A powerful new feature film, Ignatius of Loyola: Soldier, Sinner, Saint, is a modern look at the story of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, often called “The Saint of Second Chances.” This month, Ignatius Press is releasing this inspirational film through theatrical sponsored screenings across the country. Catholic parishes, schools, and organizations are invited to host their own theatrical screening event, where the film will be viewed and participants will be able to purchase a copy of the film. Ignatius of Loyola: Soldier, Sinner, Saint will be available for purchase to the general public in April 2017.
This feature film opens with a brief glimpse into Ignatius’ early life and family discord before plunging into the life and times of Ignatius as a young man, revealing a brash, hot-headed soldier in a time of political upheaval in Spain in the 1500’s. Ignatius 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 his 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), this movie was shot on location in Spain in English. It is an incisive and thrilling look at the life of the real man behind the legend. In his lifelong quest to become the heroic Knight of his fantasies, Ignatius stares death in the face again and again, having his leg shattered by a cannonball in battle; driven to near suicide by his inner demons; finding himself imprisoned, accused of being a member of the Illuminati; and finally finding his life in the hands of the Inquisition. Through it all, he would come to see the hand of God working in his life, shaping the self-obsessed sinner into the loyal and passionate soldier-saint.
The film also shows how Ignatius wove the trials, errors, and lessons of his eventful life into the fabric of his masterpiece, the “Spiritual Exercises”. Combining clarity of thought with Ignatius’ own love of fantasy and imagination, the Exercises form a rigorous method of making one’s life decisions, and have guided and influenced countless seekers throughout history.
James V. Schall, S. J., Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University, claims, “This account of Ignatius’ early life is both gripping and moving, not to be missed.”
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, author of Champions of the Rosary, says that this movie is “an absolutely stunning portrayal of one of the greatest saints of all time! This ﬁlm will inspire many to turn away from the illusory things of this world and seek to become knights of heaven and saints!”
“The movie is a masterpiece. It uses the power of modern ﬁlm making to show the interior greatness of a man whose mission in life was truly to conquer death itself,” says Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., author of The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows.
Steve Ray, the host of The Footprints of God ﬁlm series, says that Ignatius of Loyola: Soldier, Sinner, Saint, is “a great inspirational movie for everyone, but especially the men who are saints in the rough just waiting to erupt like Ignatius of Loyola.”
“This unusually powerful ﬁlm is an instrument of grace. The acting is outstanding, and the sense of moral and spiritual struggle is completely convincing. The awe-inspiring cinematography combines with all the other elements to create a work that is profoundly moving and beautiful in every way. It will become a classic,” says Michael D. O’Brien, author of Father Elijah: An Apocalypse.