The real drama of “Ignatius”

What will Jesuit-produced movie reveal?

‘Ignacio de Loyola,’ is produced by the Philippine-based Jesuit Communications. Pictured is actor Andreas Muñoz in character as the titular saint. (Screengrab from Facebook/Ignacio de Loyola)

California Catholic Daily exclusive.

On March 4 at 6 p.m., San Francisco’s Star of the Sea parish will join other parishes around the country in a screening of the new movie “Ignatius of Loyola.” The film, a treatment of the life of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, was produced by Jesuit Communications Philippines.

From the film’s website:

“A modern and very human take on the story of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, often called ‘The Saint of Second Chances.’

As a brash, hot-headed soldier in a time of political upheaval in Spain, the young Iñigo went from living a life of brutal violence and debauchery, to becoming one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church. This film chronicles Iñigo’s torturous struggle to turn from darkness to light—a struggle that nearly destroyed him, but also gave him the key to a spiritual weapon that continues to save lives to this very day.

Produced by Jesuit Communications Philippines (JesCom), Ignatius of Loyola was shot on location over two months in Spain.”

The film was directed by Paolo Dy and Cathy Azanza, and stars Andreas Muñoz as St. Ignatius. He is joined by Javier Godino as “Santi” Julio Perillán as “Padre Sanchez” Pepe Ocio as “Montes” and Mario De La Rosa, as Ignatius’ early companion “Calixto.”

A movie about the founder of the Society of Jesus produced by members of the Jesuit order is a tricky endeavor. The order as a whole has strayed so far from the Church that an accurate depiction of its founder’s life and motivation—the battle against heresy then being propounded by Protestants—would just as easily serve as a condemnation of the order as it exists today. On the other hand, a politically correct Ignatius acceptable to most of today’s Jesuits can be neither historically accurate nor interesting enough to watch.

So the actual drama in Ignatius may not be within the action of the film itself, but on how a Jesuit-produced movie depicts Ignatius, what that will reveal about the order’s conception of itself, and what that in turn means for faithful Catholics. And that’s a question that deserves an answer and by itself makes the film worth seeing.

The film’s website, with a trailer, is here:

http://www.ignatiusmovie.com/

Tickets for the Star of the Sea showing may be purchased here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ignatius-of-loyola-film-screening-tickets-31817879133

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  1. beautifully written exclusive piece.! if it inspires a surge of interest in the order, it might produce another dilemma of how to explain to seekers that that ignatius was on a path that is not being retraced, theological bridges having been burned or left in disuse.

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