The Face of Mercy: Documentary Features Stories of Divine Mercy to Transform the World
The Knights of Columbus recently released a documentary of modern testimonials of people who, with extraordinary mercy, forgive others.
As the Year of Mercy comes to a close, The Knights of Columbus released a documentary called The Face of Mercy, which is narrated by Jim Caviezel and features stunning stories of forgiveness, hope and mercy. The documentary, which has already been released on DVD, is scheduled to be broadcast on ABC affiliates nationwide though December 16, 2016 and highlights the stories of several people who have experienced the power of mercy and forgiveness in their lives, reported PRNewswire.
The Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis and begun on December 8, 2015, was a year-long celebration of love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Pope Francis said, “Mercy will always be greater than sin and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ready to forgive.”
One young woman featured in the documentary tells her heartbreaking story of loss and forgiveness when, as a newlywed and eight months pregnant, her husband was murdered on his early morning jog. Just three weeks before their daughter, Cecelia, was born, Jennifer Trapuzzano describes running down the road in her robe trying to find her husband. She rounded a corner and saw crime scene tape, police officers and emergency vehicles. She fell on her knees and prayed the Our Father and Hail Mary, among other prayers, not caring that her knees were being cut on the pavement. Her husband was killed by a teenager who showed no remorse during his sentencing. Although she initially struggled with forgiveness, she wanted to show him the love of Christ. She meditated on Christ’s prayer, “forgive those who trespass against us,” and she thought, “How can I pray those words if I do not believe them?”
She had the opportunity to speak at his sentencing and wanted it to make an impact. “I wanted to go last because I wanted the last thing he heard to be about forgiveness, that I wanted him, for maybe the first time in his life, to know that God loved him and that God will always forgive, and to demonstrate that, I wanted to offer my forgiveness as well.”
Father Donald Calloway’s Story
Others in the documentary had divine mercy extended to them. Father Donald Calloway, the Vocation Director for the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, lived his teenage years as a rebellious, drug-addicted high-school dropout. When his family moved to Japan, Fr. Calloway quickly found himself operating as a drug runner for the Japanese mafia. “I had the Japanese government looking for me, the American government looking for me and the American military presence in Japan looking for me,” he recalls. The Japanese government eventually kicked Fr. Calloway out of the country.
Fr. Calloway says that at that time in his life, happiness meant feeling good — having experiences with women and using drugs gave him a high that led him to believe he was happy. “Obviously, you come down after those experiences, so I tried not to be sober too much,” he said, which led to several years of being perpetually high.
But even these experiences couldn’t bring Fr. Calloway the peace he desired. He says he would look at the stars at night and think, “Is there anything more out there? What is the meaning? Why am I here? Where does the high live forever?” One night as he contemplated suicide, he picked up a book on his parents’ bookshelf and began to read. It was about Marian apparitions, although he didn’t know what that was at the time. He says he read the entire book that night on Jesus’ mother, which led to his “radical falling in love with Jesus Christ.”
During his conversion experience, Fr. Calloway realized that he was loved and wanted by God. He began to cry. “All He wanted from me, was not a poetic prayer, just humility to get on my knees and surrender my life to Him. And I did.”
“I’ve done so many bad things and I’ve hurt so many people, and yet there’s mercy for someone like me,” he said. “And if that’s true — and it is — then the whole world, there’s an ocean of mercy waiting for us. Jesus loves you. And he came for you… God is madly in love with you.”
Mercy as a Transforming Force
The 60-minute documentary details history and theology interwoven with six personal stories of life-altering transformation through forgiveness and mercy. Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson said, “This extraordinary film highlights the sort of transformations that are possible in individual lives that embrace the way of mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. These testimonies remind us that Divine Mercy is not just a devotion or theological concept — it is alive, it is present, and it is a force that can transform the world.”