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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Howl's Moving Castle

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Marvelous, hugely imaginative Japanese animated feature based on a popular novel by Diana Wynne Jones about a young girl (voiced by Emily Mortimer) transformed into an old lady (Jean Simmons) by a witch's curse (Lauren Bacall) who becomes the housekeeper to a handsome, but reclusive, wizard (Christian Bale) and his apprentice (Josh Hutcherson) and fire demon (Billy Crystal). Hayao Miyazaki's utterly absorbing film works so well on many levels that it can be equally appreciated by children and adults, and imparts beautiful messages about taking a moral stand, respect for the elderly, forgiveness and the senselessness of war. Subtitles in Japanese version. Battle scenes, some frightening images for very young children. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.



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Michael Giedroyc: A life of physical pain and mental torment didn’t prevent Michael Giedroyc from achieving holiness. 
<p>Born near Vilnius, Lithuania, Michael suffered from physical and permanent handicaps from birth. He was a dwarf who had the use of only one foot. Because of his delicate physical condition, his formal education was frequently interrupted. But over time, Michael showed special skills at metalwork. Working with bronze and silver, he created sacred vessels, including chalices.</p><p>He traveled to Kraków, Poland, where he joined the Augustinians. He received permission to live the life of a hermit in a cell adjoining the monastery. There Michael spent his days in prayer, fasted and abstained from all meat and lived to an old age. Though he knew the meaning of suffering throughout his years, his rich spiritual life brought him consolation. Michael’s long life ended in 1485 in Kraków.</p><p>Five hundred years later, Pope John Paul II visited the city and spoke to the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. The 15th century in Kraków, the pope said, was “the century of saints.” Among those he cited was Blessed Michael Giedroyc.</p> American Catholic Blog The French novelist Leon Bloy once said that there is only one tragedy in life: not to be a saint. It may be that God permits some suffering as the only way to wake someone from a dream of self-sufficiency and illusory happiness.

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