Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic religious sister who was known for her life-long vow of helping the poor. She was born to Roman Catholic parents in Skopje, Macedonia, and was the youngest sibling in her Albanian family.
When Teresa (originally born with an Albanian name similar to the English name Agnes, meaning "Rosebud" or "little flower") was eight years old, her father passed away from unknown reasons. She became close with her mother who often taught her to "never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others." Her mother was the first influence in Teresa's life to show her the importance of ministering to the poor. At the age of 12, Teresa felt a religious calling. At 18 she decided to leave home and become a missionary, so she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin, Ireland, a community of nuns who focus on missions in India. This was where she received her name of Sister Mary Teresa.
After training for a few months in Dublin, Teresa moved to India to help teach school children. After her first profession of vows as a nun, she was sent to Calcutta where she served at an all-girls school as a teacher. Her missionary work was to help alleviate poverty through education.
Mother Teresa continued to teach for many years after that until she felt her second calling as an aid to the "hungry, naked, homeless, unwanted, unloved, and the uncared for" in the slums of Calcutta, India. It was here that she opened a hospice house where sick people could be cared for and feel wanted before their death.1
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