July is a sparse month for Saint movies, but don’t despair. There are other options. Before getting to those, however, July has a very important saint about whom a couple of movies have been made. That is St. Maria Goretti, whose feast is July 6. Maria Goretti was born in 1890 and was brutally murdered at the age of 12 as she defended her purity. She forgave her attacker and his testimony was used in the process for her beatification. Maria Goretti is patroness of the young and of rape victims, and she is invoked against poverty. She is truly a saint for our day.
The first movie is simply called Maria Goretti. This is another in the wonderful and informative series of Italian films about the saints which was filmed on location and was done with historical accuracy. This movie, made without the flash of Hollywood-style films, tells of the grinding poverty and hardship faced by the people who worked the land for others under terrible conditions and rampant disease. Martina Pinto in the lead role as Maria and Luisa Ranieri and Massimo Bonetti as her parents, portray the deep love and faith which enabled them to survive in an atmosphere of hate and mistrust. Flavio Insinna who portrayed John Bosco in another movie, struggled with the injustice and depravation of the people and seemed headed out of the priesthood because he couldn’t reconcile the problems. In the end though , he realized that “there is no injustice, misery or suffering that can defeat the strength of a pure heart.” The second move is Fourteen Flowers of Pardon and is a documentary with historical photographs and footage of Maria’s canonization.
Used with the permission of Black Forest Musings.
The Pauline Year began on June 29 with the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. This entire year will be a wonderful opportunity to get to know the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” There are numerous movies about St. Paul now available. Check out the links and find some that catch your interest. A good one to start with is Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches. This 48-minute film traces Paul’s missionary journeys with colorful graphics and maps to help the viewer visualize the extent of his travels. On-sight filming provides the geographic context for understanding the dedication Paul had to spread the Faith. It also helps the viewer understand the different challenges Paul faced with the different local churches. In less than one hour, one can get a greater appreciation for the work of the persecutor-turned evangelist, St. Paul.
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