One of the underappreciated events in Mother Angelica’s life is how, in January 1943, at the age of 19, she was healed of a serious stomach ailment on the ninth day of a novena to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.   Mother Angelica later said:  “All I wanted to do after my healing was give myself to Jesus.”   Link    So, one might say that Mother Angelica’s religious vocation stemmed from the intercession of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.   And had Mother Angelica not followed her call to the consecrated life, there would have been no EWTN.

Long before the invention of television, Saint Thérèse wrote in Manuscript B of her autobiography:  “I would want to preach the Gospel on all the five continents simultaneously and even to the remotest isles.”   MS B 03r    Not only did Saint Thérèse put the final nail in the coffin of Jansenism and pave the way for the Divine Mercy revelations to Saint Faustina, she was, at least indirectly, involved in the establishment of a Global Catholic Network, which simultaneously preaches the Gospel on all five continents.

It is also interesting that later in life  (1995), Mother Angelica developed a devotion to the Child Jesus.   But more like Saint Teresa of Avila, hers was a devotion to a Spanish Niño Jesús, Whom she encountered in Bogota, Columbia.   Remarkably, the Shrine in Columbia was founded by a Salesian priest who had the same name as Mother Angelica’s father:  John Rizzo.   And it was in 1942, after Mother Angelica was already suffering from her stomach ailment, but before she began the novena to Saint Thérèse, that Father Rizzo found the statue that would later be venerated in Bogota as Divino Niño.  Link

– Br. Bernard Mary, MFVA

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