Person 2 Person: Roma Downey

Person 2 Person: Roma Downey

(KUTV) Actress Roma Downey is now an author, with the best-selling book, "Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us."

Downey starred as Monica on the CBS show "Touched by an Angel," which was shot right here in Utah for nearly 10 years.

"I made some very dear friends," she said.

She loves Utah, and still has a home in Park City.

One of the dear friends she made on the show was her fellow actress, Della Reese.

"She really became the mother that I had been looking for," Downey said.

The relationship between their characters on "Touched by an Angel" was "reflected very much in the relationship that we had," according to Downey.

Reese passed away in November 2017, but was able to write a foreword to Downey's book beforehand.

"It's such a pleasure to have her spirit woven into this book, because she was such a central friend in my life," Downey said.

The inspiration for Downey's book came from her own mother, who died unexpectedly when Downey was just 10 years old.

"It was as if the lights had been turned out and all the color removed," described Downey.

Her father took her to the cemetery to put flowers on her mother's grave. A butterfly flew by.

"My dad said, 'Would you look at that little butterfly? That could be the spirit of your mom right there,'" recalled Downey. "For a child in my loneliness and heartbreak, the idea that this beautiful creature could represent my mom and make me feel like I wasn't so alone, it was such a comfort to me."

Since then, Downey has seen butterflies show up throughout her life, especially during times of struggles.

"Always--at times when I needed that little bit of encouragement or a little reminder that I'm not alone," she said.

She hoped to help others remember they also are not alone with "Box of Butterflies."

"I really wrote it hoping that it would be encouragement to the reader, that people would come away being reminded of who we are--which is children of a loving God--that it would speak to anybody who's ever lost anyone, anyone who needed comfort," she said.

Downey is a woman of deep faith, which may not seem to fit in Hollywood. But so far, it seems to have worked for her and her husband, producer Mark Burnett.

"I know that when Mark and I decided a few years ago to bring 'The Bible' to television, there was a little bit of resistance, really more so that people thought that nobody would watch, or that we would lose our investment, or we'd lose our reputation or something," Downey said.

But over 100 million people ended up watching the series.

"I think that speaks really to a greater hunger that people have. Hunger for God, hunger for connection, hunger for hope," she said.

For more about "Box of Butterflies," visit this website.

Web Exclusives:

Roma Downey wrote about Utah in her new book

Roma Downey on why the butterfly is so significant

Roma Downey's upcoming projects