St Teresa of Kolkata – Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity

What a woman! What a saint! Mother Teresa mentored the Missionaries of Charity, including the sisters, brothers, co-workers and lay missionaries, and all who sought her advice. She taught and she loved. She set an example by actioning her love. She saw a need and she acted – she didn’t wait to see if someone else would come and save her from having to do the lowest or the most unpleasant and menial of tasks, be it cleaning toilets, cleaning buildings, cooking and/or begging. According to Spink (2011:135), “Even as she became increasingly internationally acclaimed, she continued to roll up her sleeves and scrub floors as required.” It was she who nursed and cradled babies, children, adults and the dying in her arms, and loving them till they died, or were admitted to the homes she had established for the purpose of healing. 

In his Homily during the Beatification ceremony for Mother Teresa, Pope St John Paul II (2003, October 19) stressed, that she empathised with the poor: “she bent down to those suffering various forms of poverty. Her greatness lies in her ability to give without counting the cost, to give ‘until it hurts’. Her life was a radical living and a bold proclamation of the Gospel.” Mother Teresa has been described as “one of the 20th Century’s greatest humanitarians”!