|El Divino Niņo in Columbia
Mother Angelica: "In 1995 we had a vice president's meeting and decided to try and provide a Spanish network for South America. It was decided that I would go down and talk to Bishops and Nuncios in South America and see if they would be interested in making programs in their own specific Spanish accents so that when we were ready to establish a Spanish network we would have programs.
One of the countries we went to was Columbia. In Bogota, we had a wonderful priest host for the days we were there. He asked me if I would like to see the Church of El Divino Niņo. We said yes. I was very surprised by the poverty of the people and the beauty of this Church or Basilica. The Church was packed, the large courtyard was full of people. In the courtyard of the Church, I saw a bust of a priest, the founder of the Basilica. I asked Father who the founder was. I was inquisitive because the priest's name was Fr. John Rizzo which was my father's name. At least there was one good John Rizzo. Who was Fr. John Rizzo? He was Italian and he came here years ago with the Salesians to just take care of the people, the very, very poor. They would have Mass at different times on Sundays, people would walk miles. The priest had a devotion to the Divine Child, and he had a sculpture made. He would talk to the sculpture.
One day he told El Divino Niņo that these people were hungry and there was no one to feed them. 'If you don't feed them, they will kill me and smash you into tiny pieces.' This is strange type of prayer. Soon carts appeared with food. This went on. Suddenly people came that were not well. 'Divino Niņo these people are poor and can't afford a physician. Divino Niņo if you don't heal them they will kill me and smash you.' Between getting food for the people and healing them, he went to the Church to get money to build a church. Instead, the people gave to build the Church.
Father asked me if I would like to see the original
statue that the priest had made. We had to walk up a small hill and at
that time I was still in crutches. The statue was facing away from where I
was standing. So, I just looked up as everyone else was doing. Suddenly El
Divino Niņo turned towards me and said, 'Build me a temple and I will
help those who help you.' "
Four years later, Mother Angelica's vision became a reality, and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, was consecrated during a live broadcast on December 19, 1999.