Mother Teresa Icon on WoodProduct Code: PA1172
"Mother Teresa of Calcutta" is a perfect gift for anyone who cherishes the memory of this remarkable woman. She wrote: "I get my strength from God through prayer." This compelling image of Mother Teresa at prayer is by Br. Claude Lane.
Wood-mounted icons are on 3/4" poplar or 5/8" Pro-Wood, with tee-slots milled in the back for easy hanging. Icons are finished in classic cherry to replicate the traditional icon red, in keeping with Byzantine tradition. (Ancient icon board edges were frequently coated with red bole, a form of clay). Each mounted icon comes with a descriptive pamphlet explaining the symbolism and history of the image.
Mother Teresa's appearance, especially that of the last twenty years of her life, is familiar to nearly everyone in the world courtesy of mass media. Because of this familiarity, it is very difficult to produce an icon of her. Icons are not meant to be accurate portraits of the physical person, focusing instead on the spiritual. But it would be hard for most of us to accept an icon of Mother Teresa that did not resemble her. It is equally hard for the icon purist to accept as a true icon an image that is also a portrait. So this image by Brother Claude occupies a place in the middle of the scale, an icon to help us focus on the spiritual message of her life and at the same time a portrait to help us remember the life of this influential leader. Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Albania (now Macedonia) on August 26, 1910. In 1928 she entered the Sisters of Loreto, taking the name Teresa after St. Therese of Lisieux. She taught high school for many years in India. In 1946, while recovering from tuberculosis, she received her "call within the call," a message from God to give up everything and serve Him by serving the poorest of the poor. She began by caring for one dying person on the streets of Calcutta. Always physically frail, she found the strength to build from that small beginning a religious order, the Missionaries of Charity. Her order has spread from Calcutta, one of the poorest, most crowded, most polluted cities on earth, to more than 700 establishments in 120 countries. There are now more than 4500 professed sisters in the order. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She died on September 5, 1997.
Theology and Symbolism
Mother Teresa is remembered especially for her active works of charity on behalf of the world's poor, sick, and dying. Why has Brother Claude preserved this image of her kneeling in prayer? Why not show her holding a child or cleansing a leper? A book was published in 1995 called "A Simple Path," consisting of writings and interviews with Mother Teresa and some of her followers. In this book, she shared some of the thoughts and experiences that are the basis for her extraordinary works of charity. The outline of Mother Teresa's "Simple Path" is this:
The fruit of silence is PRAYER.
The fruit of prayer is FAITH.
The fruit of faith is LOVE.
The fruit of love is SERVICE.
The fruit of service is PEACE.
Prayer was at the root and beginning of her approach to life. She said "Without prayer I could not work for even half an hour." Mother Teresa prayed in order to become closer to God. The closer she became, the more strongly the message of Jesus to "love one another" spoke to her. The more she responded to the message to love, the more compelled she became to help the people she saw around her who were in the greatest need of help, "the poorest of the poor" in India and then throughout the world.