"Even Saints Have A Past"

That’s the tagline on the poster for “There Be Dragons.”   You may be seeing this at your local multiplex soon (click for larger image):

Meantime, the director recently screened the film in Rome, as CNS reports:

Cardinals, Vatican ambassadors and the leadership of Opus Dei gathered in a seminary theater in Rome to watch director Roland Joffe’s film, “There Be Dragons,” about the early life of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei.

The screening March 21 was held in the auditorium of the Pontifical North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome, and was attended by Joffe and by Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, head of the personal prelature of Opus Dei.

The film was to open in Spain March 25 and in the United States May 6.

Joffe, 65, described himself at the preview as a “wishy-washy agnostic standing in admiration” of St. Josemaria, who was born in Spain in 1902 and founded Opus Dei in 1928 as a community of men and women, married and celibate, who were committed to striving for holiness in their everyday lives.

The Spaniard died in Rome in 1975, was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and was canonized in 2002.

Opus Dei says it has about 87,000 members around the world, including about 1,900 priests.

In an interview with Catholic News Service before the screening, Joffe said writing and directing the film made “an enormous difference” in the way he thinks about religion.

“It made me respect and honor people who do believe … and it taught me, in all honesty, that my views about religion had been subjective and cliched,” he said.

“For me, it was a very powerful experience to say, ‘Look, if I’m going to make this movie, the first step I must take is to honor belief and not think that I’m smart to criticize it,’” he said.

Check out the rest.

  • Brian Finnerty

    It’s great that the film will air May 6 in the United States, less than a week after the May 1 beatification of John Paul II.

    Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Josemaria Escriva, and these two events coming together are a good reminder that the Catholic Church is blessed with many good and holy priests.


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