Mumbai, August 26: It’s the 107th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, also known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Born on 26 August 1910, her real name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and she was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. Mother Teresa’s birthplace was Skopje which is now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia.

Teresa is known for her selflessness and love for people; especially to those who were less fortunate. She is also loved and known worldwide for her help for the homeless and the poorest of the poor people who lived in the slums of Kolkata (Calcutta back then).

As today marks the 107th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, here are some interesting facts about her:

  1. At the age of 18, Mother Teresa left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Rathfarnham, Ireland.
  2. In 1931, she took her vows as a nun and chose the name Teresa to honour Saints Therese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila.
  3. She taught history and geography in Calcutta at St. Mary’s, a high school for the daughters of the wealthy. For 15 years she enjoyed the work, however, was then distressed by the poverty all around her.
  4. In 1946 Mother Teresa travelled to Darjeeling for a retreat. In that journey, she realized that she has to follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor. In 1948, she left her habit of nun-hood to adopt a lifestyle in slums to serve the poor.
  5. Teresa also taught children basic hygiene and their families, inquiring about their needs and helping provide for them when she could.
  6. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. It’s a Roman Catholic religious congregation dedicated to serving “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”
  7. In 1962, Mother Teresa received Padma Shri and the inaugural Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971.
  8. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She refused to take the Nobel honour banquet and requested the USD 192,000 prize money to be used to help the poor in India.
  9. A Rs 5 coin was released by the central government to commemorate the birth centenary of Mother Teresa.
  10. Mother Teresa continued to work for the poor for the rest of her life, leading the Missionaries of Charity until just months before her death Sept. 5, 1997.
  11.  Mother Teresa was canonized on September 4, 2016, at St. Peter’s Square, by Pope Francis who declared her a saint, yet noted, “With great spontaneity, I think we will continue to call her Mother Teresa.”

Mother Teresa taught people the value of love, compassion, selflessness, and helping the poor and how it can change one’s life. The world today sees her as the ‘Florence Nightingale’ of the twentieth century.