Born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910, Mother Teresa was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun who founded Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity ministry in Calcutta, India.
The diminutive and humble nun was well loved and gained international fame when a documentary was made and a book was written (Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge), both depicting Mother Teresa’s humanitarian advocacy in tending to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while at the same time guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.
She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. The following year, she was honored with India’s Bharat Ratna for humanitarianism. In 1985, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and American First Lady Nancy Reagan presented Mother Teresa with the Medal of Freedom.
Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity continued to grow, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.
Mother Teresa was beatified (sainted) posthumously by Pope John Paul II and renamed Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
What is depressing, however, is that after years of being venerated as saint, a Canadian study published in the French-language religious journal Religieuses, said that Mother Teresa was “anything but a saint.”
This conclusion was reached after the researchers reviewed 300 documents and discovered reports of poor hygiene standards and a shortage of medicine, supplies, and care in Mother Teresa’s 517 “homes for the dying.”
These conditions, the study says, could not have happened because of lack of resources for her organization, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, received hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, yet that was their finding.
On the contrary, the study claims that the extensive publicity Mother Teresa received during her time was due to the fact that the Catholic Church wanted to use her benevolent, loving and saintly image to boost the sagging popularity of the religious institution. Her subsequent beatification added to the hype.
But if her acts of mercy were for show only, where did all the donations go? To whom did she bequeath it? Has Mother Teresa’s charitable institution discontinued performing their obligation?
If the saintly nun was a fraud, how come nothing has been said, with all the media coverage of her humanitarian work, and nobody came forward to question the prestigious awards bestowed on her?
What is fraud is this study. They can continue saying negative things about Mother Teresa, but that does not change the fact that many humanitarian workers have been inspired by her actions of truly caring and alleviating the sufferings of the poorest of the poor.
Except for the researchers and the bigots that commissioned them to do the research, I don’t think anybody else would question the integrity of Mother Teresa and the legacy she left behind.
“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.” – Mother Teresa