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What did Mother Teresa do?

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Quick Answer

Mother Teresa, formally known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, M.C., was a Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work with the poor. In 1950, she founded this women's congregation, which was formed to help the poor. After having a religious experience in 1946, she felt called to work in India and provide comfort and care for the poor, sick and dying.

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Full Answer

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the Republic of Macedonia, and her birth name was Agnes Gonhxa Bojaxhiu. At the age of 18, she decided to enter religious life, went to Ireland and joined the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. After professing vows, she went to India to teach at a girl's school.

While riding a train in 1946 near the Himalayas, Mother Teresa had a religious experience in which she heard the voice of Jesus tell her to stop teaching and dedicate her life to the poor of India. After leaving her convent with church permission, she went to the Calcutta slums in 1948, where she started a school and a home for the dying.

Between 1950s and 1960s she began an orphanage, leper colony and various clinics. After founding her congregation with only 12 sisters, it grew to more than 5,000 sisters by 2007. Similarly, by the year 2007, there were over 600 different types of charitable organizations or foundations established in about 120 countries worldwide.

After receiving the Noble Peace Prize for her humanitarian work, Mother Teresa continued her work. However, her health deteriorated in later years, and she died on September 5, 1997.

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