Mother Angelica passed away at 5pm central on Easter Sunday of 2016. She was 92 and died of natural causes.
While most people know Mother Angelica as the foundress of EWTN and a spunky television personality, fewer people know about her mystical experiences.
In 1995, Mother Angelica was traveling to South America with a few nuns to try to get support for a Spanish version of EWTN. One of their stops was at the Sanctuary of the Divine Infant Jesus in Bogotá, Colombia, and after Mass they went to pray in a small side chapel with the infant Jesus image.
Suddenly, while she was silently standing and praying, the image came alive!
“Build me a temple,” the smiling child Jesus said to her, “and I will help those who help you.”
The two nuns with her heard and saw nothing, but Mother Angelica fell into a state of deep religious ecstasy. When she finally came out of it, she burst into tears, and later said her “heart was beating 100 miles per hour.”
Once she arrived back home to her convent in Alabama, she shared this story with her fellow nuns and they immediately started looking for land to build a shrine. Soon, they discovered a piece of land just north of the convent that used to be a soy bean farm. As soon as she set foot on it, Mother Angelica knew it was the right place, later saying she “felt the presence of God very strongly.”
Without any money from EWTN, entirely as a project of their convent Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, the building commenced and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament opened just in time for the year 2000 jubilee!
But that wasn’t the end of her mystical visions.
In Alabama, the child Jesus continued to appear to her regularly, even in the hallways of her convent, and they would have short conversations here and there.
Of course, having a mystical vision was not the basis for her greatness as a holy woman, but rather her faithfulness to God. And that is something all of us, by the grace of God, can do, too.