Celebrated every year on November 1, All Saints’ Day is one of the most significant feast days for Catholics around the world. It is a special day dedicated to all the saints of the Church that is either known or unknown.
People from all over the world have their own unique way of celebrating All Saints’ Day. But as a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines celebrates this day as a non-working holiday, and people would flock to churches and cemeteries to offer prayers for their saints and departed loved ones. (Read: All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, & Halloween: What’s Their Difference?)
However, with the threat of the ongoing pandemic, this tradition will be broken this year as authorities decided to close all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria. And if you’re one of the many Filipinos who’ve been thinking of ideas for how you can celebrate this day, we suggest learning more about our saints through inspirational films!
Here are five of the most classic movies and documentaries you can watch this All Saints’ Day that are definitely My Pope-approved!
Films About Saints: Joan of Arc (1948)
Unlike other films based on the life of the heroine of France, Victor Fleming 1948’s film tells the story of Joan of Arc through a religious eye. The movie begins with a dramatic voice-over describing her canonization and dramatic shots of churches and manuscripts. (Read: Whose voices were inside Joan of Arc’s head? )
It stars the actress Ingrid Bergman as Joan, and was actually originally a Broadway play written by Maxwell Anderson. The film was also Fleming’s last movie, as he died in 1949. Watch it here.
Films About Saints: St. Anthony: Miracle Worker of Padua (2003)
This is the first feature-length film about the twelfth-century saint best known for being a miracle worker and one of the most popular saints in history. (Read: Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua, a Priest and Doctor) In this Italian film, Anthony’s life before his canonization is depicted pretty well—especially his conversion to Francis of Assisi’s Order of Friars Minor. You may buy a DVD copy of the films here.
Films About Saints: Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 1972, this movie is about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of animals and the environment. (Read: Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi for Beloved Animals) The movie presents an inspiring and accurate portrayal of St. Francis’ spiritual practice of devotion and his humble life of service. You may watch the movie here.
Films About Saints: The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952)
The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima is a Warner Color feature film directed by John Brahm in 1952. (Read: Our Lady of Fatima celebrations, interior pilgrimages to be broadcasted online) The film is based on the historical apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima, in Portugal, in 1917 to three shepherd children who eventually became saints Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. You may watch the film here.
Films About Saints: Helena: First Pilgrim to the Holy Land (2003)
Directed by Chris Hooke and narrated by Academy-award winning Ben Kingsley, this 2003 documentary film was about the life of St. Helena of the Cross. (Read: The Discovery of the True Cross) It follows Helena’s struggles in finding the humble place of Jesus’ birth, the tomb of Lazarus, the Mount of Olives, Gethsemane the Holy Sepulcher, and Golgotha, the site of Jesus’ death. Watch it here.