Mother Teresa: An Inspiring Life

  • Share
  • Read Later
ROME: The world has lost another legendary figure: Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who devoted her entire life to caring for the poor, passed away Friday in India. She had been in poor health for some time, and died of a heart attack.

Dignitaries and celebrities including Princess Diana who encountered the tiny four-foot-eleven figure all agreed she was an extraordinary woman. Journalists were no exception. "She exemplified the Christian virtue of self-giving in a most dramatic way," said Richard Ostling, TIME's religion correspondent. "She brought back the image of the old-fashioned, self-giving nun at a time when modern feminist Catholic images were coming to the fore."

Her legacy includes 517 missions in 100 countries, and a near 30-year history of inspiring people around the world. It was only when a British television documentary profiled the Calcutta nun in 1969 that donations and volunteers began to flood in, and Mother Teresa became a household name. Ten years later she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. "She was not a publicity seeker," said Ostling. "But in terms of public image, there is nobody comparable to her." Her tireless efforts have enriched the lives of the poor; today, the world itself is much poorer for her passing.