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Mother Angelica: Her Grand Silence

Product no.: 978-0770437268
For more than a decade, the beloved, wisecracking nun who founded EWTN, the world’s largest religious media empire, was confined to her cell at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Though Mother Angelica is still seen and heard by millions each week in reruns on seven continents, the private drama within her monastery, her personal supernatural encounters, and the prolonged suffering she endured has remained hidden. Until now.

In a moving, dramatic conclusion to his four New York Times bestselling Mother Angelica books, Raymond Arroyo completes the saga of this singular nun with his most intimate book yet. Here are Mother Angelica’s spiritual battles in her cell—including encounters with the devil. Revealed for the first time is the personal request Mother made of God—which sheds light on her long silence. Here are the unrevealed episodes of hilarity and inspiration; from playing possum (to avoid undesirable visitors to her room), to undertaking a secret trip to the far East, to blessing her nuns as they leave her care to create new monasteries, Mother Angelica’s spunky spirit shines through the narrative.

Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence, the touching, climactic coda to the Mother Angelica canon also offers readers the personal testimonies of people around the world who were spiritually transformed by Mother during her long public absence. And for the first time, the author writes movingly of his personal relationship with Mother—the highs and the lows.

Eleven years after the release of the definitive biography of Mother Angelica, audiences want to know the rest of her story. This is it.

"In his new biography, Raymond Arroyo considers the power of her silence in her last years. 'The richest part of her life, maybe the most important, happened hidden away in silence, in a corner room in Hanceville, Ala., when she could not feed herself, she could not move on her own, she could not get out of bed. That’s when, I think, she did her greatest work.'

Raymond Arroyo was talking to me about Mother Angelica, his friend, mentor, and subject of a series of books telling about her life and her prayer. His most recent is about her final, bedridden years.

Mother Angelica was the founder of the global Catholic network, EWTN. She spent hours on air, talking, conversing, teaching, and listening — including taking questions from callers and the audience in her Birmingham studio. It was a defy-the-odds kind of story on many fronts, especially when you know the details of her tough early life: riddled with sickness early on and at other times in her life, raised by a struggling single mother. There were healings. There were graces. And there was gratitude. Her whole life became thanksgiving leading her to take many 'risks for God,' as Raymond puts it.

In his book, Mother Angelica: Her Grand Silence: The Last Years and Living Legacy, Raymond Arroyo writes with the love of a son and the precision of a biographer taking care that nothing essential gets lost to history. And while his subject is the foundress of religious communities and a cloistered nun who ran and established an international multimedia network, in many ways he simply tells the story of the Christian life and the difference it can make in the lives of individuals, with enduring impact on the world.

Mother famously said, 'Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air and a queasy feeling in the stomach,' Arroyo writes. 'She knew that feeling all too well.' He goes on to mention her 'deserting her mother, Mae, to join a Cleveland monastery at the age of twenty-one, to building a television network with no funds in the woods of Alabama.' She acted on her faith 'in such a way that the fruits of her efforts became manifest to all. Hers was a gutsy faith.' He writes about her final years, years hidden from the world, when she was left largely silent from a stroke. But her faith was nothing less than it ever was, Arroyo testifies."      ~National Review Institute

"The whir of the oxygen machine in the corner ricocheted off the tiled floor, providing the only constant sound in the space. Bookshelves and a dresser near her bed were laden with statues of saints, an oversized Child Jesus, religious cards, and relics. And there, bundled in a hospital bed, beneath a faded painting of the wounded Savior, a white ski cap atop her head, lay the most powerful and influential woman in Catholicism: the indomitable Mother Angelica.

As late as 2010, although she was bedridden and weakened by a stroke, the old nun's spunk remained intact. I walked into Mother's cell one afternoon to find her tugging the bedsheets up over her mouth, engaged in a daily war.

'Mother, you have to eat if you want to stay strong and healthy,' the tiny Vietnamese nun, Sister Gabriel, fussed, extending a spoonful of mashed potatoes toward Mother's face. Angelica, having none of it, turned her glance toward the doorway.

'Is she trying to force-feed you again?' I jokingly asked as I entered.

Mother smiled broadly, tilting her face toward Sister Gabriel's spoon, and lowered the bed linen. Then just as the food approached, she yanked the sheet up again blocking the potatoes' entry.

'Oh, Mother,' Sister Gabriel said in frustration. Delighting in the mayhem, Angelica let loose a wheezy cackle for my benefit. She winked at me and then having had her fun, quickly opened her mouth to accept the first morsel of lunch.

'She always gives me a hard time with lunch. Don't you, Mother?' Sister Gabriel said, offering a second scoop of potatoes. Mother pursed her lips and slowly shook her head from side to side. Lunch was over.

The moment struck me as classic Mother Angelica: the steely will, the slightly subversive humor, the joy that millions all over the globe had come to love were on full display for anyone entering that overheated room. I was partly to blame for the show. Sister Catherine, the onetime vicar of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, claimed that Mother would 'perform' when I showed up. It was as if she remembered the fun we had in days gone by and wanted to let me know that she was still game — her disability be damned."

Mother Angelica, (Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation; Rita Antoinette Rizzo), American Roman Catholic nun (born April 20, 1923, Canton, Ohio—died March 27, 2016, Hanceville, Ala.), was the passionate founder (1981) of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), which she established in a monastery garage. Under her leadership, EWTN became the largest and most influential Roman Catholic media organization in the United States and one of the biggest in the world. 

Author Arroyo, Raymond
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 240 pp.
Publisher Image Books 2018
Browse these categories as well: Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, The Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics, Mystic and Esoteric Christianity, Holy Woman and High Priestess, Noteworthy Releases 2018

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