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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Miracle of St. Anna

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Powerful World War II drama about a kindhearted African-American soldier (Omar Benson Miller) who, together with three others from his segregated unit (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Laz Alonso), becomes trapped behind enemy lines in Italy where they must rely on a sympathetic villager (Valentina Cervi) and a partisan leader (Pierfrancesco Favino) for safety, while he protects a wounded local boy (Matteo Sciabordi). The script, adapted from his own novel by writer James McBride, contains much spiritual debate and reflection and pits Catholicism, as embodied by a heroic priest, against the brutality of the occupying Nazis. Director Spike Lee's ambitious effort to blend action, mystery, pathos and social commentary—though it sometimes leads to jarring tone shifts—ultimately proves an ardent emotional journey. Intense combat violence with gore, nongraphic sexual activity, adultery, upper female nudity, much rough and crude language, several uses of profanity, racial slurs. 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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All Saints: The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (<i>On the Calculation of Time</i>). 
<p>But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost. </p><p>How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.</p> American Catholic Blog Touch can be an act of kindness when someone is dying. If you visit a sick person and find that you are at a loss for words, reach out and touch her hand.

 
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