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Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was a deafblind American author, activist and lecturer.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her disabilities were caused by a fever in February, 1882 when she was 19 months old. Her loss of ability to communicate at such an early developmental age was very traumatic for her and her family and as a result she became quite unmanageable.

Biography

Childhood

Keller was born at an estate called Ivy Green, on June 27, 1880 to parents Captain Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller. She was not born blind and deaf, but was actually a typical, healthy infant. It was not until nineteen months later that she came down with an illness that the doctors described as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain" - Scarlet Fever. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her blind, deaf, and unable to speak. By age seven she had invented over sixty different signs that she could use to communicate with her family.

In 1886, her mother Kate Keller was inspired by an account in Charles Dickens' American Notes of the successful education of another deaf/blind child, Laura Bridgman, and travelled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. He put her in touch with local expert Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell advised the couple to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston, Massachusetts. The school delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to try to open up Helen's mind. It was the beginning of a 49-year period of working together.

Sullivan demanded and got permission from Helen's father to isolate the girl from the rest of the family in a little house in their garden. Her first task was to instill discipline in the spoiled girl. Helen's big breakthrough in communication came one day when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on her palm, while running cool water over her palm from a pump, symbolized the idea of "water" and nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world (including her prized doll).

Anne was able to teach Helen to think intelligibly and to speak, using the Tadoma method: touching the lips of others as they spoke, feeling the vibrations, and spelling of alphabetical characters in the palm of Helen's hand. She also learned to read English, French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille.

Education

In 1888, Helen attended Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen and Anne moved to New York City to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. In 1898 they returned to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. In 1904 at the age of 24, Helen graduated from Radcliffe cum laude, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from a college.

Helen Keller, graduation from Radcliffe College, c. 1904

Political activities

With tremendous willpower Helen went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She made it her own life's mission to fight for the sensorially handicapped in the world. In 1915 she founded Helen Keller International, a non-profit organization for preventing blindness. Helen and Anne Sullivan traveled all over the world to over 39 countries, and made several trips to Japan, becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Helen Keller met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to John F. Kennedy and was friends with many famous figures including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain.

Helen Keller was a member of the socialist party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. Her political views were reinforced by visiting workers. In her words, "I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. If I could not see it, I could smell it."

Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she came out as a socialist now called attention to her disabilities. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development." Keller responded to that editor, referring to having met him before he knew of her political views:

"At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him...Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent."

Helen Keller also joined the industrial union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), in 1912 after she felt that parliamentary socialism was "sinking in the political bog." Helen Keller wrote for the IWW between 1916 and 1918. In "Why I Became an IWW" Helen wrote that her motivation for activism came in part due to her concern about blindness and other disabilities:

"I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness."

Helen Keller wrote glowingly of the emergence of communism during the Russian Revolution (See ISBN 0684818868). Her contacts with suspected communists were frequently investigated by the FBI.

In 1920 she was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union. In the 1920s, she sent a hundred dollars to the NAACP with a letter of support that appeared in its magazine The Crisis.

In 1925 she addressed a convention of Lions Clubs International giving that organisation a major focus for its service work which still continues today.

Writings

In 1960 her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. She also wrote a lengthy autobiography. She wrote a total of eleven books, and authored numerous articles.

Honors

On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor.

Alabama honors her, a native daughter, on its state quarter [1].

Later life

Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968 at the age of 87, more than thirty years after the death of Anne Sullivan. She was cremated and her remains were placed in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in Washington National Cathedral.

Helen Keller in the arts and popular culture

A silent film, Deliverance, first told Keller's story.

The Miracle Worker, a play about how Helen Keller learned to communicate, was made into a movie three times. The 1962 version of the movie won Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Anne Bancroft who played Sullivan and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Patty Duke who played Keller.

Another recent movie about Helen Keller's life is The Miracle Continues. This semi-sequel to The Miracle Worker recounts her college years and her early adult life. None of the early movies hint at the social activism that would become the hallmark of Helen's later life, although the Disney version produced in 2000 states in the credits that Helen became an activist for social equality.

The Hindi movie Black released in 2005 was largely based on Keller's story, from her childhood to her graduation.

In the comedy cartoon series South Park Helen Keller's life was shown in a musical.

Her life and achievements are celebrated annually in Tuscumbia, her hometown, in the Helen Keller festival.

In the animated series Family Guy, the final scene from The Miracle Worker was shown in one episode with the characters speaking in binary.


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In the animated series Family Guy, the final scene from The Miracle Worker was shown in one episode with the characters speaking in binary. Mother Teresa did not disclose her order's financial situation except where she was required to do so by law. Her life and achievements are celebrated annually in Tuscumbia, her hometown, in the Helen Keller festival. See Missionaries of Charity for a detailed discussion of these allegations. In the comedy cartoon series South Park Helen Keller's life was shown in a musical. It has been alleged by former employees of Mother Teresa's order, including ex-nun Susan Shields, that Teresa refused to authorize the purchase of medical equipment, and that donated money was instead transferred to the Vatican Bank for general use, even if it was specifically earmarked for charitable purposes. The Hindi movie Black released in 2005 was largely based on Keller's story, from her childhood to her graduation. In contrast to the conditions at her homes, Mother Teresa sought medical treatment for herself at renowned medical clinics in the United States, Europe, and India, drawing charges of hypocrisy from critics such as Hitchens.

None of the early movies hint at the social activism that would become the hallmark of Helen's later life, although the Disney version produced in 2000 states in the credits that Helen became an activist for social equality. Mother Teresa herself referred to the facilities as "Houses of the Dying". This semi-sequel to The Miracle Worker recounts her college years and her early adult life. Similar points of view have also been expressed by some former volunteers who worked for Teresa's order. Another recent movie about Helen Keller's life is The Miracle Continues. There have been a series of other reports documenting inattention to medical care in the order's facilities. The 1962 version of the movie won Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Anne Bancroft who played Sullivan and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Patty Duke who played Keller. The formulary at the facility Fox visited lacked strong analgesics which he felt clearly separated Mother Teresa's approach from the hospice movement.

The Miracle Worker, a play about how Helen Keller learned to communicate, was made into a movie three times. Fox conceded that the regimen he observed included cleanliness, the tending of wounds and sores, and kindness, but he noted that the sisters' approach to managing pain was "disturbingly lacking". A silent film, Deliverance, first told Keller's story. Fox specifically held Teresa responsible for conditions in this home, and observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. Joseph of Arimathea in Washington National Cathedral. Dr. She was cremated and her remains were placed in the Chapel of St. He observed that sisters and volunteers, some of whom had no medical knowledge, had to make decisions about patient care, because of the lack of doctors in the hospice.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968 at the age of 87, more than thirty years after the death of Anne Sullivan. Robin Fox, then editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, visited the Home for Dying Destitutes in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and described the medical care the patients received as "haphazard". Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. In 1991, Dr. Alabama honors her, a native daughter, on its state quarter [1]. Many of Teresa's donors were evidently under the impression that their money was being used to build hospitals. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor. Some defenders of the order argue that missionary activity—already declared in the name of the order—was a central part of Teresa's calling.

On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. He stated, for example, that none of the eight facilities that the Missionaries of Charity run in Papua New Guinea have any residents in them, being purely for the purpose of converting local people to Catholicism. She wrote a total of eleven books, and authored numerous articles. Chatterjee alleged that many operations of the order engage in no charitable activity at all but instead use their funds for missionary work. She also wrote a lengthy autobiography. According to a Stern magazine report about Mother Teresa, the (Protestant) Assembly of God charity serves 18,000 meals daily in Calcutta (now called Kolkata), many more than all the Mission of Charity homes together. In 1960 her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Chatterjee added that the public image of Mother Teresa as a "helper of the poor" was misleading, and that only a few hundred people are served by even the largest of the homes.

In 1925 she addressed a convention of Lions Clubs International giving that organisation a major focus for its service work which still continues today. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.". In the 1920s, she sent a hundred dollars to the NAACP with a letter of support that appeared in its magazine The Crisis. In Hitchens' interpretation, Teresa's own words on poverty proved that "her intention was not to help people." He quoted Teresa's words at a 1981 press conference in which she was asked: "Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?" She replied: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. In 1920 she was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union. Christopher Hitchens described Mother Teresa's organization as a cult which promoted suffering and did not help those in need. Her contacts with suspected communists were frequently investigated by the FBI. Critics assert that someone held to be a "living saint" should be held to a higher standard of behavior.

Helen Keller wrote glowingly of the emergence of communism during the Russian Revolution (See ISBN 0684818868). They allege that similar standards are not applied to other companies and individuals who have had dealings with Maxwell and Keating. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.". Supporters of Mother Teresa see charges such as those above as clear examples of double-standards and attempts of "guilt by association". And the social evil contributed its share. There is no suggestion that she was aware of any theft before accepting the donation in either case; criticism instead focuses on Teresa's plea for leniency in the Keating case, her refusal to return the money, and the lack of media investigations of her relationships to these individuals. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. She also accepted money from the British publisher Robert Maxwell, who, as was later revealed, embezzled UK£450 million from his employees' pension funds.

"I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. The district attorney responded in private and asked her to return the money, which she declined. In "Why I Became an IWW" Helen wrote that her motivation for activism came in part due to her concern about blindness and other disabilities:. Teresa interceded on his behalf and wrote a letter to the court urging leniency. Helen Keller also joined the industrial union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), in 1912 after she felt that parliamentary socialism was "sinking in the political bog." Helen Keller wrote for the IWW between 1916 and 1918. Critics also cite the case of Charles Keating, who stole in excess of US$252 million in the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980s, and who had donated $1.25 million to Mother Teresa's cause. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him...Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent.". By the time of her death, the Missionaries of Charity had houses in most Communist countries.

But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. Critics said her actions compromised her perceived moral authority through unwise and controversial political associations; her supporters defended such associations, saying she had to deal with political realities of the time in order to lobby for her causes. "At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. In 1987 Teresa visited Albania and visited the grave of the former Communist leader Enver Hoxha. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development." Keller responded to that editor, referring to having met him before he knew of her political views:. There she said that the Duvaliers "loved their poor," and that "their love was reciprocated.". Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she came out as a socialist now called attention to her disabilities. In 1981, Teresa flew to Haiti to accept the Legion d'Honneur from the right-wing dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, who, after being ousted, was found to have stolen millions of dollars from the impoverished country.

If I could not see it, I could smell it.". Or you do not believe in it, and the gesture is as innocent and well-meaningly innocuous as chasing a fly away with a wave of the hand.". In her words, "I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. Simon Leys, in a letter to the New York Review of Books, wrote: "Either you believe in the supernatural effect of this gesture – and then you should dearly wish for it. Her political views were reinforced by visiting workers. Some of Mother Teresa's defenders have argued that baptisms are either soul-saving or harmless and hence the criticisms would be pointless (a variant of Pascal's Wager). Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. Critics have argued that patients were not provided sufficient information to make an informed decision about whether they wanted to be baptized and the theological significance of a Christian baptism.

She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. So 29,000 have died in that one house [in Kalighat] from the time we began in 1952.". Helen Keller was a member of the socialist party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. We ask the person, do you want a blessing by which your sins will be forgiven and you receive God? They have never refused. Kennedy and was friends with many famous figures including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. Peter. President from Grover Cleveland to John F. We call baptism ticket for St.

Helen Keller met every U.S. Peter, as we call it. Helen and Anne Sullivan traveled all over the world to over 39 countries, and made several trips to Japan, becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. not one has died without receiving the special ticket for St. In 1915 she founded Helen Keller International, a non-profit organization for preventing blindness. In a speech at the Scripps Clinic in California in January 1992, she said: "Something very beautiful.. She made it her own life's mission to fight for the sensorially handicapped in the world. Mother Teresa encouraged members of her order to baptize dying patients, without regard to the individual's religion.

With tremendous willpower Helen went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. No hospitals were ever built. In 1904 at the age of 24, Helen graduated from Radcliffe cum laude, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from a college. Hitchens alleged that Teresa was glad to suggest to donors that the money went to aid and the building of healthcare facilities for the poor in India and elsewhere, while evidence points instead to it being spent largely on missionary work in Africa, with large funds at Teresa's discretion. In 1898 they returned to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. Neither Mother Teresa nor the Vatican has ever revealed how much money her order received, nor what it was spent on; estimates range into the hundreds of millions of dollars. In 1894, Helen and Anne moved to New York City to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. Chatterjee himself published The Final Verdict in 2003, a less polemic work than those of Hitchens and Ali, but equally critical of Teresa's operations.

In 1888, Helen attended Perkins Institute for the Blind. The next year, Hitchens published The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, a pamphlet which repeated many of the accusations in the documentary. She also learned to read English, French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille. In 1994, two atheist British journalists, Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ali, produced a critical British Channel 4 documentary, Hell's Angel, based on Chatterjee's work. Anne was able to teach Helen to think intelligibly and to speak, using the Tadoma method: touching the lips of others as they spoke, feeling the vibrations, and spelling of alphabetical characters in the palm of Helen's hand. Aroup Chatterjee, who had briefly worked in one of Mother Teresa's homes, began investigations into the finances and other practices of Teresa's order. Helen's big breakthrough in communication came one day when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on her palm, while running cool water over her palm from a pump, symbolized the idea of "water" and nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world (including her prized doll). An Indian-born writer living in Britain, Dr.

Her first task was to instill discipline in the spoiled girl. 276.). Sullivan demanded and got permission from Helen's father to isolate the girl from the rest of the family in a little house in their garden. (Chatterjee, p. It was the beginning of a 49-year period of working together. Mother Teresa's comments were even criticized outside India within Catholic media. The school delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to try to open up Helen's mind. There are no strikes." These approving comments were seen as a result of the friendship between Teresa and the Congress Party.

Bell advised the couple to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston, Massachusetts. There are more jobs. He put her in touch with local expert Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. After Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's suspension of civil liberties in 1975, Mother Teresa said: "People are happier. In 1886, her mother Kate Keller was inspired by an account in Charles Dickens' American Notes of the successful education of another deaf/blind child, Laura Bridgman, and travelled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. However, when Diana, Princess of Wales divorced, she spoke approvingly of it in a magazine interview. By age seven she had invented over sixty different signs that she could use to communicate with her family. Teresa also campaigned tirelessly against divorce, insisting it should be made illegal; she organized an unsuccessful campaign to keep the Irish ban on divorce in 1996.

The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her blind, deaf, and unable to speak. While this stance is in line with that of the Roman Catholic Church, which asserts natural family planning is the only acceptable form of birth control, even in cases where conception is the result of sexual abuse or rape, her critics assert that Teresa dogmatically refused to acknowledge the related problems of overpopulation, especially in cities like Calcutta. It was not until nineteen months later that she came down with an illness that the doctors described as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain" - Scarlet Fever. because it is pure killing.". She was not born blind and deaf, but was actually a typical, healthy infant. She characterized her views later when asked in 1993 about a 14-year-old rape victim in Ireland, "Abortion can never be necessary.. Keller and Kate Adams Keller. Even in these circumstances, she asserted her rejection of abortion by publicly renouncing abortion as an option and by calling upon the women left behind to keep their unborn children.

Keller was born at an estate called Ivy Green, on June 27, 1880 to parents Captain Arthur H. In the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War, it was determined that more than 450,000 women in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) had been systematically raped, giving birth to a few thousand war-babies. . Because if a mother can kill her own child, what will prevent us from killing ourselves or one another? Nothing.". Her loss of ability to communicate at such an early developmental age was very traumatic for her and her family and as a result she became quite unmanageable. In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, she declared, "Abortion is the worst evil, and the greatest enemy of peace.. Her disabilities were caused by a fever in February, 1882 when she was 19 months old. Mother Teresa frequently spoke against abortion and artificial contraception in meetings with high level government officials.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. A second accepted miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization. Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was a deafblind American author, activist and lecturer. [3] Teresa was formally beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003 with the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The issue of the alleged miracle proved controversial in India around the time of Mother Teresa's beatification. Everything has changed for the better." [2].

Now my children are being educated with the help of the nuns and I have been able to buy a small piece of land. Our situation was terrible and we didn't know what to do. A story in The Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying: "It was her miracle healing that cured my wife. Besra's husband later withdrew his objections and attributed the healing to a miracle.

The doctors who treated Monica Besra denied the claims of a miracle healing and said that they had come under pressure from the Missionaries of Charity to acknowledge that the healing process was the result of a miracle. According to Monica Besra in TIME Asia [1], records of her treatment were removed by a member of the order from the hospital and are now with a nun. Besra's husband initially said that the tumor was cured by later hospital treatment. Monica Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumor.

In 2002, the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, following the application of a locket containing Teresa's picture. This process requires the documentation of a miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa. Following Teresa's death in 1997, the Holy See began the process of beatification, the second step towards possible canonization, or sainthood. Her life-long devotion to the care of the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged was one of the highest examples of service to humanity.".

She is peace in the world." Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan said that Teresa was "A rare and unique individual who lived long for higher purposes. Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, for example, said: "She is the United Nations. The former U.N. Her death was widely considered a great tragedy within both secular and religious communities.

Mother Teresa was granted a full state funeral by the Indian Government, an honor normally given to presidents and prime ministers, in gratitude for her services to the poor of all religions in India. These included hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. At the time of her death, Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 sisters, an associated brotherhood of 300 members, and over 100,000 lay volunteers, operating 610 missions in 123 countries. The Archbishop of Calcutta, Henry Sebastian D'Souza, says he ordered a priest to perform an exorcism on Mother Teresa shortly before she died because he thought she was being attacked by the devil.

On March 13, 1997 she stepped down from the head of Missionaries of Charity and died on September 5, 1997, just 9 days after her 87th birthday. She underwent heart surgery, but it was clear that her health was declining. Later that year, in August, she suffered from malaria, and failure of the left heart ventricle. In April 1997, Mother Teresa fell and broke her collar bone.

Mother Teresa agreed to continue her work as head of the Missionaries of Charity. A secret ballot vote was carried out, and all the nuns, except herself, voted for Mother Teresa to stay. She offered to resign her position as head of the order. In 1991, returning to her home country, she opened a home in Tirana, Albania.

In 1991, after a bout of pneumonia while in Mexico, she had further heart problems. After a second attack in 1989 she received a pacemaker. In 1983 Teresa suffered a heart attack in Rome, while visiting Pope John Paul II. In 1982, Mother Teresa persuaded Israelis and Palestinians, who were in the midst of a skirmish, to cease fire long enough to rescue 37 mentally-handicapped patients from a besieged hospital in Beirut.

When Mother Teresa received the prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" Her answer was simple: "Go home and love your family." In the same year, she was also awarded the Balzan Prize for promoting peace and brotherhood among the nations. In 1979 Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace." She refused the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates, and asked that the $6,000 funds be diverted to the poor in Calcutta. In 1972 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding. Other awards bestowed upon her included a Kennedy Prize (1971), the Albert Schweitzer International Prize (1975), the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom (1985) and the Congressional Gold Medal (1994), honorary citizenship of the United States (November 16, 1996), and honorary degrees from a number of universities.

In 1971 Paul VI awarded her the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize. Muggeridge later converted to Catholicism. Others in the crew thought it more likely ascribable to a new type of Kodak film. Muggeridge claimed this was "divine light" from Mother Teresa herself.

After returning from India, however, the footage was found to be extremely well-lit. During the filming of the documentary, footage taken in poor lighting conditions, particularly the Home for the Dying, was thought unlikely to be of usable quality by the crew. Her fame can be in large part attributed to the 1969 documentary Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge and his 1971 book of the same title, which is still in print. By the early 1970s, Mother Teresa had become an international celebrity.

In answer to the requests of many priests, in 1981 Mother Teresa also began the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests. Lay Catholics and non-Catholics were enrolled in the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, and the Lay Missionaries of Charity. The Missionaries of Charity Brothers was founded in 1963, and a contemplative branch of the Sisters followed in 1976. Mother Teresa's work inspired other Catholics to affiliate themselves with her order.

In addition, the first Missionaries of Charity home in the United States was established in the South Bronx, New York. The order's first house outside India was in Venezuela, and others followed in Rome and Tanzania, and eventually in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe, including Albania. Teresa's order started to rapidly grow, with new homes opening all over the globe. In 1965, by granting a Decree of Praise, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa's request to expand her order to other countries.

The order soon began to attract both recruits and charitable donations, and by the 1960s had opened hospices, orphanges and leper houses all over India. Soon after she opened another hospice, Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart), a home for lepers called Shanti Nagar (City of Peace), and an orphanage. With the help of Indian officials she converted an abandoned Hindu temple into the Kalighat Home for the Dying, a free hospice for the poor. In October 1950 Teresa received Vatican permission to start her own order, which the Vatican originally labeled as the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese, but which later became known as the Missionaries of Charity, whose mission was to care for (in her own words) "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.".

Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and she received financial support from church organizations and the municipal authorities. She then started an open-air school for homeless children. She quit the high school and, after a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, she returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. In 1948 she received permission from Pope Pius XII, via the Archbishop of Calcutta, to leave her community and live as an independent nun.

In September 1946, by her own account, she received a calling from God "to serve Him among the poorest of the poor.". She later said that the poverty all around left a deep impression on her. Mary's High School in Calcutta, becoming its principal in 1944. From 1930 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism at St.

She took her final vows in May 1937, acquiring the religious title Mother Teresa. In 1931, she made her first vows there, choosing the name Sister Mary Teresa in honour of Teresa of Avila and Thérèse de Lisieux. After a few months training at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dublin she was sent to Darjeeling in India as a novice sister. She chose the Sisters of Loreto because of their vocation to provide education for girls.

At 18, the Vatican granted Teresa permission to leave Skopje and join the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns in Rathfarnham with a mission in Calcutta. She was a member of the youth group in her local parish called Sodality. She recounted that she felt a vocation to help the poor from the age of 12, and decided to train for missionary work in India. Little is known of Teresa's early life except from her own reminiscences.

They were Catholics, even though most Albanians are Muslim and the majority of the population in their native Macedonia are Macedonian Orthodox. Her parents, Nikollë (Kolë) and Dranafile Bojaxhiu, came from the city of Prizren in the south of Kosovo. Her parents had three children, and Agnes Gonxhe was youngest. Teresa was born as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Üsküb, a town in the Ottoman province of Kosovo (now Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia), where her father was a successful merchant.

.
. While for some, Teresa was the embodiment of a "living saint," others such as Christopher Hitchens, who believed her to be "a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud," have raised questions about her public statements, working practices, political connections, and funding. Teresa was also known for her books about Christian spirituality and prayer, some of which were written together with her close friend Frère Roger.

She was the first and only person to be featured on an Indian postage stamp while still alive. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 2003, hence she may be properly called Blessed Teresa by Catholics. She was made an Honorary Citizen of the United States in 1996 (one of only six). Teresa was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1973, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1980.

Her work among the poor of Kolkata (Calcutta) made her one of the world's most famous people, and it is widely expected she will quickly be canonized. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (August 27, 1910 – September 5, 1997) was an Albanian Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity.

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