Mother Teresa at 100: The Life and Work of a Modern Saint


TIME Mother Teresa at 100: The Life and Work of a Modern Saint

In recent weeks, as we’ve celebrated her feast day and the 101st celebration of her birth,  we’ve been pondering the life and amazing contributions of a tiny woman who made a huge impact on our world. While the Church refers to her as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, many of us already believe her to be a “saint”.

Hers was a life that played out before our eyes. We drank in photos of her looking with great love at the poorest of the poor, or diminutive in stature, hand-in-hand with Princess Diana. In any situation, her eyes shone brightly with the love of Christ.

Many of us have her words of wisdom committed to our hearts — they form an underpinning for the work we do in our homes, our parishes, and our communities. Her reminder to us to do “small things with great love” has given many a mom great hope — unlike her, we may never serve the poor in the streets of Calcutta, and yet this Mother to us all helped us to put in perspective the ways in which we too are called to serve.

I don’t think I will ever take in enough information about Mother Teresa. The more I read of her life, her work, and even her own struggles with a “dark night of the soul”, the more I crave. So I was thrilled to be gifted recently with a review copy of TIME Mother Teresa at 100: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint. Written by David Van Biema and published in 2010 for the centennial of her birth, the book is enjoying a re-issuing in Spanish, thereby bringing its wonderful prose and amazing photos to a whole new audience who has undoubtedly loved and cherished Mother Teresa too.

David wrote me recently to share the book, giving a bit of an overview:

It’s only 20 thousand words, but they present the fullest and most serious short-form account of Teresa’s life. It contains a chapter by her postulator, Fr. Brian Kolodiechuk, M.C.; one by Jesuit author James Martin S.O.J.; one by a Susan van Houte, a Bengali orphan (now living on Bainbridge Island) whose life was saved by M.T. and who ran into her again decades later; a forward by Pastor Rick Warren (“Don’t just read this book. Let it change the direction of your life.”); and the rest by me.

Since our readers know what a huge fan I am of Father Martin, it won’t be a surprise to you that his stirring chapter “Teresa of Jesus” is likely my favorite chapter in the book. But what is perhaps most compelling about this look at her life is the photography. Before our eyes are photos of her as we never really knew her — among them a young “Agnes” at age 10, posed with the family she would leave behind. Mother Teresa at 100 is the type of book you’ll want to devour at once (a relatively easy read) and then leave in an accessible area of your home for your family to treasure. A “scrapbook” of her life, it is a primer for those of us who hope to — in our own littleness — make a true difference in this world.

Order TIME’s Mother Teresa at 100: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint and support with your purchase

Copyright 2012 Lisa M. Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. She blogs at multiple online venues including Patheos. Her articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and the Catholic Press Association tour of Israel as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Hendey lives with her family in the Diocese of Fresno, California.


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