ST. TERESA OF CALCUTTA
Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia, Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu said goodbye to her family in 1928 and made her way to India. The following year she was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India where she chose the name Teresa. With her unusually dedicated life for the destitute and the orphan she became the most recognized universal icon of charity. The nearly 800 honours and awards including Nobel Peace Prize and Bharat Ratna, that came seeking her, showed the regard with which she was held in India and abroad. So it was not surprising to read this banner headline in the Indian Express when she died: Mother Teresa, the living saint, dies at 87. She was given a state dignitary’s funeral with the Presidents, Prime Ministers and diplomats present for the funeral Mass in Calcutta and the body draped in India’s national flag was carried by army personnel and the army gave a 21 gun salute. India declared three-day national mourning in her honour. She was perhaps the most written about living personality of her time. Pope Francis canonized her on 4th September 2016.