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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

October Baby

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

“October Baby” tells the fictional story of Hannah  (newcomer Rachel Hendrix), a 19-year old college student who collapses during the performance of a play. In an effort to find out why she is having medical issues and nightmares her parents tell her she is adopted. This overwhelming news sends her and her best friend, Jason, on a road trip to find her real mother.

Along the way Rachel must sort through all kinds of emotional issue especially anger and abandonment.
 
She tracks down a nurse (Jasmine Guy) who tells her the story of the botched abortion that took her twin brother’s life and how Rachel survived.
 
Rachel finally meets her birth mother and the last few minutes of the film conclude in a way that will make most viewers shed a tear.
 
“October Baby” is a film with a good heart but it is preachy and heavy on messages. Personally I do not think our young people will sit through such a drudgery to get to the final scenes. Christian filmmakers such as Andrew and Jon Erwin who directed, co-produced and co-wrote the film, need to understand story-telling better and trust the audience to “get it.” If it is a good story it will evoke a positive response.
  The actors are in dire need of acting school except for veterans Jasmine Gray and John Schneider. The cinematography is good but it cannot make up for a leaden script and delivery.


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Jacopone da Todi: Jacomo, or James, was born a noble member of the Benedetti family in the northern Italian city of Todi. He became a successful lawyer and married a pious, generous lady named Vanna. 
<p>His young wife took it upon herself to do penance for the worldly excesses of her husband. One day Vanna, at the insistence of Jacomo, attended a public tournament. She was sitting in the stands with the other noble ladies when the stands collapsed. Vanna was killed. Her shaken husband was even more disturbed when he realized that the penitential girdle she wore was for his sinfulness. On the spot, he vowed to radically change his life. </p><p>He divided his possessions among the poor and entered the Secular Franciscan Order (once known as the Third Order). Often dressed in penitential rags, he was mocked as a fool and called Jacopone, or "Crazy Jim," by his former associates. The name became dear to him. </p><p>After 10 years of such humiliation, Jacopone asked to be a member of the Order of Friars Minor(First Order). Because of his reputation, his request was initially refused. He composed a beautiful poem on the vanities of the world, an act that eventually led to his admission into the Order in 1278. He continued to lead a life of strict penance, declining to be ordained a priest. Meanwhile he was writing popular hymns in the vernacular. </p><p>Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had on their side two cardinals of the Church and Pope Celestine V. These two cardinals, though, opposed Celestine’s successor, Boniface VIII. At the age of 68, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned. Although he acknowledged his mistake, Jacopone was not absolved and released until Benedict XI became pope five years later. He had accepted his imprisonment as penance. He spent the final three years of his life more spiritual than ever, weeping "because Love is not loved." During this time he wrote the famous Latin hymn, <i>Stabat Mater</i>. </p><p>On Christmas Eve in 1306 Jacopone felt that his end was near. He was in a convent of the Poor Clares with his friend, Blessed John of La Verna. Like Francis, Jacopone welcomed "Sister Death" with one of his favorite songs. It is said that he finished the song and died as the priest intoned the Gloria from the midnight Mass at Christmas. From the time of his death, Brother Jacopone has been venerated as a saint.</p> American Catholic Blog By immersing our lives in the rhythm of the season, charity can flood our souls and fill us with the happiness for which we were created. We awake Christmas morning prepared to celebrate the birth of our Savior not as a memory but as a profound experience of God’s redemptive love.

 
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