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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 349 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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



“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

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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 (349 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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
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 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
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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