Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Albanian: [aˈɲɛs ˈɡɔɲdʒa bɔjaˈdʒiu]) and commonly known as Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 — 5 September 1997), was an ethnic Albanian, Indian Roman Catholic nun.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children’s and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give «Wholehearted and Free service to the … Show more
poorest of the poor».
She was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title «Blessed Teresa of Calcutta». A second miracle credited to Mother Teresa is required before she can be recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was admired by many; in 1999, a poll of Americans ranked her first in Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. However, she has also been criticized for failing to provide medical care or pain killers because she felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus, for misusing charitable monies, and for maintaining positive relationships with dictators.