Remembering Mother Teresa on Her Birth Anniversary: Lesser-Known Facts About the Saint of the Gutters


August 26 marks the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, a remarkable figure known for her selfless acts and profound contributions to humanity. While her legacy as the “Saint of the Gutters” is widely recognized, there are several lesser-known facts about her life and work that deserve attention and appreciation.

  1. Honorary American Citizen:
    • Mother Teresa was not just a global humanitarian but also an honorary citizen of the United States. She received this honor in recognition of her lifelong dedication to alleviating the suffering of the underprivileged and marginalized.
  2. Early Calling as a Nun:
    • At the tender age of 18, Mother Teresa left her family to join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin, embarking on her lifelong journey as a nun. She never had the chance to reunite with her family thereafter.
  3. Struggles with Faith:
    • Despite her unwavering commitment, Mother Teresa faced moments of doubt and spiritual struggle. Her writings in “Come Be My Light” reveal her inner battles with questions about her faith and God.
  4. Birth Name and Birthday:
    • Born as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, her birth name signified “a little flower” in Albanian. She chose to celebrate August 27 as her true birthday, adding significance to this date in her life.
  5. Awards and Distinctions:
    • Mother Teresa received over 120 awards and distinctions during her lifetime, including the Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize in 1962 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
  6. Connection with Princess Diana:
    • Mother Teresa had a close relationship with Princess Diana. They prayed together and walked hand in hand through the streets of New York City during their final meeting. Tragically, they both passed away within days of each other in 1997.
  7. Presidential Medal of Freedom:
    • President Ronald Reagan and his wife presented Mother Teresa with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985, an exceptional honor typically reserved for Americans.

Inspiring Quotes by Mother Teresa:

  • “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
  • “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
  • “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
  • “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
  • “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
  • “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
  • “Peace begins with a smile.”
  • “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
  • “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
  • “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.”

On Mother Teresa’s birth anniversary, we reflect on the life of a compassionate and inspirational figure who continues to touch hearts with her legacy of love and selflessness. Her extraordinary journey and unwavering dedication to helping others serve as a timeless source of inspiration for people around the world.

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