Essay on Mother Theresa

Last Updated: April 27, 2024

Essay on Mother Theresa

Mother Teresa, born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, was a beacon of love, compassion, and unwavering dedication to the service of humanity. Her life’s work, rooted in the depths of kindness and tireless service to the poorest of the poor, has left an indelible mark on the world. This essay delves into the life, achievements, and legacy of Mother Teresa, offering insights into the profound impact of her humanitarian efforts.

Early Life and Calling

From a young age, Anjezë was imbued with a deep sense of religious fervor and commitment to charity, influenced by her mother’s devout Catholic faith and acts of kindness towards the less fortunate. At the age of 18, moved by a calling to serve God and humanity, she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland, never to see her family again. She was sent to India, where she took her formal religious vows in 1937 and became known as Sister Mary Teresa, after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

Service in Calcutta

While teaching at Saint Mary’s High School in Calcutta, Mother Teresa was confronted with the dire poverty and suffering that lay just outside the convent walls. The Bengal famine of 1943 and the Hindu/Muslim violence in 1946 further exposed her to the depth of human suffering. In 1948, after receiving a “call within a call,” she left the convent to live among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, providing them with basic healthcare and education. This marked the beginning of the Missionaries of Charity, officially established in 1950, with a mission to care for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society.”

Expansion of Her Work

Mother Teresa’s unwavering commitment to her cause saw the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion beyond India to other countries, providing support to refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless, and victims of natural disasters through soup kitchens, orphanages, schools, and leper colonies. Her approach was not to convert but to serve all regardless of their religion, stating, “I love all religions, but I am in love with my own.”

Recognition and Criticism

Her work earned her numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, which she accepted “in the name of the poor, the hungry, the sick and the lonely,” emphasizing her message of love and compassion. Despite widespread admiration, Mother Teresa was not without her critics, who questioned the medical care in her missions, her views on abortion and contraception, and the sources of some of the Missionaries of Charity’s funding. Yet, she remained undeterred, focused on her mission of love and service.

Legacy and Canonization

Mother Teresa passed away on September 5, 1997, leaving behind a vast legacy of compassion and unwavering dedication to the service of humanity. Her life and work have inspired millions around the globe to acts of charity and kindness. In recognition of her contributions, she was beatified as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta” by Pope John Paul II in 2003 and canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.

Impact on Society

Mother Teresa’s impact on society extends far beyond the establishment of the Missionaries of Charity. She brought global attention to the plight of the poor and destitute, changing the way the world views charity and compassion. Her belief that “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love” has motivated countless individuals to contribute positively to society, proving that the actions of a single person can indeed make a world of difference.

Mother Teresa, an iconic figure in the world of humanitarianism and a symbol of selfless compassion, had a profound impact on society. Her unwavering dedication to serving the poorest of the poor and her commitment to the principles of love, kindness, and empathy left an indelible mark on both individuals and the broader global community. Here are some of the key ways in which Mother Teresa’s impact on society can be recognized:

  1. Relief to the Destitute and Dying:
    • Mother Teresa’s most significant contribution was through her establishment of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950. This organization provided shelter, medical care, and love to the homeless, destitute, and dying, especially those affected by leprosy and tuberculosis.
  2. Inspirational Role Model:
    • Mother Teresa’s life and work served as an inspiration to countless individuals around the world. Her unwavering dedication to the poorest of the poor inspired many to take up similar acts of kindness and service.
  3. Advocate for the Marginalized:
    • Mother Teresa tirelessly advocated for the marginalized and downtrodden, using her global platform to draw attention to issues of poverty, hunger, and lack of healthcare. She spoke out against injustice and inequality.
  4. Interfaith Dialogue and Harmony:
    • Mother Teresa’s work transcended religious boundaries. She believed in the importance of interfaith dialogue and worked alongside individuals from various religions to promote peace and understanding.
  5. Humanizing the Dying Process:
    • Through her hospices and care centers, Mother Teresa provided a dignified and compassionate environment for those who were terminally ill, allowing them to pass away with love and care.
  6. Recognition and Awards:
    • Mother Teresa’s contributions to society were globally recognized. She received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, for her outstanding dedication to humanitarian work.
  7. Promoting a Culture of Giving:
    • Mother Teresa’s life exemplified the value of selflessness and giving. Her actions encouraged people to be more charitable and compassionate, fostering a culture of generosity and kindness.
  8. Global Outreach:
    • The Missionaries of Charity expanded its reach to many countries, operating homes, orphanages, and centers for those in need worldwide. This global presence ensured that her impact extended far beyond India.
  9. Educational Initiatives:
    • In addition to providing direct care, Mother Teresa also initiated educational programs for the underprivileged, emphasizing the importance of knowledge and empowerment.
  10. Legacy and Canonization:
    • Mother Teresa’s legacy continues through her canonization as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by the Catholic Church in 2016. Her life story and teachings continue to inspire people of faith and goodwill.
  11. Challenge to Society’s Conscience:
    • By living in the slums of Calcutta and witnessing firsthand the suffering of the poor, Mother Teresa challenged society’s conscience to confront issues of poverty, inequality, and social justice.
  12. A Testament to the Power of Love:
    • Perhaps her greatest impact was as a living testament to the transformative power of love. Mother Teresa demonstrated that even in the face of immense suffering, a single individual armed with love and compassion could make a profound difference in the world.

Philosophy and Teachings

At the core of Mother Teresa’s philosophy was a profound respect for all human life and a relentless drive to serve others. She taught that the greatest disease was not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. Her teachings emphasized love, peace, and the joy found in serving others, principles that continue to inspire humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Challenges and Perseverance

Throughout her life, Mother Teresa faced numerous challenges, from the logistical difficulties of establishing and running the Missionaries of Charity to the emotional toll of working with the severely ill and dying. Yet, her faith and determination never wavered. She persevered through these challenges, driven by her unwavering belief in her mission and the support of those who shared her vision.


In conclusion, Mother Teresa’s life was a remarkable journey of devotion, compassion, and tireless service to the most marginalized and forgotten individuals of society. Her legacy is a testament to the power of unconditional love and the impact it can have on the world. As we reflect on her contributions, we are reminded of the capacity each of us has to make a difference in the lives of others. Mother Teresa’s story encourages us to look beyond our differences and work together towards a world where everyone is valued and cared for. In an era of unprecedented challenges, her life and teachings remain a beacon of hope and a call to action for all humanity to embrace kindness, compassion, and service in our daily lives.

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