'Godfather' actor Joe Mantegna will star, produce film on life of St. Padre Pio
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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/8/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Actor Joe Mantegna, best known for "The Three Amigos" and "The Godfather Part III" is to star as St. Padre Pio in a new film about the saint. Mantegna will also produce the film, according to the St. Pio Foundation.
Actor Joe Mantegna, best known for "The Three Amigos" and "The Godfather Part III" is to star as St. Padre Pio in a new film about the saint.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mantegna along with his production partner Danny Ramm will make the film through their company Acquaviva Productions. The production will be filmed in locations in Italy but be made in the English language.
According to the website, "the film will highlight Padre Pio's impact on the Catholic Church and the building of his hospital, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza in San Giovanni Rotondo, Puglia, Italy."
The Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Born Franceso Forgione in 1887, the son of peasant farmers in Campania in southern Italy, Padre Pio died in 1968 and was canonized by St. Pope John Paul II in 2002.
On September 20, 1918, while hearing confessions, Padre Pio had his first occurrence of the stigmata: bodily marks, pain, and bleeding in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. This phenomenon continued for fifty years, until the end of his life. The blood flowing from the stigmata smelled of perfume or flowers, a phenomenon mentioned in stories of the lives of several saints and often referred to as the odor of sanctity. Though Padre Pio would have preferred to suffer in secret, by early 1919, news about the stigmatic friar began to spread in the secular world. Padre Pio's wounds were examined by many people, including physicians.
People who had started rebuilding their lives after World War I, began to see in Padre Pio a symbol of hope.
There's also a geographical connection between Pio and Mantegna; he was born in Chicago in 1947 to parents from southern Italy - his father from Sicily and his mother was Apulia.
Mantegna described Padre Pio in a fund-raising video as "one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th century" and said his life was "truly the stuff of legend . When news of his stigmata spread, senior figures in the Vatican tried to disprove his wounds and undermine his reputation. This film will be an in-depth look at Padre Pio's life and the titanic struggles that lasted decades between faith and doubt, spirituality and skepticism, and the humble country priest and the perfumed princes of Rome.
"Painstaking efforts will be made to recreate the time period, including the costumes, hairstyles and furniture, right down to the sandals on Padre Pio's feet," Mantegna said.
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