||Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu
26 August 1910
Üsküp, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
(present-day Skopje, North Macedonia)
||5 September 1997 (aged 87)
Calcutta, West Bengal, India (present-day Kolkata)
||Roman Catholic Church
||19 October 2003, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
||4 September 2016, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis
||Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
||Nun’s habit Rosary
||World Youth Day Missionaries of Charity Archdiocese of Calcutta
||Ottoman subject (1910–1912)
Serbian subject (1912–1915)
Bulgarian subject (1915–1918)
Yugoslavian subject (1918–1943)
Yugoslavian citizen (1943–1948)
Indian subject (1948–1950)
Indian citizen (1950–1997)
Albanian citizen (1991–1997)
United States, honorary citizenship (awarded 1996)
||Sisters of Loreto
Missionaries of Charity
|Period in office
||Sr. Nirmala Joshi, MC
Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Albanian: [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), honoured in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian–Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of North Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Skopje for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.
In 1950, Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. It also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children’s and family counselling programmes, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and also profess a fourth vow – to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
Teresa received a number of honors, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonized on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day. A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticized on various counts, such as for her views on abortion and contraception, and was criticized for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorized biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On 6 September 2017, Teresa and St. Francis Xavier were named co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta.
On 17 December 2015, the Vatican Press Office confirmed that Pope Francis recognised a second miracle attributed to Teresa: the healing of a Brazilian man with multiple brain tumours back in 2008. The miracle first came to the attention of the postulation (officials managing the cause) during the events of World Youth Day 2013 when the pope was in Brazil that July. A subsequent investigation took place in Brazil from 19–26 June 2015 which was later transferred to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints who issued a decree recognizing the investigation to be completed.
Francis canonized her at a ceremony on 4 September 2016 in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Tens of thousands of people witnessed the ceremony, including 15 government delegations and 1,500 homeless people from across Italy. It was televised live on the Vatican channel and streamed online; Skopje, Teresa’s hometown, announced a week-long celebration of her canonisation. In India, a special Mass was celebrated by the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata.