Three centuries after his time, the story of St.Vincent de Paul is making international rounds at film festivals in Ireland, England and America. See its debut on CatholicTV this September 27.
Three centuries after his death, the story of St. Vincent de Paul is making international rounds at film festivals in Ireland, England and America—and that’s not all. CatholicTV will debut the film on Vincent’s feast day, Sept. 27, and will repeat it regularly during programming on saints.
The Rev. Edward Udovic, C.M., senior executive for University Mission and an associate professor of history, wrote the script and served as executive producer of “Vincent de Paul: Charity’s Saint,” a 64-minute biographical documentary of St. Vincent and St. Louise de Marillac. He has fielded requests for a video on Vincent for years, and all he was able to offer was the 1947 film “Monsieur Vincent,” which, although Academy Award-winning, is historically inaccurate.
For “Charity’s Saint,” six historians brought their life’s work to the project, including Fr. Udovic and the Rev. John Rybolt, C.M., the world’s leading Vincentian scholars, says JoAnne Zielinski, associate professor in the College of Computing and Digital Cinema and the film’s producer.
The film was designed to separate myth from history; contextualize Vincent within 17th-century France; highlight the pivotal roles of Louise, the Ladies of Charity and the Daughters of Charity in Vincent’s life; and explore what his legacy of charity and service means for the future on the 350th anniversary of his death.
Zielinski says the movie “identifies the Vincent of history as an ordinary person who grew into sanctity. He wasn’t a ‘saint from the cradle,’ as they say.”
“We wanted it to be a stunning film with beautiful photography as well as an accurate chronology placed in historical context and interpreted critically,” Fr. Udovic says. After editing 45 hours of interviews into a single hour, the film’s producers say the documentary has been received enthusiastically by a wide range of audiences, and, in particular, with gratitude from Daughters of Charity for recognizing Louise’s pivotal role in Vincentian history.
The film has been accepted at three festivals so far. “As academics, peer review is the standard by which our work is judged,” says Fr. Udovic. “It is important to see how it stands up as a piece of work in those venues.”
Thousands have had the opportunity to see it worldwide since it premiered in January, and film sales are robust, says Fr. Udovic. Complimentary copies were shared with every Vincentian and Daughter of Charity in the United States and with members of the DePaul community.
The film was shot by Steve Avery, president of Orchard Productions. It is currently being dubbed in Spanish and French and will be shown to Vincentians worldwide in June in Paris at the General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission, which occurs once every six years.
Tags: 350th Anniversary, dePaul (De Paul University), DVD, Featured, Udovic, Vincent