The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1979 to
Thirty years ago Mother Teresa left her teaching post at a Roman Catholic girls'
school in Calcutta in order to devote her life to working among the poorest of
the poor in the slums of that city.
The Roman Catholic order of which she is now the head has in recent years
extended its activities to include a number of other Indian cities and other
parts of the world.
In making the award the Norwegian Nobel Comittee has expressed its recognition
of Mother Teresa's work in bringing help to suffering humanity. This year the
world has turned its attention to the plight of children and refugees, and these
are precisely the categories for whom Mother Teresa has for many years worked so
The Committee has placed special emphasis on the spirit that has inspired her
activities and which is the tangible expression of her personal attitude and
A feature of her work has been respect for the individual human being, for his
or her dignity and innate value. The loneliest, the most wretched and the dying
have, at her hands, received compassion without condescension, based on
reverence for man.
In Mother Teresa's case, this basic philosophy of life is firmly rooted in her
Christian faith. In Calcutta and elsewhere, she has enlisted the help of
assistants from other religious denominations. She has also been recognised by
the Indian authorities and by the Asian Secretary-General of the United Nations,
the Buddhist U Thant.
This is not the first time the Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Peace
Prize for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress in
the world, which also constitute a threat to peace. It has awarded the Peace
Prize to champions of human rights, including those who have fought for racial
In the eyes of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, constructive efforts to do away
with hunger and poverty, and to ensure for mankind safer and better world
community in which to develop, should be inspired by the spirit of Mother
Teresa, by respect for the worth and dignity of the individual human being.