God - The Mother
The Hebrew term for the uniquely female organ, the uterus
(womb), is highly significant, and is used in the original Scriptures to describe
God‘s compassion. God‘s wisdom is obviously an integral, eternal aspect of
God. Scripture frequently speaks of this highly rated aspect of God‘s character
as if it were a person. Scholars believe John‘s concept of the Logos, the
Word that was God and became flesh (John 1:1-14) was derived from the Old
Testament understanding of Wisdom as much, probably more, than from the Greek
idea of Logos. And yet Wisdom, the one with whom are riches and honor and
righteousness (Proverbs 8:18) and who shared with God in the creation of all
things (Proverbs 8:27-31) is consistently given a female gender in Proverbs
and by Jesus (Proverbs 1:20; 4:6; 8:1,11; 9:1; 14:33; Matthew 11:19; Luke
God as Mother :
Ponder these words from the lips of God:
Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . .
The Amplified Bible leaves no doubt as to how its scholars interpret the words
immediately prior to these:
Isaiah 66:12 For thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will extend peace to her
like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; you
shall be nursed, you shall be carried on her hip, and be trotted on her [God‘s
maternal] knees. . .‘
In a beautiful picture of maternal love, Jesus expressed
the depth of divine compassion with the words:
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone
those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Since Jesus came to show us the Father (John 14:11-6) it is not surprising
that we find in the Old Testament a similarly beautiful picture of God‘s love:
Psalms 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among
men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
God is here shown as being like a woman in childbirth:
Isaiah 42:14 ‘For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and
held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and
pant. (15) I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools.
The latter part of the following verse clearly
refers to the female role in procreation, and in the Hebrew it alludes not
only to giving birth but to the pain involved. The first part of the verse
is usually believed to refer to the male role in procreation and the Hebrew
is capable of that meaning. A. D. H. Mayes, however, points out that the word
usually means ‘bore,‘ and if that is what is meant here, then this part of
the verse is also female imagery.
Deuteronomy 32:18 - You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot
the God who gave you birth.
This refers to God giving birth:
Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth
and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
(The Hebrew translated ‘you brought forth‘ means primarily ‘to
be in pangs with child,‘ ‘to bear a child'.)
Scripture gives other hints of the imagery of God giving birth.
Moses probably meant in the following that God had given birth
to the Israelites and that it was therefore God‘s duty to mother them.
Numbers 11:12 - Did I conceive all these people?
Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse
carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers?
Although in the original Greek the term in the following might
possibly be capable of sufficient stretching to apply to the male role in
procreation, it is primarily a feminine, maternal term. This is so much the
case that some radical Bible scholars have wrongly claimed the writer of this
letter believed in a different God to that of other writers of Scripture.
This argument disintegrates in the face of all the Old Testament precedents
in applying to God both maternal and masculine terms.
James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we
might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
The world-famous present day Durga
Puja (worship of Goddess Durga) in Bengal (India) is an occasion to celebrate,
worship, to get festive, to exhibit one's artistic abilities, and all in the
name of the Divine Mother (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati). Relating to God as
Mother forges a personalised relationship, strengthening the bond between
bhakta (devotee) and bhagvan (God), as between a child and mother. Celebrated
as 'Navaratri' in other parts of India, these nine nights are devoted to the
worship of the Divine Mother.
Earth Mother - "Tierra Firma"
The concept of an Earth Mother or Mother Goddess or
Great Goddess derives primarily from the Greeks. In the Theogony, written
in the early 7th century BCE, the poet Hesiod named the "deep-breasted" Earth
Gaea, "a firm seat of all things for ever," who, after emerging out of Chaos,
brought forth "starry Ouranus" (the sky), Mountains, the sea, and, after having
lain with Ouranus, a number of non-cosmological Titans. Plato (c. 427-347
BCE) in the Timaeus (40e) calls her Ge. According to Pausanias in his Description
of Greece (2nd century CE), there was an altar and sanctuary dedicated to
Gaia (the Gaeum) at Olympia (V.14.10), and another, known as the Gaeus, near
Aegae in Achaia (VII.25.13). There was also a sanctuary of Earth the Nursing-Mother
near the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens (I.22.3). The Romans worshipped
her as Tellus, or Terra Mater, whom Varro (116-27 BCE) called "the Great Mother".
In De rerum natura, the Latin poet Lucretius (died c. 55 BCE) calls the earth
Tellus and refers several times to her as Mother Earth or the Great Mother,
stating that "she alone is called Great Mother of the gods [Magna deum Mater],
and Mother of the wild beasts, and maker of our bodies" (II.597-599). The
cult of the Great Mother [Magna Mater], later identified with the mother-goddess
Cybele (and by the Greeks as Rhea), was established in Rome by the 3rd century
BCE. The Greek satirist Lucian (120-c.190 CE) mentions the "Great Mother"
in his dialogue Saturnalia (12). A measure of her prominence in the pagan
world is the space St. Augustine (354-430 CE) devotes to attacking her worship
in The City of God Against the Pagans (VII, 24).
Largely suppressed during the Christian
period, she emerges again in the 18th century when references are made to
the female Earth as Mother Goddess. Interest in the Earth Mother and the Great
Mother increased significantly in the 19th century. Besides the classical
sources attesting to her worship, the 19th century became aware of the many
contemporary tribal peoples who worshipped the Earth as a female deity. In
1861, in the first volume of his book Das Mutterrecht ['The Mother Right']
the Swiss anthropologist Johann Jacob Bachofen (1815-1887) argued that the
matriarchate or gynecocracy found among tribal peoples, where authority in
both the family and the tribe was in the hands of the women, was to be associated
with the worship of a supreme female earth deity.
When these ideas became meshed with
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, laid out in 1859 in his On the Origin
of Species, there emerged the view that human evolution must have passed through
an earlier matriarchal stage. Though controversial, this view posed no serious
threat to patriarchal order. Indeed, in the context of arguments developed
by the social Darwinists in the later 19th and early 20th centuries, it nicely
demonstrated the superiority and evolutionary "fitness" of patriarchy over
matriarchy. The fact that matriarchy was to be found in the contemporary world
only among "primitive" tribal peoples only served to substantiate this claim.
t was against this background of ideas that archaeologists working at the
end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century saw the newly
discovered Paleolithic "Venus" figurines, and which permitted an interpretation
of them as representations of the Mother Goddess.
Despite the lack of evidence, beyond
the appearance of the figurines themselves, ancient Greek cosmogonies, and
the spurious connection with much later tribal practices, numerous scholars
have nonetheless felt free to extend the idea of an Earth Goddess or Mother
Goddess into the prehistoric past and to claim that Stone-Age peoples had
believed in her as a universal deity. Other scholars, however, have rejected
these ideas as a basis for interpretation and have pointed out, for example,
the lack of obvious signs of divinity in the figurines. But, again, lacking
written documentation these claims either way are difficult to support or
Although the paradigm of the "Venus"
of Willendorf as Mother Goddess persists, in recent years the figurine has
also been interpreted as possibly functioning in a more gynaecological context,
perhaps serving as a charm or amulet of some kind for women in connection
with fertility. At the time of its discovery, the statuette showed traces
of red ochre pigment, which has been thought to symbolize, or serve as a surrogate
of, the menstrual blood of women as a life-giving agent, as is the case in
later traditions. The emphasis given to the "Venus" of Willendorf's vulva
and the possibility that the red ochre served as a blood substitute suggest
that the figurine may have served some purpose in connection with female menstruation.
If the "Venus" of Willendorf was made to function within this sort of context,
it would place the figurine emphatically within the sphere of the female.
This would increase the possibility that it was carved not by a man, but by
Wife of the second President of the United States, Abigail Adams is an example of one kind of life lived by women in
colonial, Revolutionary and early post-Revolutionary America. While she's perhaps best known simply as an early First Lady
(before the term was used) and mother of another President, and perhaps known for the stance she took for women's rights in
letters to her husband, Abigail Adams should also be known as a competent farm manager and financial manager. Educated at
home, Abigail Adams learned quickly and read widely. Her marriage to John Adams was warm and loving and also intellectually
lively, to judge from their letters. They had four children before John became involved in the Continental Congress. During
his long absences, Abigail managed the family and the farm and corresponded not only with her husband but with many family
members and friends. During the war, she also served as the primary educator of the children, including the future sixth U.S.
president, John Quincy Adams. When John served in Europe as a diplomatic representative of the new nation, Abigail Adams
joined him. John Adams served as Vice President of the United States from 1789-1797 and then as President 1797-1801. Abigail
spent some of her time at home, managing the family financial affairs, and part of her time in the federal capital, in
Philadelphia most of those years and, very briefly, in the new White House in Washington, D.C. (November 1800 - March 1801).
After John retired from public life at the end of his presidency, the couple lived quietly in Massachusetts. It is mostly
through her letters that we know much about the life and personality of this intelligent and perceptive woman of colonial
America and the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary period. Abigail Adams died in 1818, seven years before her son, John
Quincy Adams, became the sixth president of the U.S.
Aelfgifu's life shows one fact of women's existence in the tenth century: little is known of her besides her name. The
first wife of Ethelred "the Unready" (from Unraed meaning "bad or evil counsel"), her parentage is disputed and she
disappears from the record early in his long conflict with the Danes which resulted in the overthrow of Ethelred for Sweyn in
1013, and his subsequent brief return to control 1014-1016. While the facts aren't known for certain, Aelfgifu is usually
credited as the mother of Aethelred's six sons and as many as five daughters, one of whom was the abbess at Wherwell.
Aelfgifu was thus probably the mother of Ethelred's son Edmund II Ironside, who ruled briefly until Sweyn's son, Canute,
defeated him in battle. Edmund was allowed by the treaty to rule in Wessex and Canute ruled the rest of England, but Edmund
died in the same year, 1016, and Canute consolidated his power, marrying Ethelred's second wife and widow, Emma. Emma was the
mother of Ethelred's sons Edward and Alfred and daughter Godgifu. These three fled to Normandy where Emma's brother ruled as
Duke. Another Aelfgifu is mentioned as the first wife of Canute I, mother of Canute's sons Sweyn and Harold Harefoot.
Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, she later took the name Baker from her second husband, Willie
Baker, whom she married at age 15. Surviving the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, where the family was living,
Josephine Baker ran away a few years later at age thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. In 1925,
Josephine Baker went to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue N‘gre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew
attention of the director of the Folies Berg‘re. Virtually an instant hit, Josephine Baker became one of the best-known
entertainers in both France and much of Europe. Her exotic, sensual act reinforced the creative images coming out of the
Harlem Renaissance in America. During World War II Josephine Baker worked with the Red Cross, gathered intelligence for the
French Resistance and entertained troops in Africa and the Middle East. After the war, Josephine Baker adopted, with her
second husband, twelve children from around the world, making her home a World Village, a "showplace for brotherhood." She
returned to the stage in the 1950s to finance this project. In 1951, in the United States, Josephine Baker was refused
service at the famous Stork Club in New York City. Yelling at columnist Walter Winchell, another patron of the club, for not
coming to her assistance, she was accused by Winchell of communist and fascist sympathies. Never as popular in the US as in
Europe, she found herself fighting the rumors begun by Winchell as well. Josephine Baker responded by crusading for racial
equality, refusing to entertain in any club or theater that was not integrated, and thereby breaking the color bar at many
establishments. In 1963, she spoke at the March on Washington at the side of Martin Luther King, jr. Josephine Baker's World
Village fell apart in the 1950s and in 1969 she was evicted from her chateau which was then auctioned off to pay debts.
Princess Grace of Monaco gave her a villa. In 1973 Baker married an American, Robert Brady, and began her stage comeback. In
1975, Josephine Baker's Carnegie Hall comeback performance was a success, as was her subsequent Paris performance. But two
days after her last Paris performance, she died of a stroke.
Lydia Maria Child
Born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was the youngest of six children. Her father, David Convers
Francis, was a baker famous for his "Medford Crackers." Her mother, Susanna Rand Francis, died when Maria was twelve. (She
disliked the name "Lydia" and was usually called "Maria" instead). Born into America's new middle class, Lydia Maria Child
was educated at home, at a local "dame school" and at a nearby women's "seminary." She went to live for some years with an
older married sister. Maria was especially close to her brother, Convers Francis, a Harvard College graduate, a Unitarian
minister and, later in life, a professor at Harvard Divinity School. After a brief teaching career, Maria went to live with
this six-year-older brother and his wife at his parish. Inspired, she later said, by a conversation with Convers, she took
up the challenge to write a novel depicting early American life, finishing this novel, Hobomok, in only six weeks. This novel
today is valued not for its lasting value as a literary classic, which it is not, but for its attempt to realistically
portray early American life and for its then-radical positive portrayal of a Native American hero as a noble Indian in love
with a white woman. The publication of Hobomok in 1824 helped bring Maria Francis into New England and Boston literary
circles. She ran a private school in Watertown where her brother served his church. In 1825 she published her second novel,
The Rebels, or Boston before the Revolution. This historical novel achieved new success for Maria. A speech in this novel
which she puts into the mouth of James Otis was assumed to be an authentic historical oration and was included in many 19th
century schoolbooks as a standard memorization piece.
She built on her success by founding in 1826 a bimonthly magazine for children, Juvenile Miscellany. She also came to
know other women in New England's intellectual community. She studied John Locke's philosophy with Margaret Fuller and she
became acquainted with the Peabody sisters and Maria White Lowell. At this point of literary success, Maria Child became
engaged to a Harvard graduate and lawyer, David Lee Child. A lawyer who was eight years older than she was, David Child was
the editor and publisher of the Massachusetts Journal. He also had political interests: he served briefly in the
Massachusetts State Legislature and often spoke at local political rallies. Lydia Maria and David knew each other for three
years before their engagement in 1827, and were married a year later. While they shared middle-class backgrounds of struggle
for financial stability and also shared intellectual interests, their differences were considerable, too. She was frugal
where he was extravagant. She was more sensual and romantic than he was. She was drawn to the aesthetic and mystical, while
he was most comfortable in the world of reform and activism. Her family, aware of David's indebtedness and reputation for
poor fiscal management, opposed their marriage. But Maria's financial success as an author and editor allayed her fears on
that account and, after a year of waiting, were married in 1828.
After their marriage, he drew her into his own political interests. She began to write for his newspaper. A regular
theme of her columns and of children's stories in Juvenile Miscellany was the mistreatment of Indians by both the New England
settlers and earlier Spanish colonists. When President Jackson proposed moving the Cherokee Indians against their will out of
Georgia, in violation of earlier treaties and government promises, David Child's Massachusetts Journal began virulently
attacking Jackson's positions and actions. Lydia Maria Child, around that same time, published another novel, The First
Settlers. In this book, the white main characters identified more with the Indians of early America than with the Puritan
settlers. One notable interchange in the book holds up as models for leadership two women rulers: Queen Isabella of Spain and
her contemporary, Queen Anacaona, Carib Indian ruler. Her positive treatment of Native American religion and her vision of a
multiracial democracy caused little controversy -- mostly because she was able to give the book little promotion and
attention after publication. David's political writings at the Journal had resulted in many cancelled subscriptions and a
libel trial against David. He ended up spending time in prison on this offense, though his conviction was later overturned by
a higher court. David's decreasing income led Lydia Maria Child to look to increase her own. In 1829, she published an advice
book directed at the new American middle-class wife and mother: The Frugal Housewife. Unlike earlier English and American
advice and "cookery" books which were directed to the educated wealthy, this book assumed as its audience a lower-income
American wife. Child did not assume that the housewife had a household of servants. Her focus on plain living while saving
money and time focused on the needs of a far larger audience.
With increasing financial difficulties, Maria took on a teaching position as well as continuing her own writing and
publishing the Miscellany. She also wrote and published, both in 1831, The Mother's Book and The Little Girl's Own Book, more
advice books with economy tips and even games. David's political circle, which included William Lloyd Garrison, and its
anti-slavery sentiments, drew her into consideration of the subject of slavery. She wrote more of her children's stories on
the subject of slavery. In 1833, after several years of study and thought about slavery, Child published a book quite
different from her novels and her children's stories. She titled the book awkwardly: An Appeal in Favor of That Class of
Americans Called Africans. In this work, she described the history of slavery in America and the present condition of those
enslaved. She proposed the end of slavery, not through colonization of Africa and the return of the slaves to that continent,
but by integration of ex-slaves into American society. She advocated education and racial intermarriage as means to that
multiracial republic. The Appeal had two main effects. One, it was instrumental in convincing many Americans of the need for
abolition of slavery. Those who credited Child's Appeal with their own change of mind and increased commitment included
Wendell Phillips and William Ellery Channing. Two, Child's popularity plummeted, leading to the folding of Juvenile
Miscellany (in 1834) and reduced sales of The Frugal Housewife. She published more anti-slavery works, including an
anonymously-published Authentic Anecdotes of American Slavery (1835) and the Anti-Slavery Catechism (1836). Her new attempt
at an advice book, The Family Nurse (1837), failed, a victim of the controversy. The rest of Child's life followed the
pattern begun with Juvenile Miscellany, The Frugal Housewife and the Appeal. She published another novel, Philothea, in 1836,
Letters from New York in 1843-45 and Flowers for Children in 1844-47. She followed these with a book depicting "fallen
women," Fact and Fiction, in 1846 and The Progress of Religious Ideas (1855), influenced by Theodore Parker's
Both Maria and David became more active in the abolitionist movement. She served on the executive committee of
Garrison's American Anti-Slavery Society -- David had helped Garrison found the New England Anti-Slavery Society. First
Maria, then David, edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard from 1841 to 1844 before editorial differences with Garrison and
the Anti-Slavery Society led to their resignations. David embarked on an effort to raise sugar cane, an attempt to replace
slave-produced sugar cane. Lydia Maria boarded with the Quaker family of Isaac T. Hopper, an abolitionist whose biography she
published in 1853. In 1857, now 55 years old, Lydia Maria Child published the inspirational collection Autumnal Leaves,
apparently feeling her career coming to its close. But in 1859, after John Brown's failed raid on Harper's Ferry, she plunged
back into the anti-slavery arena with a series of letters that the Anti-Slavery Society published as a pamphlet. Three
hundred thousand copies were distributed. In this compilation is one of Child's most memorable lines. Responding to a letter
from the wife of Virginia Senator James M. Mason which defended slavery by pointing to the kindness of Southern ladies in
helping slave women give birth, Child replied,
"... here in the North, after we have helped the mothers, we do not sell the babies."
Back in the fray, Child published more anti-slavery tracts. In 1861, she edited the autobiography of an ex-slave
woman, Harriet Jacobs, published as Incidents in the Life of a Slave-Girl. After the war -- and slavery -- ended, Lydia Maria
Child followed through on her earlier proposal of education for ex-slaves by publishing at her own expense The Freedmen's
Book. The text was notable for including writings of noted African Americans. She also wrote another novel, Romance of the
Republic about racial justice and interracial love. In 1868, she returned to hear early interest in Native Americans and
published An Appeal for the Indians, proposing solutions for justice. In 1878 she published Aspirations of the World. Lydia
Maria Child died in 1880 at Wayland, Massachusetts, at the farm she had shared with her husband David since 1852. Today, if
Lydia Maria Child is remembered at all, it is usually for her Appeal. But ironically, her short doggerel poem, "A Boy's
Thanksgiving," is better-known than any of her other work. Few who sing or hear "Over the river and through the woods..."
know much about this woman who was a novelist, journalist, domestic advice writer and social reformer, one of the first
American women to earn a living income from her writing.
With her husband, Pierre, Marie Curie (1897-1956) was the pioneer in researching radioactivity. When he died suddenly,
she refused a government pension and instead took his place as a professor at the University of Paris. She was awarded a
Nobel Prize for her work, then became the first person to win a second Nobel Prize, and she is the only Nobel Prize winner
who is also the mother of another Nobel Prize winner -- daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, Ir‘ne Joliot-Curie.
Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, daughter of her mother's second marriage, was brought up with and was a lifelong
friend to King Henry VIII's daughter by Catherine of Aragon, Princes Mary, later England's Queen Mary I. Margaret Douglas,
daughter of her mother's second marriage, was brought up with and was a lifelong friend to King Henry VIII's daughter by
Catherine of Aragon, Princes Mary, later England's Queen Mary I. After Mary's death and the succession of Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I in 1558, Margaret Douglas retired to Yorkshire, where she became involved with Roman Catholic plotting. In 1566
Elizabeth had Lady Lennox sent to the Tower. Margaret Douglas was released after her son, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, was
murdered. She was again imprisoned in 1574 when her son Charles married without royal permission, then she was pardoned in
1577 after he died. Margaret Douglas died only a year after being released. The grandson of Margaret Douglas, James, who was
the son of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, and of Mary, Queen of Scots, became King James VI of Scotland and, at the death of
Elizabeth I, was crowned King James I of Enlgland. He was the first Stewart king.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
In July 1137, just a few months after the death of her father, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis, heir to the throne of
France. He became the King of France when his father died less than a month later. During the course of her marriage to
Louis, Eleanor of Aquitaine bore him two daughters. Eleanor, with an entourage of women, accompanied Louis and his army on
the Second Crusade. Rumors and legends abound as to the cause, but it's clear that on the voyage to the Second Crusade, Louis
and Eleanor drew apart. Their marriage failing -- perhaps largely because there was no male heir -- even the Pope's
intervention couldn't heal the rift. He granted an annulment in March, 1152, on the grounds of consanguinity. In May, 1152,
Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry Fitz-Empress, duke of Normandy through his mother and count of Anjou through his father,
and heir to the throne of England as settlement of the conflicting claims of his mother Empress Matilda (Empress Maud),
daughter of Henry I of England, and her cousin, Stephen, who had seized the throne of England at Henry I's death. In 1154,
Stephen died, making Henry II king of England, and Eleanor of Aquitaine his queen. Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II had
three daughters and five sons. Both sons who survived Henry became kings of England after him: Richard I (the Lionhearted)
and John (known as Lackland). In 1173, Henry's sons rebelled against Henry, and Eleanor of Aquitaine supported her sons.
Legend says that she did this in part as revenge for Henry's adultery. Henry put down the rebellion and confined Eleanor from
1173 to 1183. From 1185, Eleanor became more active in the ruling of Aquitaine. Henry II died in 1189 and Richard, thought to
be Eleanor's favorite among her sons, became king. From 1189-1204 Eleanor of Aquitaine also was active as a ruler in Poitou
and Glascony. At the age of almost 70, Eleanor traveled over the Pyrenees to escort Berengaria of Navarre to Cyprus to be
married to Richard. When her son John joined forces with the King of France in rising against his brother King Richard,
Eleanor backed Richard and helped bolster his rule when he was on crusade. In 1199 she supported John's claim to the throne
against her grandson Arthur of Brittany (Geoffrey's son). Eleanor was 80 years old when she helped hold out against
Geoffrey's forces until John could arrive, defeating Arthur and his supporters. In 1204, John lost Normandy, but Eleanor's
European holdings remained secure. Eleanor of Aquitaine died on April 1, 1204, at the abbey of Fontevrault, where she had
visited many times and which she supported. She was buried in Fontevrault.
Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother
[Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain and Ireland 1936-1952, wife of King George VI. Known as "Queen Mum"
(August 4, 1900-March 30, 2002).
nee the Hon. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon
Married Albert, the Duke of York, April 26, 1923 - he later became George VI, King of England.]
Daughter of the Scottish Lord Glamis who became the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Elizabeth was educated at
home. She was a descendent of the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce. Brought up to duty, she worked to entertain troops in
World War I. She married the second son of George V, the shy and stuttering Prince Albert, after turning down his first two
proposals. They were married in 1923 -- she was the first commoner to legally marry into the royal family in several
centuries. Their daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, were born in 1926 and 1930, respectively. In 1936, Albert's brother,
King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcee, and Albert was crowned King as George VI. Elizabeth thus
became queen consort; they were crowned May 12, 1937. Neither had expected these roles, and while they fulfilled them
dutifully, Elizabeth never forgave the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the titles of Edward and his wife after the abdication
and their marriage. When she refused to leave England during the London Blitz in World War II, even enduring the bombing of
Buckingham Palace, where she was residing with the king, her spirit was an inspiration to many who continued to hold her in
high regard until her death. George VI died in 1952, and she became known as the Queen Mother as their daughter, Elizabeth,
became Queen Elizabeth II. She remained active in the public eye, making public appearances and remaining popular even
through the many royal scandals, including her daughter Margaret's romance with divorced commoner, Capt. Peter Townsend and
her grandsons' rocky marriages to Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson. She was especially close to her grandson, Prince
Charles, born in 1948. In her later years, she was plagued with ill health, though she continued to appear in public
regularly until a few months before her death. In March, 2002, she died in her sleep, only weeks after the death of her
daughter Princess Margaret at age 71. Her family's home, Glamis Castle, is perhaps most famous as the home of Macbeth of
In the Richmond Recorder in 1802, James Thomson Callendar first began to publicly allege that Thomas Jefferson kept one
of his slaves as his "concubine" and fathered children with her. "The name of SALLY will walk down to posterity alongside of
Mr. Jefferson's own name," Callendar wrote in one of his articles on the scandal. What is known of Sally Hemings? Sally
Hemings (1773 - 1835) was a slave owned by Thomas Jefferson, inherited through his wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
(October 19/30, 1748 - September 6, 1782) when her father died. Sally's mother Betsy or Betty was said to be the daughter of
a black slave woman and a white ship captain; Betsy's children were said to have been fathered by her owner, John Wayles,
making Sally a half-sister of Jefferson's wife. From 1784, Sally apparently served as a maid and companion of Mary Hemings,
Jefferson's youngest daughter. In 1787, Jefferson, serving the new United States government as a diplomat in Paris, sent for
his younger daughter to join him, and Sally was sent with Mary. After a brief stop in London to stay with John and Abigail
Adams, Sally and Mary arrived in Paris. Whether Sally (and Mary) lived at the Jefferson apartments or the convent school is
uncertain. What is fairly certain is that Sally took French lessons and may also have trained as a laundress. What is certain
is that in France, Sally was free according to French law. What is alleged, and not known except by implication, is that
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings began an intimate relationship in Paris, Sally returning to the United States pregnant,
Jefferson promising to free any of her (their) children when they reached the age of 21. What little evidence there is of a
child born to Sally after her return from France is mixed: some sources say the child died quite young (the Hemings family
tradition). What is more certain is that Sally had six other children. Their birth dates are recorded in Jefferson's Farm
Book or in letters he wrote. DNA tests in 1998, and a careful rendering of the birth dates and Jefferson's well-documented
travels, puts Jefferson at Monticello during a "conception window" for each of the children born to Sally. The very light
skin and the resemblance of several of Sally's children to Thomas Jefferson were remarked upon by a good number of those who
were present at Monticello. Other possible fathers were either eliminated by the 1998 DNA tests on male-line descendants (the
Carr brothers) or dismissed because of internal inconsistencies in the evidence. For example, an overseer reported seeing a
man (not Jefferson) coming from Sally's room regularly -- but the overseer did not start working at Monticello until five
years after the time of those "visits". Sally served, probably, as a chambermaid at Monticello, also doing light sewing. The
affair was revealed publicly by James Callender after Jefferson refused him a job. There is no reason to believe she left
Monticello until after Jefferson's death, when she went to live with her son Eston. When Eston moved away, she spent her last
two years living on her own. There is some evidence that he asked his daughter, Martha, to "give Sally her time", an informal
way to free a slave in Virginia which would prevent the imposition of the 1805 Virginia law requiring freed slaves to move
out of the state. Sally Hemings is recorded in the 1833 census as a free woman.
Mary, Queen of Scots
[December 8, 1542 - February 8, 1587
Mary Stuart, Mary Stewart - queen, ruler]
Her mother was Mary of Guise (Mary of Lorraine) and her father was James V of Scotland, each in their second
marriage. James died on December 14, and the infant Mary became Queen of Scotland when she was just a week old. James
Hamilton, duke of Arran, was made regent for Mary, and he arranged a betrothal with the son of Henry VIII of England, prince
Edward. But Mary's mother, Mary of Guise, in favor of an alliance with France instead of England, worked to overturn this
betrothal and instead arranged for Mary to be promised in marriage to France's dauphin, Francis. The young Mary, only six
years old, was sent to France in 1548 to be raised as the future queen of France. She married Francis in 1558, and in July
1559, when his father Henri II died, Francis II became king and Mary became queen consort of France. Mary Stuart (she took
the French spelling rather than the Scottish Stewart) was the granddaughter of Margaret Tudor, the older sister of Henry VIII
of England. In the view of many Catholics, the divorce of Henry VIII from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and his
marriage to Anne Boleyn were invalid, and the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth, was therefore illegitimate.
Mary Stuart, in their eyes, was the rightful heir of Mary I of England, Henry VIII's daughter by his first wife. When Mary I
died in 1558, Mary Stuart and her husband Francis asserted their right to the English crown, but the English recognized
Elizabeth as the heir. Elizabeth, a Protestant, supported the Protestant reformation in Scotland as well. Mary Stuart's time
as queen of France was very short. When Francis died, his mother Catherine de Medici assumed the role of regent for his
brother, Charles IX. Mary's mother's family, the Guise relatives, had lost their power and influence, and so Mary Stuart
returned to Scotland, where she could rule in her own right as queen. In 1560, Mary's mother had died, in the middle of a
civil war she stirred up by attempting to suppress the Protestants, including John Knox. After the death of Mary of Guise,
the Catholic and Protestant nobles of Scotland signed a treaty recognizing Elizabeth's right to rule in England. But Mary
Stuart, returning to Scotland, managed to avoid signing or endorsing either the treaty or recognition of her cousin
Mary herself was a Catholic, and insisted on her freedom to practice her religion. But she did not interfere with
Protestantism's role in Scottish life. John Knox, a powerful Presbyterian during Mary's rule, nevertheless denounced her
power and influence. Mary Queen of Scots held on to hopes of claiming the English throne which she considered hers by right.
She turned down Elizabeth's suggestion that she marry Lord Robert Dudley, Elizabeth's favorite, and be recognized as
Elizabeth's heir. Instead, in 1565 she married her first cousin, Lord Darnley, in a Roman Catholic ceremony. Darnley,
another grandson of Margaret Tudor and heir of another family with a claim to the Scottish throne, was in the Catholic
perspective the next in line to Elizabeth's throne after Mary Stuart herself. Lord James Stuart, Mary's half brother (his
mother was King James' mistress), and the earl of Moray, opposed Mary's marriage to Darnley. Mary personally led troops in
the "chase-about raid," chasing Moray and his supporters to England, outlawing them and seizing their estates. While Mary was
at first charmed by Darnley, their relationship soon became strained. She began to place trust and friendship in her Italian
secretary, David Rizzio, who in turn treated Darnley and the other Scottish nobles with contempt. On March 9, 1566, Darnley
and the nobles murdered Rizzio, planning that Darnley would put Mary Stuart in prison and rule in her place. But Mary
outwitted the plotters. She convinced Darnley of her commitment and passion, and together they escaped. James Hepburn, earl
of Bothwell, who had supported her mother in her battles with the Scottish nobles, provided two thousand soldiers, and Mary
Stuart took Edinburgh from the rebels. Darnley tried to deny his role in the rebellion, but the others produced a paper that
he had signed promising to restore Moray and his fellow exiles to their lands when the murder was complete. Three months
after Rizzio's murder, James, the son of Darnley and Mary Stuart was born. Mary pardoned the exiles and allowed them to
return to Scotland. Darnley, motivated by Mary's split from him and by his expectations that the exiled nobles would hold
his denial against him, threatened to create a scandal and leave Scotland. Mary apparently by this time was in love with
Mary Stuart explored ways to escape from her marriage. Bothwell and the nobles assured her that they would find a
way for her to do so. Months later, on February 10, 1567, Darnley was staying at a house in Edinburgh, possibly recovering
from smallpox. He awakened to an explosion and fire. The bodies of Darnley and his page were found in the garden of the
house, strangled. The public blamed Bothwell for the death of Darnley. Bothwell faced charges at a private trial where no
witnesses were called. He told others that Mary had agreed to marry him, and he got the other nobles to sign a paper asking
her to do so. But immediate marriage would violate any number of etiquette and legal rules. Bothwell was already married,
and Mary would be expected to formally mourn her husband Darnley, for a few months at least. Then Bothwell kidnapped Mary --
many suspected with her cooperation. His wife divorced him for infidelity. Mary Stuart announced that, despite her
kidnapping, she trusted Bothwell's loyalty and would agree with the nobles who urged her to marry him. Under threat of being
hanged, a minister published the banns, and Bothwell and Mary were married on Mary 15, 1567. Mary Stuart subsequently
attempted to give Bothwell more authority, but this was met with outrage. Letters (whose authenticity is questioned by some
historians) were found tying Mary and Bothwell to Darnley's murder. Mary abdicated the throne of Scotland, making her
year-old son James VI, King of Scotland. Moray was appointed regent. Mary Stuart later repudiated the abdication and
attempted to regain her power by force, but in May, 1568, her forces were defeated. She was forced to flee to England, where
she asked her cousin Elizabeth for vindication. Elizabeth deftly dealt with the charges against Mary and Moray: she found
Mary not guilty of murder and Moray not guilty of treason. She recognized Moray's regency and she did not allow Mary Stuart
to leave England. For nearly twenty years, Mary Stuart remained in England, plotting to free herself, to assassinate
Elizabeth and to gain the crown with the help of an invading Spanish army. Three separate conspiracies were launched,
discovered and squelched. In 1586, Mary Stuart was brought to trial on charges of treason in Fotheringhay castle. She was
found guilty and, three months later, Elizabeth signed the death warrant. Mary Queen of Scots was executed on February 8,
1587, facing death with the charm, determination and courage which she had brought to the rest of her life.
Matilda was the daughter of Henry I ("Henry Longshanks" or "Henry Beauclerc"), Duke of Normandy and King of England. She was
the wife of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (and thus "Empress Maude"). Her eldest son by her second husband, Geoffrey of Anjou,
became Henry II, Duke of Normandy and King of England. Henry II was known as Henry Fitzempress (son of empress) in
recognition of his mother's title carried with her from her first marriage. Through her father, Matilda was descended from
the Norman conquerors of England, including her grandfather William I, Duke of Normandy and King of England, known as William
the Conqueror. Through her mother's mother, she was descended from more kings of England: Edmund II "Ironside," Ethelred II
"the Unready," Edgar "the Peaceable," Edmund I "the Magnificent," Edward I "the Elder" and Alfred "the Great". After her
younger brother, William, the heir to the throne of England as her father's only surviving legitimate son, died when the
White Ship capsized in 1120, Henry I named her his heir and obtained the endorsement of that claim by the nobles of the
realm. Henry I himself had won the throne of England when his eldest brother William Rufus, died in a supposed hunting
accident, and Henry quickly seized control from the named heir, another older brother, Robert, who settled for the title as
Duke of Normandy. In this context the action of Henry's nephew, Stephen, in quickly taking control as king of England after
Henry's death was not really unpredictable. It is likely that many of these nobles who supported Stephen in violation of
their oath to support Matilda did so because they did not believe a woman could or should hold the office of ruler of
England. These nobles probably also assumed that Matilda's husband would be the true ruler -- the concept that a queen could
rule in her own right was not well-established in England at that time -- and Geoffrey of Anjou, to whom Henry had married
his daughter, was not a character whom the English nobility wanted as their ruler, nor did the barons want a ruler whose main
interests were in France. A few nobles, including Matilda's illegitimate half-brother (one of more than 20 illegitimate
children of Henry I), Robert of Gloucestor, supported Matilda's claim, and for most of the long civil war, Matilda's
supporters held the west of England. The Empress Matilda, as well as another Matilda, the wife of Stephen, were active
leaders in the fight over the throne of England, as power changed hands and each party seemed ready to defeat the other at
Mother Jones was born May 1, 1830 -- or was she? Elliott Gorn, author of this new biography of Mother Jones, tells us
that she was actually born on August 1, 1837. She moved her birthday to May 1 as a connection to the Haymarket May Day
demonstration for the eight hour day, and the year, probably, to add even more to the image of the "white-haired 'Mother'
Jones". And so, with many of the details of Mother Jones' life, Gorn achieves a near-acrobatic feat of biography: he debunks
much of the mythology of Mother Jones, including those myths created and promoted by Mother Jones herself, while always
communicating a respect and affection for the woman and for her contributions to social justice and labor history. Gorn's
most notable achievement in this biography may be his detailed research into and description of the early life of the woman
who was born Mary Harris in Ireland. Sometimes, he's uncovered new or forgotten facts -- for example, her teaching
certificate, issued in 1857 in Toronto when she was 20. Other times, he's able, through his research into the context in
which she lived, to speculate on her likely experience. For example, he describes the horrors of the yellow fever epidemic in
Memphis in 1867, when Mary Harris Jones lost her husband and all four of their children, a few months to five years old.
Central to Gorn's treatment of Mother Jones' life and image is this epidemic. He makes much of how Mary Harris Jones, a widow
who lost her children, reconstructed herself as Mother Jones, radical "hell-raiser." As another source of her transformation
into another "Mother Mary," he draws out her early Roman Catholic connection -- including bringing to light her relationshp
to her estranged brother, Father William Richard Harris, Roman Catholic teacher, writer, pastor, dean of Toronto's diocese of
St. Catherine's, "among the best-known clerics in Ontario".
Mary Harris Jones - Mother Jones - began writing her autobiography in 1922 or 1923, when she was in her eighties and
after her most active participation in labor activism had ended. Errors in spelling in the autobiography are explained by the
fact that she dictated the stories to Mary Field Parton, a reporter who was also a friend and mistress of Clarence Darrow.
Darrow wrote the introduction to the first edition of Jones' Autobiography, published in 1925. Gorn shows that many other
inaccuracies are the result of Jones' memory of her own involvements as beginning earlier than Gorn can confirm from the
historical record. Jones also shades her stories to favor her own partisan positions: for example, John L. Lewis is simply
not mentioned, though he played an important part in the mine workers' organizing efforts during her own career. In Gorn's
words, "The Autobiography of Mother Jones is a deeply flawed yet powerful book .... Crudely, imperfectly, but with a strong
voice, she told of the excluded, remembered their suffering, and offered hope for their redemption". Gorn brings vividly to
life that which Jones' Autobiography barely mentions: the times through which the young Mary Harris lived -- her short years
of marriage to George Jones, member of the Iron Molders Union -- her move to Chicago and her many years as a dressmaker --
her loss of shop, home and belongings to the Chicago Fire -- her growing interest in the Labor movement -- the impact of the
Chicago Haymarket Affair on her own life and on the Knights of Labor. The bulk of the biography covers her active years in
the labor movement, beginning in about 1894, when she was in her fifties (64 by her own later accounting). The battles of
coal miners -- the imprisonment of the grandmotherly radical Jones -- the Children's Crusade against child labor -- her
Socialist Party involvement -- her minor involvement in the IWW -- her opposition to John L. Lewis' leadership -- these
stories are told with historical detail, communicating effectively the energy, outrage and commitment Jones continued to
bring to her work. By the early 1920s, her failing health began to seriously slow her activism, at the same time that radical
labor movement activism diminished in influence. She wrote her Autobiography, attended fewer and fewer public events and died
on November 30, 1930.
Gorn continues the story in his Epilogue, documenting the ways the memory of the Mother Jones persona and person
continued to evolve. In the 1930s, labor activists still honored her memory; a young Gene Autry even recorded "The Death of
Mother Jones," a song whose origin is obscure. But in the labor movement of the 1940s and 1950s, with its distance from
radical politics, her memory faded. Her Autobiography went out of print and copyright was even allowed to lapse. It was only
in about 1970 that her memory began to be revived. The Charles Kerr Company published, at last, a second edition of the
Autobiography in 1972, folk singers revived "The Death of Mother Jones," and, in 1976, a magazine promising a return to
progressive-era journalistic muck-raking named itself after her. Gorn's biography itself can be seen as a maturing of this
Mother Jones revival. At last, those interested in more than the image of Mother Jones can see her actual contributions to
the labor movement in all their complexity. She becomes, in Gorn's book, not a sad or pathetic figure who often exaggerated
her contributions and often sacrificed means for ends, but an even stronger, authentic human being, transforming adversity
into commitment, mothering the whole of working class America and meeting challenges rare to the experience of white-haired
women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s then or now. Was Mother Jones a feminist? In the sense that she asserted a role for
herself in a field dominated by men, yes. In the sense that she saw woman's role as unique, nurturing and supportive, and
therefore ignored or opposed woman's full political, social and economic equality, perhaps not. She was concerned primarily
with supporting the rights of male wage earners, but as a woman in a strong and nontraditional role who made a significant
contribution to history, she is certainly an important figure in women's history.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. (Jack) Kennedy. During
his Presidency, "Jackie Kennedy" became known mostly for her fashion sense and
for her redecoration of the White House. After the assassination of her husband
in Dallas on November 22, 1963, she was honored for her dignity in her time
of grief. She became the target of scandal sheets when she married wealthy Greek
shipping magnate and financier Aristotle Onassis in 1968. After the death of
Onassis in 1975, her image changed again, as she lived in New York as quietly
as she could, taking a job as an editor with Doubleday. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
Onassis died in New York in 1994, and was buried next to President Kennedy.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the widow of aviator and conservationist Charles A. Lindbergh,
Jr., was a noted writer and aviation pioneer. Born June 22, 1906 in Englewood,
New Jersey, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the daughter of businessman, ambassador,
and U.S. Senator Dwight Morrow and poet and women's education advocate Elizabeth
Cutter Morrow. Her family spent summers at the seashore: Martha's Vineyard,
Cape Cod and later on the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine. She
received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in 1928, and married Charles
A. Lindbergh, Jr., on May 27, 1929. Six children were born to the Lindberghs
-- Charles A., III (deceased, 1932), Jon, Land, Anne (deceased, 1993), Scott
and Reeve. Much time during the early years of the Lindberghs' marriage was
spent flying. Anne served as her husband's co-pilot, navigator and radio operator
on history-making explorations, charting potential air routes for commercial
airlines. They made air surveys across the continent and in the Caribbean to
pioneer Pan American's air mail service. In 1931, they journeyed, in a single-engine
airplane, over uncharted routes from Canada and Alaska to Japan and China, which
she chronicled in her first book, North to the Orient. They then completed,
in the same single-engine Lockheed "Sirius," a five-and-one-half-month, 30,000-mile
survey of North and South Atlantic air routes in 1933 (the subject of Anne Lindbergh's
book, Listen! the Wind). Charles characterized this expedition as more difficult
and hazardous than his epic New York-to-Paris flight in 1927 in the "Spirit
of St. Louis". The National Geographic Society awarded its Hubbard Gold Medal
to Anne Lindbergh in 1934 for her accomplishments in 40,000 miles of exploratory
flying over five continents with her husband. A year earlier, she had been honored
with the Cross of Honor of the U.S. Flag Association for her part in the survey
of transatlantic air routes. In 1993, Women in Aerospace presented her with
a special Aerospace Explorer Award in recognition of her achievements and contributions
to the aerospace field. Anne Morrow Lindbergh was also the first licensed woman
glider pilot in the United States. In addition to North to the Orient and Listen!
the Wind, Anne Lindbergh is the author of 11 other published books. They include
Earth Shine, in which she wrote of being at Cape Kennedy for the first moon-orbiting
flight and how that Apollo 8 flight and the pictures it sent back of Earth gave
humankind "a new sense of Earth's richness and beauty;" The Steep Ascent, a
novel that tells the story of a perilous flight made by a husband and wife;
the inspirational and widely read Gift from the Sea, perhaps her best-known
work; and five volumes of diaries and letters from the years 1922-1944. Smith
College, Amherst College, the University of Rochester and Gustavus Adolphus
College have all presented honorary degrees to Mrs. Lindbergh. In addition,
she has also been inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National
Women's Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. She is also
a recipient of the Christopher Award for the fifth volume of her diaries, War
Within and Without. Anne Morrow Lindbergh died February 7, 2001 at her second
home in Vermont.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
When Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 - October 26, 1902) married
abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton in 1840, she'd already observed enough
about the legal relationships between men and women to insist that the word
obey be dropped from the ceremony. An active abolitionist herself, Stanton
was outraged when the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London, also in 1840,
denied official standing to women delegates, including Lucretia Mott. In 1848,
she and Mott called for a women's rights convention to be held in Seneca Falls,
New York. That convention, and the Declaration of Sentiments written by Stanton
which was approved there, is credited with initiating the long struggle towards
women's rights and woman suffrage. After 1851, Stanton worked in close partnership
with Susan B. Anthony. Stanton often served as the writer and Anthony as the
strategist in this effective working relationship. After the Civil War, Stanton
and Anthony were among those who were determined to focus on female suffrage
when only voting rights of freed males were addressed in Reconstruction. They
founded the National Woman Suffrage Association and Stanton served as president.
When the NWSA and the rival American Woman Suffrage Association finally merged
in 1890, Stanton served as the president of the resulting National American
Woman Suffrage Association. In her later years she added to her speech- and
article-writing a history of the suffrage movement, her autobiography Eighty
Years and More, and a controversial critique of women's treatment by religion,
The Woman's Bible. While Stanton is best known for her long contribution to
the woman suffrage struggle, she was also active and effective in winning
property rights for married women, equal guardianship of children, and liberalized
divorce laws so that women could leave marriages that were often abusive of
the wife, the children, and the economic health of the family. Elizabeth Cady
Stanton died in New York on October 26, 1902, with nearly 20 years to go before
the United States granted women the right to vote.
Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 - October 18, 1893) is known to women's history
not only as one of the most important workers for suffrage and other women's
rights in the 19th century and as a prominent abolitionist, but also as the
first woman to keep her own name after marriage.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, OM (Order of Merit) (August 27, 1910 ‘ September
5, 1997) was an Albanian-born Indian Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries
of Charity. Her work among the poverty-stricken of Kolkata (Calcutta) made her
one of the world's most famous people, and she was beatified by Pope John Paul
II in October 2003. Hence, she may be properly called Blessed Teresa by Catholics.
Teresa was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1973, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979,
and India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1980.In 1971, she was
awarded the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize. She was presented with the Presidential
Medal of Freedom in 1985. Teresa was made an Honorary Citizen of the United
States in 1996 (one of only six). She was the first and only person to be featured
on an Indian postage stamp while still alive. Her supporters sometimes referred
to her as the "Angel of Mercy" and "Saint of the Gutter". Teresa was also known
for her books about Christian spirituality and prayer, some of which were written
together with her close friend Fr‘re Roger. While Teresa was considered the
embodiment of a "living saint," some have leveled strong criticisms, and raised
questions about her public statements, working practices, political connections,
and the funding of her charity. Teresa was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in
the city of Skopje, Macedonia then the capital of the Ottoman province of the
Kossovo Vilayet, where her father (of ethnic Albanian origin) was a successful
merchant. Her parents had three children, and Agnes Gonxha was the youngest.
Her parents, Nikoll‘ (Kol‘) and Dranafile Bojaxhiu (also an ethnic Albanian),
came from the city of Prizren in the south of Kosovo. They were Catholics, even
though most Albanians are Muslim and the majority of the population in their
native Macedonia are Macedonian Orthodox. Little is known of Teresa's early
life except from her own reminiscences. She recounted that she felt a vocation
to help the poor from the age of 12, and decided to train for missionary work
in India. She was a member of the youth group in her local parish called Sodality.
At 18, the Vatican granted Teresa permission to leave Skopje and join the Sisters
of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns in Rathfarnham with a mission in Calcutta.
She chose the Sisters of Loreto because of their vocation to provide education
for girls. After a few months training at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin
Mary in Dublin she was sent to Darjeeling in India as a novice sister. On May
24 1931, she made her first vows there, choosing the name Sister Mary Teresa
in honour of Teresa of Avila and Th‘r‘se de Lisieux. She took her final vows
in May 1937. From 1930 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism
at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, becoming its principal in 1944. She later
said that the poverty all around left a deep impression on her. In September
1946, by her own account, she received a calling from God "to serve Him among
the poorest of the poor." She said, "I see God in every human being. when I
wash the leper's wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful
experience?" In 1948 she received permission from Pope Pius XII, via the Archbishop
of Calcutta, to leave her community and live as an independent nun. She quit
the high school and, after a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in
Patna, she returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little
Sisters of the Poor. She then started an open-air school for homeless children.
Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and she received financial support
from church organizations and the municipal authorities. In 1949, some of her
former pupils joined her. They found men, women, and children dying on the streets
who were rejected by local hospitals. The group rented a room so they could
care for helpless people otherwise condemned to die in the gutter. In October
1950 Teresa received Vatican permission to start her own order, which the Vatican
originally labeled as the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese, but
which later became known as the Missionaries of Charity, whose mission was to
care for (in her own words) "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled,
the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared
for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and
are shunned by everyone." It began as a small Order with 12 members in Calcutta,
today it has over 4,000 nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices, charity centres
worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the
poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine in Asia, Africa,
Latin America, North America, Europe and Australia.
With the help of Indian officials she converted an abandoned Hindu temple into
the Kalighat Home for the Dying, a free hospice for the poor. Soon after she
opened another hospice, Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart), a home for lepers called
Shanti Nagar (City of Peace), and an orphanage. The order soon began to attract
both recruits and charitable donations, and by the 1960s had opened hospices,
orphanages and leper houses all over India. In 1965, by granting a Decree of
Praise, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa's request to expand her order to
other countries. Teresa's order started to rapidly grow, with new homes opening
all over the globe. The order's first house outside India was in Venezuela,
and others followed in Rome and Tanzania, and eventually in many countries in
Asia, Africa, and Europe, including Albania. In addition, the first Missionaries
of Charity home in the United States was established in the South Bronx, New
York. By 1996, she was operating 517 missions in more than 100 countries and
today is assisted by over one million co-workers worldwide. A day after the
death of Teresa, John Paul II said: "Missionary of Charity: this is what Mother
Teresa was in name and in fact". And on her beatification, he developed this
idea further. "First and foremost a missionary: there is no doubt that the new
Blessed was one of the greatest missionaries of the 20th century. The Lord made
this simple woman who came from one of Europe's poorest regions a chosen instrument
(cf. Acts 9: 15) to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world, not by preaching
but by daily acts of love towards the poorest of the poor. A missionary with
the most universal language: the language of love that knows no bounds or exclusion
and has no preferences other than for the most forsaken". Analyzing her deed
and achievements, John Paul II asked: "Where did Mother Teresa find the strength
to place herself completely at the service of others? She found it in prayer
and in the silent contemplation of Jesus Christ, his Holy Face, his Sacred Heart".
In his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI mentioned Teresa of Calcutta
three times and he also used her life to clarify one of his main points of the
encyclical. "In the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta we have a clear illustration
of the fact that time devoted to God in prayer not only does not detract from
effective and loving service to our neighbour but is in fact the inexhaustible
source of that service.
Following Teresa's death in 1997, the Holy See began the process of beatification,
the second step towards possible canonization, or sainthood. This process requires
the documentation of a miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa.
In 2002, the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen
of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, following the application of a locket containing
Teresa's picture. Monica Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture,
curing the cancerous tumor. It has been reported that Besra's husband initially
said that the tumor was cured by later hospital treatment. He has since changed
his mind. A story in The Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying: "It was her miracle
healing that cured my wife. Our situation was terrible and we didn't know what
to do. Now my children are being educated with the help of the nuns and I have
been able to buy a small piece of land. Everything has changed for the better".
According to Monica Besra in TIME Asia, records of her treatment were removed
by a member of the order from the hospital and are now with a nun. The doctors
who treated Monica Besra denied the claims of a miracle healing and said that
they had come under pressure from the Missionaries of Charity to acknowledge
that the healing process was the result of a miracle. The issue of the alleged
miracle proved controversial in India around the time of Mother Teresa's beatification.
Teresa was formally beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003 with
the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. A second accepted miracle is required
for her to proceed to canonization.
Mary Wollstonecraft (27 April 1759 - 10 September 1797) was a noted writer
during the 18th century. She was born in Spitalfields, London. Wollstonecraft
had a momentous but tragically brief career of nine years; she wrote A Vindication
of the Rights of Woman, as well as a full range of work across disciplinary
boundaries separating philosophy, letters, education, advice, politics, history,
religion, sexuality, and feminism itself (Johnson, preface). Once viewed solely
in relation to the history of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft is now recognized
as a great writer across a range of genres, including journalism, letters,
and travel writing (Johnson, preface). Her personal struggles as a woman and
an author contributed to her articulation of the dynamic connection between
political writing and political rights, both of which she argued had been
"confined to the male line since Adam downward". (Gunther,171). Her writing
challenges the male birthright, bringing to life a new form of political analysis
(Gunther, 171). Today, she is celebrated for her early advocacy of women's
equality and rationality, and for arguing against the degradation and subjugation
of women justified by "the arbitrary power of beauty" (Leitch, 585).
Famous Roman Mothers :
A good Roman matron was chaste, honorable, and fertile, which last quality marked
her as a mother. Roman mothers might have ambitions for themselves or for their
sons or for themselves through their sons, since, far more than was true of
their Greek counterparts, they could wield political power. Occasionally, a
Roman matron put another cause, like Rome itself, above all else.
Cornelia - Mother of the Gracchi : After
her husband died, Cornelia, known as the "mother of the Gracchi," devoted
her life to the upbringing of her children (Tiberius and Gaius) to serve
Veturia - Mother of Coriolanus : When
Coriolanus was about to lead the Volsci against Rome, his mother, Veturia,
went to her son pleading her country's cause and offering to become a hostage,
if need be.
Helena - Mother of Constantine the Great :
Unmarried, Helena and Constantius I Chlorus had a son who became
the Emperor Constantine. Upon her son's elevation, Helena received the title
"Augusta," and may have converted to Christianity for her son's sake. Constantine's
mother's famous visit to the East may have been motivated less by religion
than by her son's need to appease the natives, who had been angered by Constantine's
murder of his wife and son.
Livia Drusilla - Mother of Tiberius : The
wife of Augustus, Livia, behaved in a decorous, Roman, matronly manner.
She was given more power than earlier women and was ultimately deified by
her grandson Claudius. She served as advisor to her son Tiberius, when Augustus
died, but their relationship was estranged, and he refused to return to
Rome for her funeral.
Julia Soaemias - Mother of Elagabalus : Julia
Soaemias married Sextus Varius Marcellus, by whom she had numerous children,
including Avitus. She helped Avitus overthrow Macrinus in order to become
the Emperor Elagabalus. Julia Soaemias was given the title Julia Soaemias
Augusta and helped in the administration. She tried to protect her son when
he lost favor, but failed, and was killed along with him.
Agrippina the Younger - Mother
of Nero : Agrippina the Younger, great-granddaughter of Augustus,
married her uncle Claudius in A.D. 49. She persuaded him to adopt her son
Nero in 50. When Nero succeeded his poisoned, adoptive father, he found his
mother overbearing and plotted to kill her. Eventually, he succeeded.
Famous Legendary Greek Mothers : Had it not
been for the beauty of Helen, Hermione's mother, there would have been no
Trojan War. Had it not been for their mothers, Jocasta and Clytemnestra, the
heroes Oedipus and Orestes would have remained obscure. Mortal mothers of
other legendary heroes had important (if lesser) roles in the ancient Greek
epics of Homer and drama of the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
Helen of Troy : The daughter
of Zeus and Leda, Helen's beauty attracted attention even from a young age
when Theseus carried her off and according to some accounts sired a daughter
named Iphigenia on her. But it was Helen's marriage to Menelaus (through whom
she became the mother of Hermione) and her abduction by Paris that led to
the events of the Trojan War renowned in Homeric epic.
Jocasta : The mother of Oedipus, Jocasta
(Iocaste), was married to Laius. An oracle warned the parents that their
son would murder his father, so they ordered him killed. Oedipus survived,
however, and returned to Thebes, where he unknowingly killed his father.
He then married his mother, who bore him Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone,
and Ismene. When they learned of their incest, Jocasta hanged herself.
Clytemnestra : Clytemnestra, the mother
of Orestes, took Aegisthus as a lover while her husband Agamemnon was away
fighting at Troy. When Agamemnon -- after having murdered their daughter
Iphigenia -- returned (concubine Cassandra in tow), Clytemnestra murdered
her husband. Orestes then murdered his mother and was pursued by the Furies
for this crime, until the motherless goddess Athena intervened.
Agave : Agave was the mother of Pentheus,
King of Thebes. She incurred Dionysus' wrath by refusing to recognize him
as the son of Zeus. When Pentheus refused to give the god his due and even
imprisoned him, Dionysus made the women celebrants (Maenads) delusional.
Agave saw her son, but thought he was a beast, and tore him to pieces.
Andromache : Andromache, wife of Hector,
gave birth to Scamander or Astyanax, who was hurled from the walls of Troy.
After Troy fell, Andromache was given as a war prize to Neoptolemus, by
whom she gave birth to Pergamus.
Penelope : Penelope was Odysseus' faithful
wife, who kept the suitors at bay in Ithaca, for twenty years, until her
son, Telemachus, grew to manhood.
Alcmene : Alcmene's story is unlike
those of the other mothers. There was no particularly great sorrow for her.
She was simply the mother of twin boys, born to different fathers. The one
born to her husband, Amphytrion, was named Iphicles. The one born to what
looked like Amphitryon, but was actually Zeus in disguise, was Hercules.
The Indian Mother
The Popular Indian Philosophy of the
Since the dawn of civilisation, when
the primitive man lived in a matriarchal society, the worship of the Divine
Mother came into practice. Later on, as civilisation progressed, the matriarchal
pattern gradually faded out, and the father became the head of the family
unit, where he was treated as the man in authority and to whom everyone
looked for guidance and approval. Consequently, there was a change in the
concept of God as such; the Fatherhood of God was established. But Mother
worship persisted simultaneously, since this concept was psychologically
more appealing to the devotee, the mother being nearest in filial affection
to the child. Subsequently, a synthetic harmony between the Motherhood and
Fatherhood of God was developed by the Hindu religion; the people worshipped
Sita and Rama, or Radha and Krishna together. The concept of the human mind
is based on relative experience. Subjective idealism, therefore, in its
initial stages, takes the aid of objective and relative analogies. God is
neither limited to abstract or concrete concepts. But it is easier to establish
a conscious relationship with the Providence in terms of benevolent fatherhood
or affectionate, kindly motherhood than by the concept of an unfathomable
void. God is devoid of qualities, in reality, but a relative superimposition
of the positive ideals of goodness and virtue is essential for self-culture
and spiritual progress of the aspirant. Mother is very kind to her child.
You are more free with your mother than with anybody else. It is the mother
who protects you, nourishes you, consoles you, cheers you and nurses you.
She is your first preceptor. She sacrifices her all for the sake of her
children. In the spiritual field also, the aspirant has very intimate relationship
with the Divine Mother.
The Upasana or the worship of the Universal Mother leads to the attainment
of knowledge of the Self. The Yaksha Prasna in Kenopanishad supports this
view. Approach Her with an open heart. Lay bare your mind with frankness
and humility. Lay your thoughts be pure and sublime. Become as simple as
a child. Pulverise your individual entity, the egoistic nature, cunningness,
selfishness and crookedness. Make a total, unreserved, ungrudging self-surrender
to Her. Chant Her Mantras. Worship Her with faith and devotion. Navaratri
is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. These nine days
are very sacred to Mother. Plunge yourself in Her worship. It is an occasion
symbolising the victory of the higher, divine forces over the lower, negative
qualities that find their expression in injustice, oppression, aggrandisement,
greed, selfishness, hatred and a host of other undivine forces that add
to the suffering of man.
Worship the Mother in all Her manifestations.
She is the creative aspect of the Absolute. She is symbolised as Cosmic
Energy. Energy is the physical ultimate of all forms of matter and the sustaining
force of the Spirit. Energy and Spirit are inseparable. They are essentially
one. The five elements and their combinations are the external manifestations
of the Mother. Intelligence, discrimination, psychic power and will are
Her internal manifestations. Humanity is Her visible form. Service of humanity
is, therefore, the worship of the Divine Mother. Feel that the Mother sees
through your eyes, hears through your ears, and works through your hands.
Feel that the body, mind, Prana, intellect and all their functions are Her
manifestations. The one, universal life throbs in the heart of all. How
can there be any room for hatred and selfishness, when by hating another
you are but hating the Mother, when by being selfish to another you are
but denying your own self. Drive deep this consciousness within your heart.
Always meditate and practise this ideal of divine oneness. Mother‘s grace
is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. She is pleased with a little purity
of heart. The sacred Navaratri is approaching. Do not lose this glorious
opportunity. Make a definite and sincere attempt to obtain the grace Of
the Mother. She will transform your entire life, and bless you with the
milk of divine wisdom, spiritual insight and Kaivalya!
The Other Mothers...
- Princess Diana - The people's
princess, mother of William and Harry.
- Elyse Keaton - Mother of Alex
P. Keaton, Malorie and Jennifer. Family Ties TV Series.
- Mother & Son - Australian
TV series starring Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald.
- Old Mother Hubbard - Famous
children nursery rhyme.
- Mother Goose - Famous childrens
- Marge Simpson - Mother of Bart,
Lisa and Maggie Simpson from "The Simpsons".
- Wilma Flintstone - Fred's wife
and mother of Pebbles.
- Betty Rubble - Barney' wife
and mother of Bamm Bamm.
- Michelangelo's Mother
- Mona Lisa's Mother
- Columbus' Mother
Go Page Up...
- Napoleon's Mother
- Paul Revere's Mother
- Custer's Mother
- George Washington's Mother
- Albert Einstein's Mother
- Babe Ruth's Mother
- Clair Huxtable - Mother of five
children in the Cosby Show.
- Carol Brady - Mother of three
very lovely girls all had hair of gold like their mother. Brady Bunch
who married a man named brady who had three boys of his own.
- Shirley Partridge - Mother who
sings with her children's band.
- Samantha - Mother of Tabitha
and of whom both are witches.
- Mrs. Cunningham (Mrs. C) - Mother
of Richie and Joanie from Happy Days.
- Mrs. Cleaver - Mother of Wally
- Lily Munster - Mother of Eddie
and aunt to Marilyn.
- Sharon Osbourne - Mother of
Jack, Kelly, and third child who doesn't appear in the Osbournes.
- Marie Barone - Mother of Ray
and Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond.
- Jane Jetsons - Mother of Judy
and Elroy from The Jetsons.