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TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL’s Roma Downey: ‘I Always Felt That God Was With Me’

Photo from Roma Downey’s Instagram

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL’s Roma Downey: ‘I Always Felt That God Was With Me’

By Movieguide® Staff

For TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL star and successful producer Roma Downey, faith is a significant part of her projects.

Whether it is her series THE BIBLE or faith-filled movies like SON OF GOD, Roma’s longtime relationship with God permeates her creativity.

However, Downey’s faith would face testing at just ten years old. In an interview from 2014, Downey explained how faith helped her persevere after the death of her mother.

“I love God,” Downey said on an episode of InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse. “I have tried to glorify him in my work and honestly, when you get to combine what you love to do with what you believe, what a blessing.”

“I grew up in a house where faith was up front and center, though it was tested when I was just a little girl, because my mother died,” she recalled. “She was my sun and moon and stars. She was just a young woman in her late 40s and unexpectedly dropped dead of a heart attack. And it was as if the light had been switched out. I know if it hadn’t been for my faith and the promise that I would see her again, I don’t know how I would not have gotten through those years in adolescence.”

Despite her hardship, Downey said that she always felt God’s presence.

“I always felt that God was with me,” Downey said. “When I was very young, somebody shared with me that beautiful footprints prayer. Which I have loved and kept with me forever. The idea that in those moments in life when you feel alone, when you feel abandoned, look at the footprints of the journey of my life. ‘In those times when I needed you the most, there’s only one set of footprints. Where were you when I needed you?’ And Jesus said, ‘Those were the moments I was carrying you.'”

“While I felt alone, I never felt alone. I had such a strong connection to, and I felt a support from my faith. That carried me through,” she added.

Downey said that she also built habits of prayer and thanksgiving due to her father’s leadership in her family.

“I’ll be forever grateful for that, and grateful to my father for nurturing faith and making it important, making prayer important in our family,” she said. “Some of my fondest family memories were [when we] gathered with him praying in the evening. That became an important part of my life.”

“When those things are anchored in your early life, I think that you create patterns, that you create a practice in your life,” she continued. “I was a very young girl and I developed a prayer practice. It’s the same prayer practice that I have walked into my adult life with, that has continued to support me and the work that I’m doing.”

Downey is best known for her performance as an angel in 1994’s TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL. While the show left a lasting message of hope for viewers, Downey recalled the timeless blessing of the show on her life.

Downey acted alongside Della Reese, who died in 2017. However, the two actresses formed an unbreakable bond.

“What a lasting gift for me, Della Reese has been,” Downey said in 2014. “Being a believer and being on TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, and bringing a message of God’s love every week to millions of people was such a privilege and a blessing for me.”

“The lasting blessing for me has been that Della Reese came into my life,” she continued. “Because Della’s daughter died when we were shooting TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL. Her only daughter. My mother, of course, had died when I was a little girl. Della took me in her arms and said, ‘You know, baby, I always knew that God brought me into your life because you needed a mother; I just hadn’t realized that he was bringing you into my life because I was going to need a baby girl. Will you be my baby?’ I said ‘Yes,’ and she said, ‘Then I am your mama.’

“My mom was taken away, and then my mother was restored. I have a mother in Della Reese and to this day we see each other, we love on each other, she’s been such a mentor to me and a great support in my life and for my family,” she added.

To this day, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL remains a household favorite.

“As I travel the country, I continue to meet people, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL still plays on reruns, and it’s still impacting people,” she said. “There’s a timelessness, I think, to those stories. It’s fed a need in people. I think we’re starving. I really think we are starving for God. You can’t drive down any boulevard and you’re not bombarded with all the things you need to complete your life. If you don’t buy this, you’re not going to be happy. If you don’t have, this you’re not worthy. The over stimulus of things, just to remind you of all the things you think you need. Yet the truth is; all we need is a relationship with God. And it begins in here, and then everything changes.”