October 17, 1979 – Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mother Teresa also known as Teresa of Calcutta, was a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary. She was born in Skopje, Macedonia, then still in the Ottoman Empire, into a family of Kosovar Albanian ancestry. After having lived in Macedonia for some eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, as well as a fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”.
Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003, she was beatified as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”. A second miracle credited to her intercession is required before she can be recognised as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
A controversial figure both during her life and after her death, Mother Teresa was widely admired by many for her charitable works, but was also widely criticised, particularly for her opposing contraception and for substandard conditions in the hospices for which she was responsible.
Today’s stamp was issued by the land of her birth, Macedonia, in 1997. Numerous other countries have honored Mother Teresa on stamps, including: Albania, India, Italy, the United States, Angola, Monaco and Somalia.