This is a beautiful and moving film!
Actor John Rhys-Davies (Gimli, Lord of the Rings trilogy) portrays the elder St. Patrick in the new CBN film I Am Patrick: The Patron Saint of Ireland.
ChurchPOP English editor Jacqueline Burkepile interviewed the Hollywood actor about how he “loves” St. Patrick and his humility, how the film impacted his life, and what he believes about Christianity and faith.
“He’s just so brave. I love him,” Rhys-Davies explained. “Patrick is a little bit special. His humility is absolutely genuine.”
“There’s almost an arrogance to his profound religious certainty. He knows that God is talking to him. He knows that the Holy Spirit is instructing him what to do, and it guides him all his life.
“From the time that he is stolen and enslaved, he is basically broken and beaten up and then sent to work as a solitary shepherd in a wilderness, essentially that offers him no comfort at all. He’s freezing to death. He has no really no place to live.
“God is talking to him—the Holy Spirit is talking to him. But his plan is to get away—to escape, and he gets back to his people…But in a way he feels like he has to go back and convert his persecutors. It’s just remarkable.”
Listen to the full interview below:
“That individual, self-questioning, authentic voice that comes through Patrick…If you’re not touched by it, I suppose it means that you’re not interested in human achievement. In those remarkable people who change the world.”
“How did playing this role affect you personally?”
“I am a man and that which pertains to humans concerns me,” Rhys-Davies continued. “I find as I get older there’s been a change in me, I think brought about by going to fan conventions, honestly…The older I get, the more and more [people] delight me. And studying of Patrick, and the actor’s privilege.”
“You can actually become in your own imagination a marvelous character like this. The character informs us as we inform the character. What did I gain from it? I certainly did not become a saint, Let me tell you. But I glory in his humanity and envy his strength and courage and moral certainty, I think.”
“Do you think it impacted you in terms of faith at all?”
“I find this difficult to explain. I count myself a rationalist and a sceptic. I’m technically a Christian, in the sense that I was baptized Henry John Davies in a little Welsh congregation—this chapel in Wales.
“I grew up in schools that were Christian. I have attended an awful lot of services, and actually, I have certainly a better understanding of the Bible and a better reading of the bible than many of my contemporaries.
“It’s not that I do not believe in God. But I’ve come to him in a slightly different way.”
“When you have that much space and time, then not only is God probability, but God is a racing certainty. I’m personally skeptical that we will find intelligence certainly in our galaxy.”
“I love (St.)Paul. I think that crisp, analytical mind is just—I love to see minds exploring what is real, what is certain, and what is valuable to the human spirit.
“And the tradition of Christianity…transcends the idea of any other civilization that we know.
“Western European Christian civilization has given us all the things we really value.
“The abiding glory of Western European—and I emphasize this—Christian civilization—is the abolition of slavery. No other civilization tried it or achieved it. It is one of the glories of mankind and it is inseparable from the Christian experience.
“I’m afraid I cannot be counted amongst the saved or the chosen, but I count myself as one who acknowledges the importance of faith and Christianity.”
“The great moral certainty of the Catholic faith, in certain areas, which I think is a light to human beings around the world. But yes, civilization is worth defending and Christian civilization must be defended.”