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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Rape of Europa, The

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Source: Catholic News Service

Gripping documentary narrated by actress Joan Allen about Adolf Hitler's plunder and destruction of thousands of Europe's most famous artworks during World War II, and the subsequent efforts to find those which survived and restore them. Based on the book by Lynn H. Nicholas (who also appears), the film, written and directed by Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen and Nicole Newnham, tells a fascinating story as compelling as any dramatic film, and poignantly demonstrates the lengths to which ordinary people were willing to go to save these masterpieces, regardless of the danger to their physical well-being. Some disturbing war imagery. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.



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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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