Five years after her death, cause for canonization can begin.

By Lauren Arsena
Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Originally Published in Diocese of Birmingham’s One Voice

The opening of the cause for canonization of Mother Mary Angelica, PCPA, foundress of the Eternal Television Network (EWTN) and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, is possible as of March 27, 2021.

There have been unique cases where this waiting period has been waived, for instance for John Paul II and Mother Teresa. For most, the Church requires 5 years till after the candidate has passed to ensure a more objective evaluation prior to beginning the process of canonization.

There are 4 distinct steps to sainthood. The first step in the process is to open the cause and evaluate the candidate’s life. At this time, the title servant of God is given to the candidate. The second step is approving the life lived by the servant of God as virtuous and, subsequently declaring them as venerable. The third step is the need for one miracle exclusively through the intercession of the candidate who can then be beatified or blessed. Lastly, a second miracle is required one the candidate is beatified to then be canonized and officially recognized as a saint in the universal Church.

To open the cause for canonization a petition needs to be sent to Rome from the bishop of the diocese in which the candidate died. First, a libellus, or written request, typically by the candidate’s church, religious community or order, is sent to the bishop to begin the process. The libellus would include a biography demonstrating a life of heroic virtue, reputation for holiness, all published writings, intercessory power, potential witnesses (this could include sisters, friars, friends, EWTN personnel, etc.) to verify the truths about the candidate’s life, and any alleged miracles. After the libellus is received and accepted, the bishop must request permission from the Holy See to open a special tribunal to evaluate the life lived by the candidate of the diocese.

From starting the largest global Catholic network, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), hosting live shows addressing political, religious, and counter-cultural issues with people around the world, writing countless books on the faith, and miraculously building a Shrine dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, it’s evident Mother Angelica has left an indelible mark on the Church.

For Mother Angelica it would be the Diocese of Birmingham. Birmingham is where she spent most of her life and is currently buried at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville. With the approval from Rome, the investigation is then opened and the title Servant of God is given to the candidate in question. Witnesses and the writings from and about the candidate are gathered and carefully examined by the diocesan tribunal to determine whether or not the candidate lived a virtuous life. Once the investigation is complete and documented, the document is then sent to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints located in Rome. The Congregation then prepares a Positio, or a summary of the document given by the diocesan tribunal, and, in turn, nine theologians study the Positio and vote whether or not the candidate did in fact live a virtuous life. If they vote in favor, it then gets passed on to the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation. Lastly, it is given to the pope who can then give his final approval to the Congregation in declaring the candidate as venerable.

The next step is beatification. One miracle is required exclusively through the intercession of the venerable in order to be beatified. A scientific and theological tribunal gather within the diocese of where the alleged miracle took place and begin the investigation verifying whether or not there was a miracle. The documentation is then sent to the Congregation in Rome to analyze and confirm with the pope. Once the candidate is beatified, the candidate is then declared blessed.

In order to be canonized, a second miracle is required. The investigation process is exactly the same as the first miracle. With a second miracle, a cause for canonization is sent from the Congregation to the pope who can then officially declare the candidate as a saint. Traditionally, a special Mass will then be held in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican with the pope in honor of the new saint.

From starting the largest global Catholic network, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), hosting live shows addressing political, religious, and counter-cultural issues with people around the world, writing countless books on the faith, and miraculously building a Shrine dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, it’s evident Mother Angelica has left an indelible mark on the Church. And once the cause is opened, the Church can carefully and prayerfully move forward in potentially declaring this momentous woman first as servant of God, then as venerable, then as blessed, and lastly as saint.


26 thoughts on “An Indelible Mark

  1. I’ve been praying to Mother Angelica’s for her most powerful prayerful intercession and the speedy cause of her canonization
    as I am battling a rare agressive uterine cancer ~ diagnosed Ash Wednesday 2-26-20 and my first Chemo treatment was on April 20th, 2020. I continue to pray each day that she will be by my side and ask Jesus to keep me safe and through Mother’s intercession
    heal me if it be God’s Holy Will! 🙏🙏🙏

  2. God bless Mother Angelica. Her shows and programs helped me to be a better person.
    Garcia said shows were of great help to me.
    I hope that she will be declared a Saint going forward. She suffered so much and it was a miracle that she was cured of handicapped
    of wearing braces.

  3. I had said many times before she passed away that she would be a saint one day. I have no doubts she will.

  4. Mother Angelica brought me from a lukewarm catholic to a women who lives everyday honoring, loving & living each day strictly for the Lord. She saved me from sin. I look forward to everlasting happiness in heaven daily. She saved my eternal soul

  5. Although I never met her personally, Mother Angelica is someone I turn to often. During some of my toughest times, she is still the voice of reason and gives me and many others the strength especially when many in the world have turned their backs in fufilling what it means to be Catholic. Many stray because it is far easier to escape and do our own will than doing God’s. I pray that Mother Angelica is formally made a saint, but I am sure that I am not alone in believing that she already is one for in every day she was on this earth, she spread God’s word in many different ways. Let us keep her in our prayers like she does for us. ✝️🙏🏻🌹❤

  6. I got the cable channel EWTN for my mom when she got sick. We Loved Ewtn. My mom would say Thank God for Mother Angelica ehat would we do without EWTN . She Loved the Mass and the Shows . She and I Loved Mother Angelica. I now watch Thank God everyday .I Love it Too . A nun started it

  7. Mother Angelica led my husband to learn the Holy Rosary! When we pray it now together I pray for her cause to open for sainthood! I fully believe she lived a life of heroic virtue and God has truly blessed her. May God allow her to become a Saint!

  8. When I was In the 7th grade. Mother put her hands on me and I felt the Holy Spirit enter my body. It was amazingly calming and she is definitely a Saint. Anytime I have had a problem I prayed to Mother or asked Mother to pray for me and my prayers were answered.

  9. I listen to Mother Angelica Live everyday. Her empathy and catholic love for others shines through in all of her interactions. Even though she is in heaven, I feel her catholic teaching touching my heart and life daily. My son has health issues after several concussions, but listening and learning from her brings me peace, faith and Godly counsel. I know that she will become a Saint.

  10. I know there must be multiple miracles from those listening to mother Angelica live now-i go to sleep every night listening to her live repeats and its helped me break addictions-God bless her.

  11. Mother Mary Angelica is a Saint, per Almighty God wills She be publicly acclaimed by The Holy Catholic Church, Blessed and Glory be His Holy Name. We all know in our hearts that She was a Messenger of God. Akin to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, She is one of The greatest human beings of our time. I know She rejoices because She stood the Test and kept the faith. Because of Her, Catholic TV is forever. Declared or not, She is My Mother and Saint.

  12. Can anyone confirm whether a cause has been or will be opened yet? It would be great to have a formally approved prayer too. Agree that there are far more than just the canonised saints but recognition by the Church she loved and served would inspire many people.

  13. We are praying to Mother Angelica for my niece Stacey O’Brien Artino from Ohio for a miracle. She has been battling cancer for over 2 years. She beat cancer at age 27 and now in her 40’s it is back again. She has four beautiful children and a wonderful husband. It is aggressive. A lady in her 90’s in Florida has shared with Stacey’s mother that we need to pray to Mother Angelica for this to be one of her miracles for sainthood. She said that Padre Pio told her this in a vision. Dear Mother Angelica, please ask our Dear Lord to use you as an instrument and heal Stacey of her cancer and all the complications from her treatments. Thank you .. In Jesus’s name. We Believe. Amen.

  14. .I want to share my Mother Angelica miracle. In 2008, Mother Angelica brought me back to the Church after 40 years of absence. And in 1975, I had the greatest miracle of my life, I got sober. My younger brother finally got that miracle just 3 years before he died at age 53. And his son was following the same path. In 2019, I started praying to Mother Angelica for my nephew to get sober. In April, 2020, he got sober. In August he came to live with me for 4 months, after avoiding seeing me for 14 years. And he spent Christmas 2021 with me. He is still sober and living a productive life. I’ve often wondered how I was blessed with the miracle of sobriety. I credit Mother Angelica’s intercession for my nephew’s wonderful new life.

  15. For many years I have been in awe of the work of Mother Angelica. Through the power of God, she has performed incredible work in the evangelization of the world through radio and television. Because of her efforts millions of luke worm Catholics strengthened their faith and millions became believers in Jesus Christ. She has been God’s incredible instrument. Recently I was diagnosed with leukemia (CML), I immediately turned to Mother Angelica as my intercessor to God for my healing. Peace of Christ Jesus be with all of you. Brian Mazar, Louisville, KY

  16. I know she is in heaven because she has been my hero for a longest time i love her so dearly that one night i was in deep desperation having a terrible emotional meltdown due to stress in life and that night i cried i cried and i called her to help me…in that moment a hand grabbed my right wrist and i knew in my heart that was her!!! so instantly I GOT UPLIFTED and HEALED in seconds from a deep emotional state. The tears stopped my heart was consoled immediately by her telling me that it will all be fine and at the end what was causing me the stress yes it ended up well. I continue calling her…and every time she shows up in my life in different ways…remind me that she is with me every time and that GOD IS WITH ME ALWAYS so I shall never despair again…Mother Angelica I love you so so so much so dearly always. THANK YOU for being with me.

  17. I’m hoping that Mother’s intercession will manifest in you Bernadette and in all of you seeking her intercession! god bless you!

  18. I pray for Mother Angelica’s canonization. I had the immense privilege of having business dealings with her in the early cable years and she made some astonishing predictions about my future life which all came true.

  19. I pray to Mother Angelica for a miraculous healing of my open wounds. They are severe, as a complication to surgery. If it be Gods will, Mother Angelica heal me. I will submit for her cause. Susan Ricigliano 3/26/2023

  20. That Mother Angelica had a special spiritual relationship with God is an acknowledged fact. Nothing else could explain how a cloistered nun would become founder of the largest spiritual network in the world. A specific example of their interaction is her announcement that He had asked her to “build Him a Temple”. She admitted to some hesitancy because of the term Temple. Why had He not said Basilica or Cathedral or even Monastery? She wondered if the Demon was interfering. When she arrived in Rome to report to the Pope about her trip to South America to establish a network there, and where God had requested her to build Him a Temple, the Vatican announced that her visit with the Pope would unavoidably be delayed. That afforded her enough time to visit Saint Peter’s to pray. As she left after her prayer time, her steps took her on a path past the cornerstone where she read: “ THIS TEMPLE WAS…”
    Doubts denied!
    This week I was blessed with the 5 books written by Raymond arroyo about Mother, including his powerful biography, which captured her wit and wisdom, hardships and joys. Companion volumes include her words recorded during Bible Studies, Lessons From Scriptures, Prayer& Personal Devotions. & her last years of Suffering and Silence. All excellent by a personal friend and brilliant writer.
    Based on my reading and vivid memories of watching and admiring her in action. I feel inspired on the Feast of St. Cornelius transitioning as I write this at midnight to the Feast of St Robert Bellarmine to ask her intercession in my healing from a worsening combo of 5 debilitating conditions, if it be the Will of God.

  21. Mother Angelica helped me in my conversion process, thanks to her words, I made the decision to confess and return to the Church. She inspired my vocation and to this day I continue to feel her company through her teachings and advice. Thank you Mother Angelica, Thank you Ewtn for continuing to broadcast her programs in Spanish.
    I ask for your prayers for the recovery of my health, I will soon have another spinal surgery. Thank you! God bless you. Patricia

  22. My prayers for intercession to Mother Angelica were answered with affirmations and forward progress in a health situation. God bless us all.

  23. I pray that Mother’s cause will begin soon. She is truly a Saint for so many people. Her whole life is a testimony to her holiness and dependence on God. She was truly so brave to undergo such opposition while staying true to Jesus and His Will for her. God bless all at EWTN who keep her alive for all of us.

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