A Brief History
On January 25, 1980, India honored the Albanian Nun, known as Mother Teresa, with their highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna. Born in what is now North Macedonia, Teresa would go on to found the Missionaries of Charity and minister to the poor and dying people of India, eventually becoming a Catholic Saint in 2016 almost two decades after her death.
Did this woman deserve these accolades? Some say no! Critics claim that though she received millions of dollars’ worth of contributions, her facilities did not provide medical care or comfort to the dying poor people located there, and those people suffered horribly with the consent of Mother Teresa! Teresa’s philosophy of sickness and death was summed up as, “Mother Teresa believed the sick must suffer like Christ on the cross.” Christopher Hitchens said of Teresa, “…not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.”
Mother Teresa also supported priests accused of sexual abuse and opposed women’s access to abortion and birth control. Does she deserve to be a saint?
Question for students (and subscribers): Were you aware of the criticisms of Mother Teresa? What do you think about such criticism? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Mother Teresa. A Simple Path. Ballantine Books, 1995.
Towey, Jim. To Love and Be Loved: A Personal Portrait of Mother Teresa. Simon & Schuster, 2022.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Ministry of Home Affairs of The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh addressing at the celebration to commemorate the Canonization of Saint Mother Teresa, in New Delhi on October 19, 2016, is a copyrighted work of the Government of India, licensed under the Government Open Data License – India (GODL).
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.