How Mother Angelica's 'miracle of God' became a global media empire

In a series of short videos recorded before her death, EWTN founder Mother Angelica reminisced about the early years of the Catholic television network. In one, the elderly nun opens a scrapbook titled "Mother's Memories" and shares a photo from the August 1981 launch, which included a blessing of the satellite dish.

She explains that the photo, when developed, came out with a reddish-orange "flame" emanating from the middle of the dish toward the sky. To her, it "looked like God's approval, like this whole network was going to reach up into heaven."

Mother Angelica regularly attributed the success of EWTN to God's providence, but the history of the operation reveals savvy business decisions that helped "this miracle of God" to become the multi-million-dollar global media conglomerate it is today. That those decisions were made by a woman without much previous power in the church is notable. 

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