Third Miracle, The (1999) Movie Script

Stop shaking my machine
or get out!
Knock it off!
Good afternoon.
-I'm looking for somebody.
-You're too late.
-Excuse me?
-He called you.
-Can I have my key, please?
-You know the rules here.
If you don't pay your rent,
you don't get a key.
-No, nobody called me.
-Sure he did.
He called the church to get
a priest to give him... the rites.
-Last rites?
-I'm sure I paid my rent.
You didn't pay it,
now stop busting my balls!
That's it, except that no one
showed up and he died.
-He died?
-Aren't you looking for Joe Pinella?
I'm looking for Frank Shore.
-Him you can have.
If he's not in his room, try the
soup kitchen across the street.
Hey, can I get your pies today?
Yo, can I get your pie? Come on,
why don't you give it to me?
My man! Can I get your pie?
Somebody gimme the pie!
Somebody gimme the pie! Sorry.
-How are you doing, Frank?
-Very well, thanks.
Can I get pie today? You give me
your pie, I'll talk to you later.
-Here you go, Higgins.
-You got any money today?
-What are you doing?
-Kissed it up to God.
-I'll pray for you.
l will pray for you
l pray for you
You know l do
-This would be extreme.
-What can I tell you? It's filling.
-I wasn't talking about the food.
-Have a seat.
So, you're writing a new book?
No. No new book.
I had my class read ''The God
Within''. It's good. They liked it.
-What have you been doing?
I understand the 40 days in the
desert, but it's been eight months.
-How did you find me?
-This can't be where you want to be.
-I don't know that.
-You walked out without a word.
The truth is Cahill
wants to see you.
He needs you.
He has need of you.
So, unless you've decided
you're not one of us anymore...
I've been trying to avoid decisions.
You took a vow of obedience. Cahill
wants to see you. It's that simple.
It's time to go.
Obviously you haven't been
reading the papers, or you'd know.
There's been another one?
A marble statue of the Virgin
in a parish schoolyard.
Saint Stanislaus'. You know that.
You grew up up there.
-Yeah, not too far Saint Bonis'.
-Good. You'll find your way around.
Place hasn't changed much.
Polacks and spanics, a few micks.
Very hardworking people.
What does she do?
The marble statue, I mean.
Fair question. They do lots of
things these days, don't they?
They undulate, they levitate.
There's a plastic Baby Jesus
in Skokie that drinks real milk.
Guy cuts open a avocado and sees
the Virgin staring up at him.
-It's the millennium, right, Leone?
-Yes, it is.
-What does this one do?
-She's old-fashioned. Just cries.
-Tears of blood.
-How did you guess? Want a drink?
Fill him in.
They claim she made a few cures.
The documentation is fair to good...
particularly on a girl
named Maria Witkowski.
That's seven years back.
She was aged nine at the time.
She had terminal lupus. You can
read all about it and here's a tape.
The statue bled on her, but it isn't
the statue they're praying to.
-It's a laywoman.
-The late Mrs. Helen O'Regan.
Nice widow lady, lived at the
convent, cooked for the sisters.
Opened up a soup
kitchen for the poor.
Even worked in the orphanage
the nuns have up there.
Everybody loved her until she died.
That's when the statue
began to weep.
It's her blood the statue is crying.
That's what the people believe.
-And now they want canonization.
-A saint they'd have her be.
Anyone told them there've only
been three American saints?
I said they were hardworking
people, not geniuses.
Have you had a chemist out?
It's easy to tell if it's blood.
-Frankly, we stayed away.
-But they've got 1 0,000 names...
tour buses, even the
Mayor stopped by.
There's already a cult around her,
like with Father Falcone.
And you were brilliant on Falcone.
I destroyed the faith of a
community. You call that brilliant?
If I didn't, I wouldn't have pulled
you out of that stinking shithouse!
You did what had to be done.
About this statue, is there
anything else I need to know?
She's very particular. Only weeps
when it rains, and only in November.
It's the month Helen O'Regan died.
The conference call, Bishop.
Congressman Darcy is on hold.
Margaret, don't you ever get
tired of being right? Listen...
I don't care what demons you wrestle
with. You're still my postulator.
You took a vow of obedience.
I need this taken care of now.
-What's the hurry?
-Is he deaf? It's October 28th.
Yes, it is.
Yeah, it's about money.
How was your game?
-When did it first happen?
-The bleeding? Seven years ago.
l was saying memorial mass
for Helen, and this little girl...
a favorite of Helen's, had been
sick with lupus for a long time.
Please, sit down.
Good morning, everybody.
We could have done a little
better on the weather, huh?
Helen would have been so happy....
What am I saying?
Helen is happy,
looking down from heaven...
to see how many of you came out
in the rain for her memorial mass.
She gave so much love.
I bet Helen is in heaven with Jesus
and His blessed Mother Mary...
this very morning.
Go join your class now.
Before the incident, the doctors
said the lupus would be fatal.
-And afterwards?
-The statue's blood cured her.
-It's in the material I sent.
-This is an interesting setup.
Yes, it's something new.
We have a money box here.
We don't need to light candles,
all we do here is touch this and....
Helen loved this room.
She could watch
the children playing.
See the statue?
It was very dear to her.
-Living in a convent? A laywoman?
-She loved working with the kids.
Especially the problem kids.
Many nights, she had to work late...
and she liked being here for early
morning mass. It just made sense.
-That's her daughter. Roxane.
-I'd like to talk with her.
She's neither a practicing Catholic
nor a friend to our cause.
-It's your cause, Father, not ours.
-Not yet, you mean.
Father Panak, I'll decide whether
to recommend the case to Rome...
...and that doesn't happen often.
Have you ever recommended
a case, Father Shore?
She was a soul elected by God.
-I'll talk to friends, enemies...
-She had no enemies. any journals and letters.
-She was practically illiterate.
She read the Bible a little.
She had to work at a very early age.
She had not much schooling.
You do know that she was
the child of poor immigrants.
I know that. From Ireland.
From Austria.
Her maiden name was Gabor.
Have you even opened the file?
I'll use this as my office.
Father, please. We've been praying
for this investigation for years.
I'll do my best for you.
You were a friend of Father
Falcone's, Brother Gregory?
Yes, l was. I talked
with him every night.
He was a great spiritual teacher
for me and for all these people.
-Is this where he drowned?
-His boat washed up over there.
Can you help me, please?
Sir, can you help me?
Please, help my son.
-Thanks for driving over, Doc.
-My pleasure.
-I don't mind talking about it.
-Kate Malloy.
Well, we went in there, had a quick
look around and sewed her back up.
The tumor was lodged in such a way
that to remove it was hopeless.
-So we sent her home.
-And she prayed to Father Falcone.
-She confessed with him for years.
-And the tumor, the next time?
What tumor? There wasn't even
scar tissue from the first time.
I don't call it a miracle. That's
not the word I use. I'm Jewish...
so I don't reaIIy beIieve in any
CathoIic miracIes. No offense.
Makes it a IittIe more convincing,
wouIdn't you say?
He doesn't even acknowIedge
our miracIes, but....
Not ''our miracIes'' yet, brother.
I know the process. I know it
requires more than one miracIe...
and there has to be proof of
heroic virtue to make a saint.
We don't make saints. God does.
Then He made Father FaIcone one.
-Thank you.
-Good morning, Father.
-You were at the Iake.
-Yes, Father.
-You couIdn't waIk or stand!
-I'm feeIing much better today.
Father Shore!
What happened to you?
What happened?
What happened to your son?
He couIdn't waIk, he couIdn't stand!
Are you Iooking for
something wrong?
There's nothing here I can find.
There's nothing personaI.
I can't even find the notes on his
sermons. Not even the paper he used.
-I shouIdn't have spoken to you.
-I have to find the truth.
My Lord.
''In the darkness is the power
of AzazeI, MirakieI, SarieI.
''The darkness caIIs, I answer.
I give in myseIf.''
-Look at this stuff.
-I never knew about any of this.
-I never reaIized....
-You never reaIized what?
Okay, at the end, he was a IittIe
depressed and scared, but....
''The darkness caIIs, I answer.''
-I want the report on his death.
-You have it. It's in the paperwork.
Those where just
forms they fiIIed.
The report said they contempIated
the possibiIity of suicide.
-But then they ruIed it out.
-After they heard the parishioners.
A Iot of cops are parishioners.
FaIcone kiIIs himseIf and you
want me to make him a saint?
I thought onIy God made saints.
You know what they caII you? My
friends at the archdiocese toId me.
-They caII you the MiracIe KiIIer.
-You knew.
Something was wrong and
you turned your back on it.
You Iet this whoIe thing happen.
It's a goddamn circus!
-I wanted... I wanted to....
-I know aII about ''I wanted to''.
-But the miracIes, the cures!
-BeIief is powerfuI. Ask a doctor.
You were at the Iake,
you saw it. You feIt it, too!
But it wasn't the work
of God! Was it?!
Or was God pIaying games with us?
You sound just Iike him,
you know that? Like FaIcone.
You don't understand.
This one was supposed to be reaI.
-WeIcome back.
Brother Thomas!
It's good to see you.
It's been a Iong time.
How have you been?
Oh, you know, okay.
I'm not sure if I'm staying.
I haven't decided yet.
You'II pray for me?
Thanks, I'II need it.
-Frank Shore.
-Roxane O'Regan.
-Of course. Hi.
-Listen, I....
-Have a seat?
No. I got your message yesterday.
I didn't even want to caII you back.
So instead you came in person.
WeII, yeah, ' cause I want you
to understand something.
This idea you have about
my mother being a saint...
is... pathetic, okay? And this
other guy, this Father...
-Father Panak?
-He's pathetic. ReaIIy pathetic.
-You Iike that word.
-He used to bring me donut hoIes.
-What wouId you caII that?
-I don't know Father Panak.
And I don't know your mother yet.
-So you're going to know her now.
-That's my job.
-Some job.
-Donut hoIes?
I swear.
-Can I ask about your mother?
-You didn't just hear me? No.
Let me show you something. These
are aII peopIe that prayed to her.
A Iot of this is nonsense, but Iook.
Martin Wade. His white bIood ceII
count was Iess than a thousand.
This guy was in very bad shape.
He prayed to your mother.
His wife rubbed soiI from
your mother's grave on his chest.
That's fooIish, right?
Primitive. Superstitious.
His white bIood ceII count is now
near 3,000. Doctors can't expIain.
Whatever. Do I have to Iisten?
Do you have a Iaw or something?
There's no Iaw. I'm not a cop.
That was my father. I'm a priest.
I'm supposed to say that
you don't Iook Iike a priest?
Brother Thomas. He's been
deaf since chiIdhood.
It's irreIevant, I guess.
Do you have a moment?
I'd Iike to show you something.
Okay? Just a coupIe of minutes.
This was taken by Father Panak
days before your mother died.
-Simon sez ''stick out your tongue''.
-There she is. An ordinary woman.
Simon sez ''jump high''!
Simon sez ''clap your hands
and clap your head''!
Is that what a saint Iooks Iike?
Can't you see the goddamn haIo?
I'm surrounded by peopIe who
worship the ground she waIked on.
-I'm not asking you to be Iike that.
-So what you're asking me to be?
The miracIes are nothing
if she wasn't a good woman.
I don't know if she
was a good woman.
Moved into the convent
when I was 1 6.
Cared more about the church and the
priest than about me. You teII me.
Does that make her a good woman?
She cared more about the priest?
-Oh, boy! Your wheeIs are going.
I made you think that maybe
she and Panak had something.
-Was there?
-What is it with you?
If you can't make somebody
a saint, you make them a sIut?
Jane Francis de ChanteI.
1 8th century, Frana.
She wanted to become a nun,
but she had a kid. 1 0-year-oId boy.
When she tried to go,
he screamed, he cried...
he Iaid down in front of the convent
to stop her. She stepped over him.
A hundred years Iater,
the Church made her a saint.
The Church did?
What wouId you have done?
-I don't know.
-You don't know?
What is a saint, anyway?
A saint is a person who is
with God in heaven.
If you pray to that person and
your prayers are answered...
that means that person has
a speciaI connection with God.
That means that person convinced
God to answer your prayers.
What are you saying to me?
Do you think that woman
is up in heaven and...
she's tapping God on the shouIder
and whispering to God...
you know, ''You gotta hear
those peopIe's prayers''?
Do you beIieve aII this?
Do you?
You ask tough questions.
You Iook Iike her.
I take after my father.
-Know where the Witkowskis Iive?
-Over there.
Mrs. Witkowski?
I'm Father Shore.
Father Panak said you'd come.
I wish he'd toId me when.
-I tried to caII, but the phone...
-Cut it off.
It's Maria I wanted
to taIk to. Is she here?
BIess this house.
BIess it, Father.
-I don't see her no more.
-She doesn't Iive here?
I don't know where she Iives.
She'II start coming around...
when she and her boyfriend figure
out they don't have any money.
-Is this her?
-She's 1 6 now.
-1 6-year-oId whore.
-How do you mean?
I know the trash
she hangs out with.
Those pimps and junkies
down by the Rio Diner.
-Do you know for a fact that...?
-I can smeII it on her.
If you ask me,
God wasted a miracIe.
Do you know a girI named
Maria Witkowski?
CouId you heIp me?
I'm Iooking for someone.
I said, can you heIp?
-Man, don't mess around Iike that.
-Her name is Maria Witkowski.
Who the fuck are you?
The poIice? Who are you, then?
-I'm Iooking for Maria Witkowski.
-Nobody that name hangs here.
Maybe any name I mention
nobody that name hangs here.
Maybe you're right.
Thanks for your heIp.
Where are you going?
You know, we got Iots of Marias.
-If you ain't poIice, what are you?
-ActuaIIy, I'm a priest.
-She sIipped mass on Sunday?
-She was sick before.
She couId be sick again.
My name is Frank Shore.
I'm at Saint Stan's.
That church? My oId Iady
goes there to pray for me.
Everybody shouId have
somebody praying for them.
Father, they reaI? Those miracIes?
Fuck yes, they're reaI.
-I beIieve in aII of that shit.
-Shut up, Wayne.
-Are they, Father?
-You heard Wayne.
-See you around.
-Yeah, aII the time, me and you.
Get yourseIf something to eat.
-What did you just do with that?
-I kissed it up to God.
Higgins. BIack guy named Higgins.
-Shit, you knew Higgins?
-What do you mean, knew?
He's dead. He just died.
You knew Higgins! He was aII right.
If you see Maria....
Father Shore, Saint Stan's.
What the fuck?
I'm sorry for the intrusion.
-Wipe that grin off your face!
The body is the tempIe
of the spirit.
-How did you find your way up here?
-Hot tip from Sister Margaret.
Want a reason not to go to heaven?
That busybody wiII be waiting there.
-What can I do, Frank?
-I have an update on HeIen O'Regan.
Why? Is she making the Iame see
and the bIind waIk?
You're not Iaughing. It means you
think there's something to this.
I don't know what I think.
Think of the peopIe. I don't want
them worshiping some statue.
-I am thinking of the peopIe.
-Okay, what can I do for you?
More time and resources. I need
someone fuII-time to heIp me.
Leone. I'II go to the University,
square away with them....
-No, not Leone.
-I thought you were buddies.
-I've got another candidate.
-Okay, Bishop.
Submit a budget to Sister
Margaret. I'II sign it.
-Bishop Gerard, you stiII not done?
-Jack! No.
-We'II be by the pooI waiting.
-I'II be there.
That is Jack Da Sica.
A very powerfuI man in this city.
-Da Sica Contracting?
-Yes. Biggest in the city.
Listen, they'II have
a fundraiser Thursday night.
-Big shots. Five thousand a pIate.
-They're inviting me?
WeII, you're a very articuIate guy,
you're not a sissy...
You don't act Iike Mother Superior,
teaching the BibIe to the pagan.
That kind of Iay support
never hurts a man's career!
You thought I'd given up
thinking about your career?
The CardinaI stiII taIks about
how you handIed the FaIcone case!
-Did you take a Iook at the fiIe?
-I've read every word.
And? Are you interested?
That's impressive. Poetic, too.
The rain, that's a nice touch.
And the Brother Superior gave you
permission to take off for a whiIe.
What choice did he have?
He gets a caII from the CardinaI.
-I guess the onIy question is....
-Why are you doing this?
-After aII this time....
-I need your heIp.
My heIp? Why me?
I found out you did a IittIe
graduate work in Canon Law...
...before you took your vows.
-I'm asking you why me.
I owe you.
If I heIped you with FaIcone,
I didn't intend to. You know that.
Yeah, I know that.
But I took something away from you.
This is a chance to get it back.
You reaIize there's
no birth certificate.
OnIy record of her birth is
from the passport. 1 933.
They don't Iike hoIes
in the documentation.
I'II check with
the Austrian ConsuIate.
-There's more of them than ever.
-Must be cIoudy, huh?
You Father Shore?
Who toId you I was
Iooking for you? Wayne?
No. MiIIer.
I'm investigating the Iife
of a woman you knew.
HeIen O'Regan.
-She saved me.
-She did?
And she knew things too, yeah.
-She knew when my mother hurt me.
-Your mother hurt you?
No big deaI.
So one day I was sick, and...
my mom forgot to come for me.
HeIen waIked me home.
That was when she first noticed
the mark on my face.
The Iupus?
She touched me.
-Look, I gotta go.
To Wayne?
When HeIen died.
That morning. Do you remember?
I don't know.
It was raining.
-I prayed.
-Did you pray for HeIen?
When someone dies, you pray for
their souI. Is that what you did?
Did you pray to her?
CouId you teII me about the statue?
Listen, I gotta go.
-What do you want?!
-Stay here, I can get you some heIp!
-I don't need no heIp!
-Yes you do. We aII need heIp!
Listen to me. CaIm down a minute.
If you want to heIp me,
you can give me 20 doIIars.
TeII me where I can find you.
-Fuck! Fuck!
-Stop! Stop that!
-You're just ticking me....
I said shut up! Now!
One more question.
You prayed to HeIen, not to God.
-HeIen Ioved me.
-God Ioves you.
I never saw God.
You prayed that she wouId
cure you and she did.
I prayed that I wouId die.
I beIieve... I beIieve because...
''I beIieve because it is
impossibIe.'' It's TertuIian.
Frank. Are you okay, Frank?
Where does faith go?
You jerk.
You come into my confessionaI with
a bag on? You've been drinking?
I'm sorry.
Back there in that fIophouse
where I found you....
-Shithouse. That's what CahiII said.
-Back there you weren't drinking.
Back there, I wasn't
pretending to be a priest.
How does faith get away from you?
Does it happen Iike, you decide you
don't want to be a Iawyer anymore?
-Or you faII out of Iove?
-How wouId I know that?
AII I know is you and me are gonna
Iook Iike a coupIe of asshoIes if...
...we die and there's nothing there.
-WiII you give me a break?
We've been through that first year
of seminar buII session stuff.
It's not that I want, what? Freedom?
Because I'II give up anything.
I'II give up everything!
I just don't want it
to have been for nothing.
-I want it to be true!
-The miracIe?
AII of it! It better
goddamn be true, John!
What can I do for you, Frank?
How can I heIp you?
I don't think you can
do anything for me.
May the Lord Jesus Christ
absoIve you...
and I, by His authority,
absoIve you of aII your sins.
In the name of
the Father, the Son...
and the HoIy Spirit.
Wayne Strozzi.
Three years in juvie,
coupIe busts for possession....
-Does he run prostitutes?
-It wouIdn't come as an awfuI shock.
We have this Maria
Witkowski's description.
We'II round her up every now
and then, make sure she's okay.
-Every now and then?
-Best we can do. Even for you.
Thanks, I appreciate it.
-I ran a yeIIow Iight!
-It was red!
Get your hands off me!
-I thought you weren't a cop.
-It's my dad's oId precinct.
She giving you a hard time, Herman?
She had a traffic aItercation.
Got into a fight with Protski!
-They say I ran a red Iight.
-You had to pick on the biggest cop?
-She a friend of yours?
-Herman, we're Iike this.
-Thank you, Herman.
-You're weIcome.
-What brings you out this way?
-I got a stop to make. Wanna come?
Bring aII this stuff! They don't
think about who wiII cIean it up.
A Iot of peopIe Ioved your mother.
Is that right?
A thorn.
We aIways used to do that when
the jets passed from O'Hare.
-You and your mother?
She used to teII me this...
this story about when
she was a kid in Europe.
They were bombing
the town that she Iived in...
but she prayed...
and the bombs dropped,
but they never hit the ground.
That's how she toId it anyway.
ProbabIy means that her famiIy
wasn't hit, but ever since...
we've been afraid of jets.
-You didn't want to taIk about her.
-Is that what I said?
I never ask myseIf
why I do what I do.
-I just Iike the sound of that.
-Never asking.
-Why don't you try it?
I have, doesn't usuaIIy work for me.
I couId try it again, I guess.
How about trying this?
-You aIways carry vodka around?
-It's a IittIe tradition I have!
I Iike to drink with my mother
on the anniversary of her death.
Join me?
To HeIen.
To HeIen.
-Why are you a priest?
-Why do you want to know?
Because I can teII you Iike this.
-Never mind, I shouIdn't be asking.
-No, it's aII right.
Did you have girIfriends,
did you just turn that off, or what?
I'm not a virgin. When I was
a senior at DoIan High....
DoIan? I went to
Mount Saint Mary's.
We used to go to dances there.
Took three buses on a transfer.
-Did you dance or watch?
-I danced a IittIe bit.
Did you?
-I wasn't a priest in high schooI!
-WeII, do priests dance?
Priests dance! I just haven't had
much occasion to dance IateIy.
Show me.
Yeah, sure.
-We're taIking earIy fifties here.
You're good at this!
What's that caIIed?
-It's not a big thing.
-It's just a IittIe gracefuI....
-I can see how wiId you used to be!
-My favorite was the eIevator.
-What's the eIevator?
-No steps.
I Iike the eIevator too.
Let's go somewhere.
-Can I heIp?
-I got it. This wiII baIance it out.
I just aIways imagined that
there was something eIse out there.
And I've never been anywhere.
That's why I became a traveI agent.
-Where wouId you Iike to go?
-I wanna go everywhere.
Or maybe anywhere. Somewhere.
You stiII want to know
why I became a priest?
Did God caII you?
I guess so, in His way.
I was 1 7, and my dad...
who was a cop, I toId you that...
who had raised me by himseIf,
my mom died when I was 5...
he was shot through the neck
in the Iine of duty.
I went to the hospitaI.
He was dying.
I prayed and I prayed...
that if God wouId Iet him Iive
I wouId become a priest.
And ten minutes Iater
doctors were saying:
''We've never seen
anything Iike this before.''
My dad was fine.
-You kept your end of the bargain.
-Yeah, I did.
I went to seminar, I took
the vows, I put the coIIar on...
and three months Iater
my father died.
Doesn't sound Iike God kept His.
I don't know, I was so angry.
I wasn't angry, I was just...
very confused, you know?
And then I reaIized God doesn't
make bargains. God is God.
He was just making it hard for me.
And my mother?
Where does she fit in?
-I want God to show His face again.
-What if He doesn't have a face?
WiII you spend your Iife caring more
about a dead woman than a Iive one?
-Maybe you're afraid.
-I am afraid.
I'm afraid of...
faIIing in Iove with you.
I'm afraid of that too.
ShouId I go?
PIease, don't go.
Let me see you.
Let me Iook at you.
You're so beautifuI.
Is that right? Is this okay?
It's more than okay.
HoId me reaIIy tight.
It's raining.
-I've got to get to the church.
I have to go.
Oh, no!
I shouId go.
Are you gonna come back?
Yes, yes. I'II come back.
-You promise?
-I promise.
I promise.
I'II be back.
HeIen is with us!
She's here with us aIways!
Father, can you teII us
what's going on here?
-Father Shore!
-Is the miracIe statue crying bIood?
-No reporters! Let's go, Father.
-Are you Reverend PauI Panak?
-Yes. This is my parish.
-No pictures! No teIevision!
This is stiII my parish!
-I don't have time to argue!
-I invited them here!
That's fostering a cuIt! I can
shut down the process right now!
When the statue cries tonight,
try shutting me down then!
-Frank, over here!
-Can you teII us how this started?
-It started seven years ago.
-What's going on?
Nothing yet. Where were you?
This is Father Burke.
He's with the chemistry department.
Good to see you.
-Been around one of these before?
-HaIf a dozen times.
We caII it the pig fat patroI.
It's a common trick.
The statue is painted with pig fat,
and when it rains....
The rain mixes with the pig fat
and Iooks Iike bIood. I know.
HeIen is with us now!
HeIen's here!
HeIen is with us!
Let's get a Iadder over here!
No, not yet.
Frank, it's Burke's job.
Good evening.
-There you are, Frank! You made it.
-It's good to see you.
Quite a fuss Iast night. The press
is more subdued than usuaI.
-I see your hand in that. Good work.
-We shouId taIk about Iast night.
Your Eminence, may I present
Father Frank Shore.
I'm happy to meet you. AIIow me
to present Archbishop Werner...
of the Congregation for the
Causes of Saints, in Rome.
The Archbishop is in
America on a Iecture tour.
You have perhaps heard of
the cause of HeIen O'Regan?
Father Shore is our postuIator.
So, we have to consider
another American saint?
I enjoy your country. You have
severaI worId cIass orchestras.
I even heard there's a passabIe
restaurant or two in San Francisco.
It's wonderfuI, but is it truIy the
soiI in which sainthood can grow?
HeIen wasn't born in America,
as you probabIy know.
So I've heard. She was a street
urchin from somewhere in Austria.
That's correct. It's understandabIe
that the Congregation wouId be...
...sIow to aknowIedge new saints.
-No. There are severaI causes.
That of the BeIgian Father
KurtzweiI, for instance.
-A man of great wit and Iearning.
-And great heroic virtue, no doubt.
In fact, he was tortured by
the Nazis for preaching against...
the persecution of the Jewish.
But then I'm sure your IittIe
housewife was equaIIy corageous.
We have not yet decided to
urge her cause, Archbishop.
Consider very carefuIIy before
spending the Congregation's time.
-Thank you. I have to go.
-A briIIiant man.
Excuse me, Your Eminence.
I have something to teII you both.
The statue shed tears Iast night.
According to the Iab at LoyoIa, they
were bIood. Type A, same as HeIen.
-You are wrong, young man.
-What do you mean?
Wrong to teII me in this way. I reIy
on Bishop GayIe in these matters.
-Sorry, Your Eminence.
-What did I say?
-What did I say?
-Excuse me.
Father Shore, urgent
phone caII for you.
Forgive me.
How can you even teII who it is?
-Who do you think did it?
-A IittIe junkie named MiIIer.
CoupIe of neighbors saw him here.
They were pinned.
There's works aII over the pIace.
-She was hurt too, Father.
-Where is she?
-Southside GeneraI. Frank?
She'II die there.
Oh my God.
-Can I ask you something?
When you needed a second on this,
why didn't you want me?
Now? Tonight you ask me this?
If you think I'm CahiII's man,
you're wrong. You're wrong!
-I'm yours. I'm yours first!
-How about being your own man?
What I need on this is
somebody who has to know...
is God here or isn't He?
That's what this is about to me.
You stopped asking that
question a Iong time ago.
-Do you remember....
-When you took your vows.
What did you feeI then?
Do you remember?
They were big feeIings, right?
Excitement, pride!
-And joy. Joy.
It has never Ieft me, Frank.
I don't need to ask questions.
I know.
Good for you.
I mean it. Good.
For you. You're a Iucky man.
I'm asking You if it's right.
If Your servant HeIen
shouId need me...
of aII men.
Her heart was made
of Iove, and I....
Oh, dear Jesus!
I'm not even a good priest.
Make me worthy.
HeIen, make me worthy.
You want to come inside?
I can fix us up a coupIe tickets
to a saint I know.
Saint Bart's.
-Saint Kate's.
-I wish.
Something wrong?
I'm recommending that Rome
hear your mother's cause.
We're submitting a ''positio''...
an account of her virtuous Iife and
the miracIes performed in her name.
And if it's approved,
there'II be a tribunaI.
We may not hear for a whiIe.
I mean, it might take years.
-ShouId I be happy?
-No, I didn't think you wouId be.
You want me to be happy for you?
I have to make myseIf ready...
to defend her cause.
So God won.
Forgive me.
You know, my friend Jean...
she wants to be a CathoIic.
You wanna know why?
She says that CathoIics
can do anything they want...
and aII they got to do is
go to some confessionaI...
say a few HaiI Marys and
then they're aII forgiven.
WeII, it was a reaI kick...
...Mr. Priest, hoIy man.
-I'm not a hoIy man.
You're not.
You're Iike aII the others.
Roxane, what couId
I possibIy do but hurt you?
Nothing, Frank.
AbsoIuteIy nothing.
Don't go!
-Give me a hint, what's in here?
-I've done my best, Your ExceIIency.
Don't ''ExceIIency'' me.
Am I going to Iike it or not?
Like it, don't Iike it,
it's the truth.
The body of Christ.
The body of Christ.
The body of Christ.
The body of Christ.
What's going on?
The Vatican is sending
an investigative tribunaI...
to see if the Church is wiIIing
to move forward on HeIen's cause.
So quickIy?
Rome is finaIIy catching up with the
rest of the worId, thanks be to God.
It is strictIy preIiminary, but
they're sending a bIue-ribbon paneI.
Two cardinaIs, theoIogians from
the Congregation of the Causes....
-Your housewife is making a stir.
-I guess so.
Have you ever heard of them sending
a tribunaI on the road Iike this?
No, I haven't.
It's probabIy because the DeviI's
Advocate they want is here.
-Who is he? Do you know?
-The German that we met?
You can get them.
-Have the CardinaIs arrived?
-They arrived on Wednesday.
There's NoIa from Rome
and Sarrazin from Lyon.
This bIeeding statue. It wouIdn't be
five minutes out of our way.
BIess me, Father.
Werner has a doctorate in
TheoIogy and Canon Law.
He writes in every
European Ianguage.
1 8 years in the Congregation
for the Propagation of the Faith.
-ShouId've made CardinaI by now.
-WeII, why hasn't he?
-Too impredictabIe. It scares them.
-He scares me too.
PIease sit down.
Our task is twofoId.
First, to determine...
if the servant of God HeIen O'Regan
practiced virtue to a heroic degree.
Second, to seek in miracIes
signs of God's speciaI favor to her.
We've read the ''positio''
of the postuIator advocate...
Father Francis Xavier Shore.
It is a Iearned and pious document.
Archbishop Werner,
our good friend...
as promoter of the faith,
you oppose this woman's cause.
Yes, Your Eminence.
We may begin.
We Iive in a faIIen worId.
Martyrdom, the great act of faith...
seems impossibIe. Therefore, acts of
simpIe goodness, a soup kitchen...
kindness to the poor...
have come to seem
worthy of a saint.
But true sainthood
is of another worId.
To begin at the beginning,
Mrs. HeIen O'Regan was married.
Father Shore's document makes
no reference to the obstacIe...
that marriage creates
between the souI and God.
-Because I see no obstacIe.
-No obstacIe in sexuaI intercourse?
The contamination of
the spirit by the fIesh? No?
RespectfuIIy, Your Eminences, it has
been centuries since the Church...
has regarded the human body
as soIeIy a vesseI of sin.
You yourseIf are ceIibate. Don't you
agree with the CounciI of Trent...
that ceIibate is
the most bIessed state?
What I am saying is,
there have been married saints.
Saint EIizabeth of Hungary, Saint
Monica, our own EIizabeth Seton.
Exceptions mark the ruIe. It wasn't
a soup kitchen that Seton founded.
It was a mighty reIigious order!
The union of man and wife
is the first bond....
And youth is passed as the order
of charity between husband and wife.
We have read Saint Augustine,
Father. What's your point?
The order of charity is my point.
Your Eminence.
Yes, HeIen was married.
Let me teII you about her marriage.
Her husband died of cancer.
Seven years she was by his bedside
as his body deteriorated.
She was tireIess, even gratefuI to
cIean up the mess of his sickness...
because she Ioved him. The
Archbishop says that's an obstacIe.
But she cared for her husband
as she cared for others.
We have many saints who have
spent their Iives in chaste prayer.
God bIess their piety, but HeIen
is a saint of the peopIe.
The peopIe who Iive
in the ordinary worId.
Let them have her bIessing.
Let them have their saint.
Will a Chicago woman
become the next saint?
That's what's being decided
at Holy Name Cathedral...
by a panel of Catholic prelates
who held the first session today.
ln the case of the woman,
the late Helen O'Regan...
she was a parish worker at
Saint Stanislaus' Church...
and has created much excitement
among the city's worshipers.
It's a mark of origin. You see it on
the pottery they seII to tourists.
-Bystrica is in CzechosIovakia.
-We've been Iooking in Austria.
-Because HeIen was from Austria.
So Roxane's story
didn't make any sense...
because the town HeIen was supposed
to have been from was never bombed.
-But Bystrica was.
-This whoIe region was bombed.
-I thought she wasn't cooperating.
-If the story is true....
It's a fairytaIe her mother toId her
to keep her from being afraid.
Yeah, but if it were....
-I mean, even if her passport....
-What about her passport?
-Are you keeping something from me?
-I didn't want to get your hopes up.
I think I couId probabIy
handIe it. What is it?
I toId you there was
no birth certificate.
Yeah. So?
The Austrian ConsuIate put me
in touch with the haII of records.
No record of her being born there.
No record of HeIena Gabor anywhere.
So she couId've been from somewhere
eIse. Like here, in SIovakia.
-Nobody heard her speaking German.
-Perhaps, but Iisten.
The Gabor famiIy she immigrated
with had onIy one chiId, a son...
but the U.S. Army issued passports
to four of them, HeIen incIuded.
They were processing refugees by the
boatIoad, the papers were a mess.
What are you saying anyway?
The famiIy Iied that this chiId
was theirs? Why wouId they do that?
-Does your order have peopIe there?
Forget Austria, it's SIovakia!
The Church is under Communist siege.
Find somebody who speaks the
Ianguage, who'd show you around.
-I'II find someone. Why?
-It's where the statue was from.
-Where the bombs actuaIIy feII.
-And what am I supposed to find?
Maybe we'II find out who
HeIen O'Regan reaIIy was.
Maybe... a miracIe.
It was wonderfuI,
a wonderfuI evening.
ExceIIent wine.
Father Shore.
Did dinner meet with your
standards, Your ExceIIency?
I'm in the American Midwest,
I don't expect miracIes.
-That's a good ruIe.
-I don't know why you smiIe.
I do beIieve in miracIes.
I saw one once.
-With Father KurtzweiI?
-I wasn't thinking of KurtzweiI.
But.... Ironic, isn't it?
I actuaIIy beIieve in miracIes...
whereas you beIieve nothing.
Nothing at aII.
And yet you'II do anything to prove
your IittIe housewife's miracIes...
are reaI.
I am right, am I not?
You beIieve nothing at aII.
I can see why they caII you
the DeviI's Advocate.
-Be carefuI, Frank.
-You are as I was afraid you'd be.
CIever, insoIent,
and underneath it aII sentimentaI.
-It's important to teach you a Iesson.
-Important to you?
Important to God's
HoIy Church. Thank you.
You're not God or His Church.
You can't speak to
the Archbishop Iike that.
I just did.
-How are things going?
-Fine. How are things with you?
-Fine. Is this your friend?
-Yes. Gregory, Father John Leone.
PIeased to meet you.
-I heard of you.
-He's heIping me out on the HeIen...
Yes, I know. I know.
Good evening.
That was interesting.
-Are you Jean?
-How do you know?
Lucky guess, I guess.
-You must be Frank.
Thanks, Jean.
I don't have to ask you
if it's a bad time. I'm sorry.
I've heard that before.
What are you doing here?
-I need your heIp.
You are a goddamn
stubborn Irishman, aren't you?
They're gonna be taIking about
you at the tribunaI tomorrow.
-They are?
-They'II say HeIen deserted you.
-That's how they're going to put it.
-WeII, that's how it was.
No. She was torn, she was guiIty.
She must have been.
They need to hear you say that.
You're unbeIievabIe. Excuse me,
I've got a party to go to.
HeIen needs you.
-I need you.
-Forgive me, Father.
Reverend, we wiII hear you with
interest about Roxane O'Regan...
daughter of HeIen, but I must ask:
why is she not herseIf a witness?
-She did not wish to come.
-Oh, she didn't?
And if she had, do you beIieve
she wouId have testified in favor...
of her mother's beatification?
Miss O'Regan beIieves her mother
abandoned her to serve the Church.
And that's not what
you yourseIf beIieve?
I beIieve HeIen O'Regan's
overwheIming desire...
was simpIy to be with God.
Who are you?
I'm so sorry,
I thought this was a court room.
I thought I couId just
sIip in the pack and Iisten.
-Roxane O'Regan, Your Eminence.
-You have decided to come. WeIcome.
PIease take a seat.
I don't reaIIy have anything to say,
I just wanted to...
you know, see how you make a saint.
She has no conception of sainthood.
She's not a practicing CathoIic.
That's right.
How couId I have a concept...
of a saint, reaIIy? Why don't you
expIain it to me, Father?
Or anybody. Your Eminence?
A saint Ioves God beyond the
ordinary human power to Iove God.
A saint is Iove.
You experienced the Ioss of your
mother's Iove when you were 1 6.
-It didn't kiII me.
-But it was a terribIe Ioss for you.
WeII, yeah. Of course it was.
-That's aII I wanted to know.
-Have you any idea why she Ieft you?
You must have asked yourseIf
that question, why she Ieft you.
What was her reason?
-I don't know.
-Was it just indifference?
Was it convenient?
Was her just being seIfish?
I don't know.
What did she say to you? She must
have offered some expIanation.
She didn't just get up and Ieave
one day. What did she teII you?
She said she owed God.
Owed Him.
I didn't get it then and, quite
honestIy, I don't get it now either.
And when she Ieft you... was painfuI?
-Of course it was painfuI.
Do you think it was painfuI for her?
I don't know if I can answer that.
Maybe, for her, her Iove
for God was so strong...
that she Ieft you,
even though she Ioved you.
Even though she reaIIy Ioved you and
it was very, very painfuI for her.
You can imagine that, even if
you can't understand it, can't you?
I can imagine that is painfuI
to Ieave somebody you Iove.
I can't imagine
Ieaving your daughter.
That I can't imagine.
But, you know, that's me, and...
God knows I'm not a saint, so....
It's extraordinary, Frank!
Everyone here knows the story...
or at Ieast they remember
hearing about it.
Look, our onIy probIem is, as yet
we don't have any eyewitnesses.
Or at Ieast none that wiII taIk.
Or, if they wiII,
their chiIdren won't aIIow them to.
I mean, they're afraid to heIp us.
They're afraid to go to church!
Look, I know it's a probIem and
of course I wiII continue to Iook...
but I pieced together what happened
between one account and another.
It's an incredibIe story.
Are you ready?
If there's any hope, we'd Iike to
sustain her Iife. Whatever the cost.
If I thought there were,
Father, I wouId.
Mrs. Witkowski?
-Is she dead yet?
-Not yet. Be a few minutes.
We'II Ieave you aIone.
Why don't you go on to the tribunaI?
I'II stay here.
God doesn't waste miracIes.
Concerning the first of the miracIes
attributed to the servant of God...
...the cure of Maria Witkowski.
-Yes, Your Eminence.
We have here your account of the day
she was cured of terminaI Iupus...
by the bIood of HeIen, to whom the
girI was in the habit of praying.
Yes. The events I Iearned
from Maria herseIf.
There is aIso the testimony
of others who saw...
Maria coming into the church
covered with bIood.
What Iooked Iike bIood.
Thereafter, she made
an inexpIicabIe recovery.
The ''consuIta medica'' of the
CathoIic University has confirmed...
two hospitaI reports that her cure
can't be expIained by naturaI means.
Archbishop, you've asked a review of
the report? May we have more water?
Can't you keep these
water gIasses fiIIed?!
Yes, but I do have another question.
I wish to know...
where is Maria Witkowski now?
UntiI now, she has been in a coma,
as you are weII aware.
However, this morning,
about an hour ago...
A coma brought about by
an overdose of cocaine.
-I'm trying to answer your question.
-So, she is a drug addict.
According to poIice reports, she has
been suspected of prostitution...
of soIiciting money
for the most degrading...
We are aware of the meaning of
''prostitution'', Archbishop Werner.
Of course, Your Eminence. Sorry.
So, your HeIen O'Regan intercedes
with God to spare Maria...
so that she may go on to a Iife
of the fouIest degradation.
Is that an exampIe of Iove?
Of wisdom?
Virtue is required of a saint, not
the abiIity to predict the future.
And now we Iearn that
Maria, this day, has died.
I was going to report that as soon
as her death had been confirmed.
Died unrepentant,
in the fouIness of sin!
How dare you say that?
How dare you sit there and say....
How couId you possibIy know
the state of her souI?!
Who are you to....
Who do you think you are?!
You are not God!
Excuse me, Your Eminence.
-John, what is it?
-Frank, Fathers, Your Eminence.
PIease, you must come.
You must see.
-A Iot of peopIe here today.
-They wanted a miracIe, they got it.
-Father Shore.
-No questions, pIease.
-What about the miracIe?
-I can say that it's a gIorious day.
You be carefuI in there today.
I've spoken this morning
with the HoIy See.
Records of the deathbed recovery
of Maria Witkowski...
are being examined by the
CoIIege of ReIators in Rome.
The resuIts wiII reach us
in two days' time.
This wiII be for us
a time of prayer.
Your Eminence,
before we adjourn...
I wish the tribunaI to know
that I wiII continue...
to oppose the beatification
of HeIen Gabor O'Regan.
You reveaI a surprise to us.
May we hear your reason?
Yes, there are two. First, even if
I accept HeIen's dubious virtue...
this business of Maria Witkowski
is but one canonicaI miracIe.
The Canon Law requires two...
Iong tradition insists on three.
But I have another reason. It goes
to the heart of these proceedings.
To the state of the souI
of our postuIator.
I deny that God wouId entrust...
his servant's cause
to a faithIess priest...
to a man who cannot
say to us, even now...
that he accepts the truth
of God and His Church!
I defy him to do so.
You doubt me.
But why do you doubt HeIen?
-You saw Maria.
-I don't know what I saw.
-You saw her with your own eyes.
-Perhaps it wasn't the work of God.
Father Shore.
-Come cIoser.
-Yes, Your Eminence.
Do you hoId to the truth of this
Church, HoIy, CathoIic, ApostoIic?
-I need time, Your Eminence.
-Time? For so simpIe a decIaration?
Time to pray.
No. Swear to us, Father Shore.
Swear before God!
And what good wouId that do?
If I didn't beIieve in God, why
wouId I hesitate to swear faIseIy?
That's too cIever, my son.
HeIp me, before I begin to share
the Archbishop's doubt.
I have struggIed with my faith,
Your Eminence.
But what does that have to do
with the virtue of this woman?
If God chooses to trust her cause...
to a priest Iike me...
-But wouId God do so?
-Who knows God's wiII?
Do you, Archbishop?
-Do you?
-''Do you''!
God has given me doubts, yes...
but He aIso gave me HeIen.
-I beIieve that.
-We wiII reconvene tomorrow.
Not one reaI witness, Frank.
No, I faiIed you.
Your Eminence, I am compeIIed to
bring one finaI matter before you.
I admit that I don't have
the proper evidence.
I had hoped, given time....
But I'm not asking for more time.
I know I faiIed the cause of HeIen
because of the weakness of my faith.
But I'm unwiIIing
to remain siIent...
about a great miracIe
of which she was part.
-I protest.
-Of course you do.
To hear about a miracIe of which
there's no proof is chiIdishness.
-Your Eminence, I impIore you....
I'II begin with a discrepancy dating
to the time of her naturaIization.
Her maiden name was not
Gabor, as we thought.
And she wasn't from Austria either.
This may seem unimportant....
Nothing under heaven is unimportant.
But why her famiIy changed her name?
Her famiIy were gypsies.
They were on the run from the Nazis.
HeIen was Iucky.
She didn't Iook Iike a gypsy.
Her father gave her to
a non-gypsy famiIy named Gabor.
She stayed with that famiIy,
came to America and kept the name.
Her reaI name was HeIena CroIova,
from Bystrica, SIovakia.
On August 9th, 1 944...
A squadron of American
bombers under AIIied command...
were strafing severaI factory towns
where German troops were stationed.
Among these was Bystrica.
According to the story,
as the bombers approached...
the chiId HeIena fIed from
her father and a young priest...
who aIso tried to catch her.
She ran to the church, dropped
to her knees and began to pray.
Eminence, I've....
Let me... If I may... taIk....
Is the Archbishop not weII?
Your Eminence, I think we shouId
recess for today. Archbishop....
We'II recess. We hope the Archbishop
is feeIing better tomorrow.
Yes, I am feeIing better tomorrow.
Thank you very much.
This way.
It's you. Preposterous.
-What? The miracIe of Bystrica?
-No, no.
That God wouId make you its
messenger. You are preposterous.
1 944. Where were you in 1 944?
I was a kid.
I was in fourth grade.
I am tired of expIaining to your
insoIent generation about the war.
I'm tired aItogether.
That's why you caIIed me here
in the middIe of the night?
Bystrica was a fiIthy factory town.
Anyone who wasn't a gypsy or a
Communist was an ignorant peasant...
come in from the country
to work in the...
ammunition pIants.
You couIdn't find a decent meaI or
a companion worthy to share it with.
The air was smoke.
The buiIdings were
the coIor of rotten straw.
You were there.
You are fond of saying:
''Let God be God.
''We must not judge for Him.''
You were there, weren't you?
What did you see?
Did you see the miracIe?
No, it was an unwise miracIe.
Unwise and capricious.
To grant the wishes of a gypsy girI,
to spare her famiIy when miIIions...
when miIIions died!
Caprice of God!
I wouId say it to God if He were in
this room. I wouId say it to Him!
-And He isn't in this room?
-Don't debate with me.
We are not before
that pompous ass Sarrazin.
We've onIy our own conscience. God
gave us the Church for safekeeping.
We must Iive among the peopIe
of this worId and judge...
what is best for them
to hear and not to hear.
And this miracIe...
it's not good for peopIe
to hear. Not good.
And what were you?
Were you the priest?
The church records were destroyed by
Communists. We couIdn't find him.
Was that you?
You toId me, I remember...
that you saw a miracIe once.
I don't know what I saw.
Yes you did.
Yes you do.
TeII me.
Archbishop, what did you see?
TeII me what you saw.
You said...
there were two peopIe
who witnessed the miracIe.
The priest. The father.
There was a third.
The third who saw the girI.
A soldier on the German army.
Skeptical of what he saw.
He watched the girl pray,
and then...
watched when the bombs...
the bombs feII...
and then turning fast
into the most...
most peacefuI fIock of birds.
I've never seen so many,
before or since.
I've never seen so...
many... pigeons.
Watch the door!
That's it, keep that smiIe.
QuickIy, come on!
Everybody inside.
Are you ready, everybody?
Everybody say ''funky''!
Everybody say ''chickens''!
Good job, everyone. Trevor,
you sang so wonderfuIIy today.
Thank you so much.
What are you doing here,
in this neighborhood?
WeII, I moved here.
I needed a cheaper pIace and...
...a IittIe more room.
-Is this yours? She's beautifuI.
How about my mother?
Is she a saint?
We have the two miracIes,
Maria and the bombing of Bystrica.
The Church doesn't Iike to taIk
about Bystrica, but is counting it.
We're waiting for a third.
-And you're a priest.
And you're a mother.
-Yeah. Yes, I am.
-She's reaIIy, reaIIy gorgeous.
And I have to get her home before it
rains. Okay, sweetheart. Let's go.
-Good to see you.
-Nice to see you.