Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu commonly known as Mother Teresa and honored in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of North Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Skopje for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.In 1950, Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. It also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children’s and family counseling programs, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and also profess a fourth vow—to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”Teresa received a number of honors, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
She was canonized (recognized by the church as a saint) on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticized for her opposition to abortion and criticized for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorized biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On September 6, 2017, Teresa and St. Francis Xavier was named co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta.
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