.
1985:She suffered a heart attack while in Rome visiting Pope John Paul II.
1989: Another almost fatal heart attack, a pacemaker was implanted.
1991: She suffered pneumonia(Lungenentzündung) in Tijuana, Mexico which led to heart failure.
1996: She suffered from malaria, chest infection and had a heart surgery.
On March 13th 1997: Sister Nirmala was selected as Mother Teresa′s successor(Nachfolgerin).
September 5th 1997 :The world learned that Mother Teresa "Angel Of Mercy" had died at the age of 87 in Calcutta.
The extremely conservative opinions of mother Teresa did not always meet the agreement of all parliamentary groups of the catholic church. Liberal church representatives criticized her application against birth control(Verhütungsmittel) and abortion(Abtreibung). She was also against divorces. Her sharp refusal of liberals and progressive currents in the church, such as the Latin American theology of release, and her friendly handling with dictators, such as the notorious bureaucrat, the ruler Jean Claude Duvalier of Haiti made her likewise come into criticism.
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