Mother Teresa. According to the Catholic Church and many people worldwide, she is a helper, a nun, and a saint. After her canonization in 2016, she formally became known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Still, some individuals have reservations about her sainthood based on certain factors. This article highlights some intriguing facts about Mother Teresa, shedding more light on the type of person she was and what she stood for.

1. Mother Teresa Was A Miracle Worker

According to reports and Monica Besra (the beneficiary), Mother Teresa performed a miracle that helped cure an illness. After Besra developed a tumor in her abdomen, she visited a lot of medical professionals who prescribed long and complicated treatments to no avail.

In 1998, when the cured woman came forward with the news, the journey to Mother Teresa’s Beatification started. It finally happened in 2003 and was conducted by Pope John Paull II. Besides Besra’s case, the nun is also credited with healing Marcilio Andrino, a Brazilian man who suffered from a viral brain infection which took him into a coma.

2. Mother Teresa Once Wrote to a Judge Asking Him to Do What Jesus Would Do

When Charles Keating, an American banker, lawyer, and real estate developer, was on trial for 17 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering, Mother Teresa leaped to his defense. She wrote to the judge hearing his case, asking him to show leniency and “do what Jesus would do.”

In response, the judge wrote to the nun explaining that the offender had stolen money from others, suggesting that she returned Keating’s donation to the victims as Jesus would surely do. Mother Teresa never replied.

3. There Are Reservations about Mother Teresa Being a Saint

While the Catholic Church considers Mother Teresa a saint, some people beg to differ. There are reports that she withheld aid from the sick and poor. She was of the idea that suffering was beautiful, something that the poor should accept and learn to live with. As the Biblical Jesus suffered, the world is bound to gain more from the tribulations of the less fortunate.

4. Her Given Name was Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu

Mother Teresa was born to Kosovar Albanian parents on August 26, 1910. She was given the name Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, with Gonxhe meaning a “flower.” After arriving in India in 1929, she learned Bengali and landed a job as a teacher at St. Teresa’s School. After taking her first religious vows in 1931, she changed her name to Teresa, missing out on her preferred Therese de Lisieux, which had already been taken by another nun.

5. She Founded the Missionaries of Charity Institute

Established in 1950, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity is a catholic centralized religious institute put in place for different purposes. With over 5,000 nuns across more than 130 countries, the congregation helps manage people suffering from leprosy, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. The group also has mobile clinics, orphanages, schools, dispensaries, and soup kitchens. Members must take the three evangelical counsels: chastity, poverty, and obedience.

6. Mother Teresa and Her Members Secretly Baptized Ailing Patients of Other Religions

When Mother Teresa and her church members encountered ailing and dying patients from other religions, they would baptize them, asking them if they needed a ticket to heaven. The nuns would pretend to cool the victims’ foreheads with wet towels while they secretly/quietly mumbled baptism rituals.

7. She Often Doubted Her Faith

Even though Mother Teresa placed herself at the service of others as her calling demanded, she often fought with her faith and had doubts about God’s existence. In some of her writings, she seemed to question where her faith was, alluding to the emptiness and darkness she felt.

She wondered what heaven was like; her thoughts returned to her like sharp knives hurting her soul. The nun ended by asking for forgiveness if, indeed, there was God. Such doubts were considered normal by the Catholic Church; they were not considered an impediment to her canonization.

8. Mother Teresa Was a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Mother Teresa won the 1979 edition of the Nobel Peace Prize for her role and struggle in overcoming poverty and distress, some of the things that can threaten peace. Besides that, she was highly regarded, admired, and celebrated worldwide; she was awarded several honorary degrees.

9. Mother Teresa Was Exorcised Months to Her Death

When Mother Teresa was ailing and was in the hospital, she was exorcised amid fears that she was being attacked by the devil. Archbishop Henry D’Souza arrived at the decision after the nun had two troubled nights of sleep while admitted at the Birla hospital in Calcutta.

Priest Rosario Stroscio was tasked with exorcising the nun, reciting a prayer for about half an hour. She died several months later at the age of 87.

10. She Is a Saint in the Catholic Church

Mother Teresa was venerated Within her church by the many Catholics who saw her as a saint; they often requested her intercession. In 2016, Pope Francis canonized her at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

11. Mother Teresa Was Strongly Opposed to Contraception and Abortion

Most of Mother Teresa’s criticism came from her vocal endorsement of some of the Catholic Church’s beliefs. For instance, she was vehemently opposed to contraception and abortion. In her 1979 Nobel lecture, she insisted abortion was the greatest destroyer of peace at the time.

12. Cristopher Hitchens Was One of Mother Teresa’s Biggest Critic

Cristopher Hitchens was a British author and journalist, considered one of the most influential atheists. He was also one of Mother Teresa’s biggest critics. In his book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, he argued that the nun glorified poverty for her own gains. Hitchens insisted that Mother Teresa stood for and justified beliefs that ensured poverty prevailed.

13. Mother Teresa Inspired Several Books, Documentaries, and Dramatic Films

Besides Cristopher Hitchens’ book, Mother Teresa inspired several documentaries and films. The most popular ones include Mother Teresa: In the Name of God’s Poor, Mother Teresa: No Greater Love, and Something Beautiful for God by Malcom Muggeridge.

14. She Is Among the Few People with American Honorary Citizenship

Usually, a non-United States citizen can earn the honorary citizen of the United States after showing exceptional merit under the Act of Congress or issued by the country’s president. At the time of writing, fewer than 10 people have benefited from this, with Mother Teresa being one of them. Others include Sir Winston Churchill, Raoul Wallenberg (awarded posthumously), and Casimir Pulaski, also given after his death.

15. Mother Teresa Once Advocated for Priest’s Return to Ministry despite Rape Accusations

Despite being fully aware of the fact that a priest had raped a boy, Mother Teresa still advocated for his return to ministry. After eight more similar charges were leveled against the man, he was arrested and convicted in 2005, long after the nun’s death.

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Last Update: December 4, 2023