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Source: Catholic News Service

Visually stunning but morally troubling biography of Mexican surrealist artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) centers on not only how she painted her painful life experiences but on her enduring love for her husband, famed muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), whose flagrant promiscuity prompted her to engage in meaningless affairs with both sexes during their 25-year marriage. Directed with theatrical flair by Julie Taymor, the bold sexual content belies a theme of harmful infidelity and the couple's hard-won unconditional love despite considering themselves as artists unconcerned with traditional morality. Heterosexual and homosexual encounters with nudity, sporadic rough language and fleeting violence. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

Stumble Virtue Vice and the Space Between

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