One of my biggest role models is Mother Theresa. Her philanthropic actions and steadfast commitment to her beliefs have been a great source of inspiration for my personal philosophies. Many recognize the name Mother Theresa, but have little understanding of the contribution she made to the Catholic Church, and the influence she left upon the world.
Mother Theresa was born Agnes Gnoxha on August 26th, 1910. Growing up in a Catholic household, she learned from an early age the importance of the work of missionaries. At 18 years old, after her father died, Agnes left home to attend The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and join the Sisters of Loreta. It was here that she became known as Sister Theresa. Initially, her mission work found her teaching children in India. However, after receiving a message from God, she decided to contribute her efforts to the poor. Even though she was not particularly wealthy herself, Mother Theresa was entirely committed to improving the lives of those less fortunate. Her mission was to dedicate herself to helping the impoverished, remain without possessions, and obey her Catholic superiors.
Following her eye-opening moment of inspiration, Mother Theresa established her mission as she began her new life. She promised to dedicate herself to the impoverished, live without possessions, and obey her religious superiors. Throughout her lifetime, she was successful in completing this objective, and then some. While a list of her accomplishments is seemingly endless, some of her greatest contributions include founding the Missionaries of Charity Fathers and opening refugee centers for orphans, AIDS patients, and the leper colony. She also famously brokered a cease fire and travelled through a war zone, to evacuate children trapped in the frontlines.
Mother Theresa’s deep devotion to her spirituality and selfless work as a missionary inspired thousands, and did not go noticed. Considered one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, she became a symbol of hope and promise to people across the world. Although she passed away nearly 20 years ago, the impact she has made upon the world is too significant to be forgotten. She is a role model to Catholics (and non-Catholics) everywhere who seek to live their lives with the same dedication and altruism.
As a Catholic myself, I was introduced to Mother Theresa from an early age, and have looked up to her ever since. One of my favorite quotes of hers reads, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” One of the reasons that Mother Theresa continues to inspire people, including me, is that she managed to do great things, with great love.