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Mother Teresa, whose original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was born on August 26, 1910 in what is now Skopje, Macedonia. She always wrote her birthday as the 27th of August because that was the day of her baptism, which was always more important to her than her birth. For her work with the poor around the world she received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1928 she joined a religious order and took the name Teresa. The order immediately sent her to India. A few years later, she began teaching in Calcutta, and in 1948 the Catholic Church granted her permission to leave her convent and work among the city’s poor people. She became an Indian citizen that same year. In 1950, she founded a religious order in Calcutta called the Missionaries of Charity. The order provides food for the needy and operates hospitals, schools, orphanages, youth centers, and shelters for lepers and the dying poor. It now has branches in 50 Indian cities and 30 other countries.

In addition to the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa has received other awards for her work with the needy. These awards include the 1971 Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1972. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. She is sorely missed.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.”

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

“The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.”

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