‘Man of God’ Recounts An Injustice In The Grave Encountered With Christian Devotion

My Anglican priest recently recalled a trip to a monastery where a monk confided in him that he “didn’t like people very much.” My priest joked that he had come to the right place.

The fiercest rivalry is often between those who dedicate their lives to public service, kindness, and faith. Religious facilities have been among the hardest hit, with an unnamed Benedictine joking that if “you want to see real sin, go to a monastery. There, you will find support and pride. “

“Pastor“Is an English-language film in Greek that explores the sad state of these institutional problems.

It recalls the life of Saint Nektarios of Aegina, an Eastern Orthodox Bishop of the early 20th century who was repeatedly slandered by his own church and forced to serve the last 30 years of his life in poverty and ugliness. Tiger.

The film is pretty self-assured on its own despite its seemingly low budget, delving into the essence of Christian piety with surprising efficiency.

The series begins in 1890. Anastasios Kephalas, later known as Nektarios (Aris Servetalis), is introduced as the kind and beloved Bishop of Alexandria. He was highly regarded by the public and his reputation made the jealous ranks above him worry that he was looking for promotion.

Nektarios was considered immoral, defenseless and exiled from the Church of Alexandria. The bishops even continued to harass him after he moved to Athens, sending negative letters to his employer, while he struggled to find work as a preacher, a teacher officer and then a janitor.

The rest of his life, until his death in 1920, was covered with further cruelty and slander. He would become famous in the religious community at large for his writings, but could not rise politically in his church due to the bitterness of the men he served.

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He eventually quit his school job to help rebuild the Holy Trinity Monastery on the island of Aegina on his own, only to be accused by a disgruntled mother of brainwashing and nourishing his nuns. The church refused to officially recognize his monastery until four years after his death from prostate cancer.

The church treated him so badly that the Cardinal of Alexandria had to formally apologize to Nektarios in 1998.

“We ask Saint Nektarios to forgive both us, who are not as worthy as we are, and our predecessors, our brothers on the Throne of Alexandria, for our opposition. of the Saint and all that, through human weakness or error, our Holy Father, the Bishop of Pentapolis, Saint Nektarios, suffered. ”

Throughout the film, he is beaten by police officers, betrayed by his church, yelled at by the headmaster of a secular school for his outdated ascetic lifestyle, and even criticized by his friends. for not fighting back and trying to profit his reputation.

The best strength of “Man of God” and its storytelling comes from the piety of Nektarios. That’s what ties the film together and what makes it so rich and emotional about the Christian life.

Nektarios begins the film as a man who has found peace in his religion, and that hasn’t changed. The crushing weight of poverty, slander and hatred never broke him. He embraces suffering at every turn, rejects bitterness, and embraces those who hate him with love.

He could have attacked, fallen into despair, or hated his enemies, but he chose not to do so.

Like most Christian films, “Man of God” is preachy, overly reliant on showings, and clearly struggling to make it through a tight budget. Nektorios is the most defined character while most of his opponents are one-sided and uncomplicated guys that are merely opposed to him.

However, the power of that central performance makes it work.

Similarly, the modern world grapples with pride, jealousy, and slander. The lives of the saints, like the life of Nectario, remind us to live lives with fervor forgiving and thinking of others. The willingness of good men to be crushed for our crimes is inspirational, heartbreaking, and reminds us of what it should have looked like living the Christian life.

“Man of God” is distributed by Fathom Events and will open in theaters for one more time on March 28.

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