Mother Angelica of the Annunciation, an American Franciscan nun, best known as a television personality and founder of the cable television network, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and the radio network, WEWN, passed away on Easter Sunday at age 92.
Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in Canton, Ohio on April 23, 1923, she was the daughter of Italian American parents, John Rizzo and Mae Helen Gianfrancesco. She grew up in poverty and attributed her calling to the religious life to a miraculous cure of a severe stomach ailment she suffered with for many years.
She developed a significant following when she began conducting a series of community discussions on matters relevant to the Catholic faith in the 1960’s. These discussions evolved into the formation of her television and radio stations, through which she was ultimately able to communicate with over 274 million households throughout the world. Mother Angelica has been regarded as the most influential woman in the Catholic Church in America.