The Writer :
Mother Teresa's early name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and she was born on 26 August, 1910 in Skopje, Yugoslavia. She was the youngest child of her Albanian family. Her mother raised her as a Roman Catholic. She was fascinated by stories of missionaries. At the age of twelve, she was convinced that she should commit herself to a religious life as a missionary.
She left her home at the age of 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto. After learning to speak English in Ireland, she started for India. She began her training to be a nun in Darjeeling under Sister Murphy. She also learnt Bengali and Hindi there. After completing her training, she took her first religious vows as a nun on May 24, 1931 and chose the name Teresa. She joined Loreto Convent at Entally in Kolkata to teach children. But her heart cried seeing the pathetic condition of the poor dwellers of a slum opposite to the convent.
She decided to leave the Convent on 10 September, 1946 to work wholeheartedly for the poor. She got a medical training from Patna to be a nurse. Then she started to serve the poor and the distressed in Kolkata. People liked her work and helped her.
She received permission from the Vatican on October 7, 1950 to start her own charitable organisation, "The Missionaries of Charity". Its aim was to work for "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers." She opened shelters, homes, orphanages and leper houses all over the world with the help of charitable funding.
She sacrificed her life for the betterment of the poor and she was satisfied in doing so. She passed away on September 5, 1997 but will be remembered all over the world for her work for the sick, the poor, the orphans and the destitute. She was beatified in Vatican by Pope John Paul II on 19 October, 2003.
The Lecture :
As mentioned above, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress. During her gripping prize acceptance speech on December 11, 1979 in Oslo, Norway, she motivated her audience to spread peace and love by sharing with one another and putting one's ideas into action. She said, " You must come to know the poor, may be our people here have material things, everything, but I think that if we all look into our own homes, how difficult we find it sometimes to smile at each other, but that smile is the beginning of love ...and so let us always meet each other with a smile."
When she received the prize she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace ?" She replied, " Go home and love your family." In her lecture she said, "Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. I have removed the hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society -- that poverty is so hurtable and so much, and I find that very difficult." She also mentioned abortion as "the greatest destroyer of peace in the world."