Seeing Love to the End
I am your message, Lord. Throw me like a blazing torch into the night, that all may see and understand what it means to be a disciple. –•– St. Maria Skobtsova
Every once in a while a gem comes along that enlivens and energizes my faith. The film Love to the End did just that. This documentary (made by Anberin Pasha and Emanuel Sabau) shines a light on a wonderful saint, Maria of Paris, or as many knew her, Maria Skobtsova. St. Maria has long been a favorite of mine and her life and writings have inspired me.
I can't recommend this film enough. It tells the compelling story how the discipleship of St. Maria of Paris led her to befriend the troubled, the ill, and the poor in Paris. She offered hospitality to the homeless and made room at her table for the hungry. When the Nazis arrived in France, she began to hide Jewish people to protect them from certain death. For St. Maria, the Nazi attacks on the Jewish people posed a question of unity. She said, "If we were true Christians we would all wear the Star. The age of confessors has arrived." St. Maria was sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp and was killed in the gas chamber on Holy Saturday of 1945.
In a very lovely way, Love to the End weaves the life and story of St. Maria into the lives and stories of people today - people who were inspired by St. Maria to pick up the challenge of Christian discipleship and to love as Jesus loved. I was especially moved by Presvytera Maria Drossos' description of the amazing ministry of St. John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Canada. I think I need to visit them next year.
Please support and watch this life-giving film. But watch out, it may change your life. If you would like to find out more about St. Maria of Paris, read Jim Forest's wonderful article, "Mother Maria of Paris: Saint of the Open Door" from In Communion.