Mothers of all Mothers
Mother Teresa's original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born on Aug. 27, 1910, in what is now Skopje, Macedonia. In 1928, she joined a religious order, which sent her to India. She took the name Teresa after joining the order. A few years later, she began teaching in Calcutta. In 1948, the Catholic Church granted her permission to leave her convent and work among the city's poor people. She became an Indian citizen that year.
Mother Teresa received numerous awards for her work with the needy. These awards include the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize, which she received in 1971; India's Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, given to her in 1972; and honorary U.S. citizenship, given to her in 1996. She died on Sept. 5, 1997. In 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa. Beatification is an important step toward declaring an individual a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
The life of Mother Tersera
This strong and independent woman was born Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Yugoslavia, on August 27, 1910. Five children were born to Nikola and Dronda Bojaxhiu, yet only three survived. Gonxha was the youngest, with an older sister, Aga, and brother, Lazar. This brother describes the family's early years as "well-off," not the life of peasants reported inaccurately by some. "We lacked for nothing." In fact, the family lived in one of the two houses they owned.