Friday, August 25, 2017

Ignatius of Loyola (Ignatius Press)

Íñigo López de Loyola was born at the castle of Loyola in the Basque Country of Spain. As a boy, he was a page to one of his relatives for the kingdom of Castile. It was here that he developed a love for military exercises and the ideas of fame, honor, and protecting a lady. When he was older, he jointed the Spanish Army which was fighting against the French. It was here that his leg was severely injured, and his life was forever changed. For a long time, he wallowed in self-pity because he could not return to the only life he knew. Eventually, he had a conversion experience and eventually became who we now know as St. Ignatius of Loyola. Recently, Ignatius Press released a film called Ignatius of Loyola: Solder, Sinner, Saint

The film itself is told in autobiographical fashion with scenes been broken down like chapters in a book. I know that St. Ignatius penned an autobiography, but I have never read it, so I can't say for sure if it draws from this work or not. The film follows very closely to key areas of his life. We see his childhood frequently, both early in the movie and often in flashbacks. We see his career as a soldier and the permanent injury he sustained. We also see his seedy past, visiting brothels and engaging with a particular woman. Most importantly, we see his conversion story and the fruits of this conversion. He goes back to the brothel and helps the woman realize that she is more than just a prostitute. She is a child of God and can do so much more with her life than this "profession." We lastly see the Order of Jesuits and all the people that he helped convert.

The movie is beautifully done in terms of cinematography and acting. Often times with religious films, you get over-the-top acting or the movie coming off as too preachy. This film does not suffer from that, but instead tells the conversion story of a man who would go on to become a great soldier for Christ. There are parts in this movie that are going to be bloody and gory (battles and injuries) and there are sexual scenes (nothing shown, but definitely implied off camera) where they visit prostitutes and employ them, so you will want to watch this before immediately showing it to your children. However, including these scenes is important, because it shows that Ignatius was a sinner and a flawed man (like we all are), who could only be saved by the grace of God. This is a very profound movie, and a worthy title to be included among the many other saints movies Ignatius Press has been publishing. Highly recommended!

This movie was provided to me for free by Ignatius Press in exchange for an honest review.