The Flowers of St. Francis
This 1950 Italian film dramatizes just a small part of the life and works of the popular 12th century Italian friar, Saint Francis of Assisi, known for founding the Franciscans. Rather than a full-length narrative, the film is divided into shorter episodes, or chapters, each illustrating aspects of Francis’ devotion to his faith or the inspiration he gave to his followers. These tales are based more on popular legends about the saint rather than any official biographical information, but still contain spiritual truths that one may find both simple and profound. Chapters include incidents such as how the friars gained a new follower, how St. Francis met a leper, and how St. Francis found perfect happiness.
Starring actual monks (who refused to be paid) as the Franciscans, the film provides a good deal of spiritual food for thought, reminding us of the joy and peace offered by Christ in a world still so full of troubles and sorrows, and encouraging us to continue spreading such joy and peace however we can. The film is not officially rated, but would likely be G, though, being in Italian, viewers will need to read subtitles.