Unseen Passage: Mother Teresa

Agnes Bojakhiu was born in Skopje, Yugoslavia of Albanian parents. Her father was a prosperous merchant. She was attracted to the life of missionary in India at a very early age. At eighteen, taking the name of Teresa in the memory of Little Flower of Lisieux, she entered the Missionary Order of the Loreto Sisters and on January 20, 1931, she stepped off a steamship onto the quay at Calcutta, then the largest city in the Empire after London.

For sixteen years, she taught Geography to the daughters of well-to-do British and Bengali society in one of the most prestigious convents in Calcutta. One day in 1946, however, during a train journey to Darjeeling, a town on the slopes of the Himalayas, she heard a voice. God was asking her to leave the comfort of her convent, to go and live among the poorest of the poor in the vast city beyond.

Having first obtained the permission from the Pope, she changed into a plain white cotton sari and founded a new religious order whose vocation was to relieve the misery of the most neglected of men.

In 1950, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity was born, a congregation which thirty-five years later would have two hundred and eighty-five thousand charitable foundations throughout India and all the other continents, including countries behind the Iron Curtain.

Complete the following on the basis of your reading of the passage:

  1. Mother Teresa was formerly called ___________.
  2. After joining the Missionary Order of the Loreto Sisters, Teresa ____________.
  3. Mother Teresa left the comforts of the convent because _______________.
  4. Mother Teresa headed the Missionaries of Charity, whose aim was ____________.
  5. Find out words from the passage which have the same meaning as:
    1. A person’s trade or profession
    2. Successful.


  1. Agnes Bojakhiu.
  2. taught Geography to rich girls in one of the most prestigious convents in Calcutta.
  3. she heard the voice of God instructing her to live among the poorest of the poor.
  4. to relieve the miseries of the most neglected of men.
  5. (1) Vocation (2) Prosperous.

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