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A Brief Biography of Mother Teresa

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Mother Teresa of Calcutta lived from August 27, 1910 to September 5, 1997. She was an Ottoman-born Indian Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity and her work with the poor and poverty in Calcutta made her one of the world's most famous person.

In October 1950 Teresa received Vatican permission to start her own order, which the Vatican originally labeled as the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese, but which later became known as the Missionaries of Charity, whose mission was to care for (in her own words) "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, 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." It began as a small Order with 12 members in Calcutta, today it has more than 4,000 nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices, charity centres worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and Australia.

With the help of Indian officials she converted an abandoned Hindu temple into the Kalighat Home for the Dying, a free hospice for the poor. She soon after opened another hospice, Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart), a home for lepers called Shanti Nagar (City of Peace), and an orphanage. The order soon began to attract both recruits and charitable donations, and by the 1960s had opened hospices, orphanages and leper houses all over India.

In 1965, by granting a Decree of Praise, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa's request to expand her order to other countries. Teresa's order started to rapidly grow, with new homes opening all over the globe. The order's first house outside India was in Venezuela, and others followed in Rome and Tanzania, and eventually in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe, including Albania. In addition, the first Missionaries of Charity home in the United States was established in the South Bronx, New York. By 1996, she was operating 517 missions in more than 100 countries. Today over one million workers worldwide are employed by the Missionaries of Charity.

Mother Teresa frequently spoke against abortion and artificial contraception in meetings with high level government officials. In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, she declared, "Abortion is the worst evil, and



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