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Depicting the true story of one of the most respected and influential people of all time, Mother Teresa seeks to illuminate and explore the life of Sister Thérèse de Lisieux. Mother Teresa, portrayed by Olivia Hussey in this film, is known internationally for her incredible service in Calcutta. This movie tells her powerful story from beginning to end; from the time when she was first called to be a nun in 1920 to her eventual passing at the ripe old age of 87. Follow her as she chooses to sacrifice her dreams and freedom to serve the lowly and honor others in her selfless ministry.
On August 26, 1910, Mother Teresa was born into a family in Skopje, Albania. Being the youngest in her family, she grew up learning from her siblings and parents. Her father unfortunately died when she was only 8 years old. From a young age, she showed an interest in missionaries and their ministries and by the time she was 12 she realized that her calling would be to serve others through mission work. At the age of 18, she left her family (she would never see her mother or sister again) choosing to join the sisters at Loreto Abbey in Ireland. There she learned English and pursued her dream of someday becoming a missionary.
In 1929, she began her novitiate in Darjeeling, which was a time of training. This was the point when she could choose whether to devote her entire life to religious work or not. Two years later, she accepted the call, choosing to be called by the name of Teresa. Several years later in 1937, she took her solemn vows and became a teacher at the Loreto convent school in eastern Calcutta. This is where the bulk of her work would take place. In total, she would spend twenty years teaching and ministering to the people of Calcutta.
During this time, she experienced a call and knew that she could no longer remain at the convent. While she had done a great service teaching there, she began to realize that God had called her to a bigger purpose, to serve the poor in her community. As she taught, she saw how many people were left in complete and total poverty around her and she knew that God was calling her to leave the convent and serve these people.
To prepare for this new calling, she became a citizen of India and spent several months in medical training, so she would be able to meet basic needs of the sick and injured around her. After her time of preparation, she ventured back to Calcutta, with the mission to serve as many people as she could. The first step in her ministry was to start a school so she could teach those living in the slums. Soon after, she used her medical training and started serving those who needed healing. As her ministry became more well-known, a group of women joined her and together they formed a ministry to help serve the most poor and destitute.
One setback that Mother Teresa had at this time was her own lack of funds. She wanted to do what she could to help the poor, but this was very hard to do when she herself had no money to her name. The first year of her ministry was full of challenges and difficulties, but through begging and the generosity of others, she was able to distribute food and supplies to those who had even less than she did. Her path was not always a smooth one. Many times she considered returning to the convent, questioning whether it was truly God’s will for her to continue on. However, she was able to work through her trials, and eventually her ministry became a much more stable operation.
Many people began to take notice of her work, including the Prime Minister himself, who thanked her for her valiant efforts. By 1952, the city had allowed for her to take ownership of a building, which they turned into a Home for the Dying. This was a free hospital that would treat and care for those who had no money. Mother Teresa wanted to honor these people in life and in death, so this place was created as a way for people to come and die with dignity. Rather than perish on the streets, this place allowed them a home and a place where they could fulfill any final religious traditions and pass on respectfully and with dignity.
Mother Teresa never gave up, and always worked to expand and increase her ministry. In the 1980’s, she was able to rescue 37 children that were trapped in a hospital, and grew her operation into several other Communist countries. By the 1990s, Mother Teresa’s organization had grown to over 4,000 sisters managing a variety of hospitals, care centers, and other helpful establishments. At this point, her health started to decline and she suffered from two heart attacks before being fitted for a pacemaker. After continuing battles with heart failure and malaria, she finally stepped down as the head of her ministry on March 13th, 1997. Only 6 months later, on September 5th, 1997, Mother Teresa passed away at the age of 87. In her many years of ministry, she had made an incredible impact, creating a massive organization, full of volunteers and sisters who would continue on her work even after her death.
Mother Teresa, without doubt had an incredible impact on the world as a whole, and her story is a powerful one to relive in this DVD. The Mother Teresa movie has a run time of 177 minutes and contains subtitles for both English and Spanish. This is a wonderful film that every family needs to see, as it will hopefully inspire them to live like Mother Teresa in their own lives. In all her work that she did throughout the world, she created a wonderful model for people to follow. This Christian movie tells a powerful true story of a woman who gave all to serve the lowest of the low.