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Holy Land, The


Source: Catholic News Service

Coarse drama set in Jerusalem in which a young rabbinical student (Oren Rehany) leaves his Orthodox family to explore the secular world of the sacred city where he falls for a prostitute (Tchelet Semel) while working at a seedy bar owned by a loud-mouthed American (Saul Stein) whom he befriends. Although writer-director Eitan Gorlin's film subtly underscores the complex cultural and religious conflicts in Jerusalem, its exploitative scenes and plodding pace detract from the coming-of-age story line that ultimately fails to engage. A few explicit sexual encounters, full frontal nudity, some drug use, and intermittent rough language with minimal profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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