About Angels byMattie Stepanek
Do you know what angels wear?
Angel-halos and Angel-wings, and
Angel-dresses and Angel-shirts under them, and
Angel-underwear and Angel-shoes and Angel-socks, and
On their heads
Except if they don't have any hair.
Some children and grownups
Don't have any hair because they
Have to take medicine that makes it fall out.
The medicine makes them all better.
The medicine doesn't make them all better,
And they die.
And they don't have any Angel-hair.
So do you know what God does then?
He gives them an
And that's what Angels wear.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a well-respected poet and peace activist, lived a life that was brief in length but powerfully blessed with depth. Born on July 17, 1990, Mattie began creating and sharing “Heartsongs” at the young age of 3. He explained that Heartsongs are “gifts that reflect each person’s unique reason for being.” Mattie ultimately published six collections of his “Heartsongs” poetry books and one collection of “Just Peace” essays and e-mail correspondence between Mattie and Former President Jimmy Carter. All seven of Mattie’s books became New York Times Bestsellers and touched millions of lives around the world.
Mattie gave inspirational speeches to a variety of audiences; was a frequent guest on shows like Oprah, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America; and he served as a three-term National Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. His philosophy for life was “Remember to play after every storm!” and he wanted to be remembered as “a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.” Mattie died on June 22, 2004 due to complications of the rare neuromuscular disease that caused him to rely on a ventilator and wheelchair much of his life.
Since his death, numerous parks, libraries, peace programs, and awards have been named in his honor, and many schools are using Mattie’s writings and his message of hope and peace as an educational and motivational tool for teaching students. In 2009, Mattie’s mom, Jeni, penned “Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs.” The memoir offers the intimate details of this ordinary child who lived an extraordinary life by making choices that celebrated life to its fullest even during the darkest challenges, and in doing so, inspired others to do the same.
Mattie was a confirmed and committed Catholic who not only shared his faith, but also lived it each day. Most recently, a committee has been formed to explore initiating a "cause of canonization" for Mattie, so that his heroic virtues might be formally recognized by the Catholic Church.
Click on the links below to explore information that Mattie posted on this website when it was first created in 2003 with the support of DC area radio station Mix 107.3, the Jack Diamond Morning Show, and the show’s “Loyal Listeners.”
Facts About Mattie