Between many spiritual leaders lies the well known Mother Teresa. She was the former head of the Missionaries of charity in Calcutta, India. She ministered to the poorest of the poor and touched the lives of many people. Even though she did many good things, she never saw herself as special or as deserving public acclaim.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, a town in Macedonia. She had a four year old sister named Age, and a seven year old brother named Lazar. Her father, Nikola Bojaxhiu, was a successful businessman who owned a construction company. He was well known throughout the region for his generous donations to individuals, families, and institutions. Agnes’ mother, Dranafile Bernaj Bojaxhiu ran the household and cared for the children and was known in town for her charitable works toward Skopje’s poor people.
When she was about seven years old her father died, but she felt as she had lost both her parents because her mother was devastated. After this her family became closer to one another and to church. When she was twelve years old she knelt at the feet of the Madonna and child statue and heard her first call of God. “I heard the voice of God calling me to be all his by consecrating myself to him and to the service of my neighbors…. I was singing in my heart, full of joy inside. It was then that I realized that my vocation was for the poor.” Agnes had doubts about accepting God’s call, but that meant giving up her family and the hope to getting married and having children one day.
She read magazines, such as Catholic Missions, that described the lives of missionaries working in extremely poor areas of India. Photographs of starving families moved Agnes’s heart. She began to seriously consider becoming a nun so she turned to Father Jambrenkovic. “Joy that becomes from the depths of your being is like a compass by which you can tell what direction your life should follow,” he told her. “One should follow...
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