Highlights of Mother Teresa’s life:
1910: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu born August 27 in Skopje, in what is now Macedonia, the youngest of three children of an Albanian builder.
1928: Becomes novice in Loretto order, which ran mission schools in India, and takes the name Sister Teresa.
1929: Arrives in Calcutta to teach at St. Mary’s High School.
1937: Takes final vows as a nun.
1946: While riding a train to the mountain town of Darjeeling to recover from suspected tuberculosis, she said she received a calling from God “to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”
1947: Permitted to leave her order and moves to Calcutta’s slums to set up her first school.
1950: Founds the order of Missionaries of Charity.
1952: Opens Nirmal Hriday, or “Pure Heart,” a home for the dying, followed next year by her first orphanage.
1962: Wins her first prize for her humanitarian work: the Padma Shri award for distinguished service. Over the years, she uses the money from such prizes to found dozens of new homes.
1979: Wins Nobel Peace Prize.
1982: Persuades Israelis and Palestinians to stop shooting long enough to rescue 37 retarded children from a hospital in besieged Beirut.
1983: Has a heart attack while in Rome visiting Pope John Paul II.
1985: Awarded Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award.
1989: Has a second and nearly fatal attack. Doctors implant a pacemaker.
1990: Announces her intention to resign, and a conclave of sisters is called to choose successor. In a secret ballot, Mother Teresa is re-elected with only one dissenting vote — her own — and withdraws request to step down.
1991: Suffers pneumonia in Tijuana, Mexico, leading to congestive heart failure, and is hospitalized in La Jolla, California.
1993: Breaks three ribs in fall in May in Rome; hospitalized for malaria in August in New Delhi; undergoes surgery to clear blocked blood vessel in Calcutta in September.
1996: November 16, receives honorary U.S. citizenship.
1996: Falls and breaks collarbone in April; suffers malarial fever and failure of the left heart ventricle in August; treated for a chest infection and recurring heart problems in September. Readmitted to hospital with chest pains and breathing problems November 22.
1997: March 13, steps down as head of her order.
1997: September 5, is called to eternal life by the Lord. Rest in peace, Mother!
FAITH ACTION: Put the words of Mother Teresa into action this day.
Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.