Getting to know more about Catholic priests

‘PADRE Pio: Miracle Man.’

If watching movies or miniseries about the lives of Catholic saints is your goal this Holy Week break, you can simply search on YouTube and you’ll be delighted, if not overwhelmed, by the volume of results. Here’s a list of titles as a starting point.

Padre Pio: Miracle Man (2000)

This Italian miniseries (dubbed in English) depicts the “amazing and deeply spiritual life” of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968). It is directed by Carlo Carlei and stars Sergio Castellitto in the title role.

Father Rupert Mayer (2015)

Get to know more about Father Rupert Mayer (1876-1945), the German Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to preaching against Nazism, in this movie starring and directed by Damian Chapa.

The Song of Bernadette (1943)

Jennifer Jones’ excellent portrayal of Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879) — a French peasant girl who saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto and would later be known as St. Bernadette of Lourdes — won for the American performer the Oscars for Best Actress.

The Wizard of Heaven (1949)

In this French film with English subtitles, be inspired by the extraordinary life of St. John Vianney, or Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney in his native France (1786-1859). He was known for his work as the parish priest in the French village of Ars (thus his other title as Curé d’Ars).

Miracle of St. Therese (1952)

The inspiring story and spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) is beautifully told in this French docu-drama, with English subtitles, starring France Descaut under the direction of Andre Haguet.

The Reluctant Saint (1962)

Oscar-winning actor Maximillian Schell stars in this American-Italian production on the life of St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663), who was not expected to accomplish much as a Franciscan friar because of being intellectually slow. But he went on experiencing miraculous levitation and ecstatic visions that he came known as the “flying saint.”

The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952)

This Oscar-nominated film (for Best Music and Scoring) on Venerable Sister Lucia dos Santos (1907-2005) was promoted as a fact-based retelling of the events concerning the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal in 1917.

Restless Heart: The Confessions of St. Augustine (2010)

In this two-part miniseries, the illuminating story of Augustine of Hippo (354 AD-430 AD) is given new life by director Christian Duguay with actors Alessandro Preziosi and Franco Nero in the lead role as a young man and in old age, respectively.

Francesco (1989)

St. Francis of Assisi’s life is told through a series of flashbacks in this historical drama starring Mickey Rouke in the title role and Helena Bonham-Carter as the future St. Clare. It highlights the evolution of Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone (1226-1230) from a rich man’s son to the founder of the religious order of the Franciscans until he attained sainthood.