Written by: Jay Heilman (02/20/2023)

Irish-born actress and producer Roma Downey may be best known for her past work on such hit TV shows like Touched by an Angel (1994-2003) and the mini-series The Bible (2013) as well as work as a producer on such films as The Son of God (2014) and Ben Hur (2016), but she is also an accomplished New York Times best-selling author as well.

2023 marks the release of a brand-new and very personal-penned book entitled Be an Angel: Devotions to Inspire and Encourage Love and Light Along the Way. I got a chance to talk to her a few weeks back about the devotional and found that it is not your standard devotion.  Downey uses her own personal (and often times raw) stories, whether from her early days in TV on series like Angel or using her own personal life as a backdrop for many of the book’s 52 entries.  I have had the pleasure of reviewing many devotions over the years with both Christian Music Review and Today’s Christian, and I found this one was a definite stand out among the others.  How so?  Well, we often times associate those in Hollywood as “different” than the everyday, celebrities.  While Downey is very much a celebrity in every sense of the word, the one thing that has separated her from many others over the years is ‘how’ she uses that status to help and encourage others, whether it be through her TV works, or her work as a producer.  Be An Angel offers readers (and listeners through Kindle) to get to know Downey on a much more personal level.

While there are so many chapters in the book that I could highlight, one chapter stood out to me because it dealt with death and its effects on loved ones left behind.  Chapter 12 entitled ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ was personal to me, for I had lost my beloved wife of nearly 16 years, Shannon, to COVID a year and a half ago.  While her death and the many memories of her flashed through my mind often while reading Be an Angel, it was this particular chapter that provided me a reminder of personal comfort.  It starts by quoting a familiar verse found in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Death, where is your victory, O death, where is your sting?” (NLT) and got me thinking of how death here is not the end for those in Christ.  This side of heaven is not the final goodbye, and the way Downey uses this Scripture regarding the personal loss of her friend and fellow actor from Touched by an Angel, the late actor John Dye, it did just as much in reminding me (and the reader) that although it may have been goodbye for now, it is not an everlasting goodbye.

Downey’s penmanship on Be an Angel left me emotional at times, because it reminded me that life is short, but ultimately it’s what you do with that life that matters most.  Be kind to others. Show humility and grace.  Be there for people when they need it the most.  It definitely served as a great reminder to me of how much, despite tragedy, God can and will still continue to use me to be there for others in my life and perhaps even allow me to be an encouragement for those who have been through and walk the road that I do.  I would suggest picking this one up not only if you are a fan of Roma Downey, but more so if you want to be encouraged in your walk with Christ and at the same time desire to inspire those around you.


Released: February 21, 2023

Publisher: Convergent Books

Genre: Inspirational Devotional

Pages: 240

Buy on Amazon

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