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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Pan's Labyrinth

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Cinematically stunning adult tale set in 1944 Spain about an unhappy 11-year-old girl's (Ivana Baquero) emotional escape into a maze -- either real or imagined -- overseen by a faun (Doug Jones) attended by insect-fairies that help her cope with the horrors of the marriage of her ailing pregnant mother (Ariadna Gil) to a vicious fascist officer (Sergei Lopez) assigned to root out resistance fighters who are secretly aided by his housekeeper (Maribel Verdu) and physician (Alex Angulo). Though the main story outline is familiar in its classic structure, it is given new life by director Guillermo Del Toro's deft balancing of the harsh real world with the girl's mysterious parallel universe which sheds light on the former, and there are poignant elements of sacrifice and redemption. Subtitles. Rough and crude language and some profanity, several brutally violent episodes, torture, several murders, a nongraphic amputation, a mercy killing, occult plot aspects and graphic childbirth scenes. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Charles Lwanga and Companions: One of 22 Ugandan martyrs, Charles Lwanga is the patron of youth and Catholic action in most of tropical Africa. He protected his fellow pages (aged 13 to 30) from the homosexual demands of the Bagandan ruler, Mwanga, and encouraged and instructed them in the Catholic faith during their imprisonment for refusing the ruler’s demands. 
<p>For his own unwillingness to submit to the immoral acts and his efforts to safeguard the faith of his friends, Charles was burned to death at Namugongo on June 3, 1886, by Mwanga’s order. </p><p>Charles first learned of Christ’s teachings from two retainers in the court of Chief Mawulugungu. While a catechumen, he entered the royal household as assistant to Joseph Mukaso, head of the court pages. </p><p>On the night of Mukaso’s martyrdom for encouraging the African youths to resist Mwanga, Charles requested and received Baptism. Imprisoned with his friends, Charles’s courage and belief in God inspired them to remain chaste and faithful. </p><p>When Pope Paul VI canonized these 22 martyrs on October 18, 1964, he referred to the Anglican pages martyred for the same reason.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, I ask forgiveness of anyone I have wronged during my lifetime. I sincerely regret any harm I may have caused. Likewise, I am willing to forgive anyone who has wronged me. When my time comes, open your arms to me and accept me into your heavenly kingdom, where I will be united with all the loved ones who have gone before me, and I will rejoice forever in your saving presence. Amen.

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