Informative and Inspirational Movies for Catholics During Lent

The Passions of Joan of Arc

        A 1928 black and white film silent film starring Renee Falconetti. According to reviewers on Amazon purported to be one of the best films of the era – 5 star review.  In my view, good because according to the introduction to the movie based on the actual transcripts of her trial.  Lot’s of close ups of her expression, but fewer lines than I hoped for written out. But you get one interpretation of Joan’s (an illiterate country girl railroaded by the Church) humility and fear.  She signs a “confession” and recants understanding that it was a lie which she did in fear of her life, and to save herself from an extremely painful death, but was aware that it would damn her soul. This is a decision which many people must also make these days but it is usually between something like living with being ridicule, being ostracized (by friends, family, society, government etc.), being unemployed, being able to get your way (think Bill Gates or George Soros) or being “cancelled” or being damned. Compare this discomfort we face these days to being forced to choose between burning at the stake or your immortal soul. Above I say living with because suicide also leads to damnation. You need to stand as an example to the right way to live despite “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (from Shakespeare’s Hamlet soliloquy) as long as God wants us to. And if in the United States, it may be embarrassing but you can always get enough to eat and survive from welfare programs (see LA and San Francisco if you find that hard to believe).

       This may seem to be a scathing indictment of the Roman Catholic Church but it is not.  The church is Jesus Christ’s hands throughout time. Its clergy (deacons, brothers, sisters, nuns, priest, bishops, cardinals, and popes) is inhabited by flawed men and women, as is its laity (technical term for people not in the clergy, regular people who form the great balance of people in the Catholic church. 500,000 clergy at last count I saw and about 1,200,000,000 or 1.2 billion) with some of them flawed enough to be among the damned. Bad clergy known even in the time of Dante Alighieri and his “Divine Comedy,” and his speaking of popes people thought evil enough to be in hell. That is the problem which I hope people can see with some of the current clergy. The quote in Matthew 16:18 stating the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it” refers not to Peter or the pope but to “it” the church. At this time as was the case in the past the laity have to wake up and not just force their children into the clergy, if they appear to be heretics, and hold church leaders accountable for their trying to lead Christ’s sheep in the Roman Catholic Church astray.  We know there are problems because Christ says in Matthew 7:20 you will know them by there fruits.  And it appears that the traditionalist movement may be the way back to true Catholicism because the old Jewish “clergy” said of the apostles in Acts 5:38-39 that basically if they are from God you won’t be able to stop them and you may end up fighting God himself if God so wills them to succeed.

        Many in the clergy today are trying to turn the Catholic church’s mass into the protestant worship sevice (see the 5 protestant ministers in the 1960s were consulted to change the mass, the catholic form of worship in place for over 1900 years and in canonized form for half a millennia or 500 years, this form of the mass all the while creating saints – people proven to be of exceptional holiness). Yet many people, mainly the protestant followers of Christ’s philosophy (disregarding any type of time honored ritual which had its beginnings in the ritual of the Jewish religion which Christ said he had come to complete Matthew 5:17 as opposed to a follower of Jesus Christ’s religion which completed the Jewish religion that used incense and had as its centerpiece sacrifice for the propitiation of sin) want to follow a defrocked priest, Martin Luther’s theology, who apparently did what he did to convince a nun break her vows of celibacy to marry him and who schemed to rise to secular power in the good graces of men, kings and countries who opposed the power of the pope instead of Jesus Christ and what had been one, holy, catholic, apostolic church up to that time

       ALERT: for those that are especially sensitive to modesty in movies either for themselves or their children, there is about a 5 second swatch toward the end where they show a baby nursing to include a shot of his/her mother’s breast. Also it shows Joan being burned at the stake.

The Immemorial Tridentine Mass (available at

A 1940 black and white film with bishop Fulton J. Sheen narrating a description of the Latin mass during the filming of an actual Latin mass. Definitely. suitable for children.  

Constantine and the Cross

A 1962 movie starring Cornel Wilde based on the true story of emperor Constantine, when Catholicism was first “legalized” and the Roman emperor who “legalized” it.  In the history after it, for a few more emperors it again became a death sentence before if became “main stream,” i.e. something the practice of which did not mean torture or the death penalty. Some violence. May not be suitable for children.

The Scarlet and the Black

A 1983 movie starring Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer based on the true story. The Jacket reads as follows: In Nazi-occupied Rome, Vatican official Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty (Peck) wages a secret campaign against the Third Reich. Using his influence and position. He takes part in the efforts to rescue Allied refugees from imprisonment by the Gestopo. O’Flahery’s efforts soon cause him to become a target of an investigation by the SS. Led by Colonel Kappler (Plummer). The monsignor’s diplomatic status affords him some protection., but the relentless German Colonel will stop a nothing to halt O’Flahety’s endeavors permanently. Some intense scenes. May not be suitable for children.

The Passion of the Christ

A 2004 depiction of Christ’s passion from Holy Thursday after the lasts supper when he is arrested to his death on the cross. I think, one of the best movies of the passion ever made. Be warned, the violence is extremely graphic, that is true to life, and I think the film is rated R for the violence seen in it. IT IS NOT REALLY SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN for the extreme violence, but if they are to be good Catholics they should watch it at some point to see what our Lord went through for them to save them from eternal damnation and to influence them to live a good life for love of Him and what He suffered for them! This should be a conclusion to a Catechism lesson on Adam and Eve, original sin and what it cost our Lord to correct the severity of the injustice of their crime of disobedience against God the Father, Almighty who created them from nothing and asked them to follow but one rule, not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

For Greater Glory

A 2012 film based on the true story of the 1920 Cristero War in Mexico and the Catholics there’s fight for freedom which illustrates sometimes you have to fight for what is right in your country. Apparently a made for TV movie with violence in it. Once again may not be suitable for children.

Archbishop Lefebvre: A documentary

A 2013 film documenting the life of the bishop who started the traditionalist Latin mass movement shortly after Vatican II. Definitely. suitable for children.

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