The Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Anthony Claret on October 24th. But moviegoers will have the opportunity to learn about him sooner with an upcoming Fathom movie release of Slaves and Kings on August 22 (English) and August 23 (Spanish) in select theatres throughout the United States. Personally, I was familiar with St. Anthony Claret to the degree that he founded a religious community known popular by his last name, the Claretians, and that they were referred to also as the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But I didn’t know his backstory. Not knowing much about Claret, I assumed the title Slaves and Kings referred to being slaves of Our Lady (with a head nod to St. Louis de Montfort) and Kings referring to our nobility as children of God. I was wrong and you’ll learn more about Claret’s life and ministry among slaves and kings in the film.
As a Marian theologian, and author of the book How They Love Mary: 28 Life-Changing Stories of Devotion to Our Lady, I always want to learn about saintly devotion to Mary. Since St. Anthony Claret founded an order with a Marian centered devotion, I imagined I would learn about his Marian devotion. The film did not disappoint me! But I’m sure there’s much more to learn!
In the first few moments in meeting Anthony Claret in his secular life, his Marian devotion is referenced. In the movie, Claret had drawn a picture of Our Lady. When his fellow co-worker mocked him for it, he retorted, “I have a devotion to Our Lady of Fussimana (of Sallent).” Claret made several pilgrimages throughout his life to this shrine of Our Lady. Another Marian moment in the film has the young Claret following a woman, who leads him to a church, disappears, and Claret prays before an altar of Our Lady for hours, if not overnight into the next day. That same lady who led Claret to the Church will be with him at the end of his life (connect the dots.) Another scene in the film has Our Lady over the shoulder of Claret as he was speaking. St. Anthony of Claret was also known for his devotion to the rosary. In Slaves and Kings he gifts a rosary to an individual and in one scene is seen praying the rosary. Finally, in a homily on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, depicted in the film, he preached on Mary’s participation in the redemptive mission of Christ.
Slaves and Kings | St. Anthony Mary Claret
Slaves and Kings captures the life of St. Anthony of Claret, but it also tells an interesting subplot through the eyes of journalist as people tried to undermine Claret and defame him during his life and after his death. This subplot becomes the means by which Claret’s story is shared throughout the nearly two-hour film. Movies about the saints are always inspiring, and Slaves and Kings will help you learn the story of this heroic bishop and saint and quite possibly begin seeking his intercession.
Slaves and Kings is produced by Stallarum Films and distributed by Bosco Films of Spain. The movie was filmed in Spanish but the English dubbed version will be shown in conjunction with Fathom Events throughout the US on August 22nd. To learn more: