This photograph, taken in Calcutta, originally appeared in Mary Ellen Mark’s book Photographs of Mother Teresa’s Missions of Charity in Calcutta. Mark is an intetrnationally prominent documentary photographer who has been the recipient of numerous photography and photojournalism awards, as well as three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her subjects are often people facing some of contemporary society’s most difficult challenges.
Mother Teresa Bojaxhiu was born in the Yugoslavian region of Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto order of the Roman Catholic church in 1928. After teaching in Calcutta for 17 years, she left the Sisters of Loreto to live and work among the poor in the slum district of Matizhil. The Missionaries of Charity organization she founded there opened its first hostpice in 1952.