Mother Mary Angelica, a folksy Roman Catholic nun who used a monastery garage to begin a television ministry that grew into a global religious media empire, had died. She was 92.
Known to millions of viewers simply as “Mother Angelica,” the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network died Easter Sunday at the rural monastery where she lived about 45 miles north of Birmingham, according to EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw.
“Mother has always, and will always, personify EWTN, the Network which she founded. In the face of sickness and long-suffering trials, Mother’s example of joy and prayerful perseverance exemplified the Franciscan spirit she held so dear.
We thank God for Mother Angelica and for the gift of her extraordinary life,” Mr. Warsaw said in a news release late Sunday.
Mother Angelica had been in declining health since suffering a severe cerebral haemorrhage on Christmas Eve 2001.
She never regained her full speaking ability and had other, less-severe strokes through the years.
Bedridden for months, Mother Angelica was placed on a feeding tube this fall as her health slowly declined, fellow nuns at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery said in an announcement released in November.
Gov. Robert Bentley said in a statement on Sunday that Mother Angelica will live on forever in the hearts of those touched by her sermons.
“On this Easter Sunday, it is only fitting that the Lord chose today to call home one of his humble servant, Mother Angelica. She devoted her life to ministry, converting untold numbers of people to the church. She left an indelible mark on Alabama, the Catholic Church and the world as a whole,” Mr. Bentley said.
Although she had been out of the public eye for years and was no longer appearing on her trademark “Mother Angelica Live” show, old episodes of her show have remained a programming staple on Eternal Word.
“We want you to know how much God loves you, and that’s a lot,” she told viewers at the end of an episode taped in November 2000.
Mother Angelica displayed both deep devotion to Jesus and a comic’s timing on the episode, drawing laughs when she couldn’t reach her Bible during the opening sequence. An unseen aide hands her the book from off camera.
“That’s when you appreciate long arms,” Mother Angelica deadpanned.