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Queen Elizabeth inspired by Mother Teresa

Source: Buckingham Palace/Vatican Radio

In her traditional Christmas message, British Queen Elizabeth II expressed her appreciation for Mother Teresa of Kolkata saying ordinary people can do extraordinary things with their quiet dedication.

The 90-year old Queen spoke of being inspired by the medal winners from the UK in the Olympic and Paralympic games this year, as well as the doctors, paramedics and crew she met while opening a new base for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Then she added: "To be inspirational, you don't have to save lives or win medals."

She said she often drew "strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organizers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special." "They are an inspiration to those who know them, and their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta," the Queen said.

She recalled Mother Teresa once said: 'Not all of us can do great things -- but we can do small things with great love.'

The Queen said she knew that sometimes the world's problems seem too big for individuals to affect. "On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice.. But the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine."