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Rick Santorum's The Christmas Candle

By Sonja Corbitt
November 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Set in the Victorian English countryside, The Christmas Candle is based on the novel by epic Christian author, Max Lucado. An Advent legend full of tradition, nostalgia and faith, it is destined to win a privileged position in both your family's annual Advent traditions and Christmas soundtrack. 

NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - What could Downton Abbey, politics, Advent, the Cotswolds of England, Harry Potter, Susan Boyle, Rick Santorum, and Charles Dickens all possibly have in common? The Christmas Candle, a new Advent movie premiering November 22.

Set in the Victorian English countryside, The Christmas Candle is based on the novel by epic Christian author, Max Lucado. An Advent legend full of tradition, nostalgia and faith, it is destined to win a privileged position in both your family's annual Advent traditions and Christmas soundtrack. 

The Movie

When a progressive new minister (Hans Matheson, Clash of the Titans, Sherlock Holmes) arrives in the Victorian English countryside, he assures the townspeople that "miracles" are nothing more than good deeds and acts of kindness. Scoffing at the old "folk tale" linking a sure miracle to a local Christmas candle, the liberal young pastor's painful past and quest to bring electricity to the village sets him at odds with its traditional candlemakers and their own private sensitivities.

When the young minister finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks, Les Miserables), the magical and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas miracle the quaint little village of Gladbury, England, home of the Christmas candle, has ever seen. 

The Christmas Candle opens next weekend, November 22, in the US, and is directed by John Stephenson, produced by Tom Newman of Tulsa-based Impact Productions (Home Run, End of the Spear) and distributed by Rick Santorum's Dallas-based EchoLight Studios. "Rather than curse the darkness we chose to light a candle," Santorum said of its traditional and unapologetic Christmas theme.

The Vision

When I asked Mr. Santorum what drew him into collaboration with EchoLight, a distribution company that disseminates faith-based, family movies into contemporary culture, he shared a desire to contribute his "gift" of "notoriety" as a former presidential candidate to the New Evangelism.

As a former board member of EchoLight in that regard, Santorum said when he voiced concerns that the company was not being led in ways that reflected his personal Catholic faith and integrity, he suddenly found himself CEO of the company, a position he continues to occupy! Free to operate EchoLight according to Christian values, Santorum lends his name and considerable reputation to assuring that quality faith-based films see production lights in Hollywood and succeed in theaters across the nation. 

Mr. Santorum hopes for a strong opening weekend for The Christmas Candle that will expand showings to more theaters across the country and send the message to Hollywood that people of faith want quality faith-based movies. You can find participating theaters, churches and groups can purchase tickets in bulk, and publicity and other resources are available at christmascandletickets.com and christmascandlemovie.com

The Participants

Santorum's mission at EchoLight is on glorious display in The Christmas Candle, the company's first release. Beautifully filmed in the historical authenticity of the Cotswolds by Harry Potter's Mike Brewster, The Christmas Candle also features fellow Catholic and Scottish singing phenomenon Susan Boyle as both actress and musician. Boyle catapulted to international fame after her stunning appearance on Britain's Got Talent. She composed and performed Miracle Hymn for the movie, which is also included on her most recent album, Home for Christmas, available now. 

Also appearing are Lesley Manville (Disney's A Christmas Carol); Sylvester McCoy (The Hobbit Trilogy, Doctor Who); John Hannah (The Mummy, Four Weddings and a Funeral); Barbara Flynn (Miss Potter) and James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Braveheart). 

Whatever your movie proclivity, you too will want to participate in helping this lovely Advent movie succeed. Downton Abbey fans will adore The Christmas Candle. Like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the movie features traditional family values, an old English setting and Christmas narrative, as well as the tension between the theme of "faith and works" throughout. But best of all, you can help spread The Christmas Candle's  simple but poignant Christmas message of light throughout a darkened world - God still performs miracles!

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Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker, Scripture study author, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit pursuingthesummit.com to book Sonja for your next great event, or to order her talks on CD and 10-week, DVD-driven Bible study Soul of the World, on the Scriptural "whys" of Catholic faith and practice.  

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