At the Movies (No kidding)

A movie review from a guy who doesn’t go to the movies.

On Monday night, my colleagues from Nativity of Our Savior’s St. Vincent de Paul Conference eschewed our normal meeting (held the first and third Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Cana Room – new members are encouraged to join us) for a field trip. We were heading to the Portage movie theater, which is definitely not its real name.

We were there to watch a special showing of Love and Mercy: Faustina. The movie from Fathom Events tells the story of Saint Faustina Kowalska, the Polish-born nun whose visions of Jesus ultimately led to the creation of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

The film is a blend of acting, with primarily Polish performers recreating the significant events in the history of Divine Mercy, interspersed with documentary-style interviews with Catholic theologians and historians in Poland, Lithuania and the U.S.

It was a fascinating tale, well told in my very amateur opinion. The reluctance from church figures to accept Sister Faustina’s visions and the Divine Mercy (leading to some humorous moments in the dramatic portion of the presentation) created tension, as did the natural backdrop of the rise of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, World War II and the Cold War portions of the story were set against.   

Sister Faustina, who died at age 33, was ultimately canonized, quite fittingly, by her countryman Pope John Paul II in 2000. He also designated the Sunday after Easter as the Feast of the Divine Mercy

It was also the pope, then the archbishop of Krakow, who began the process of reversing the Vatican’s opposition to the Divine Mercy devotion and the censure of Sister Faustina’s confessor, Father Michael Sopoćko.

Eight years after Sister Faustina became Saint Faustina, Father Sopoćko was canonized by Pope Benedict.

While my thumbs are ordinarily not particularly useful digits when it comes to cinematic expression, I’m still going to point them skyward here. I thoroughly enjoyed Love and Mercy: Faustina, and suspect you will, too.

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