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Teresa, Mother

Teresa, Mother (Saint Teresa of Calcutta), 1910–97, Roman Catholic missionary in India, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, b. Skopje (now in Macedonia) as Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu. Of Albanian parentage, she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland at 18 and soon left for India, where she became a nun and taught school in Calcutta (now Kolkata) from 1931, becoming the school's principal in 1944. In 1948 she left the convent and founded the Missionaries of Charity (officially recognized 1950) to care for the poor. She became an Indian citizen in 1951. Her order now operates schools, hospitals, orphanages, and food centers worldwide; she stepped down as the order's leader in 1997. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.

See her writings in In My Own Words (1996, comp. by J. L. González-Balado) and her letters in Come Be My Light (2007, ed. by B. Kolodiejchuk).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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