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Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles Hardcover – September 6, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 230 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a comprehensive and engaging biography, Arroyo chronicles the life and faith of Mother Angelica, the nun who almost singlehandedly created a religious media empire through her Catholic cable network, EWTN. Born in 1923 to unstable parents (a cruel father who later abandoned the family and a chronically depressed mother), Mother Angelica—then called Rita Rizzo—is an unlikely person to have redrawn the landscape of Catholicism in America. The strength of Arroyo's biography is what he calls his "unfettered access" to records, associates and the nun herself; as an anchor and news director for EWTN, he's known her for years. But this is not purely a sweetness-and-light portrait; she comes across as outspoken and sometimes hot tempered, arguing with cardinals and even hurling a knife at a sharp-tongued uncle when she was 17. Overall, Arroyo gives a strong sense of the woman who enrages liberals, delights conservatives, but is respected by almost all Catholics. (Sept. 6)
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“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.”
—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 opportunity 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 the 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

More from Raymond Arroyo
Raymond Arroyo masterfully captures the complexities, humanity, and tenacity of Mother Angelica, the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network, in his books. Visit Amazon's Raymond Arroyo Page.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religion; 1st edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385510926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385510929
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raymond Arroyo is an internationally known, award-winning journalist, producer, and New York Times Bestselling author. As founding News Director, Lead Anchor and Managing Editor for EWTN News, he is seen in nearly 300 million homes on six continents each week, heard on Sirius Radio and on 300 of AM/FM affiliates. Mr. Arroyo established EWTN News in 1996, creating several programs including "The World Over Live" which he hosts from Washington DC. The program was recognized as best "Show or Series in Cable Television for 2009" by CableFAX Magazine.

Known for his penetrating interviews, Mr. Arroyo has interrogated the leading figures of the day. Highlights include: The first exclusive, sit down interview with Mel Gibson on the set of his "The Passion of the Christ"; a groundbreaking interview with comic legend, Jerry Lewis; Carroll O'Connor's final broadcast interview; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Placido Domingo; President George W. Bush, several heads of state, and the first and only English interview with Pope Benedict XVI.

Mr. Arroyo has served as a Capitol Hill Correspondent, a reporter for the political columnist team of Evans and Novak, and worked for the Associated Press and The New York Observer.

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Arroyo was mentored by some of the finest acting instructors in the world, among them: Stella Adler, Bobby Lewis, Uta Hagen, and Beatrice Straight.

In addition to his work at EWTN, Mr. Arroyo regularly comments on pop culture and religious topics on all the major networks. He has been a CNN contributor and has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Access Hollywood, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, Countdown, and is a regular contributor to The Laura Ingraham Show. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, National Review, and elsewhere.

Mr. Arroyo is founder of Storyented, a literacy initiative that brings readers and authors together for a monthly "Storyentation": an international book club in real time via broadcast and the internet. Authors like Kate DiCamillo, Ridley Pearson, Dave Barry and others have all been Storyented.

Mr. Arroyo is producer of the bestselling, all-star "Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible" (Zondervan), "The Word of Promise" (Thomas Nelson), and a Billboard chart topping PBS Christmas special, "The Birth of Christ"(Sony Classics) hosted by Liam Neeson. His books: "Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles" (Doubleday), "Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality" (Doubleday) and "Mother Angelica's Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures" (Doubleday), "The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica" and "Of Thee I Zing" (Simon and Schuster) have all been New York Times Bestsellers. The New Orleans native is currently working on his Will Wilder middle-grade series for Random House Kids, a mystery series, and an original musical. Mr. Arroyo resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Rebecca and their three children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Allow me and forgive me to start this review by saying I don't like Raymond Arroyo. For some reason, not quite known to me, something about him, arrogance, hubris something about him just annoys the heck out of me and I can't stand to watch him and I don't - except his interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. But maybe for all reasons I don't like him, super polished!? is what enabled him and only him to write this masterpiece of a biography about Mother Angelica. Raymond Arroyo's talent for writing is extraordinary.

I learned things from this book, things about The Church, things about the media and the life and love and struggles of Mother Angelica that no one else could have told us but Raymond Arroyo. And not only did he tell the remarkable story but he told it in such a way that I could not put the book down! I began the book on Friday evening. I stopped reading only long enough to get to Church for Saturday vigil Mass and finished it at 4am on Sunday morning. I could not put it down! I have not stopped thinking about Mother and God and Jesus since and heaven and common sense since the book has so much to say and teach. I got on the phone with my own Mom and relayed as much of the whole of the story with her as I could. This book as actually given me a stronger indication of what my role could be within the Church. I've been having some struggles. But I see clearly now for reading this book what I need to do. I will wait for the Lords answer.

I checked the book out of the library but I am here on Amazon to buy a few more copies. Those who receive and read this book are blessed.

Thank You Raymond and Thank You Mother and Thank you Lord! for giving us these servants and all of EWTN.

I am going to try watching Raymond's show again. No promises that I will engage anymore than I have in the past, but I will try again because this book is a masterpiece!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The spiritual impact this book has on its reader is amazing. It gives anyone, no matter how difficult their situation, the hope that your life is worth something. Given over to God, the life of every person is powerful.

Even if you are not a "religious person" this story in itself is fascinating and nearly unbelieveable. It is written very well, making a most enjoyable read. A good laugh is also guaranteed.

And for those of you like myself, tired of the liberal Church constantly chipping away at our Faith, you will have plenty to cheer about.

Buy the book; you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
I discovered EWTN in the first months of my freshman year of college. While channel surfing through MTV and ESPN, I came across a beautiful old face swallowed by large glasses and wrapped in a white wimple.

I stopped. I'd never known a nun, let alone seen one in a traditional habit. Her simple outlook on faith kept me hooked. After watching Mother Angelica on television for the past five years, I thought I knew the simple elderly nun who'd shown me the beauty of my Catholic faith. After reading Raymond Arroyo's new biography, I realize how wrong I was.

Here is the life of Rita Rizzo weaved into a wonderfully narrative story. It shows her humble and tormented early years, her first miraculous healing, and her radical conversion to live for God. It chronicles many little known facts: her many ailments and healings, her intention to build a Southern monastery for reparation for unjustice to African Americans, her charismatic experiences, her dark night of the soul. Her leap of faith in creating the largest religious communications empire in the world is given its due, but does not overshadow.

Arroyo treats Mother as a human being, not a pious, holy card saint. She has doubts, a sense of humor, and a fiery temper. She struggles in her relationship with both parents, clashes with bishops and cardinals over orthodoxy and control of her network, and ultimately undergoes a Vatican investigation.

Mother Angelica has lived a life of radical service through love for Her Spouse, Jesus Christ, and His Church. Anyone who knows her only through her television network knows only part of the story. This biography tells it all. And Mother will be seen as an even greater witness to God because of it
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Format: Hardcover
Last week a parishioner gave me Raymond Arroyo's unauthorized biography of Mother Angelica. With mild curiosity, I read the dust jacket and table of contents. My plan was to skim the book, then return to it when I had more time. I liked Mother Angelica, but I knew little about her life or how she founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). I also admired Raymond Arroyo, often listening to his news and interview program, *The World Over.* As I began skimming the biography, I quickly became hooked. It turned out to be what I call a "dangerous book." Every year or two I will pick up a book which so grabs my attention that I wind up devoting every spare moment to reading it. Besides the most basic duties, everything else takes second place.

I was expecting a somewhat saccharine story about a folksy contemplative sister. Instead the book depicts what to me is the most difficult reality: the intense and often bitter suffering to which God apparently calls some souls. With the unflinching eye of an investigative reporter, Raymond Arroyo recounts painful details of her childhood. Rita Rizzo (the girl who would become Mother Angelica) had a wandering father who abandoned her at an early age. Her mother, never well balanced, became unhinged by the divorce - at that time a terrible stigma - and wound up reversing the normal mother-daughter roles. She increasingly demanded emotional support from her daughter and provided very little in return.

In her twenties, Rita met a Catholic convert turned mystic, who transformed the young woman's life. Entering a contemplative religious order, against her mother's bitter protests, she encountered more painful forms of suffering. Physical ailments (such as knees swollen to the size of cantaloupes) almost ended her religious vocation.
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