Mother Teresa

Teresa was a wonderful woman and a great influence on the world today. She was
born in 1910 in Macedonia with the name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born into
a family of deeply religious Catholics. Agnes felt she got the calling to work
for God at the young age of fourteen. She joined the Loreto order and went to

Bengal, India, to start her studies. In 1937, Agnes took her final vows to
become a nun and has done much great work in the world since. Agnes Gonxha

Bojaxhiu was born on August 27, 1910 to Nikola and Drana Bojaxhiu in Skopje,

Macedonia. Drana and Nikola were Albanian and both were very deeply religious

Roman Catholics. Nikola was a popular merchant and a partner to an Italian
merchant. He owned several houses and was a member of the Skopje town council.

Whenever Agnes’ father would return from a trip, he would always bring his
children presents. Also, he promoted his daughters’ education, which was
uncommon in that time period. Nikola also was involved in an underground
organization that worked to gain independence for the Albanians from the Ottoman

Turks, who ruled Macedonia around the time Agnes was born. Agnes grew up around
much fighting. When she was born, there were Albanian protests against the

Turkish government. When she was two, she witnessed the First Balkan War. In
that war, the Ottomans were defeated, but Macedonia was divided among the
conquerors: Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegero, and Serbia. The city of Skopje was
distributed to Serbia. Albania received its independence in 1912, but Nikola
continued his nationalist work. He joined a movement determined to incorporate

Serbia into the Albanian nation. In 1914, when Agnes was only four years old,

World War I began. In 1918, her father was killed. Some people believe that he
was poisoned by enemies. Many people mourned his death because of his kindness
and generosity. Drana Bojaxhiu and the family were left with little money and no
means of income. Drana worked hard to provide for her family. To get enough
money, she became a dressmaker. Even though she had to work extra hard to make
ends meet, Drana still found time and money to give to the lonely. When Agnes
was young, she used to go on trips with her mother to visit the elderly, sick,
and the poor. It is said that their mother’s generosity may have had the
greatest influence on Agnes, her sister, and her brother. Agnes was the youngest
of the three children. Her older brother was named Lazar and her older sister
was Aga. Aga was five years older than Agnes. Agnes loved reading books, saying
prayers, and thinking. She also liked to sing and write poems about her faith.

Agnes learned her faith from her mother. There was a sign in the front room of
their house that read: "In this house, no one must speak against
another." Drana passed down to her children many values. She believed that
the Lord’s work was reward enough in itself and that you should serve God in a
practical, helpful way. Agnes had thought about being a teacher when she was
younger, but at the age of twelve, she knew she wanted to lead a religious life.

When Agnes was only fourteen, she knew she wanted to be a missionary nun. At age
eighteen, Agnes joined the Loreto order of nuns. In September of 1928, she left
her family and everything she knew to serve God at the Loreto Abbey in Dublin

Ireland. There, she learned how to speak English. In November, she went to India
to teach English in an Indian school. In 1929, Agnes started her novitiate in an

Abbey in Darjeeling, and abbey in the foothills of the Himalayas. A novitiate is
the time a nun spends studying, praying, and contemplating before she takes her
vows. On May 24, 1931, Agnes took her first vows of poverty, chastity, and
obedience. She took her name after St. Therese, the patron saint of
missionaries. On May 14, 1937, Teresa took her final vows, promising to serve

God for the rest of her life. Teresa eventually became the principal of Loreto

Entally, a school in Entally (a district of Calcutta) where she taught history
and geography. Everyday, Teresa would look out of the convent to the streets of

Calcutta. She longed to help the starving and dying people on the streets. She
wasn’t allowed to because the Loreto order of nuns had a rule that the nuns
couldn’t leave the convent unless they were seriously ill. In August,