Did Mother Teresa really cure a brain infection

Mother Teresa biography

Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic community of women who stood up for the poor. She is considered one of the greatest humanitarian women of the 20th century and was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.

Who was Mother Teresa?

The nun and missionary Mother Teresa, known in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, devoted her life to caring for the sick and the poor. Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia to parents of Albanian descent and has taught in India for 17 years. In 1946 she experienced her "call within a call". Their order established a hospice; Centers for the blind, old and handicapped; and a leper colony.

In 1979 Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work. She died in September 1997 and was beatified in October 2003. In December 2015, Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa and paved the way for her canonization on September 4, 2016.

Mother Teresa in a hospice for the needy and dying in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, 1969.

Photo: Terry Fincher / Hulton Archives / Getty Images

Mother Teresa's family and young life

Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, today's capital of the Republic of Macedonia. The following day she was baptized as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu.

Mother Teresa's parents, Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu, came from Albania. Her father was an entrepreneur who worked as a building contractor and dealer in medicines and other goods. The Bojaxhius were a devout Catholic family, and Nikola was a vocal supporter of Albanian independence in both the local church and city politics.

In 1919, when Mother Teresa & # x2014; then Agnes & # x2014; was only eight years old, her father suddenly fell ill and died. While the cause of death remains unknown, many have speculated that political enemies poisoned him.

After her father's death, when Agnes died, she was extremely close to her mother, a pious and compassionate woman who instilled a deep commitment to charity on her daughter. Though by no means wealthy, Drana openly invited Bojaxhiu to the city's penniless to dine with her family. "My child, never eat a sip unless you share it with others," she advised her daughter. When Agnes asked who the people who eat with them were, her mother replied consistently: "Some of them are our relatives, but all of them are our people."

Education and Nunhood

Agnes attended a monastery-run elementary school and then a state secondary school. As a girl, she sang in the local Sacred Heart choir and was often asked to sing solos. The congregation made an annual pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice, and it was on such a trip that, at the age of twelve, they felt themselves called to a religious life for the first time. Six years later, in 1928, 18-year-old Agnes Bojaxhiu decided to become a nun and to travel to Ireland to the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin. There she took the name Sister Mary Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

A year later Sister Mary Teresa went to Darjeeling, India for the novitiate. She took her first vow in May 1931. She was then sent to Calcutta, where she was tasked with teaching at Saint Mary's High School for Girls, a school run by the Loreto Sisters that teaches girls from the city's poorest Bengali families. Sister Teresa became fluent in both Bengali and Hindi while teaching geography and history, and dedicated herself to alleviating girls' poverty through education.

On May 24, 1937, she made her last profession of vows in a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience. As was the custom for Loreto nuns, she assumed the title of "mother" when she made her last vow and thus became known as Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa continued to teach at Saint Mary's, and in 1944 she became the school's principal. Through her kindness, generosity, and tireless dedication to her students' upbringing, she sought to lead them to lives of devotion to Christ. "Give me the strength to always be the light of your life so that I can finally lead you to you," she wrote in prayer.

'Call within a call'

On September 10, 1946, Mother Teresa experienced a second calling, the "call within a call" that would change her life forever. She was traveling on a train from Calcutta to the Himalayan foothills to retire when she said Christ spoke to her and told her to stop teaching in the Calcutta slums to help the city's poorest and most sickest people.

Since Mother Teresa had taken a vow of obedience, she could not leave her monastery without official permission. After almost a year and a half of lobbying, she finally received approval in January 1948 to pursue this new appointment. That August, she left the Loreto Monastery, put on the blue and white sari she would wear in public for the rest of her life, and went into town. After six months of basic medical training, she traveled to Calcutta's slums for the first time with no more specific goal than to help "the unwanted, the unloved, the unserved".

Missionaries of Charity

Mother Teresa quickly translated her vocation into concrete action to help the city's poor. She started an open air school and set up a home for the dying in need in a shabby building. She convinced the city government to donate to their cause. In October 1950, she received canonical recognition for a new ward, the Missionaries of Charity, which she started with only a handful of members, most of whom were former teachers or students from St. Mary's School.

As the ranks of her community grew and donations came from all over India and around the world, Mother Teresa's charitable activities grew exponentially. In the 1950s and 1960s, she established a leper colony, orphanage, nursing home, family clinic, and a number of mobile health clinics.

In 1971, Mother Teresa traveled to New York City to open her first America-based charity house, and in the summer of 1982 she secretly went to Beirut, Lebanon, where she cruised between the Christian east of Beirut and the Muslim west of Beirut to help children of both Beliefs. In 1985 Mother Teresa returned to New York and spoke on the 40th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly. There she also opened Gift of Love, a home for people infected with HIV / AIDS.

Awards and recognitions from Mother Teresa

In February 1965, Pope Paul VI bestowed To the Missionaries of Charity, the Decree of Praise that caused Mother Teresa to expand internationally. At the time of her death in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity numbered more than 4,000 & # x2014; In addition to thousands of other lay volunteers & # x2014; With 610 foundations in 123 countries around the world.

The Decree of Praise was just the beginning as Mother Teresa received various awards for her tireless and effective charity. She was awarded the Jewel of India, the highest honor given to Indian civilians, as well as the now defunct Soviet Union's gold medal from the Soviet Peace Committee. In 1979 Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work "Help for suffering humanity".

Criticism of Mother Teresa

Despite this widespread praise, Mother Teresa's life and work have not been without controversy. In particular, she has been critical of her support for some Catholic churches' more controversial teachings, such as opposition to contraception and abortion. "I think the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion," said Mother Teresa in her 1979 Nobel Lecture.

In 1995, she publicly voted no in the Irish referendum to end the country's constitutional prohibition on divorce and remarriage. The strongest criticism of Mother Teresa can be found in Christopher Hitchens' book The missionary position: Mother Teresa in theory and practice, in which Hitchens argued that Mother Teresa glorified poverty for her own ends and provided a justification for maintaining the institutions and beliefs that perpetuated widespread poverty.


When and how did Mother Teresa die?

After several years of deteriorating health, including heart, lung and kidney problems, Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87.

Letters from Mother Teresa

In 2003, the publication of Mother Teresa's private correspondence sparked a major re-evaluation of her life by revealing the crisis of faith that had plagued her for most of the last 50 years of her life.

In a desperate letter to a confidante, she wrote: "Where is my faith? Even deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. My God. How painful is this unknown pain. I have no faith. I dare not say the words and To express thoughts that arise in my heart. Let me suffer indescribable agony. ”While such revelations are shocking given her public image, they have made Mother Teresa a more reliable and humane figure for anyone who has doubts about her beliefs.

Miracles and canonization of Mother Teresa

In 2002 the Vatican recognized a miracle involving an Indian woman named Monica Besra, who was cured of an abdominal tumor by Mother Teresa's intercession on the one year anniversary of her death in 1998. Beatified as "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta" (declared in heaven).

On December 17, 2015, Pope Francis issued a decree recognizing a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa and paving the way for her canonization as Saints by the Roman Catholic Church. The second miracle involved the healing of Marcilio Andrino, a Brazilian who was diagnosed with a viral brain infection and who fell into a coma. His wife, family, and friends prayed to Mother Teresa. When the man was taken to the operating room for emergency surgery, the Father of the Missionaries of Charity said he woke up painlessly and was healed of his symptoms.

Mother Teresa was canonized as a saint on September 4, 2016, the day before the 19th anniversary of her death. Pope Francis presided over the canonization mass which was held in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Tens of thousands of Catholics and pilgrims from around the world attended the canonization to celebrate the woman who was called "the Saint of the Gutters". during her lifetime because of her charitable work with the poor.

& # x201C; After careful consideration and frequent prayer for divine help, and having sought the advice of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta as a saint and write her to the saints is to be venerated as such by the whole Church, & # x201D ; Pope Francis spoke Latin.

The Pope spoke of Mother Teresa's ministry in the sermon. Mother Teresa was a generous giver of Divine Mercy in all walks of life, making herself available to all by welcoming and defending human life, the unborn and the abandoned and rejected, "he said." She bowed to those who were passed off to die by the roadside and saw in them her God-given dignity. She has heard her voice before the forces of this world so that they can see their guilt for the crime of poverty that they have created. "

He also urged believers to follow their example and show compassion. "Mercy was the salt that gave flavor to their work, it was the light that shone in the darkness of the many who had shed no more tears for their poverty and suffering." he said and added. "May she be your example of holiness."


Mother Teresa has remained in the public spotlight since her death. Mother Teresa is one of the greatest humanitarian activists of the 20th century who works tirelessly to support those most in need. She combined deep empathy and passion for her cause with incredible organizational and management skills that enabled her to build a comprehensive and effective international organization of missionaries to serve impoverished citizens around the world.

Despite the enormous scope of her charitable activities and the millions of lives that touched her, she had only the humblest idea of ​​her own accomplishments until her death. Mother Teresa summed up her life in a characteristically selfless way and said: "By blood I am Albanian. By citizenship I am Indian. By faith I am a Catholic nun. As for my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong whole to the heart of Jesus. "

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