By Mickey Conlon, The Catholic Register
It’s a cliché heard all the time: “This is a movie that is so right for its time.” Perhaps it’s never been truer when it comes to Love and Mercy: Faustina.
It’s a film that tells the birth and growth of the devotion to Divine Mercy by St. Faustina Kowalska, and if ever the world needed to understand the importance of faith and being merciful in life, now is the time, says the film’s producer.
“Jesus told Faustina that the world will not have peace and security until it turns with trust in His mercy and this will be its last hope for salvation,” said Michal Konrad, the Polish producer of the movie that was to open in theatres across Canada but has been shelved due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, it is available to rent or live-stream at FanForceTV.com until the end of April.
“This film is especially needed now, during this pandemic, because it offers people hope. It shows that God’s merciful love for each human person is infinite and this knowledge inspires deeper confidence in Him,” said Konrad. “At the same time the film inspires and encourages the viewers to care for one another, to intercede and be merciful.”
Divine Mercy Sunday celebration with Bishop Mark Hagemoen will be live-streamed at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 19 at: saskatoonmass.com
In a world where consumerism, self-absorption and self-gratification predominate, he said, care for one’s neighbour and God are easy to get lost in the shuffle. Yet in this time of self-isolation, Konrad said research shows Americans who have never turned to prayer have begun to. He realizes it may not last, but it’s a good sign.
“Now, when their hearts are more open to receive spiritual nourishment, it is an appropriate time to show them this film,” he said.
“Through this means the Lord can help them understand the importance of faith and being merciful in their everyday life.”
Love and Mercy: Faustina recounts the devotion to the Divine Mercy that began with the visions of Jesus experienced by St. Faustina in the 1930s in her native Poland and how her early death (at age 33) left her confessor and spiritual director Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko to work on her behalf to fulfil Jesus’ request, including the establishment of Divine Mercy for the universal Church. It combines re-enactments with interviews and narration to explain the influence of the Divine Mercy devotion, which had a strong promoter in the papacy of St. John Paul II.
The film also shares new discoveries of original Sopocko writings and scientific research that shows the facial features of Christ in the Divine Mercy image are identical to those found in the Shroud of Turin.
Konrad’s fascination with St. Faustina’s story began 17 years ago when his sister encouraged him to read the Diary of St. Faustina. He said it changed his life, though how it happened is really incomprehensible to him. It’s not unlike how she has touched millions of people.
“I have received many blessings from the Lord, so I wanted to make God and His plan of salvation known among the young generation who no longer know Him,” said Konrad. “That’s why I decided to create films that shine a light on Christian values, like Love and Mercy: Faustina, a movie that contains the essence of the Diary and God’s loving designs for humanity.”
The movie has already been screened on three dates in more than 800 U.S. theatres (a fourth American showing has been cancelled) and has earned close to $3.5 million at the box office, according to IMDb.com.