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Mother Teresa: a life dedicated to the poor

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

New Delhi - From the squalid streets of Calcutta to the squalid slums of South Africa, Mother Teresa's charitable work brought relief to hundreds of thousands of poor people until her death in 1997.

"Arriving in India immediately changed my whole perspective on the world. How was it possible that there were people who lacked the essential resources to live a dignified life?

I had started my novitiate in Darjeeling, surrounded by hills, a long way from home, but I had the conviction that I was on the right path, one that would change my life in so many different ways... In the early 1930s, I took my first vows as a nun and decided to call myself Teresa, after Thérèse de Lisieux, patron saint of missionaries. By coincidence, another nun in the convent already had the same name, so I opted for the Spanish diction.

At that time I also began to study Bengali, while teaching at St Theresa's school in Calcutta, not far from the convent. I was adapting perfectly to my new life in India.

Nevertheless, the suffering and poverty that I observed outside the convent walls made such an impression on me that I felt I had to do something...

It was on the train to Darjeeling, in September 1946, that I received what seemed to me to be a 'call within a call' and which would lead me to found the Missions of Charity, a family of sisters, brothers, fathers and colleagues; a life of dedication to the poor and forgotten in the slums of Calcutta."

Then began her silent campaign on behalf of the destitute and lepers neglected by society and the destitute dying in the streams of Calcutta.

By Simone, author of the tour "Madre Teresa Di Calcutta. The Choice of Service"

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