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Biography of
MOTHER ANGELICA:
The Remarkable Story of a Nun,
Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
by Raymond Arroyo


  The New York Times® Best Sellers List
Hardcover Nonfiction


Table of contents   Sample Chapters 1   2   3
 

INSIDE FRONT COVER


The extraordinary saga of Mother Angelica, founder of the multimillion-dollar Eternal Word Television Network and “the most influential Catholic woman in America” according to Time magazine

In 1981, the year after Ted Turner founded CNN, a simple nun, using merely her entrepreneurial instincts and $200, launched what would become the world’s largest religious media empire in the garage of a Birmingham, Alabama, monastery. Under her guidance, the Eternal Word Television Network grew at a staggering pace, both in viewership and in influence, to where it now reaches over a hundred million viewers in hundreds of countries around the globe.

Born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, in 1923, Mother Angelica was abandoned by her father and raised in poverty by a mother who suffered from suicidal depressions. As a young woman, Rita developed severe abdominal pain that doctors dismissed as a “nervous condition,” but when she sought the prayers of a local mystic, her symptoms disappeared. Awakened to the power of prayer, she vowed to dedicate her life to God and became a cloistered nun, expecting to spend her life hidden from the world.

But Rita’s faith soon compelled her to unlikely endeavors, from establishing a monastery in Alabama to starting the world’s first Catholic cable network. Relying solely on “God’s providence,” Mother Angelica built an empire without concern for budgets or fund-raising campaigns, achieving what even the highest levels of the Catholic Church had been unable to do.

“In this dramatic page-turner, Raymond Arroyo has captured the life and lessons of Mother Angelica, a woman who may well be the patron saint of CEOs. Buy this book and be inspired.”

About the Author

RAYMOND ARROYO is the news director and lead anchor at EWTNews. As host of the international newsmagazine, The World Over Live, he is seen in more than 110 million households each week. Arroyo has worked at the Associated Press, the New York Observer, and for the political columnist team of Evans and Novak. His writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the National Review, the Financial Times, and other publications. He has been featured on the Today show, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, and various cable outlets, where he frequently comments on matters of culture and faith. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and three children.


BACK COVER OF BOOK


The extraordinary saga of Mother Angelica, founder of the multimillion-dollar Eternal Word Television Network and “the most influential Catholic woman in America” according to Time magazine

In 1981, the year after Ted Turner founded CNN, a simple nun, using merely her entrepreneurial instincts and $200, launched what would become the world’s largest religious media empire in the garage of a Birmingham, Alabama, monastery. Under her guidance, the Eternal Word Television Network grew at a staggering pace, both in viewership and in influence, to where it now reaches over a hundred million viewers in hundreds of countries around the globe.

Born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, in 1923, Mother Angelica was abandoned by her father and raised in poverty by a mother who suffered from suicidal depressions. As a young woman, Rita developed severe abdominal pain that doctors dismissed as a “nervous condition,” but when she sought the prayers of a local mystic, her symptoms disappeared. Awakened to the power of prayer, she vowed to dedicate her life to God and became a cloistered nun, expecting to spend her life hidden from the world. But Rita’s faith soon compelled her to unlikely endeavors, from establishing a monastery in Alabama to starting the world’s first Catholic cable network. Relying solely on “God’s providence,” Mother Angelica built an empire without concern for budgets or fund-raising campaigns, achieving what even the highest levels of the Catholic Church had been unable to do.

“In this dramatic page-turner, Raymond Arroyo has captured the life and lessons of Mother Angelica, a woman who may well be the patron saint of CEOs. Buy this book and be inspired.”

New book,  Mother Angelica unautherized biography, by Raymond Arroyo
Lee Iacocca, The Iacocca Foundation, former chief executive officer of the Chrysler Corporation

“Raymond Arroyo masterfully captures the complexities, humanity, and tenacity of Mother Angelica, who has long been one of my own personal heroes. The founder of the Eternal Word Television Network, Mother Angelica is a woman who dared to dream, to stand up for what she believed in, and whose faith showed that anything is possible. In Arroyo’s hands, she becomes someone you wish you had the opportun
ity to know and love. Read this book and believe.”
Nicholas Sparks

“This is some woman. What a wonderful story Raymond Arroyo has written—wonderful because it’s true, because he got the facts, because she chose him to tell them, and because he’s a born storyteller.”
Peggy Noonan, author of When Character Was King

“Mother Angelica’s personal words to me, her courageous example, and her constant prayers helped inspire my portrayal of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. No one could have captured the essence of this modern-day saint better than Raymond Arroyo. His narrative gifts and understanding of Mother are clearly evident in this truthful and often candid depiction of one nun’s struggle to bring God to th
e multitudes. Surely this book, and Mother’s life will have an incredible enduring legacy.”
James Caviezel, actor

“Mother Angelica is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, and is truly one of my heroes. With his “insider” perspective, Raymond Arroyo has done a masterful job capturing not only Mother’s immeasurable accomplishments but also her remarkable personality. Like Mother herself, this book has the unique combination of being both inspiring and entertaining.”
Thomas S. Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and Chancellor of Ave Maria University


“A rattling good story of fear, faith, courage, and bulldog tenacity, beautifully told. The drama of Mother Angelica’s life is a powerful reminder that the extraordinary lies just beyond the ordinary—if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.”
George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope:Tthe Biography of Pope John Paul II






TABLE OF CONTENTS

MOTHER ANGELICA:
The Remarkable Story of a Nun,
Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
by Raymond Arroyo

Introduction Prologue
1. One Miserable Life
2. The Gift of Pain
3. The Healing and the Call
4. Bride of Christ
5. Sancta Clara
6. Providence in Pain
7. The Foundation
8. A Family Monastery
9. The Spirit Moves
10. Doing the Ridiculous
11. Cathedral in the Sky:
The Eternal Word Television Network
12. Death and the Dark Night
13. The Abbess of the Airwaves
14. A Witness to the Nations: WEWN
15. The Defender of the Faith
16. Hammer of the Heretics
17. Miracles and Chastisements
18. The Last Things
19. Purification






Chapter 1. One Miserable Life


Mother Angelica came into the world overlooked and certainly unwanted, at least by her father. She was born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in the unassuming town of Canton, Ohio, on April 20, 1923.

Aside from being the birthplace of President William McKinley, Canton was a forgotten industrial hamlet an hour or so outside of Cleveland. Great scattering streaks of brown smoke billowed from her chimney-dotted skyline, an emblem of the productivity issuing from the little town. Steel was the backbone of Canton: the building block of the new century and the lure for thousands of immigrants. From Canton's mills and production lines spilled the ball bearings, streetcars, bricks, telephones, and pipe fittings that would propel the nation into its greatest period.

Apart from the industry, Canton was, as it is today, a pleasant green pasture of rolling hills in the middle of the country, a place to raise a family and avoid the chaos and congestion of city life. That is, unless you lived in the southeast part of town, where Rita Rizzo was born.

In 1923, southeast Canton was known as the red-light district, or "the slums," according to some. For the blacks and hordes of Italian immigrants who worked in the Canton mills, the southeast was home. Italians were confined to the district by a combination of illiteracy and the constant tribute demanded by their wayward countrymen. It was a ghetto ruled by the Black Hand, a criminal organization with roots in Sicily.

And though the mobsters carried black-handled revolvers as they conducted business in the neighborhood, the name Black Hand originated in the old country. Mob activity flourished during that era. A train of organized corruption ran from Cleveland to Canton to Steubenville. Cherry Street was the center of the Canton action, an avenue where racketeering joints and roving prostitutes vied for the same souls as St. Anthony's Catholic Church.


To order the biography Mother Angelcia Click HERE
To order an Audio book click HERE




Chapter 2. The Gift of Pain

....

The Gift

RITA WAS ON HER WAY HOME from school one day in December 1940 when she received what she would later call "the greatest gift God ever gave me." Her stomach heaved and quivered as she reached the Gianfrancesco house. Doubling up in the doorway, she felt her knees and elbows go to jelly, and perspiration covered her brow. A few glasses of warm water provided by her grandmother did no good. The spasm continued for a full hour.

When it passed, diarrhea plagued Rita for the next twenty-four hours. Her once-full cheeks hung like saddle bags from the sides of her porcelain face. Each time she attempted to eat, it felt as if bits of glass were tearing through her intestine. In the days that followed, food refused to stay down, forcing her to adopt a restricted diet of crackers, tea, and anything soft that her system could tolerate.

By early 1941, the spasms were striking the eighteen-year-old about three times a week. Yet even in the midst of this physical strain, Rita remained fixated on her mother's welfare.

Weeks after taking the civil service exam, Mae had heard nothing from city hall. The suspenseful wait possibly contributed to her second nervous breakdown—and a repeat visit to Philadelphia for six weeks.

Plunged into a sobering adulthood on the eve of her graduation from McKinley High, Rita was again without her mother. While not resentful of Mae's absence, Angelica told me it brought her to the realization that no one could be expected to sustain her life—not her mother, not her father, not even her grandparents. The future would depend entirely on her own resourcefulness. With that understanding, Rita began a solitary job search.

Emotionally spent and unemployed, Mae Rizzo was strapped for cash upon her return to Canton. On May 22, 1941, she petitioned the Stark County Court to collect $2,098.50 in back alimony from her ex-husband. Whether the court awarded her the money is un-clear



To order the biography Mother Angelcia Click HERE
To order an Audio book click HERE


Chapter 3. The Healing and the Call

.....
The Love Affair

"WHEN THE LORD came in and healed me through the Little Flower, I had a whole different attitude. I knew there was a God; I knew that God knew me and loved me and was interested in me. I didn't know that before. All I wanted to do after my healing was give myself to Jesus."

Unsure of how to do that, Rita turned to the holiest person she knew. Rhoda Wise would become her model of sanctity and a seminal spiritual influence. Every Sunday, the Rizzos joined the crowds packing Wise's house. There, Rita literally learned holiness at the feet of Rhoda Wise. She recalled sitting next to the mystic on a "little stool, and I would hold her feet up, because some people would squeeze the stigmata."

From Wise, she would learn how to deal patiently with overanxious crowds who at times mistook the object of God's grace for God Himself.

Fulfilling her promise to spread devotion to the Little Flower and the Sacred Heart, Rita sent personal letters, prayers, and Sacred Heart badges to anyone who wrote to the Wise house. One letter from September of 1943 revealed the depth of Rita's conversion: ". . . before I was cured I was a lukewarm Catholic . . . now I love [our Lord] so that there are times when I think I will die. When I think of all that He has done for me and how little I have done for Him, I could cry."


To order the biography Mother Angelcia Click HERE
To order an Audio book click HERE



Mother Angelica by Mark Sanislo
On August 15, 1944, Rita Antoinette Rizzo (21) became Sister Rita.  When she arrived at Saint Paul's Shrine in Cleveland, Ohio and entered the Adoration Monastery of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, a cloistered contemplative order)

Oil Painting by Artist Mark Sanislo
By 1976, Mother Angelica had written 50 booklets and recorded 150 audio cassette teaching tapes.  But that was only the beginning of what the Lord would do through her. 

When Mother Angelica was given the opportunity to make video tape programs for television, she realized the impact television could have in spreading the Faith.

Converting a planned garage behind the monastery into a television studio, Mother Angelica founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).  EWTN began airing programs on August 15, 1981 via satellite to cable companies and home satellite dishes

 


 





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