Mother Teresa (1910-1997) spread sunshine and love to the unwanted and unloved, crossing all boundaries of race, religion, and class.
"The most important medicine is tender love and care," she said.
This angel of mercy who inspired so many throughout the world was over 40 years old when she launched Calcutta's Missionaries of Charity, an order dedicated to the poorest of the poor.
"We need to tell the poor that they are somebody to us," she once said, "that they too have been created by the same loving hand of God, to love and be loved."
In 1952, Teresa transformed a former hostel into her Home for the Dying Destitute, a hospice where the poor, who often died alone in the streets, could spend their last hours in comfort and cleanliness.
"You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness," she believed.
With compassion, Teresa found a way around caste and religious barriers, a way to shine light and love in moments of darkness.
In 1963, she was awarded India's Padmashri ("Lord of the Lotus") for distinguished humanitarian services to the people of India. The remarkable nun won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
In the book, Something Beautiful for God (1971), Malcolm Muggeridge wrote that Teresa could "hear in the cry of every abandoned child the cry of the Bethlehem child; recognize in every leper's stumps the hands which once touched sightless eyes and made them see."
Mother Teresa said, "We must become holy, not because we want to feel holy, but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us."
More Mother Teresa Quotations
We all grow better in sunshine and love.