New film about Opus Dei’s founder, St. Jose Maria Escrivá

I received a press release that there is to be a major motion picture about St. Jose Maria Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei.  It will be directed by the man who made the movie The Mission.  There is a trailer available.


New major motion film reflects on the life of Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá

View a trailer at

Hollywood, CA, July 28— Academy Award nominated director Roland Joffé returns to Hollywood with an epic film that explores the nature of humanity in his latest movie “There Be Dragons.” The famed director of the deeply Catholic film “The Mission” returns to a spiritual plot in his latest film, a powerful story of forgiveness and reconciliation woven around the figure of St. Josemaría Escrivá during the Spanish republic and Civil War in the mid 1930s. The film combines action, adventure, passion and romance with the extraordinary drama of human tragedy and Divine redemption.

Recently, more than 68 million Catholics in the United States and more than1 billion around the world marked the feast day of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. Without question, this controversial religious organization and the entire Catholic Church have been the subjects of much criticism and conspiracies. Yet, even during these challenging times, the life of this intriguing Catholic figure has inspired the making of a $35 million major motion picture.


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  1. asophist says:

    I suspect that maybe the DaVinci Code may have something to do with the motivation for this. Not only would the potential audience consist of millions of Catholics who want to see Catholic-inspired films, but also of others whose curiosity about Opus Dei was piqued by the DaVinci Code (in which members of Opus Dei are major players – albeit villainous). Should be a blockbuster.

  2. Random Friar says:

    Hard to say what kind of movie this might be from the trailer. This period in St. Josemaria’s life is a most interesting one, and one that should counterbalance the other side of the Civil War, which has been most prominent recently.

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I wonder if it will include Elias Olmos Canalda, the Archivist Canon of the Cathedral of Valenica who, together with another of the clergy, both disguised, helped a laywoman friend, Maria Sabina Suey Vanaclocha, bring the Holy Chalice – to which Fr. Z. most happily introduced so many of us the last Feast of St. Laurence – into enduring safe seclusion, in her and her families houses?

    (ndeed, that would be worth a movie of its own!)

  4. La Sandia says:

    I presume it won’t depict us in the Work as bloodthirsty, masochistic assassin types…

    I wonder how faithful this film will be to the actual events in St. Josemaria’s life. But having seen The Mission, probably one of the most pro-Catholic movies in the past 30 years, I am fairly hopeful that the director won’t do a hatchet job on St. Josemaria and Opus Dei.

  5. Volume 2 of Vasquez de Prada’s biography of St. Josemaria recounts, in harrowing detail, the dangers St. Josemaria faced during the Spanish Civil War: pretending to be crazy so he could hide out in a hospital for the mentally ill; months hiding out, in very cramped conditions in the Honduran consulate; and his dangerous escape, with a handful of followers, across the Pyrenees. One of my favorite anecdotes from that period is how his guardian angel saved him from being beaten by an anti-clerical thug.

    So if Joffé has done his job, this should be a terrific movie. If nothing else, English-speaking audiences may finally get a movie that accurately shows that the Republican side in the civil war was not the good guys.

  6. stgemma_0411 says:

    I like the showing of “spiritual warfare” that goes on. Too long has modern society tried to suppress things like: The Devil, temptation, and things of this nature. Too long has it depicted these things in a very “exorcist” kind of way which most moviegoers laugh at because it is sometimes overly fantasized. Kudos to the director and filmmakers for a possible hint at what St. Escriva is known for….fighting the real war.

  7. Rellis says:

    Well, no one has said it yet, so I might as well.

    (Insert smarminess font here).

    I wonder if the movie will depict St. Josemaria’s love for the Traditional Latin Mass–something that the JP2-conservatives in Opus Dei today have been late to adopt for themselves.

    We need your help, fellas.

    (Thus endeth the obligatory mention of liturgy and Opus Dei. That is all)

  8. Catholic girl Kate says:

    I wonder if the twelve who were denied their chance to give evidence against his canonisation were consulted prior to the making of this drama – I doubt it.
    Let the fairy tale continue.

  9. robtbrown says:

    I wonder if the movie will depict St. Josemaria’s love for the Traditional Latin Mass—something that the JP2-conservatives in Opus Dei today have been late to adopt for themselves.
    Comment by Rellis

    Opus Dei Priests have a history of being inclined toward the 1962 Missal. They were willing to give it up in order to become a Personal Prelature. Now that BXVI has liberated the Missal, I wonder whether they have returned to their previous position.

  10. irishgirl says:

    I watched ‘The Mission’ last year at a Jesuit shrine I go to frequently in Upstate New York-very interesting, but sad in the end because everyone in the mission gets killed.

    If this director did his homework in preparing for this film on St. Josemaria, it should be a good one.

    Maybe this will play a part in dispelling the distortions from ‘The DaVinci Code’.

  11. La Sandia says:

    I heard that priests of the Work are trained in both forms of the Mass now. Even when using the Novus Ordo Mass, they are reverent and no-nonsense–you might say that they “say the black and do the red” (although I do confess that I wish that they would take the extra step and go ad orientem). Meditations often end with Exposition and Benediction in Latin. To imply that Opus Dei doesn’t care about the liturgy or the Traditional Mass is not quite right.

  12. Rellis says:

    @La Sandia, they have imposed upon themselves a ridiculous restriction. They won’t say the EF Mass because it’s not the normative form of the liturgy. This despite the fact that the Pope, the CDWDS, etc. have all called for a liberal use of the EF. This despite the motu proprio.

    OD is very reverent and liturgically-excellent, as you say. For 1997. Things have improved in the larger Church’s liturgy state of affairs, but OD has moved relatively-backward by standing still.

    OD is no longer liturgically-excellent. Thanks to the larger Church improving, they are now merely liturgically-good. I think they need to catch up, and I say that with all hope and charity.

  13. Catholic girl Kate says:

    Opus Dei needs to disband…

  14. Supertradmum says:

    I owe Opus Dei a great debt, especially St. Josemaria, for a conversion in my family. My experience of Opus Dei has been positive, except for the fact that some of the members I know well are totally against the EF, and that I have not ever known of an Opus Dei priest saying the EF.

    The Mission is one of the greatest movies ever made, so I hope this one comes up to that standard.

  15. Geoffrey says:

    “Opus Dei needs to disband…”

    Anti-Catholic nonsense.

    “…some of the members I know well are totally against the EF, and that I have not ever known of an Opus Dei priest saying the EF.”

    That is changing. I just spoke with a member last week who had some very interesting information about that. Opus Dei believes in doing everything perfectly, particularly the liturgy. They need to make sure that they have the proper vestments, etc., to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, which they WILL be doing from time-to-time.

  16. Gulielmus says:

    It was the canonization of St Jose-Maria that inspired SSPX Bishop Williamson’s pronouncement that canonization decrees, which had always been considered infallible, no longer are. (He even went so far as to reject St Padre Pio’s canonization because to accept it would mean accepting St Jose-Maria’s as well.) So I wouldn’t expect Williamson to give this much better a review than he did The Sound of Music.

  17. Geoffrey says:

    Good thing many do not listen to Williamson!

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