A Father’s Heart: Saint Joseph comes to theaters on May 1 | Decent Films – SDG Reviews

Everyone knows about Marian apparitions. Even in the minds of non-Catholics and nonbelievers, the names of Lourdes, Fátima, and Guadalupe are virtually synonymous with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Cotignac, in southeastern France, is a name that might not be recognized by even pious Catholics with a special devotion to St. Joseph. There’s a shrine in Cotignac and a spring of water reportedly revealed to a shepherd named Gaspard Ricard on a hot day in 1660 by a mysterious stranger who called himself Joseph and vanished before the shepherd could thank him. Cotignac is no Lourdes, but perhaps 100,000 pilgrims per year come to the shrine to pray and drink the water from the spring. Miraculous cures from cancer and other ailments are reported; according to Frère Hubert-Marie, rector of Cotignac’s Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace, among the most common blessings reported are “Cotignac babies” born to previously infertile couples. Such couples, he says, often write to thank St. Joseph after their pilgrimage — “normally nine months after,” he adds with a smile.

Cotignac is the first destination visited in A Father’s Heart: The Miracles of St. Joseph Today, a faith-based documentary directed by Spanish filmmaker Andrés Garrigó (Fatima: The Ultimate Mystery) for Madrid-based Goya Productions. Part spiritual travelogue, part anecdotal inspiration, A Father’s Heart visits shrines and other holy sites in countries including France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Georgia, and the Holy Land, interviewing theologians, priests and religious, lay volunteers, and ordinary people. Along the way it offers historical perspective on devotion to St. Joseph, crediting Teresa of Avila and El Greco with the shift in devotional imagery of St. Joseph from an elderly man to the younger figure exclusively represented in this film and highlighting increasing emphasis on St. Joseph in the popes from Pius IX onward. Brief, wordless dramatic segments depict the Holy Family in Nazareth and Bethlehem, with St. Joseph apprenticing young Jesus in his workshop or instructing him while an ever-smiling Virgin Mary brings them drinks or just watches approvingly.

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