Friday Book Pick: Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo
Five years ago on Easter Sunday, Mother Mary Angelica, the most visible nun the world has ever known, departed her cloistered home for the Father’s House. Mother Angelica was the foundress of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, and she was also the visionary foundress who launched what has become the largest Catholic television network and multi-media outlet in the world, Eternal Word Television Network. This cloistered Poor Clare nun spent decades appearing unscripted and live on primetime television to the delight and edification of millions of viewers worldwide.
Today’s Book Pick, by the popular news anchor of the EWTN program, The World Over, Raymond Arroyo, is the kind of intriguing page-turner that you get completely lost in, and before you know it, you are hours past your “bedtime” or stowing your tray table and getting ready for landing!
With Mother’s Day on Sunday, this book highlights a type of motherhood sorely needed in the world today, Spiritual Motherhood—a motherhood that nurtures and gives life to the soul. This is what Mother Angelica did as a mother, not only to her own sisters, but also to millions of faithful viewers worldwide. This is what the whole network she founded does, in a remarkable way, through its daily broadcasting of the Holy Mass, the daily rosary, and around-the-clock programing that is inspiring, informative and faithful to the teaching Magisterium of the Church.
The early life of Mother Mary Angelica (born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio in 1923) does not read as a profile of a likely candidate for the religious life, let alone a foundress and an abbess! Abandoned by her father early on in life, Rita and her mother, Mae, forged an existence through odd jobs and reliance on extended family. Rita’s health was poor, and her life was plagued by suffering. She was a person who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles, first to enter religious life, and then to go on to found a new monastery and what would become a global, multimillion-dollar media-outlet promoting the universal call to holiness and faithfulness to the Catholic Church.
It is a riveting story, full of seeming contradictions and impossibilities, and bursting with examples of a faith that moves mountains. If you want to get a glimpse of what it is like to live by faith and to trust in divine providence, this is the book you want to read. It reveals the fact that miracles do still happen for those who expect them, and it shows vividly that the Holy Spirit is still raising up saints in the modern age.
According to the rules of the Church, once a person has been deceased for five years the cause for canonization can be officially opened. On March 27, 2016, at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, which she dreamed of, planned and built from the ground up, Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA, passed peacefully from this life to God. It has been five years. This book is all the convincing I need to see that Mother Mary Angelica’s life and work has all the markings of a great Saint.