Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia. She was given the name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She only changed her name to Sister Mary Teresa when she was 18 years old. Her family was Catholic, and her mother was involved in the local church when she was a child. When Agnes was only 8 years old, her father became ill suddenly and died. People don’t know how he died, but some people think he was poisoned. After her father’s death, Agnes became very close to her mother. Her mother was a kind woman who liked to help other people and Agnes was the same. Even though they were not very rich, they often invited poorer people to eat with them. Agnes also sang in the local Sacred Heart choir.
At around the age of 12, Agnes thought she would like to follow a religious life. Every year she would visit the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice. When she was there she had her first strong religious feelings. When she was 18 years old, she decided to become a nun. She moved to Dublin, Ireland. There she joined the Sisters of Loreto. It was at that time that she changed her name to Sister Mary Teresa. One year later, Sister Mary Teresa went to Darjeeling in India. Then, when she was 21, she made her first profession of vows to become a nun. On May 24 in 1937, she took her final profession of vows. She promised to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. Mother Teresa taught at Saint Mary’s school, and in 1944 she became the principal of the school.
On September 10, 1946, Mother Teresa experienced a life changing event. When she was riding on a train in India, she heard Christ speak to her and tell her to stop teaching. She heard Christ tell her to work in Calcutta and to help the poorest and sickest people. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Mother Teresa did so much incredible work to help the poor. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to recognize her work bringing help to people suffering around the world. She founded the Missionaries of Charity with a just a few members, but by the time she died in 1997, her charity had more than 4,000 workers and thousands more volunteers. There are now more than 600 foundations in 123 countries around the world.