Fra Elia Cataldo

Fra Elia-Ital./German
Irapuato     16/04/2011 15:44
MATTVNY Nov 4, 2010 Each year the monk experiences Christ’s Passion during the Holy Week in the bloodiest of fashions: flagellation, the crown of thorns, crucifixion, death and resurrection. And for the first time ever in motion picture history, a film team has been given permission to film the Passion of Christ, “live” so to speak.

The author accompanied the monk in the seclusion of his monastery near Rome for more than a year. Visiting him is like setting off on a journey back through time, to the middle of the thirteenth century. The monastery in Umbrias mystical landscape has fallen into decline, half of the buildings lie in ruins in the shimmering heat. It is an old monastery, Francis of Assissi himself is supposed to have lived here. The portals are still magnificent though, partly covered in ivy. The monk lives here, secluded from the world with his fellow brothers – the Apostles of God. This religious community was founded by Brother Elijah – the monks try to live their lives and practise Christianity in the way originally preached by Jesus.

Brother Elijah and the Apostles of God are slowly re-building the monastery through sheer hard work – a future home for street kids from Naples or Palermo. Despite the fact that this community practises the earliest form of Christianity, the modern world is by no means unfamiliar to the “new Francis”. Monks live together with nuns in the monastery and the small monastic community is financed by produce from the monasterys garden and the large number of domestic animals and livestock – but first and foremost, the small pharmacy with medicinal herbs from the garden. And the entire undertaking enjoys the blessing and support of the monks bishop and the Vatican.

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