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During her lifetime, Mother Teresa resisted having her full biography written. Then, in 1991, realizing that accounts of her life and work could inspire others, she gave Kathryn Spink, who had long been intimately involved with the work of Mother Teresa and her order and co-workers around the world, permission to proceed with a complete biography on the understanding that it would not be finished until after her death.
Here, now, is the complete story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a woman regarded by millions as a contemporary saint for her dedication to serving the poorest of the poor. From her childhood in Balkans as a member of a remarkably openhearted and religious family to her work in India, from attending the victims of war-torn Beirut to pleading with George Bush and Saddam Hussein to choose peace over war. Mother Teresa was driven by an absolute faith. She consistently claimed that she was simply responding to Christ's boundless love for her and for all of humanity. When People magazine interviewed Kathryn Spink for their cover story on Mother Teresa 's death, Spink told them: "What one has to understand about Mother Teresa is that she sees Christ in every person she encounters." Clad in her white peasant sari with blue edging, Mother Teresa brought to the world a great and living lesson in joyful and selfless love.
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For years Mother Teresa has appeared at the top of every list of the world's most influential women, in company with Diana, Princess of Wales, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Different in almost every respect from those famous women, she did share one important quality: she was a star. In Mother Teresa, biographer Kathryn Spink goes beyond her subject's public persona to examine the life of a modern-day saint. In the course of tracing Mother Teresa's life--from her birth in Albania to her years in Ireland and then India with the Loreto Sisters to the founding of her own order, the Missionaries of Charity--Spink explores the ramifications of her subject's life and work on the lives of those she labored for and with.
Mother Teresa's frail appearance belied the steely will and public-relations savvy she brought to the task of loosening potential donor's purse strings and attracting attention to her cause. Was Mother Teresa a kind of spiritual colonialist, as critics have charged, more interested in helping the poor die in a state of grace than in changing the conditions in which they lived? Spink discusses this and other thorny questions with grace and honesty, at the same time emphasizing her subject's admirable achievements.About the Author:
Kathryn Spink is the author of several book on the work of Mother Teresa and her coworkers, as well as other inspiring contemporary figures, including Brother Roger of Taize and Bede Griffiths.
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