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Notable For Its Themes Of Conversion And Springtime Plus An Easter Reference
Beyond A Doubt FABIOLA Is An Easter Movie

The conversion of the entire empire; the experience of Rome coming out of pagan darkness into Christian glory and light; and even the individual conversions of several of the characters who are baptized on Easter make it undeniable that FABIOLA is an Easter movie.

March 27, 2024

FABIOLA is an Easter movie

A new Easter film is in pre-production and funds are now being raised to get you a teaser of this new film: FABIOLA. You’ve perhaps read my lament that there are very few films that are centered around this holiday and I still stick to that opinion. But in pre-production right now is FABIOLA, and FABIOLA is an Easter movie.

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Seeing The Resurrection Referenced In Every Baptism Makes FABIOLA Appropriate For Easter

One of the main reasons I say that FABIOLA is an Easter movie is because of the parallel that the Roman Empire has with a Christian man. We learn in the Baltimore Catechism that in Baptism we are buried with Christ when we are immersed in the baptismal waters. When we are lifted from these waters, we rise with Christ from His tomb to Eternal Life.

The baptismal waters represent the tomb and rising out of them represents the Resurrection. In this way, the entire empire undergoes this transformation when it becomes a Christian nation under Emperor Constantine.

This is a theme also referenced in Dante's Divine Comedy. When at last the pilgrim reaches the shores of Paradise, he must first be cleansed in the refreshing stream found there. This stream washes from him all stains of sin, for only then can he see the wonders of Heaven.

READ: Researching The FABIOLA Characters: Drawing On Several Sources From Around The World And Under The Sea To Form The Characters In The FABIOLA Film

This is much what the empire of Rome also suffered. It also had to experience a death of sorts, fall into the tomb and be washed in the waters of eternal life to arise to the greatness that Constantine brought by allowing Christianity to be practiced and preached openly. The baptism of one man is in itself a miracle, but the baptism of an empire is even more amazing.

This is the Rome that our pilgrim at the end of FABIOLA is happy to find when he returns to the places that he remembers as being corrupt and in great need of conversion. 

This is also my argument for Ben-Hur being an Easter movie. Judah's heart is hardened and closed to salvation until seeing the meek suffering of Our Lord at His crucifixion. The healing of Miriam and Tirza through the blood of Christ also keeps the theme by His stripes we are healed.

It has been mentioned to me that the Resurrection is never seen in Ben-Hur and so it is therefore not an Easter movie, but I still feel like the reference is strong enough to make it a good movie for Easter.

Another Aspect Of The Same Reason, True Light Comes Upon The Empire, Outshining All False Lights Before Tried By The Pagan Romans

In the Fabiola novel, there is a scene with Pancratius and Sebastian discussing the most beautiful sunrises that they have ever seen. Pancratius then remarks: 

"And so it will be, when that more brilliant sun rises fully upon this benighted country. How beautiful will it then be to behold the shades retiring, and each moment one and another of the charms, as yet concealed, of our holy faith and worship starting into light, till the imperial city itself shines forth a holy type of the city of God."

These two martyrs do not live long enough to see this prediction come true, but Fabiola and another do survive the persecution long enough to see the effects of Rome's conversion. 

READ: Find The Perfect Good Movie For Easter For Your Family

Bunnies, chicks, new spring clothes, and pastels are closely linked to thoughts of Easter because of this Holy day's placement in the year.

Maybe it’s because I live in Idaho and we have very short days during winter, but spring is very welcome after the long winter and the lengthening of daylight hours is very apparent as we get closer and closer to Easter.

This gives a very real feel to the anticipated Resurrection of Christ. It feels like the “Son” is coming for real on Easter to spread the light of the Catholic Faith.

FABIOLA

The FABIOLA story ends out in the open with light and joy after much of the movie taking place in darkness.

Afra's ritual, Saturnalia, and the catacombs are all dark places and give the movie a rather dark beginning.

The end, however, brings out the light with St. Agnes Outside the Walls being constructed by the Christians in broad daylight.

The roof isn't even on yet and so the bright light of day continues to rule even after the pilgrim enters what would become one of Rome's greatest basilicas. 

The Baptism Of Two Key Characters At Easter As Was Customary In The Early Church Again Makes It So That FABIOLA Is An Easter Movie

My last and maybe not the strongest but somehow also the greatest reason for saying that FABIOLA is an Easter movie is because Easter is mentioned as the day that two of the main characters are received into the Church.

READ: Fabiola: Bringing The Timely Tale Of The Catacombs To Life

Although perhaps the least unlikely to be converted to the Faith in the beginning of the film, the blood of Christ is washed over these two penitent souls and they receive His grace for the first time on Easter Sunday, the day that Christ showed His power over all forces no matter how strong, breaking even the Roman seal placed on His tomb.

No might or power on earth can subdue His victory over death.

As Fabiola herself remarks at the end of the film:

Christ gave His life first on the Cross, and the martyrs continually give theirs. It washes over us and softens our hearts to hear His call.
Their blood begs for mercy, His bestows it.

It is the same sacrifice that has baptized every one of our souls from His death to now. And what better a time to remember that than at Easter time?



 

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