Mother Teresa, also known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje (modern Republic of Macedonia). She considered 27 August, the day she was baptized, to be her “true birthday.”
She was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries and their service in Bengal, and by age 12 had become convinced that she should commit herself to a religious life.
When she was only 18 years old when she decided to join the Sisters of Loreto at Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Ireland to learn English, and she was looking forward to becoming a missionary. From that day she never saw her mother or her sister.
She arrived in India in 1929, just one year after she left her home and began her novitiate in Darjeeling, near the Himalayan mountains, where she learned Bengali and taught at St. Teresa’s School, a schoolhouse close to her convent.
She took her first religious vows as a nun on 24 May 1931. She took her solemn vows on 14 May 1937, while serving as a teacher at the Loreto convent school in Entally, eastern Calcutta. Teresa served there for almost twenty years and in 1944 was appointed headmistress.
Heart problems plagued Mother Teresa as she was getting old. She had her first heart attack during a visit to meet Pope John Paul II in 1983, and the second six years later.
She wanted to resign as head of the Missionaries of Charity in 1992, but the nuns of the order expressed full confidence in her leadership, so she continued serving as head of Missionaries of Charity.
In the next years, Mother Teresa’s health was getting worse. She also suffered pneumonia in Mexico and in 1996 she broke her collarbone in April and contracted malaria in August.
She also had to make heart surgery because of a failure of the left heart ventricle. The end of her health troubles wasn’t near, and she started having trouble sleeping at night. She was doing fine during the day but in the night it was like the devil himself possessed her body.
She pulled off the hospital monitoring equipment on her body as she thrashed around.
The Archbishop D’Souza was also hospitalized at that time, and he shared the same doctor as Mother Teresa. When he was informed for her distress, he said, “When doctors stated that they could not find a medical reason for her sleeplessness, I thought she might be getting attacked by the devil… I wanted her to calm down and ask a priest, in the name of the church, to perform an exorcism prayer on her.”
D’Souza called the local priest Rosario Stroscio of Sicily to carry out the exorcism. The 79-year-old Father Stroscio, a Roman Catholic priest, and exorcist, later himself said he spoke “the prayer of exorcism to drive out evil spirits.”
He told the press that at the beginning of the prayers Mother Teresa was acting strangely, but she was calm at the end of the prayers.
The Archbishop D’Souza at that time kept in silence about the exorcism but four years after Mother Teresa died he finally talked about it. He said that this just proves Mother Teresa’s human side and that it was just proof of her closeness to God.
In the end, we could ask ourselves how come a woman who spent her whole life in god’s service could be possessed by the Devil? D’Souza told Reuters news agency: “Because Mother Teresa was a holy person, the Devil could be tempted to attack her.”