Friday, July 31, 2009
Mother Teresa had first been recognized by the Indian government more than a third of a century earlier when she was awarded the Padma Shri in 1962. She continued to receive major Indian rewards in successive decades including, in 1972, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and, in 1980, India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna for her humanitarian work. By the 1970s she was internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocates for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge.
Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.