By Graydon Rust
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.
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