Thursday, November 03, 2016

Ignacio: A new movie about my favorite saint!

On All Saints' Day some of us were talking about our favorite saint movies. Since pious entertainment used to be the standard fare on "Visiting Sunday" for those postulants who did not have family in the area, those of us with a longer history in the convent became very familiar with a set of full-length movies from ages past: The Reluctant Saint (should have been "the flying saint": it was about Joseph of Cupertino); Saint Catherine of Siena (in Italian; our formator translated for us); Monsieur Vincent (de Paul); The Priest and the Devil (about St John Vianney--and was it creepy!). Once I moved to St. Louis, there was the 1949 Soldier Saint (St Ignatius): I know long stretches of dialogue by heart, and can sing the musical theme on command: da da di da di da di da da di da di da di dum dum di dum .... I even have a (VHS) copy--or I did before I got transferred from Chicago.

We watched16mm versions of the films, so there was always the clackety-clack of the projector, and once in a while a splat-splat-splat when the film broke. The movies came from a collection of edifying films available for rental by parishes and groups, and a la Cinema Paradiso, any lovely-dovey parts had been spliced out. Sadly, we did not have a copy of A Man for All Seasons (the acknowledged favorite): it must have been far beyond our means to obtain a 16mm copy of a film that was less than 10 years old! (I don't remember Song of Bernadette being in our roster, either, come to think of it.)

But now there's a new addition to the noble collection and it's about my favorite saint!

Ignacio de Loyola: Soldier-Sinner-Saint was produced by Jesuit Communications in the Philippines and it looks fabulous. Until it is released in theaters next year there are only a few showings here and there in the United States. The only one I know about anywhere near here is Saturday night at the LaSalette Shrine (about an hour from here) but the screening is a fundraiser and the tickets are way out of my budget range. If you see a notice in a bulletin at church (or at your local Jesuit university or high school!), you might want to make a movie date of it. Here's what you will be seeing:

As for me, I must content myself by re-reading my own account of visiting the Loyola house ten years ago, waiting for the day when I can relive that amazing pilgrimage through cinema. Of course, if you happen to hear about a screening in Boston proper (preferably with tickets of the "free will offering" kind), don't hesitate to let me know!

What's your favorite saint movie? Why?
- - - - -

From my visit to Azpeitia, Spain:
Above: Amazing brickwork on the upper stories of the "tower
house"where St Ignatius was born. (The castle around the 
tower had been torn down in punishment for his grandfather's
support of the wrong side in a political issue.)

Right: a life-sized statue of St Ignatius the convalescent as the
grace of conversion begins to transform his life. The statue is
located right in his bedroom--now a chapel. 

No comments: