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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Beowulf & Grendel

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Grim and tepid, if earnest and ruggedly beautiful, retelling of the eighth-century Anglo-Saxon saga of the Norse hero Beowulf (Gerard Butler) who leads a troop of warriors across the sea to help the long-suffering Danish king Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgard) rid his lands of a murderous troll, Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson), who is exacting revenge on Danes for an earlier wrong. Stripping the epic of both its fantasy and Christian elements while remaining faithful to its outline, director Sturla Gunnarsson does a good job at establishing the dark, dank and brutish world of the poem, breaking up the overall broodiness with savage swordplay and severed limbs, but what the film gains in pathos by humanizing the monster, and a contemporary feel by modernizing the dialogue (including frequent use of the f-word), it loses in mythic luster. Assorted bloody violence, including dismemberment, some gruesome images, a rape flashback, an implied sexual encounter, a crass scene of urination, and recurring rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Benedict Joseph Labre: Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives. 
<p>He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world." </p><p>On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint. </p><p>He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1883.</p> American Catholic Blog Today offers limitless possibilities for holiness. Lean into His grace. The only thing keeping us from sainthood is ourselves.

 
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