Saturday, March 29, 2008

Awards from rest of the world

In 1962, Mother Teresa received the Philippines-based Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, given for work in South or East Asia. The citation said that "the Board of Trustees recognizes her merciful cognizance of the abject poor of a foreign land, in whose service she has led a new congregation".[44] By the early 1970s, Mother Teresa had become an international celebrity. Her fame can be in large part attributed to the 1969 documentary Something Beautiful for God, which was filmed by Malcolm Muggeridge and his 1971 book of the same title. Muggeridge was undergoing a spiritual journey of his own at the time.[45] During the filming of the documentary, footage taken in poor lighting conditions, particularly the Home for the Dying, was thought unlikely to be of usable quality by the crew. After returning from India, however, the footage was found to be extremely well lit. Muggeridge claimed this was a miracle of "divine light" from Mother Teresa herself.[46] Others in the crew thought it was due to a new type of ultra-sensitive Kodak film.[47] Muggeridge later converted to Catholicism.

Around this time, the Catholic world began to honor Mother Teresa publicly. In 1971, Paul VI awarded her the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize, commending her for her work with the poor, display of Christian charity and efforts for peace.[48] She later received the Pacem in Terris Award (1976).[49] Since her death, Mother Teresa has progressed rapidly along the steps towards sainthood, currently having reached the stage of having been beatified.

Mother Teresa was honored by both governments and civilian organizations. The United Kingdom and the United States each repeatedly granted awards, culminating in the Order of Merit in 1983, and honorary citizenship of the United States received on November 16, 1996. Mother Teresa's Albanian homeland granted her the Golden Honor of the Nation in 1994.[41] Her acceptance of this and another honour granted by the Haitian government proved controversial. Mother Teresa attracted criticism, particularly from the left, for implicitly giving support to the Duvaliers, to corrupt businessmen such as Charles Keating and Robert Maxwell, and to politicians on the right of Western politics, such as U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and United States President Ronald Reagan. In Keating's case she wrote to the judge of his trial asking for clemency to be shown.[30][41]

Universities in both the West and in India granted her honorary degrees.[41] Other civilian awards include the Balzan Prize for promoting humanity, peace and brotherhood among peoples (1978),[50] and the Albert Schweitzer International Prize (1975).[51]

Mother Teresa received great attention from the media, such as Time Magazine.
Mother Teresa received great attention from the media, such as Time Magazine.

In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace." She refused the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates, and asked that the $192,000 funds be given to the poor in India,[52] stating that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world's needy. When Mother Teresa received the prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family." Building on this theme in her Nobel Lecture, she said: "Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society - that poverty is so hurtable [sic] and so much, and I find that very difficult." More specifically, she singled out abortion as 'the greatest destroyer of peace in the world'. [53]

Her death was mourned in both secular and religious communities. In tribute, Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan said that she was "a rare and unique individual who lived long for higher purposes. Her life-long devotion to the care of the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged was one of the highest examples of service to our humanity."[54] The former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar said: "She is the United Nations. She is peace in the world."[54] During her lifetime and after her death, Mother Teresa was consistently found by Gallup to be the single most widely admired person in the US, and in 1999 was ranked as the "most admired person of the 20th century" by a poll in the US. She out-polled all other volunteered answers by a wide margin, and was in first place in all major demographic categories except the very young.

Towards the end of her life, Mother Teresa attracted some negative attention in the Western media. The author Christopher Hitchens has been one of her most active critics in both the United Kingdom and the United States. He was commissioned to co-write and narrate the documentary Hell's Angel about her for Channel 4 after Aroup Chatterjee encouraged the making of such a program, although Chatterjee was unhappy with the "sensationalist approach" of the final product.[42] Hitchens expanded his criticism in a 1995 book, The Missionary Position.[55]

Chatterjee writes that while she was alive Mother Teresa and her official biographers refused to collaborate with his own investigations and that she failed to defend herself against critical coverage in the Western press. He gives as examples a report in The Guardian in Britain whose "stringent (and quite detailed) attack on conditions in her orphanages ... [include] charges of gross neglect and physical and emotional abuse", and another documentary Mother Teresa: Time for Change? broadcast in several European countries.[42] Both Chatterjee and Hitchens have themselves been subject to criticism for their stance.

The German magazine Stern published a hostile article on the first anniversary of Mother Teresa's death. This concerned allegations regarding financial matters and the spending of donations. The medical press has also published criticism of her, arising from very different outlooks and priorities on patients' needs.[30] Other critics include Tariq Ali, a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review, and the Irish-born investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre.[55]




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James said...

Mother Teresa is one of the most inspiring person in my life, everyday I always read and try to understand all of her quotes meaning and spread love to many people.

Along with this comment I attached a link to a website that contain Mother Teresa Quotes, hope all of you can learn from it :

mellyhamilton said...

Wonderful blog!
I think you would all enjoy this i-Tunes I have found about her life - there is a book also. The Amazing People Club,
Keep up the great work!

Dan said...

Times magazine is having a Mother Teresa oriented feature being published this month. The publication revolves around the fact that she would be 100 years old this year. There is no denying that her words have carried on through the years in such a positive and uplifting light. Her words seem to inspire and rejoice around the idea that we all have a chance to make a difference in the world and that life should be embraced as a gift. In light of this feature, I find it necessary to mention film maker Mark Wexler's How To Live Forever, a moving documentary that portrays multicultural health strategies essentially enabling humans to live longer, more fulfilling lives. The film is unique because of its prospect into the lives of health-oriented people and how they have maintained their unique lifestyles. The film will help enlighten those in search of health guides and tips. If you want to learn more about the film, check it out at

car donation california said...

Mother Teresa deserves to be honored and recognized! She gave love, care, appreciation especially to poor and sick people. She doesn't care if a person has a serious and transferable disease.

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