Mother Angelica's two miraculous cures

Mother Angelica (far right) at age 19 with the mystic Rhoda Wise
The two miraculous cures in the life of Mother Angelica through the intercession of two different mystics

In a miraculous instant, Mother Angelica tosses away both crutches and leg braces that she wore for 42 years.
By: Glenn Dallaire, May 2015

***UPDATE: Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016: Mother Angelica was called from this life today, Easter Sunday, to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from on-high. It is providential and a sign that she passed on the great feast of Easter. God arranges such things to encourage us and support our faith. May her soul rest in peace! "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants." (Psalm 116)

Through the ever popular long-running television series "Mother Angelica Live", many people throughout the world are very familiar with Mother M. Angelica, the foundress of the global Catholic television network EWTN. Many viewers of her network (this writer included) may recall some of the details of the miraculous healing that she received back in 1998 through the intercession of an Italian mystic named Paola Albertini--although at that time she fervently endeavored to keep most of the details of her miraculous healing under wraps.

What was known at the time was that on January 28, 1998, while saying the 4th decade of rosary with the mystic Paola Albertini, she went from using two crutches and wearing leg braces on BOTH legs, to tossing both crutches and leg braces aside, to having two restored legs and walking completely normal. We will delve more into this remarkable cure later in this article, but what most people do not know is that Mother Angelica was actually miraculously cured on another occasion some 54 years previously---that is, when she was only 19 years old.

Rita Rizzo (Mother Angelica)
Mother Angelica's first cure at the age of 19
 In January of 1943, when Mother Angelica (Rita Antoinette Rizzo) was age nineteen, she suffered from a painful condition known as "dropped" stomach, which involved a bulging lump in her lower stomach which made it extremely difficult for her to eat, and caused her to wear a tight corset around her waist to help mitigate the pain. The story of her miraculous healing is recounted in the book "Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles” by Raymond Arroyo.

To summarise the story, the young Rita Rizzo [Mother Angelica] was at her wits end because of the severe pain that she was experiencing in her stomach. Thankfully, a sympathetic friend brought her to a Ohio mystic and stigmatic named Rhoda Wise on January 8, 1943. (Those interested in reading more about Rhoda Wise can read the article I wrote about her here). At this providential meeting, Rhoda told young Rita Rizzo to make a Novena (9 days of prayer) seeking the holy intercession of St Therese of Lisieux, and she gave her a Novena prayer pamphlet to St Therese to recite, asking the intercession of St. Therese for a cure for her stomach illness. On the last day of the Novena to St Therese, that is precisely on Sunday, January 17, 1943 Rita Rizzo woke up in the middle of the night with a strong, sharp pains in her stomach -
"It seemed like something was pulling my stomach out", she later stated.

When she arose later that Sunday morning, she immediately thought of putting on the corset around her waist as she was often obliged to do to avert the pain, but she "heard" and inner voice telling her to get up, and then suddenly she realized that the usual pain was gone, and that she was miraculously cured. She looked into the mirror and indeed the bluish color around her waist and also the bulging lump on her lower abdomen was completely gone. And time has shown this cure to be permanent because over the many passing decades the stomach pain and swelling has never returned.

Concerning this first miraculous healing she stated:
"When the Lord came in and healed me I had a whole different attitude. I knew that God knew me and loved me and was interested in me. I didn’t know that before. All I wanted to do after my healing was give myself to Jesus.”

Mother Angelica's second miraculous cure
Before we begin the recounting of the story of Mother Angelica's second cure, it is important to point out a very public doctrinal tussle that was occurring at the time of her healing, because it seems to have played quite a large part in her miraculous cure. The doctrinal tussle was with the very liberal Cardinal Roger Mahony, who at that time was the Archbishop of Los Angeles.

When Cardinal Mahony issued a pastoral letter which to Mother Angelica watered down the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, Mother Angelica critiqued him, point-by-point, on her television program. Here the reader should remember that throughout the 25 years of his heading up the Los Angeles diocese, Cardinal Mahony was notorious for his support of various liberal agendas, such as his very public support for the homosexual "Rainbow Sash" movement, where at one Mass for example where there were some of the Rainbow Sash members present, he made an announcement encouraging them to come to the altar to receive Holy Communion. Additionally, unlike a number of other Bishops in the USA, he refused to withhold Communion to politicians who supported abortion rights. In fact, Cardinal Mahony had publicly celebrated such politicians, such as in 2005 when he held an an inauguration in the Diocesan cathedral for a pro-abortion mayor elect Antonio Villaraigosa, while just outside the cathedral some devout Catholic pro-life advocates who were protesting this inauguration were being escorted off the premises by Cathedral security guards.

On another occasion, Cardinal Mahony refused to give Communion on the tongue to a young woman saying to her "No, this isn't done here." Fortunately, Cardinal Mahony was eventually publicly disciplined and sanctioned in 2013--albeit after his retirement in 2011--by his successor Archbishop Jose Gomez, who dealt a humiliating and rare blow from one Bishop to another by censuring and removing Cardinal Mahony of all of his administrative and public duties, primarily for his role in covering up and protecting pedophile and actively homosexual priests during his tenure as Archbishop.

But going back to Mother Angelica's doctrinal battle with Cardinal Mahony over his not very zealous thoughts on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, insiders have reported how the Cardinal went ballistic with anger over Mother Angelica's criticisms, of which she flatly refused to offer any apology, even when Cardinal Mahony's machinations with a few other liberal Bishops got her threatened with interdict (the loss of the Sacraments) and the possible closure of the religious Community she founded.

It was during this very public confrontation with Cardinal Mahony that the second miraculous cure in the life of Mother Angelica occurred. She was 74 years old. The story is told in the book "Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles” by Raymond Arroyo.

The story begins in the few days prior to the actual day of her healing, when there came to the monastery an Italian mystic named Paola Albertini along with a translator and two other friends who came asking to meet with Mother Angelica. Mother normally shunned such requests, and besides she was quite busy running the TV and radio networks, along with the religious Community which she had founded. However, at Paola and her companions repeated insistence, Mother Angelica eventually agreed to meet with her briefly on January 27, 1998.

Purported Italian mystic Paola Albertini 
Paola Albertini was a former music teacher who was visiting the USA from Italy, and who had purportedly been receiving visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since 1986.  Before we delve into the details of her intercession in Mother Angelica's second miraculous cure, I would like to first state that several people who have met Paola over the years have expressed caution and reservation concerning her, and one can sense this reservation also in the relation of the story by Raymond Arroyo. Nevertheless as he reported in detail his book, she was the instrument through which Mother Angelica was miraculously healed this second time in 1998, as we will now relate in more detail below.

But going now back to the story, after some initial conversation, Paola--through her Italian translator-- requested that she and Mother Angelica should recite the Rosary together the following day. Reluctantly, Mother Angelica agreed to recite rosary with Paola after her live television show at 8pm the following evening, that is on January 28, 1998.

After the "Mother Angelica Live" show,  Mother Angelica  met with her in her office and together they began reciting the Glorious Mysteries--Paola in Italian and Mother in Latin. At the Fourth decade, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary into heaven, Paola raised her eyes towards a portrait on the wall above Mothers desk of St Francis reaching up towards the crucified Christ. Sister Mary Claire who was present at that moment stated that suddenly there are was a "bright glow" surrounding the portrait, and Paola announced that "Our Lady is here".

Paola then gave a message to Mother Angelica purportedly from the Blessed Virgin Mary:
"What joy you give to the Heart of Jesus your beloved Spouse!....Defend the holy Eucharist even with your own life.  Yes, Jesus still today is being made a fool of and sneered at..... I bless this location; I bless you, my daughter, and with so much love I tell you: Don't stop! Go forword for the love of Jesus, unperturbed along the way that Jesus traced for you since you were in your maternal womb..."

While they then continued praying the fourth decade together, Mother Angelica had a sudden "feeling" that God wished to heal her. She then said to herself interiorly:
"Lord, all of these years You have used me as a comfort and an example for all of the handicapped and crippled. If You want to change this it is okay with me".
Moments later, Paola asked if she could pray for Mother. When Mother Angelica consented, Paola fell to her knees and recited a prayer in Italian.  After several minutes, Paola then requested that Mother remove both of her leg braces.

It should be noted here that while she was a young novice religious some 42 years prior to this miraculous event, Mother Angelica had severely injured her spine with a floor buffer machine, while waxing and polishing a floor.  This painful injury made it necessary for Mother Angelica to wear leg braces on both legs, and along with this it also necessitated the use of two crutches, thus allowing her to walk only with great difficulty.

In obedience to Paola's request, Mother Angelica unfastened both of her leg braces and then motioned to Sister Agnes to remove both of her shoes. Sr. Agnes did so very reluctantly, because she was worried that Mother would fall without her leg braces. Sr. Agnes was quite justified in in her concern because as she herself stated: "I had seen her try to walk [in the past]; her foot was just floppy.  It would drag."

Paola then took Mother Angelica by the hands, and led her across the floor, as a mother would do for her young child first learning to walk. The nuns accompanying Mother very nervously walked on both sides of her, worried that she would fall. Suddenly Mother faltered with her feet flopping inwards. "Come! Do not be afraid" Paola stated full of confidence.

"I walked to the door", Mother recalled, "and then I had a hard time turning around, because both legs were going every which way".

"Let her be!" the mystic shouted to the nuns, who were trying to hold Mother up.

"Mother, let's not do this" Sister Agnes then pleaded.

 "Agnes, I feel this warmth in my ankles. Do not be afraid." Mother Angelica replied, as she continued to move towards Paola.

Her legs became more and more stable as she walked across the room, her feet and legs straightening into the proper position, the weakened muscles regenerating and strengthening with every moment. When Mother Angelica paused for a moment, Paola placed a crucifix on her back and her legs. "Lets walk" she then ordered. Mothers wobbliness and unbalance was now gone and she walked almost normal, unlike she had done in 42 years. She then opened the door and peered out at the security guards down the hall and stated:
"Look no braces and no crutches!"

In a burst of sudden (and quite understandable!) exhilaration she took the hands of a visiting guest who happened to be passing by at that moment, and to his great amazement she spun about the studio kitchen with him, radiant with joy. She then bounded up the television studio platform, which only an hour earlier she could not possibly make it onto without assistance.

Mother Angelica
The extraordinary news spread like wildfire, and the next day crowds gathered to witness the now miraculously healed Mother Angelica. Obliging the crowd, she came out from the cloister, to an effusion of tears and joy. Before announcing the remarkable healing publicly on the popular EWTN TV program "Life of the Rock" (the audio of which can be heard here #558) she first met and prayed once again with Paola Albertini---this time Paola told her to remove her back brace, which she did, but later she was obliged to put it back on. "I have to be honest; it [her back] was not healed. I can go without it for a couple of hours but it is hard. Why should a fake something for somebody else?"

And so we see that it was God's will to heal only her legs, but to leave the back injury as it was---this "thorn" and its accompanying suffering, perhaps to show once again that suffering has a purpose and meaning for those who accept it and offer it to God. "For we know that all things work for the good of those who love God" (Romans 8:28).

With her trademark humor, that night Mother Angelica said to the EWTN TV audience that she had trouble remembering what to do with her arms while she walked, after 42 years of using them to maneuver her crutches. But, she said, "I think you're supposed to swing them, so I have begun doing so". She also showed off her new-found strength by executing a few dance steps for the  EWTN television live audience.

"I never asked for this healing," she said. "I was convinced that it was an apostolate for me."

And she also added: "I think we forget that the Rosary is powerful."

During this same live broadcast of "Life on the Rock" with Jeff Cavins which occurred the night after her healing Mother Angelica stated: "The purpose of this healing is to increase the faith of viewers and employees at the Network. He [Jesus] did it for you,” she said, and in a veiled allusion to the doctrinal scuffle with Cardinal Mahony she stated:
"Never in the history of the world has there been so much blasphemy, disbelief, error, schism and cruelty towards the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Father is going to make up for that, and Our Lady is going to make up for that in a brand-new way."

Mother Angelica also cautioned that others with physical pain and illness should not necessarily expect miraculous healing. Instead, she said that when medical means cannot produce healing, people should “offer up” their pain “as a way of saving souls.”

For his part, Cardinal Mahony's spokesman, Father Gregory Coiro stated "I have been telling people in jest that the healing [of Mother Angelica] was for my benefit, so I cannot be accused anymore of criticizing a crippled nun." 
Nevertheless, to this writer and to most others Mother Angelica's remarkable healing and the accompanying purported message of the Blessed Virgin Mary made it quite evident whose side God was on in this doctrinal dispute between the traditional nun and the liberal Cardinal.

A young Rita Rizzo (Mother Angelica)
In the week and months afterwords, as detailed in Raymond Arroyo's book, three separate physicians examined in Mother Angelica's legs. Two of the three physicians were not Catholic. All three testified that the healing was not medically explainable. Her primary care physician, Dr. David Patten, stated: "I'm a skeptic by nature. She told me about the healing and I looked. I have never seen anything like it. Physically I saw a [once] withered leg visibly better.   When muscle is atrophied for a long period of time, it usually does not come back."

 "What I saw were muscular legs with a rounded calves, and not the legs they should have been at her age and activity level.  These were the legs of someone who had walked a lot." 
After hearing the surprising story from his colleagues, Dr. Richard May, a Birmingham internist, examined Mother Angelica's legs quite unobtrusively (without her really recognizing the reason) while she was in the hospital for another matter.
To Raymond Arroyo, he then described both him and Dr. Patten as being "...cynical curmudgeons: A Methodist and an Episcopalian not given to rush after miracles."

Mother Angelica is currently 92 years old and is living in the monastery she founded in Hanceville, Alabama. In late summer 2001 she fell and broke her arm, and then shortly afterwards she suffered a series of debilitating strokes late in 2001, the first one beginning right after the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, culminating with a severe stroke on Christmas Eve 2001.  Currently (as of May 2015) she has been bedridden for the past 6 years. Back in 1945, after one of her visions, Rhoda Wise, the mystic in Ohio who helped to obtain Mother Angelica's (then Rita Rizzo) first miraculous cure, sent a message to the newly veiled Sister Angelica. She wrote: “Tell Rita that every little worry will be erased from her heart. For each insult, each heartache, more stars.”

-Those interested can read the news of the passing of Mother M. Angelica on Easter Sunday here , as posted by EWTN and her fellow nuns at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery.
Combination St Padre Pio /St Gemma Galgani relic locket rosary
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Joseph said...

Interesting article! I did not realise that Mother Angelica had received these extraordinary cures.

Anonymous said...

Please double-check your statements about Cardinal Mahony. For one thing, your timeline is all mixed up; the "feud" with Mother Angelica occurred in about 1997, so most of what you accuse Mahony of occurred AFTER. With respect to the Rainbow Sash incident, the group was planning to disrupt a Mass. When Cardinal Mahony said they would be welcome to come to Mass, that took the steam out of them and not one of them actually went (how is this different from Pope Francis's actions, when he meets with transexuals and active homosexual lobbyists? Do you think Francis would tell them they can't come to Mass?). I went to Mass at the cathedral many times, and not once was I told that I could not take Communion on the tongue, which is the only way I ever receive. Cardinal Mahony called out the pro-abortion politicians on several occasions from the pulpit, and I myself heard him denounce homosexual "marriage"; I also heard him preach about the Real Presence on several occasions. Yes, he is more liberal than I like; but he's not nearly the monster people make him out to be.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Concerning Cardinal Mahony, the point that is being made in the article is that there was a wide position gap between the conservative Mother Angelica, and the liberal Cardinal Mahony. This came to a head when she publicly critised his document on the Eucharist, which caused him to go into a frenzy---and it was precisely during this very public controversy that she was miraculously cured, so the timing was very noteworthy, and so also was the purported accompanying message from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The fact is, not only was Cardinal Mahony quite liberal, his record of covering up sexual abuse cases spanned several decades, and was so horribly scandalous that the on January 31, 2013, his successor Archbishop Gómez relieved Mahony of all of his public and episcopal duties in the Archdiocese, following the release of personnel files documenting priest sexual-abuse cases during Mahony's tenure---a move that is almost unheard of in the history of the Church. So, yeah, he really was that bad.

Thanks for your comments,
Glenn Dallaire

Glenn Dallaire said...

From Lifesite news:
After a court order requiring the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to release documents some of which expose Mahony’s cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, Gomez publicly censured Mahony who retired after 25 years of being Cardinal Archbishop of the city in 2011.

“Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties,” said a public letter issued by Archbishop Gomez Thursday.

The documents, some 12,000 pages, show that Mahony purposely concealed from the public his knowledge of priests who had committed sex crimes with youth, transferring the perpetrators after they received counseling only to have them sexually abuse again and again.

The abuses were so severe that current Archbishop Jose Gomez commented Thursday, “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil.”

Catholic author and journalist Philip Lawler who has followed the Church scandals for years sees in Archbishop Gomez’s unprecedented action hope for the future...
“It’s very long overdue. The big story is that one bishop made a public fraternal correction on another, which has not happened before...

Moreover, he said, “It’s inconceivable that Archbishop Gomez would have done this without consulting Rome and that too is encouraging that Rome would approve this.”

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Gomez had to take back his words (on order from the Vatican), and frankly, around here, there was a lot of "I'm shocked to find gambling going on here" type of comments about HIM. He had already been in the archdiocese several years, so for him to "suddenly" become aware of the files made a lot of people, even anti-Mahony people, angry.

I put in my first comments because so much of what you brought up is not in fact true, or the intent attributed to Mahony is speculation and incorrect to boot. Just so you know, I personally do not like him. However, the truth is the truth. I *did* hear him preach (correctly) about the Real Presence; I *did* hear him condemn homosexual "marriage." This is not something someone told me -- I was at Mass when he was the celebrant, and I heard him say it.

With respect to the molestations -- the vast majority of the accusations were from a period before he was archbishop. The ones that took place under his shepherding were a mix of naivete on the part of the prelates that were supposed to monitor and watch them, wiliness on the part of the perverted priests, and an over-reliance on psychology for a "cure" for them. I don't doubt there was also a lot of hiding to prevent scandal, etc. and I don't excuse him for that, or for his (and pretty much all other bishops') denial that it had anything to do with homosexual priests (it did-most victims were not actually children but young adolescents -- it's called Ephebophilia).

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments--I sincerely do appreciate it. Well, since this article is about the miraculous healings in the life of Mother Angelica, and NOT about the life and times of Card. Mahony, I am not going to pursue this discussion in much detail, since this article is not about him. The fact remains that not only did his successor Bishop Gomez publicly criticize his scandalous actions, some of the most prominent and respected Catholic news sites and periodicals have also heavily criticized his actions in actively covering up dozens of sexual abuse cases.

I suggest those interested in this matter can simply Google "Cardinal Mahony abuse" and "Cardinal Mahony bullying" will discover thousands of articles from leading news outlets criticizing his actions (and lack thereof) in the priest abuse cover up, along with articles about his actively bullying those who oppose him, Mother Angelica being only one of many. In other words, concerning Card. Mahony's scandalous record, there is no reason to "reinvent the wheel" here. The information is readily available on many reputable news sites all over the Internet--(Crisis Magazine for example has a good piece on his notorious bullying).

I will say that I do appreciate and understand your point about him not being as bad as some insist, but I don't see many people other than himself touting his reign as Archbishop. Surely there will never be a cultus calling for his canonization, as most people seemed to celebrate his departure from the Archbishopric.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted that; I realized that I had unintentionally turned the comments into a discussion about Cardinal Mahony, so I'm sorry about that.

I do admire Mother Angelica very much, and I wish very much that more religious AND priests had her courage and her orthodoxy.

Anonymous said...


Michael Miller said...

More than being merely a curiosity, this story gives me faith to ask Jesus for what someone needs, and he needs it because of his position and the harm he is causing the Church in that position. May God be merciful and grant us all the graces we need to function as human beings and to be faithful to Jesus until He brings us to Himself.

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