Mother Angelica died on Easter Sunday at the age of 92.
She was, without a doubt, the most influential Catholic television personality of our time. While Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was the first clergyman to put his imprint on television, Mother Angelica succeeded in a way no one else did: She created the first Catholic media empire, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), and she did it against all odds.
Mother Angelica carried many crosses. She came from a dysfunctional family, suffered a myriad of physical ailments, was shot at for ministering to African Americans in the South during the 1960s, fought with elites inside and outside the Catholic Church, and was ridiculed by those who objected to her orthodoxy. But she not only persevered, she triumphed.
Courage was her quintessential gift, refusing to buckle in the face of adversity. That she did so without ever losing her grand sense of humor made her all the more special. Her laughter, her smile, her radiant personality—these are qualities that touched millions, including those who only knew her through television.
To read about her remarkable life, see Raymond Arroyo’s classic, Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles. His love for her shines through.
Look for Raymond’s new book, Mother Angelica, Her Grand Silence: The Last Years and Living Legacy; it will be available this month.