About 70 years later, Missionaries of Charity has 4,500 members that run orphanages, AIDS nursing homes, care for refugees, the blind, disabled, elderly, those suffering from substance abuse, the poor, and victims of floods, epidemics, and famine. Mother Teresa was honored in many ways for her incredible lifetime of selfless dedication to others. Albania's international airport is named after her and in 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Typically recipients are honored with a banquet, however Mother Teresa insisted that instead of a banquet, the money that would have been used was donated to poor people in India instead. In 1985, Mother Teresa received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Mother Teresa worked her entire life serving others until her death at age 87 on September 5, 1997. In 2016, she was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
In India, Agnes learned the local language, Bengali, and taught school, even becoming the headmistress at a school in Calcutta. She became a nun and adopted the name of Teresa. After witnessing the plight of the extremely poor people of India, Mother Teresa felt called into action by God. She learned medicinal practices so that she could help to nurse the sick, feed the hungry, and support those in need. In 1950, Mother Teresa began a group within the Catholic Church called Missionaries of Charity with the purpose of taking care of "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone."
Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910 in Uskub in what was the Ottoman Empire at the time. Today It is called Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia. She dedicated her life to helping the poor, and fighting for the rights of the sick and vulnerable. Named Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu at birth, she lost her father at 8 years old and was raised by her single mother. She was raised Roman Catholic and at an early age, decided to dedicate her life to God. She joined the Sisters of Loreto at the age of 18. She learned English at the Abbey in Ireland and in 1931 at the age of 21, Agnes became a missionary in Darjeerling, India.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."