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RIVERS OF LIGHT: MOVIE ON THE PASSION WAS POWERED BY STREAM OF THE MIRACULOUS
spiritDaily.com ^ | 02-23-04 | SpiritDaily

Posted on 02/23/2004 10:09:12 PM PST by Salvation

RIVERS OF LIGHT: MOVIE ON THE PASSION WAS POWERED BY STREAM OF THE MIRACULOUS

For most, it's a miracle that the movie is even showing. As The Passion of the Christ sweeps the land this week and for weeks to come, many will point to its very existence as a stroke of grace -- one of the "rivers of light" prophesied for this year. Indeed, from an obscure effort that could not even find a distributor, that at times looked as if it would be upended by Jewish activists, the movie has exploded onto the scene as the movie event of the year.

It is the fruit of prayers everywhere from Baptist groups to Catholic traditionalists. And the result is indeed stunning. Paul Dergarabedian, the president of Exhibitor Relations, a company that tracks box office sales, told Variety that the pre-release "buzz" of The Passion rivaled that of the first Star Wars prequel, one of the top-grossing movies of all time.

But there is more to it than the obvious effects. Behind this film is a strong undercurrent of unusual coincidences and events that indicate the involvement of the supernatural. Start with the fact that Mel Gibson's own conversion was rooted in a near-death event. He didn't see a light at the end of a tunnel -- but back as a young man in Australia he felt a miraculous assistance when he could have died in a crash.

For years Gibson had the idea of The Passion in his head, but he moved on it only after a strange French woman came up to him several years ago and said, "Jesus loves you."

That started things. Gibson believes in "signs" -- he starred in a movie precisely entitled that -- and in this case the sign was to begin the movie. "There were signals like this all over the place," Gibson said in a documentary about the making of his controversial movie, which opens Wednesday.

Meanwhile, James Caviezel, who plays Christ, is quoted as saying he got an equally unusual indication six months before he auditioned for the movie when a woman told him out of the blue, "You'll be playing Jesus."

Then there is the involvement of German mystic and nun Anne Catherine Emmerich, who died in 1824, but not before leaving volumes of revelations, which were compiled by poet Clement Brentano. Gibson carries a relic of hers and came to know Emmerich in a way that in retrospect seems extraordinary.

"When Gibson returned to his faith, he acquired, from a nunnery that had closed down, a library of books, many of them quite old," noted The New Yorker last September. "He says that while he was researching The Passion one evening he reached up for a book, and Brentano's volume tumbled out of the shelf into his hands. He sat down and read it, and was flabbergasted by the vivid imagery of Emmerich's visions. 'Amazing images,' he said. 'She supplied me with stuff I never would have thought of.'"

According to another report, the book fell and actually hit Gibson in the head. Remarkable is that nearly the same thing happened a hundred years before when a scholar who was in the library of nuns similarly fell upon the same book and soon after a volume of Emmerich's revelations on the life of Mary -- which led to discovery of the Blessed Mother's actual house in Ephesus.

The movie's producer, Steve McEveety, meanwhile, has shared that the first draft of the script was finished (arrived in his hands) on September 11, 2001 -- and the final draft was completed (arrived in his hands) on September 11, 2002.

Caviezel's initials are J.C. and he was 33 when filming began. The actor says he was brought back to his faith in large part through attendance of an apparition with seer Ivan Dragicevic of Medjugorje -- the famous site in Bosnia-Hercegovina. "We talked, and later when we were praying the Rosary Ivan said Mary came in the room and I felt something wonderful happening to me," Caviezel says. "When the apparition was over, I got up and told Ivan I wanted [Mary and Jesus] in my heart." 

Several months ago the actor ended up at Medjugorje -- where he showed pilgrims a rough cut of the movie. The actor noted that filming of "The Passion" began last year on the feast of Mary's Assumption, August 15, and finished on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13.

Strange lightning plagued the set of the movie. The assistant director, Jan Michelini, was dubbed "Lightning Boy" after lightning struck his umbrella during filming on a hilltop in Matera, Italy. He suffered light burns on the tips of his fingers. A few months later, a storm rolled in and Michelini, again carrying an umbrella, was standing beside star Jim Caviezel on top of a hill -- "Golgotha, with Caviezel on the Cross -- when lighting struck again. Both Caviezel and Michelini were struck this time. The main bolt hit Caviezel and one of its forks hit Michelini's umbrella. "I glanced over and see lightning coming out of Caviezel's ears," said McEveety.

"There have been a lot of unusual things happening, good things like people being healed of diseases, a couple of people have had sight and hearing restored, another guy was struck by lightning while we were filming the crucifixion scene and he just got up and walked away," noted Gibson.

Meanwhile, with time running short, composer John Debney became blocked while trying to score an appropriate theme for Mary -- a significant problem since much of the film (as in Emmerich's book) is seen through the Virgin's eyes. "Finally, I just prayed to Mary, out of desperation," says Debney. "And she answered with a lullaby that just appeared in my head complete with lyrics: 'Don't cry my little one, if you should fall, I will cradle you.' When we first put the music to the scene, both Mel and I were crying. He asked me where it came from, and I told him, from her. What an incredible gift!"

Industry experts said they have been stunned by the rapidly increasing advance sales for the film. "It is the number two selling film in our company's history [in terms of advance sales], right behind Lord of the Rings ["The Return of the King"] and momentum is actually growing," said Art Levitt, CEO of Fandango Incorporated, which sells tickets over the phone and internet. "It's a phenomenon. None of us expected it."

The miracles are likely to continue -- right there in the movie theaters.

[resources: The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of Mary, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ]

[Please help spread the word by passing this flyer out at your parish or function]


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KEYWORDS: catholiclist; caviezel; christ; debney; gibson; thepassion
For your information.

And go see the movie!

1 posted on 02/23/2004 10:09:13 PM PST by Salvation
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
The Passion of The Christ Ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from The Passion of The Christ Ping list.

2 posted on 02/23/2004 10:11:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
I see the Holy Spirit is working mightily.
3 posted on 02/23/2004 10:53:20 PM PST by tiki
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To: tiki
Definitely! Holy Spirit be with us all!
4 posted on 02/23/2004 11:06:05 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
"And she answered with a lullaby that just appeared in my head complete with lyrics: 'Don't cry my little one, if you should fall, I will cradle you.' When we first put the music to the scene, both Mel and I were crying. He asked me where it came from, and I told him, from her."

Now, you stop that. Big, mean, scary guys like me aren't supposed to tear up in the office.
5 posted on 02/23/2004 11:49:59 PM PST by dsc
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To: Salvation
Dansangel and myself will be seeing it tonight. Our church has bought out a theater. We will again see it Sunday at noon with tickets that I purchased in advance..
6 posted on 02/24/2004 1:36:55 AM PST by .45MAN (this page written on recycleable media)
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To: .45MAN
Whine.

Lord only knows when it will come to military theaters in Japan.
7 posted on 02/24/2004 5:32:13 AM PST by dsc
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To: tiki; Salvation
I see the Holy Spirit is working mightily.

Amen.

Another tidbit. The woman who plays Mary is named Maia Morgenstern. "Morgenstern" means "Morning Star," one of the ancient titles for Mary in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Holy Mary,
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Heath of the Sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of Peace,

Sometimes God can be just plain "in your face."

8 posted on 02/24/2004 5:49:10 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan
Our Lady's prayers are indeed powerful. I usually put little credence in tales of direct supernatural intervention, but I have to admit that every time I ask Our Lady to mention my problems to her divine Son, the problem in question works itself out in a way that can only be called miraculous. (The composer's tale related above is particularly moving; as an artist, I've had several such episodes myself.)

My dear grandmother in heaven also intercedes for me with Jesus; many's the time when, for example, an unclean thought has come into my mind, that I have heard (quite clearly!) her voice saying "Son, don't dwell on that". A quiet, motherly voice that I identify with Our Lady often joins her in these admonitions. I sometimes smell roses and my grandmother's unique scent (she wore Cashmere Bouquet) during these moments.

(Please note that I claim no special status regarding these events. I am about as far from being a holy person or mystic as one can get and still be a Christian!)

I believe the Lord gave us His mother for a good reason: Once one truly understands Who Jesus is, it's difficult to approach Him as one might approach a fellow human being; though He is fully man, He is also fully God, and His divine Majesty and Royalty are overwhelming.

(This is the main problem I have with the "personal relationship with Christ" thing. Yes, we have a personal relationship with the Lord — but He is our King, not our heavenly fishin' buddy!)

Our Lady stands as a mediatrix between her Son and us poor humans; lacking a divine nature herself, she is one of us, albeit one who is sinless and holy by the Grace of her Son. As our mother, she offers us the comfort of her motherly voice and soothing embrace, never asking praise for herself (though we gladly offer it!) but always, always raising our eyes to her Son and kindly saying "Do whatever He tells you."

I deeply love Our Lady, and I know that as the Troubles increase, so will her presence and aid to us, her children. May God forgive us all on this Shrove Tuesday!
9 posted on 02/24/2004 6:28:55 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: B-Chan
"I usually put little credence in tales of direct supernatural intervention"

I figure, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.
10 posted on 02/24/2004 6:44:22 AM PST by dsc
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To: B-Chan
My dear grandmother in heaven also intercedes for me with Jesus; many's the time when, for example, an unclean thought has come into my mind, that I have heard (quite clearly!) her voice saying "Son, don't dwell on that". A quiet, motherly voice that I identify with Our Lady often joins her in these admonitions.

Great story.

11 posted on 02/24/2004 7:47:01 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: B-Chan
My dear grandmother in heaven also intercedes for me with Jesus; many's the time when, for example, an unclean thought has come into my mind, that I have heard (quite clearly!) her voice saying "Son, don't dwell on that". A quiet, motherly voice that I identify with Our Lady often joins her in these admonitions.

Great story.

12 posted on 02/24/2004 7:47:13 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: B-Chan
Re your post #9: That was put so beautifully! My sentiments exactly!

Thank you!
13 posted on 02/24/2004 7:57:20 AM PST by sneakers
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: sandyeggo
Thanks to all. I freely admit that these occasional voices I hear could just be wishful thinking, but, if they are delusions, at least they are positive and helpful ones!
15 posted on 02/24/2004 8:53:07 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Salvation
WOW! I definitely plan to see this film. For some time now, I have felt that there is a Divine Presence involved in this.
16 posted on 02/24/2004 1:18:16 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: B-Chan
I am about as far from being a holy person or mystic as one can get and still be a Christian!)

**

Maybe not, friend. But you are one heck of a preacher. (And you made me cry.)
17 posted on 02/24/2004 1:21:35 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: Bigg Red
Hey, don't cry! Just say a prayer for me when you get the chance, okay? I need all the help I can get!
18 posted on 02/24/2004 1:25:18 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: dsc
Sorry, dsc, tears are OK. Feelings are OK also; it just that they have been misused in the Catholic church by the 60s hippie crowd of priests and nuns.
19 posted on 02/24/2004 4:51:52 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: .45MAN
Man, I wish our Catholic Church would have done that! But then your Archbishop Donoghue was the only Bishop to come out acting endorsing and promoting this film as a means of evangelization.
20 posted on 02/24/2004 4:53:04 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Aquinasfan
Also Mary, Star of Ebangelization
21 posted on 02/24/2004 4:54:14 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation; Admin Moderator
Could you please correct this spelling? Just because I am a nit-picking, OC-AR boojwah honkey mook?
22 posted on 02/24/2004 6:22:19 PM PST by dsc
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
`
24 posted on 02/24/2004 9:37:39 PM PST by Coleus (Help Tyler Schicke http://tylerfund.org/ Burkitt's leukemia)
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To: WVNan
Here, please.
25 posted on 02/24/2004 10:10:50 PM PST by Brad’s Gramma (Pray for America and Israel)
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To: Salvation
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
26 posted on 02/24/2004 10:20:00 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: dsc
Also Mary, Star of Evangelization
27 posted on 02/24/2004 11:02:43 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Bumping this because I just saw the movie and it is phenomenal.

Every Christian owes it to himself or herself to see this film.

And even if you are not a believer, go see it for its production values. It is a marvel of Cinematography.
28 posted on 03/10/2004 11:11:46 AM PST by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: Salvation
Taking 17 yr old daughter to see the movie this evening. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie a 2nd time and dreading it. I've not finished weeping inside yet from the 1st time I saw this brilliant, beautiful flick.
29 posted on 03/10/2004 11:17:26 AM PST by TheStickman (If a moron becomes senile how can you tell?)
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To: TheStickman
Stickman, go ahead and weep out loud. I did, and so did half the people attending.

Something else remarkable--people came in with big cups full of popcorn. Nobody ate any. I saw several folks just toss their popcorn in the trash can on the way out.

Priorities.
30 posted on 03/10/2004 11:19:59 AM PST by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: Salvation
Jesus said if he was lifted up he would draw all men unto himself. Some think that this means all would be drawn to him to know his love and salvation, but history continues to show that it is a remnant which actually receives the Word of God, acting on his command to "take up your cross and follow me". I think we are drawn to Jesus to make our decision to believe and receive him, to say with Peter, "Lord, where shall we go, you have the words of eternal life."

I think the Lord is giving the world one last glimpse of his sacrifice at Calvary in order for them to make that life-changing decision to accept him and live, or reject him and perish. There is a multitude of people in the valley of decision that God wants to reach. I think God is using Mel's ability as a film maker to place His Son before their eyes; that they might consider their days, and the price God was willing to pay for them. Today is the day of salvation, if you hear his voice, harden not your heart.
31 posted on 03/10/2004 11:34:46 AM PST by man of Yosemite ("When a man decides to do something everyday, that's about when he stops doing it.")
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