Great Souls: Six Who Changed a Century

"It is a marvelous series that should be seen and re-seen in the homes of believers and non-believers."
Review by:
Dr. Ted Baehr, Movie Guide

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Born on August 26, 1910, Agnes Gonxha Obojaxhiu was the daughter of a close-knit and very devout Catholic family in the town of Skopje, Macedonia. While still a young girl, her father died, leaving Agnes and her sister to be raised alone by her mother. As a teenager, hearing stories of Catholic nuns serving in India, she volunteered for a life of service to the church. Her local priest wrote letters of introduction and obtained an interview for Agnes at the Mother House of a Catholic order based in Paris. On September 26, 1928, Agnes boarded a train for Paris. When she said goodbye to her mother and sister a few days later, it was the last time she would see them alive. After passing her interview in Paris, she was sent to Ireland for several weeks of training and a crash course in English. Soon thereafter, she was on her way to India, where her training continued.

Two years after taking her vows as a beginning novice, she took the name Sister Teresa On May 24, 1937, in a ceremony presided over by the archbishop of Calcutta, she finished her eight years of training and became Mother Teresa. She was given teaching responsibilities at the Loreto Convent in Calcutta where she served through the years of World War II. But on September 10, 1946, on a train ride up the mountains to Darjeeling for a much needed retreat, she felt she heard the voice of God speaking to her heart, calling her to a new work outside the safety of the convent walls, to serve the poor and suffering on the streets of Calcutta. She would later call it Athe call within a call@ and it became the basis for her request to start a new order of nuns to serve Calcutta=s poorest and most desperate citizens. Three years later, the Missionaries of Charity became official.

Over the years, Mother Teresa=s own boundless energy and selfless example drew around her hundreds of other young women who took up her calling to the downtrodden of the world. The work would eventually touch over a hundred nations and as many as 50 cities in India alone. Mother Teresa would call those to whom she ministered, AChrist in a most distressing disguise@. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Queens and celebrities of all kinds came to see her, yet she remained a servant of the poor till her death in September, 1997. She was given a State Funeral by the nation of India. Her body was carried on the same carriage that had borne Gandhi. In the years after her death, the Vatican began the process that would consider her for canonization as a saint.

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