Marquette University

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) is one of the world's best-known and most-quoted Christians. The Catholic nun and missionary lived in India for most of her life, working among "the poorest of the poor" in Calcutta's slums. Despite dedicating her life to caring for orphans, lepers and those with HIV/AIDS, she was not without her critics. Her words upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 ("I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion.") were deemed particularly controversial in some quarters.

In describing herself, she said, "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the heart of Jesus." Here are ten other inspiring quotes which sum up her life and work:

1. Why she worked so tirelessly

"Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus."

2. Who she served

2. "The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unwanted, the unloved - they are Jesus in disguise."

3. What kept her going

"I don't think that I could do this work for even one week if I didn't have four hours of prayer every day."

4. On valuing everyone

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

5. Why she persevered

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

6. Why she felt indebted to the poor

"Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them."

7. Why she didn't judge others

"If you judge people you have no time to love them."

8. What is prayer?

"Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depth of our hearts."

9. On the freedom of poverty

"The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not a mortification, a penance. It is joyful freedom...we are perfectly happy."

10. When asked what her biggest hope was...

"To give Jesus to all."

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