... a 200-minute long film about Saint Bernadette, Lourdes, and the Virgin Mary that is available in North American from Ignatius Press. I designed the booklet that accompanies the DVD, and Sandra Miesel and I wrote the essays in the booklet, which include a piece about the film, an overview of Bernadette's encounters with Our Lady of Lourdes, a piece on the miracle of Lourdes, selected quotations from pontiffs on Lourdes, and discussion questions. As I wrote earlier this year:
I was impressed and often moved by the film (which is actually a 200-minute mini-series), which artfully interweaves a fictional storyline about a skeptical young physician into a portrayal of St. Bernadette's incredible experiences at Lourdes in 1858. I wrote, of the film, "Lourdes is a story of faith and reason, of God and man, of saints and sinners. It is a story of human and divine love, by which and for which we were each created. 'My sweet Jesus,' wrote St. Bernadette in her private notes, 'give me a great love for the cross, and if I do not die at the hands of others as you did, may I die by the intensity of my love.'"
Here are some scenes from the film:
More about the film:
Bernard Guillaumet, a non-Christian French journalist, is assigned the job of doing a story on Lourdes in the late 1990s. Just before he leaves for Lourdes, Bernard learns that his wife is pregnant. However, he is not told that this pregnancy could put her life at risk-and that doctors are suggesting an abortion.
While researching for his report on Lourdes, Bernard comes across the pages of an old family manuscript.
The manuscript was written by his ancestor, Henri Guillaumet, a positivist scientist and nonbeliever who met Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858, a meeting which profoundly affected Henri and forced him to reconsider the miracles performed following the apparitions of the Madonna of Lourdes. One of the most important miracles Giullaumet had to reconsider was the healing of his wife Claire, who had been on her death bed as a result of tuberculosis, and was completely restored by the miraculous waters of the grotto in which Bernadette saw the Our Lady.
This intriguing film uses the pages of the manuscript to trace the stories of three lives- Bernadette, Henry and Bernard, three characters whose lives intertwine as they pursue parallel journeys according to the designs of Providence. Directed by Lodovico Gasparini (St. John Bosco, Don Matteo), stars Alessandro Gassman, Angele Osinski, and Sydne Rome, and written by Vittorio Messori (The Ratzinger Report).