Lorna Byrne: My life with Angels
Angels come and go in the upstairs study in Lorna Byrne's Maynooth home during our conversation. "There are four with me here at the moment, one tall and very beautiful and one is sitting on the floor," says the author of the bestselling book Angels In My Hair.
The widowed mum-of-four, who says she has been seeing angels since she was a child, goes on: "Sometimes they take on human form and sometimes they don't. They shimmer but not in a way which blinds me. They are a white light, I think that is the best way to describe them."
Do they have wings? "I have seen some with wings, but some without wings. But because I can't see their wings does not mean that they haven't got wings. They can be like the pictures of angels, yes," she says.
It is hard to resist asking the 55-year-old author the obvious questions. Her book spent seven weeks on The Sunday Times' bestsellers list, and reached the number three position. It also spent 21 weeks on the bestsellers lists here.
Lorna is, on the face of it, an ordinary woman in every way. She had four children with her late husband Joe, and for most of her life lived a pretty humdrum existence and without much money
But she is also a woman who happens to see angels. Today, thanks to her bestselling book, she is considered a godsend by believers, who view the angels telling her to write a book about her experiences as a confirmation of their beliefs.
And because Lorna chooses her words with care -- she does in fairness come across as being precise rather than cautious (she is dyslexic and has never been confident around words) -- it is not always easy to get a straight answer to an obvious question.
"I ask the angels how I am to communicate things as reading and writing can be a problem for me. And they tell me that not everything can be described in human words anyway. It can be frustrating for me," she says.
And a little frustrating too if you want clear answers. What does God look like? Can you get the angels to intervene and help people? Do you ever get to let your hair down or do you have to behave yourself all the time because angels are always with you?
"God looks different to every person. I have spoken to Him so, yes, I have seen Him. He took on human form to me and looked like a person," Lorna says.
She also sees the guardian angel of each person she meets. "You too have a part to play in spreading the word if you want. You can tell people that they are not alone.
"I receive letters from people all the time who have lost people to suicide and who tell me that they wished the person had known that they were not alone."
And Lorna claims to see souls.
"A soul can step out and forward. It takes on human form but it is the best version of the person. And even that does not do justice to what it looks like. I am overwhelmed every time I see a soul."
She believes in the devil yet she says she is more fearful of God who can end everything with a simple flick of his hand. "I feel his gentle love but I feel his authority more. He is much more powerful than the devil."
Does Lorna, who is from a modest background and has lived a life where money was so tight that she had to visit the pawnbrokers, feel extra special as a result of seeing angels?
"I do not feel special. It is other people who tell me I am special. I do not know why I have been chosen, especially with my learning difficulties. But I believe more people will see angels, there is the hunger and thirst out there now for God and angels," she says.
She is currently working on a new book which God has told her will be an international bestseller. There is talk of her book being made into a movie. She is incredulous when I ask if her four children have benefited from her success.
"Money I have earned goes into promoting the book and spreading the word about angels. I am living with my son as my daughter is 13 and I travel a lot, and maybe my living here helped make up the bank manager's mind when my son wanted to buy the house.
"I have no interest in money. I think there are more wonderful things in the natural world than money."
Lorna moved from Kilkenny to Maynooth 12 months ago and will travel to Holland and maybe America in the next few months. She says she does not understand the concept of countries, as the world is one big country to her. I ask if she has ever seen an atlas, and she tells me that every time she goes to do something along those lines in life, the angels tell her she is being trivial.
NAME: Lorna Byrne
JOB: Speaking with angels, and writing books about speaking with angels. Although in big demand by people seeking
advice from angels, she never turns anyone away from her door, but says that being in so much demand is hard.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Widowed. She has a ‘friend’ who she sees occasionally and is open to considering entering
into a new relationship. Yet she worries that any man would find it difficult to cope with her commitment to spreading the
word about angels.
CHILDREN: Christopher (31), Owen (29), Ruth (25), Megan (13).
HOBBY: She never lets her hair down. Whenever she is out she is conscious that her job is to help people. She is constantly
surrounded by angels.