#SeeHer Story airs on PEOPLE.com and @PeopleTV social handles

By Georgia Slater
December 20, 2019 05:00 AM

Mother Teresa, known as the “Saint of the Gutters,” dedicated her life to helping others and left her mark on the world as one of the most admired women in history.

In this episode, #SeeHer Story has chosen to look back at the life of Mother Teresa, who was canonized as a saint in 2016, and her lifelong dedication to serving the needy around the globe.

The goal of #SeeHer Story, a digital video series from Katie Couric Media and PEOPLE, is to recognize female trailblazers throughout the past 100 years and celebrate how they’ve helped to shape history and culture.

As this year marks the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the series hopes to commemorate such an important time for women in history by recognizing fearless women who have made strides for others to follow in their footsteps.

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Born in 1910 in what is now the capital of Macedonia, Mother Teresa grew up with devout Catholic Albanian parents. After her father died when she was 8, Mother Teresa was raised by her mother, who began to teach her about living charitably.

“My mother was a very holy woman so she imparted that love for God and love for the neighbor,” Mother Teresa once shared of her mother’s altruism.

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By the age of 18, Mother Teresa had left home for Ireland where she trained to become a nun. It wasn’t until she was sent to India, however,  in 1929 when she really began to make her mark.

RELATED: Mother Teresa Is Officially Canonized as a Saint by Pope Francis Just 19 Years After Her Death

She started her work by teaching girls at a Catholic school in what was then Calcutta (now Kolkata) before realizing she wanted to do even more. Soon after, Mother Teresa created an open-air school for children living in slums and eventually launched her own charity in 1950.


Mother Teresa started “The Missionaries of Charity” as a means to care for homeless children, provide medicine for people with leprosy and begin a hospice center for the dying.

Her work later expanded beyond India as she served over 100 cities around the globe, offering her philanthropic services wherever she could.

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Mother Teresa’s efforts did not go unnoticed — she was honored by Queen Elizabeth and former President Ronald Reagan for all of her hard work.

“Most of us talk about kindness and compassion, but Mother Teresa — the Saint of the Gutters — lives it,” Reagan shared during his presentation.

RELATED: #SeeHer Story Honors Marie and Irène Curie, Mother-Daughter Medicine Moguls in Episode 11

She also received the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, in which she used her speech to remind those in need that they are loved.

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“We are wanting to proclaim the good news to the poor, that God loves them, that we love them, that they are somebody to us,” she once said.

Mother Teresa died in 1997 at the age of 87. Nearly two decades after her passing, she was honored once again and was officially named a saint by Pope Francis.

#SeeHer Story will also be a regular feature in PEOPLE’s print edition, the weekday morning newsletter Wake-Up Call with Katie Couricon PeopleTV’s entertainment show PEOPLE Now as well as on PEOPLE Now Weekend.