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Mother Teresa: The Saint’s connection with literature

Mother Teresa was a living example of the saying that the one who lives for others is the one who is truly alive, and, witnessed by the world.

SNS | New Delhi |

As we commemorate the birth anniversary of Mother Terasa, the humanitarian who dedicated her life for the cause of the poor, we should also see her beyond the cause of humanity.

Mother Teresa was a living example of the saying that the one who lives for others is the one who is truly alive, and, witnessed by the world. In the early 1950s she left  Loreto Convent in Darjeeling and moved to Calcutta (Kolkata) to serve and live among the poor and deprived. Hence, she was also known as the ‘Saint from Calcutta’. She was a spiritual, selfless, and humanitarian person who devoted 49 years of her life (1948 – 1997) to social services.

Mother Teresa, an author

Mother Teresa’s life has been a source of inspiration for many social workers throughout the world. Apart from being a humanitarian, she was an author as well. She wrote prayers, quotes, and her experiences in the form of books.

On her birth anniversary, here are some books by Mother Teresa and the quotes to live by from those books.

Mother Teresa: In My Own Words by Mother Teresa (Published: 1996)

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Book Cover of ‘In My Own Words’ by Mother Teresa

“The less we have, the more we give. Seems absurd, but it’s the logic of love.”

“Sometimes people can hunger for more than bread.
It is possible that our children, our husband, our wife, do not hunger for bread, do not need clothes, do not lack a house. But are we equally sure that none of them feels alone, abandoned, neglected, needing some affection? That, too, is poverty”

Meditations from a Simple path by Mother Teresa (Published: 1996)

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Book Cover of ‘ Meditations from a Simple Path’ by Mother Teresa

“The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service and the fruit of service is peace.”

“Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet come; we must live each day as if it were our last so that when God calls us we already, and prepared, to die with a clean heart.”

Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa (Published: 2007)

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Book Cover of ‘Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light’ by Mother Teresa

“Cheerfulness is a sign of a generous and mortified person who forgetting all things, even herself, tries to please her God in all she does for souls. Cheerfulness is often a cloak which hides a life of sacrifice and a continual union with God.”

“Our poor people are great people, a very lovable people, They don’t need our pity and sympathy. They need our understanding love and they need our respect. We need to tell the poor that they are somebody to us that they, too, have been created, by the same loving hand of God, to love and be loved.”

Where there is love, there is God by Mother Teresa (Published: 2010)

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Book Cover of ‘Where there is love, there is God’ by Mother Teresa

Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.”

Holiness grows fast where there is kindness. I have never heard of kind souls going astray. The world is lost for want of sweetness and kindness.”

Films, Documentaries, Shows and Literature on Mother Teresa

  • Something Beautiful for God, a documentary in 1969 and a book in 1972 by Malcolm Muggeridge, was dedicated to Mother Teresa.
  • Christopher Hitchens’ made a documentary in 1994, named ‘Hell’s Angel’. The documentary portrayed Mother Teresa as someone who urged the poor to accept their fate and that the rich are favoured by  God.
  • In 1995, Christopher Hitchens’ wrote an essay, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, in reference to its 1994 film.
  • Amar Kumar Bhattacharya directed two short documentaries about the work of Mother Teresa among the poor of India. The films were named Mother of The Century (2021) and Mother Teresa (2002) and were produced by the Film Division of the Government of India.
  • Indian Christian show based on the Bible which aired on DD National during the early 1990s, Bible Ki Kahaniyan, was hosted by Mother Teresa for few episodes in which she told the importance of biblical messages.
  • Kevin Connor’s film Mother Teresa: In the Name of God’s Poor received a 1997 Art Film Festival award.
  • A 2003 Italian television miniseries, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, which was re-released in 2007, received a CAMIE award.
  • In 2014 a film, The Letters was directed by William Riead, based on Mother Teresa’s letters to Vatican priest Celeste van Exem.
  • Cara Francis the FantasyGrandma, played Mother Teresa in a comedy rap battle against Sigmund Freud onEpic Rap Battles of History, YouTube series, in 2019.
  • Mother Teresa briefly appears as one of 22’s past mentors, in the 2020 animated film Soul