Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of “The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family”, published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin
At the end of his weekly general audience today, Pope Francis pointed to the sky and said Mother Angelica “is in heaven”.
The Holy Father gave his blessing and made the remark to members of EWTN’s Rome bureau as he greeted the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.
The staff had brought with them an image of EWTN’s founder as a sign of affection and remembrance for Mother Angelica after she passed away on Easter Sunday at the age of 92. Catholic News Agency’s Rome correspondent, Elise Harris, has more here.
The Holy Father’s tribute comes as thousands from all over the world pay their respects. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said the timing of Mother Angelica’s death on Easter Sunday was “a gift” while Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi described Mother Angelica as “a great witness and a missionary apostle” and recalled his joy at meeting her several years ago.
In an editorial for L’Osservatore Romano, EWTN’s chairman and chief executive Michael Warsaw said Mother Angelica’s whole life reflected her “unconditional ‘yes’ to God and her unshakeable trust in Providence.” He added that the network’s growth in recent years is due to her “ceaselessly” watching over it with her prayers.
Meanwhile, details have also emerged of Mother Angelica’s heroic last three days, as recounted by EWTN Chaplain Joseph Wolfe.
In a moving account in Al.com, Father Wolfe said Mother Angelica had instructed her nuns to do everything to keep her alive, no matter how much she suffered, because every day she suffered, she suffered for God. She was in excruciating pain on Good Friday, Father Wolfe said, and pointed to the meaning of the word: “Ex, from, cruce, from the cross. Excruciating pain."
But after the 3 o'clock hour arrived on Good Friday “she was more calm, she was more peaceful," Father Wolfe recalled. He said she died on Easter Sunday afternoon surrounded by nuns and priests.
"It was in the afternoon that Father Miguel and I went to her bed at the hour of mercy, at 3 o'clock," he said. "We had just finished praying the divine mercy chaplet. We all continued to pray silently around her bed. Then it was shortly before 5 p.m. that she went to the Father's house. She breathed her last."
Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, will celebrate a memorial Mass for the Poor Clare nun at the Vatican on Friday, the day of her funeral at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala.