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Marie Antoinette

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Source: Catholic News Service

Visually sumptuous but dramatically inert biography of France's most celebrated queen (Kirsten Dunst), her arranged marriage to the future King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman), the lengthy period it took them to consummate their marriage and produce an heir, and her heedless spending and pleasure-seeking, which would infuriate the masses and help lead to the downfall of the monarchy. Director Sofia Coppola has impressively recreated the 18th-century period (albeit with some contemporary flourishes), and for the most part adheres to the historical facts, but rather disappointingly ends with the royal family's arrest and only hints at the queen's maturing transformation. The performances are sound, though the flat American accents of the leads are a detriment, as is the uninspired dialogue. Much speculation about the royal conjugal dilemma, brief partial nudity, an adulterous sexual encounter and innuendo restrict viewing to adults and older adolescents. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Agnes of Bohemia: Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her. 
<p>Agnes was the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia. At the age of three, she was betrothed to the Duke of Silesia, who died three years later. As she grew up, she decided she wanted to enter the religious life. </p><p>After declining marriages to King Henry VII of Germany and Henry III of England, Agnes was faced with a proposal from Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor. She appealed to Pope Gregory IX for help. The pope was persuasive; Frederick magnanimously said that he could not be offended if Agnes preferred the King of Heaven to him. </p><p>After Agnes built a hospital for the poor and a residence for the friars, she financed the construction of a Poor Clare monastery in Prague. In 1236, she and seven other noblewomen entered this monastery. St. Clare sent five sisters from San Damiano to join them, and wrote Agnes four letters advising her on the beauty of her vocation and her duties as abbess. </p><p>Agnes became known for prayer, obedience and mortification. Papal pressure forced her to accept her election as abbess; nevertheless, the title she preferred was "senior sister." Her position did not prevent her from cooking for the other sisters and mending the clothes of lepers. The sisters found her kind but very strict regarding the observance of poverty; she declined her royal brother’s offer to set up an endowment for the monastery. </p><p>Devotion to Agnes arose soon after her death on March 6, 1282. She was canonized in 1989.</p> American Catholic Blog We do not need to pile up words upon words in order to be heard in the heart of God. Jesus also has a very comforting message: The Father knows what we need even before we ask for it.


 
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