Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 02 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Peter Julian Eymard
home iconVoices & Views
line break icon

Roma Downey talks about a life lived in touch with God


Disney | ABC Television Group | CC BY-ND 2.0

Tony Rossi - published on 03/06/18

'Touched by an Angel' star reveals the spiritual tools that have helped her endure great loss.

Actress and producer Roma Downey may not be a member of the heavenly host like Monica, the character she portrayed for nine years on the hit TV series Touched by an Angel, but she has lived a life that is deeply connected to God — and she continues doing her best to serve as one of His messengers.

That certainly holds true in her new memoir Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us. Roma reveals the ways she continues to be affected by her mother’s death many years ago, the lessons about love and peace that she learned growing up in Ireland during “The Troubles,” the spiritual habits she’s developed to focus her mind on God throughout the day, and her mission to use media to spread stories of hope and faith through

Howard Books

During an interview with me on “Christopher Closeup,” Roma recalled her mother Maureen’s shocking death from a heart attack a week before Roma’s 11th birthday: “Nothing could have prepared us for the absence that her loss created in our lives. It was as if the color had been removed and the lights had been turned out. My father really leaned into prayer to help us cope and get us through that very painful time. Of course, we had the promise through our faith and the hope that we would see our mother again. But I was still just a little girl, and I really missed my mom.”

It was the first Mother’s Day after Maureen’s death that Roma developed her lifelong affection for butterflies. She and her father brought pansies to the grave because they were one of her mom’s favorite flowers. Suddenly, a real butterfly flew by and her father suggested it could be a sign from her mother that she was still with them.

Roma said, “That was sort of the beginning of the butterfly helping create some sort of comfort. But I missed her all through my life … I don’t think you can be too old to feel the ache inside of losing someone that you love. I wrote this book hoping it would be a comfort to someone who has experienced loss.”

  • 1
  • 2
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.