5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Mother Teresa

After several years of deteriorating health, including heart, lung and kidney problems, Mother Teresa died on this day in 1997, at the age of 87. Here are 5 things you may not know about Mother Teresa.


She Took The Name of Teresa By Saint Teresa of Lisieux Although, she is known as Mother Teresa world-wide, her real name was Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. At the age of 18 he left her home to go to Ireland and entered the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, better known as the Sisters of Loreto. She took the name of Teresa in honor of Saint Teresa of Lisieux, patroness of the missions and Doctor of the Church. She never saw her family again in her entire life.

She Received The Nobel Peace Prize In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work with the poor.  She refused the traditional ceremonial banquet for laureates, asking that its $192,000 cost be given to the poor in India and saying that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her to help the world's needy. In her acceptance speech, she called herself “unworthy” of the award. After the ceremony, Mother Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis as Saint Teresa.


She Didn’t Have Time to Meet With The Pope Church leaders were aware of Mother Teresa’s work in the 1960s and were willing to lend their support to her projects. Mother Teresa always put her mission work above other things, even when Pope Paul VI was visiting India. He asked to meet her, but she told him she was too busy with her charity work, and he was so impressed that he gave her the car he was using in India. She had no use for 1964 Lincoln convertible, so she decided to raffle the car to raise money to build a leprosy hospital in India. 

Mother Teresa And Princess Diana Were Friends Princess Diana had an unlikely friendship with Mother Teresa.  Diana and Mother Teresa both cared for helping the poor and less fortunate, which is something they bonded deeply over. During their last meeting in 1997, they prayed together, walking hand-in-hand through the streets of New York City. It was just a few weeks before they both died. Diana died in a tragic accident in Paris on August 31st, and Teresa passed away just 5 days later in India.

She Was Canonized Because of Miracles In 2002, Mother Teresa was recognized by the church as having performed a miracle when a woman with abdominal cancer, Monica Besra, said she was cured by a bright light when a locket with Mother Teresa’s picture was placed on her. In 2008, a man with multiple tumors in his brain was cured just moments before he was to have surgery. Following a thorough investigation of her life, the church declared them miracles and elevated Mother Teresa to Saint Teresa.