Mother Teresa — Heroine of Peace

Posted on September 21, 2007



Mother Teresa

Professor John Sanness, who chaired the committee, gave the speech of presentation for the 1979 prize to Mother Teresa. After speaking of the many paths to peace which had been recognized in previous awards, he explained what was special in this one:

Can any political, social, or intellectual feat of engineering, on the international or on the national plane, however effective and rational, however idealistic and principled its protagonists may be, give us anything but a house built on a foundation of sand, unless the spirit of Mother Teresa inspires the builders and takes its dwelling in their building?

Sannes explained that this spirit is rooted in the Christian faith. “She sees Christ in every human being, and this in her eyes makes man sacred… The hallmark of her work has been respect for the individual and the individual’s worth and dignity. The loneliest and the most wretched, the dying destitute, the abandoned lepers, have been received by her and her Sisters with warm compassion devoid of condescension, based on this reverence for Christ in Man.

Sannes told how Mother Teresa was born into a Roman Catholic Albanian family living in Skopje, capital of the Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. At the age of twelve she had felt the call to help the poor, and a few years later decided to work in India. At the age of eighteen she joined the Irish order of Loeto and went to teach in their girls’ school in Calcutta. After sixteen years she felt a new call, to work in the Calcutta slums. There she started a new order, the Missionaries of Charity, committed to serve the poorest of the poor, which soon spread to many other countries.

Working for people who were not of her race, religion or nationality, Mother Theresa had transcended all barriers. “With her message she is able to reach through to something innate in every human kind— if for no other purpose than to create a potential, a seed for good.” “She promotes peace in the most fundamental manner,” Sanness concluded, “by her confirmation of the inviolability of human dignity.”

For the rest of article, “Heroines of Peace, the Nine Nobel Women”, go to: