Years ago, I dreamed about someone making a powerful film about Saint Paul, my favorite saint. Years later, I dreamed about writing a feature film script about my patron saint. So I was prepared for disappointment when I had the opportunity to screen an early version of the movie releasing in theaters this weekend: Paul Apostle of Christ. One of the film’s producers was a bit hesitant when I told him this before the screening. (After all, if you were making a film about someone, wouldn’t you want his daughters to approve?)
I have to say the movie was not what I expected. And not what I would have written.
But I wasn’t disappointed, not a bit!
One reason I’m posting about it here is not just because I love Saint Paul (you can see my other reasons for you going to see the film here), but because:
- Saint Paul writes about the Holy Spirit and discernment in his letters often
- In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke writes about St. Paul being attentive to the guidance of the Spirit, especially during his missionary journeys
- In Saint Paul’s first genuine encounter with Christ, he becomes so receptive to Christ that he immediately asks, “What shall I do, Lord?” He receives his mission at the same moment that he discovers who Jesus Christ really is.
- Saint Paul could be called “the Apostle of Love,” for the many beautiful passages he wrote about God’s love for us, and God’s love within us. (See his famous passages in Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 13.) Love lies at the heart of any discernment
- and… I have many more reasons, but I’ll stop here!
We sisters like the film so much that we have been hosting pre-screenings at theaters around the country. Then, a good friend suggested that we ask Sony for film clips to create a beautiful online Cinema Novena that audiences around the world can pray through Holy Week, as a follow-up to the film, as another way to get to know the heart of Saint Paul (and thus to come to know the heart of Christ).
Join us for this beautiful 9 days of prayer, each with:
- a clip from the film, Paul Apostle of Christ
- a passage from the Letters of “The Apostle” (as all the Fathers of the Church call Saint Paul)
- a reflection by one of our sisters on the passage and the film
- a prayer
- a closing quote from the Letters of Saint Paul, read by actor James Faulkner, who portrays Saint Paul in the film
1. Click here to find the showing of PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST nearest you.
2. Sign up today for the Cinema Novena: PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST, and for nine days you will receive a daily email with the theme and a link to the film clip, Scripture passage, reflection, and prayer.
3. As you pray with the #MediaNuns , share the Cinema Novena with someone you love, and make your and their Holy Week a time to ponder how the love of Christ for us can transform our lives.
The world is in such desperate need of the way of love that Christ showed us and that Paul faithfully lived. Join your intentions with ours, and especially pray that the beauty of this film–in the power of the love of Christ, the humility of the apostle Paul, the brotherhood and profound friendship between Luke and Paul–will transform hearts and minds so that we can become, with St. Paul, Christ’s love in the world.
Wishing you a blessed Holy Week.