Mother Teresa Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Kelly Beaty

Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.

Mother Teresa made it her life's work to make the world a better place. In this lesson, you will learn about the way she and her followers served (and still serve) the neediest people in our world.

Called to Love and Serve Other People

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 and died in 1997, but the love and kindness she left behind continues to impact our world.

Ask your parents about Mother Teresa, and most likely you will get a smile and some pleasant words. This woman found great joy in helping people with real needs, like hunger, sickness, lack of shelter, lack of clothing, and even loneliness.

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa's love of service was motivated by her strong Catholic faith. See, Mother Teresa saw the face of God in every person, no matter their skin color, religion, language, or faults. Looking for the faults in others was not the way to love them. She believed that helping those in need is the way we, as humans, serve God.

When she was only 12 years old, Agnes (the name Mother Teresa was born with) felt that God wanted her to lead a life of service to others. So when she was old enough she became a nun in the Roman Catholic Church. Nuns are women who devote their lives to helping God and God's people. They are often called 'sisters.'

Sister Theresa (her new name as a nun) followed her desire to help the poor, hungry, sick, unloved, and lonely. Her first assignment was to teach school in Calcutta, India.

Sister Teresa became Mother Teresa when she vowed to devote her entire life to the service of God. The vows she made were promises to obey the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, never get married, and never save up money for herself (because the Church would take care of her).

Missionaries of Charity

Over time, Mother Teresa found other nuns who shared her dream of making life better for the people of Calcutta, India. These like-minded nuns started the Missionaries of Charity.

Calcutta
Calcutta

Mother Teresa died in 1997, but the work she started lives on it the work of the Missionaries of Charity. This group feeds those who are hungry, provides housing for those who are homeless, and cares for those who are sick and dying. They work all over the world.

Deep down in her heart, Mother Teresa believed the following, which is a famous quote from her time in Calcutta:

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