St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910 - 1997) was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Albania and spent most of her life in India. Called in a vision of Jesus to serve "the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for," she founded and led the Order of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters in 1950. In 1963 she also founded the Missionaries of Charity Brothers.

In addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Mother Teresa embraced a fourth vow of service to the poor. She viewed herself as an instrument of God's love and mercy. The spiritual practices of joy and silence were resources that energized her soul. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for initiating programs for the sick, the hungry, the homeless, and the dying. On September 4, 2016 at St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope Francis celebrated a canonization Mass declaring that Mother Teresa was a saint.


To observe Mother Teresa's birthday, copy one of these quotes and carry it in your pocket or post by your computer so that you read it several times during the day and think about how it applies to your life.

  • "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."
  • "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
  • "Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere — in the closing of the door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals."
  • "Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there; He is in you. Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize him."
  • "Always be faithful in little things, for in them our strength lies. To God nothing is little."
  • "Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."


  • Mother Teresa: In My Own Words. This fine collection of quotes, stories, and prayersis filled with inspirational thoughts such as: "As far as I am concerned the greatest suffering is to feel alone, unwanted, unloved."
  • No Greater Love edited by Becky Benenate and Joseph Durepos. Immerse yourself in Mother Teresa's reflections on prayer, love, giving, being holy, work and service, forgiveness, suffering and death, and much more.
  • A Call to Mercy edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk: This outstanding compilation of never-before-published teachings by Mother Teresa and tributes to her inspires us to put love into action.