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The Mother and The Sister

By Cyriac Thomas

Mother Teresa is probably the most renowned, loved and respected nuns of all times.

For over forty-five years, she reached out to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion first through India and then other countries. Recipient of numerous awards including a Nobel Peace prize and Bharat Ratna, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II following her death, giving her the title of ‘Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’.

Sister Alphonsa was the first Indian to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church. Much like Mother Teresa, she dedicated her life to bring happiness and joy in the lives of the deprived. She left the world at a very young age but with a legacy of love and good work.

This book is on the life and works of these two spiritual personalities of contemporary times. Embracing a life of exemplarily ascetic discipline and deep commitment, their approach to spirituality happens to be distinctively different. The book is an academic endeavour to explore the possibilities of diversified spiritual experiments attempted by these two modern-day saints.

The first part of an analysis by Cyriac Thomas of their lives and work, drawing parallels and bringing out the dissimilarities. He touches upon the important facets of their lives and unravels how their experiences in life shaped them and how in turn, they were instrumental in changing the lives of many others. The second part is a collection of letters, articles and speeches by eminent personalities from all walks of life on the two saints. These pieces bring out how the two signify and stand for different things for different people.

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