What Do We Know About Mother Teresa? Was She A Saint Or A Con Artist?
Without any doubts, most people think of Mother Teresa as a pure and kind human who devoted her life to sick and abandone, who needed help the most. Even Pope Francis himself praised her as the merciful saint. However, there is much evidence of Saint Teresa’s true face. After all, maybe she wasn’t that saint at all?
Charity work and holy image
Mother Teresa was born in 1910. Throughout her life, she preached God and helped others in need. In 1950, she created the Missionaries of Charity, - the congregation which manages homes for people dying from different horrible diseases - soup kitchens, schools and orphanages, etc. The members take 4 vows: chastity, poverty, obedience, and “wholehearted free service to the poorest of poor.”
She received Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was canonized (the church proclaimed her as a saint) posthumously in September 2006. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. We can say a lot of good things about her golden heart. However, apparently, there was another side of Teresa.
Criticism and controversiality
Recent studies reveal the truth behind Mother Teresa’s pure altruism and generosity. The conditions in her houses were absolutely unsanitary, to say the least: no hygiene, inadequate food, no painkillers, and practically no medical care. Although Mother Teresa was swimming in donations, she believed in a conception of suffering and death.
There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering.
There also many proofs that Teresa pursued the policy of colonialism, as she tried to convert Indian people to Christianity forcefully. She and her nuns even baptized the dying people there. Furthermore, according to the book "Mother Teresa: The Untold Story," Teresa accepted donations from drug dealers knowingly, and even asked not to punish them.
Her nuns used the donated ambulances as taxis to ferry around Calcutta. They refused to pick up dying people within even 656 feet of the congregation’s houses.
Teresa’s charity work has been criticized many times, even during her lifetime. In 1994, journalist Christopher Hitchens made a lot of allegations in his documentary Hell’s Angel. Dozens of other authors accused Teresa of many “sins.”
We will probably never know the naked truth about Saint Teresa’s life. And although her persona became one of the most controversial of the 20th century, she was just a human after all. And humans are not perfect: We all have sins behind our backs. That’s why the most important thing is to seek for kindness, no matter what.