Today marks the Catholic feast day for Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, best known to the world as Mother Teresa.
St Teresa of Calcutta died on this day in 1997, but not before living an iconic life of ascetic, selfless service to the world's poor. Albanian born Teresa may be most famous for the order of nuns, the Missionaries of Charity, that she founded in 1948 – who served the sick, homeless, poor and rejected of Calcutta, India. From there the order grew into what is now composed of thousands of sisters, based across more than 100 countries.
This nun of small stature soon became an international celebrity, but she spent most of her lie in India. Her story was brought to many after English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge documented her life in the book and film titled Something Beautiful for God. She accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in 1979, and gave the award money to the poor.
In 2016 the Roman Catholic Church had her canonised as a saint. Mother Teresa remains a controversial character not without her critics, but she remains to many a global, inspiring image of devoted Christian charity. Here are nine quotes from the famed saint.
1. Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
2. Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
3. Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
4. The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.
5. At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.'
Like Mother Teresa, may we open up opportunities of joy and hope for the many who are discouraged and need understanding and tenderness.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 5, 2017
6. Live simply so others may simply live.
7. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.
8. We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.
9. I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.