On this day in Alabama history: Mother Angelica was born

On this day in Alabama history: Mother Angelica was born
Mother Angelica, born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in 1923, is a Franciscan nun who founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of EWTN Global Catholic Network)

April 20, 1923

Mother Angelica, a Franciscan nun, was born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in Ohio. Mother Angelica joined the Order of Poor Clares in 1944, took her final solemn vows in 1953, and moved to Birmingham in 1962 to establish a religious community that would appeal to blacks during the civil rights movement. A down-to-earth teacher, she began hosting regular radio broadcasts in the 1970s and, in 1981, founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), where she hosted her internationally-successful program “Mother Angelica Live.” She led the building of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville in 1997-1999. Mother Angelica received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award granted by Pope Benedict XV in 2009.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville. (Michael Baker, Wikimedia)

 

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

 

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