Pope Joan (2009) Movie Script

His Eminence, Arnaldo,
Bishop of Paris.
everything is prepared.
Take all the time you need.
When you're satisfied,
we will gladly bind it for you.
Thank you.
How could it had been otherwise...
that a woman had once occupied
the Papal Throne...
was a disgrace to the Church.
Of course, Johanna was not mentioned
in the Chronicle of the Popes.
But was there truly to be no trace
of her existence?
Was she to be banished
from history altogether?
A woman
who had accomplished so much?
The first day of Johanna's life
was the last of Charlemagne's.
They called him "the Great" but in
the eastern part of the Frankish Empire,
in former Germania, people had
terrible memories of the emperor...
and his soldiers, who fought the heathen
faith for years with flame and sword.
But now, people had enough difficulty
just surviving the winter.
- What're you doing, woman?
- This will ease her pain.
The word of our Lord:
"In sorrow shall thou
bring forth children".
Then I need your help.
We don't have much time.
That's women's work,
- lowly and unclean.
- Then your wife will die.
That rests in God's hand,
not mine.
It will be difficult raising two boys
without their mother.
What do you want me to do?
Sit behind her...
support her back.
Now take this cloth.
Pull to one side!
Push! Oh my goodness.
It's a girl. Healthy and strong,
by the look of her.
A girl!
She will be named Johanna.
Five years later
Johanna was a gifted child,
and she had a clear mind.
Her hunger for knowledge
was insatiable.
In spite of her youth, she had an
innate wisdom way beyond her years.
- Do you know its name?
- Marigold.
And what does it do?
Helps us when we have a stomachache
or when we cut ourselves.
Very good, little quail.
You learn quickly.
So father will teach me too?
We should get dinner ready.
Right away!
No. Beneficium. Do you know the difference
is not between a "b" and a "d"?
Keep trying Johannes.
Father will be back soon.
I cannot do it.
- What does it say?
- The psalm "Confitebor".
Confitebor tibi Domine
in toto corde meo
mirabo omnia mirabilia tua.
- Where did you...
- I've been listening.
I want to read Psalms too... and write.
Will you teach me?
I cannot do that, little sister.
- Why not?
- Father would never allow it.
Why not?
Because it is forbidden for girls.
It would be blasphemy.
And because girls cannot learn
to read and write, just like mother.
And just like you.
Please Matthew.
I won't tell.
You are a wonder, little sister.
And you know what you just wrote?
Lord, thy grace reaches
as far as the heaven,
and my truth
as far as the cloud.
St. Catherine would be
very proud of you.
Who's that?
She lived centuries ago in Alexandria.
Even though she was a woman,
and still quite young,
she was learned and wise.
Tell me more about her!
Catherine was a king's daughter.
Among the pagan Romans,
she dared to become a Christian.
How far you know, Johannes?
Why the heathen chose to
not convert to Christianity?
They must, or they'll all be killed!
Only you should give them the time
to make up their mind.
Where were we?
- Sword?
- Rumpia.
- Heart?
- Cor.
- Knowledge?
- Scientia.
- Holy Bush?
- Even you don't know!
Ah... Help!
Tell me that story again,
of our origin.
Although he was already very wise,
Odin always sought more knowledge...
So, he came
to the well of wisdom.
But the giant Mimir, guardian
of the well, told Odin:
"Wisdom is always born with pain"...
Please don't stop.
In return for a drink from the well,
Mimir demanded one of Odin's eyes.
Odin gave up one of his eyes,
drank from the well...
and past his knowledge on
to mankind.
To girls as well?
If father will let me learn
to read and write,
maybe Odin will
share his knowledge with me.
How dare you?
You are back already, husband?
Under this roof! How dare you
pray to your pagan gods?
The child was frightened. So I told her
a harmless story.
You call such blasphemy "harmless"?
- Please don't, father!
- Get up and out of here!
Go. Quick, you go.
Heathen creature!
You renounce Satan? Hmm?
- In words! Say the words!
- I renounce Satan.
And his evil and all the
temptations of evil!
No. No. No!
You say the words again!
- To the outside, quick!
- You say the words!
Why? Why?
Father forbade mother
to worship a heathen god,
and in the Bible, it says:
"Woman must obey their husband".
But in the Bible it also says
"Love is patient. Love is kind.
Love knows no anger".
I have read it myself.
And if father ever finds out
you would be next.
Keep praying, my son,
for God will heal you.
Think of the honor that
will soon be yours...
going to a cathedral school.
God intends for you to be
a scholar and a priest.
You must be strong for Him.
You have to get well again.
Who else is going to teach me?
There is not much more
I can teach you, little sister.
I have something for you.
- Turn it around.
- "Saint Catherine of Alexandria".
You are sisters in spirit.
She will guide you,
like a sister.
Tell me child, do you know where
the priest's house is?
- Yes, Sir.
- And who are you, industrious girl?
I'm his daughter, Johanna.
God be with you, Johanna,
my name is Aesculapius.
I would very much like to
speak with your father.
Your coming here shames me, Sir.
You are the school master,
I should have served you well.
I thank you, Sir. And your wife,
and your children.
The Bishop has told me
of your misfortune,
and that you'd now like to send your
second son to the cathedral school.
Johannes is a worthy replacement
for his brother. He's a smart boy.
Eager to learn.
To meet such children makes the
long journey worthwhile.
Though, I was disappointed
not to find any works by Plato.
His works are hardly approved
for study for a Christian.
So you don't find any significance
in his works?
Faith is grounded on the
authority of the Holy Scripture,
not on the writings of philosophers.
But you have to admit
our ability to think rationally...
is... God-given.
From Him alone.
Then why are you fear to expose faith
to the light of reason?
Since God Himself gave us reason,
how could it lead us from Him?
Does fear of logic
show a lack of faith...
in God's omniscience
and his love for mankind?
A solid faith need have no fear,
because if God exists, logic...
can only take us to Him.
Cogito, ergo Deus est.
I think, therefore God exists!
Johanna felt the truth
in Aesculapius's words.
"I think, therefore God exists".
And she knew her father was wrong.
Her love of knowledge was
neither sinful nor unnatural.
It was God's gift
to mankind.
Johanna had blamed herself
for Matthew's death.
Now she knew her desire to learn
had not cost him his life.
Matthew died because no one
knew how to help him.
She understood then and there
that it was her duty
to expand her knowledge and to put
her abilities to work for the greater good.
Si... Simile est grano...
quod acceptum...
The boy is confused.
Believe me, he can do better.
et crevits et...
You are a disgrace!
Let him go.
God did not intend every child
to study Scripture.
Simile est quod acceptum grano sinapis
Gay misit in hortum suum...
et crevit et factum est
in arborem magnam...
et volucres caeli
requieverunt in ramis eius...
- You know how to read?
- And write.
- Matthew taught me.
- How dare you.
I can take Matthew's place
at the schola and study.
- I can make you proud, father.
- Unnatural creature!
You have brought God's wrath
down upon us.
Did you understand
what you just read?
"It's similar to a mustard seed,
that a man took and planted in his garden.
"And it grew and became a tree,
"and the birds at the sky
lived in its branches".
And what you think
it's meant by the mustard seed?
Perhaps its faith,
planted in the heart
like a mustard seed in the garden.
And if you tend to it,
a big tree will grow from it.
But perhaps it also means the Church.
It too started like a mustard seed,
small and in the dark.
But thanks to Jesus and the Apostles,
it grew and grew.
She must has persuaded her brother
to teach her behind my back.
I will punish her accordingly.
And the birds that nest
in the branches?
They are the faithful who find
salvation in the Church.
And the mustard seed could also
represent Jesus Christ,
for he was like a seed
when he was buried...
and like a tree when he was resurrected
and rose toward heaven.
Thank you.
You heard that?
The mustard seed is the symbol
of faith of the Church and the Christ.
A classical scriptural exegesis.
Your daughter displayed an
extraordinarily sharp mind.
- I will teach her.
- The girl? You are not serious?
I am. Of course they will never
approve her in Rome and the Schola.
I will come and teach her here
as far as I can.
And what about the boy?
Forgive me, but the Schola
is not for your son.
He is to be passed over while a mere girl
gets to study the Holy Scripture?
Out of the question!
It would be a sacrilege to waste such
an alert mind.
Either you teach both,
or neither.
This is by Cicero, the greatest
orator Rome ever knew.
- And they let you bring it?
- No.
But why should I let the boys
at the cathedral school better off...
to enjoy their offerings of the library.
The Academy in Athens
stood for a 1,000 years.
Then Emperor Justinian forbade it.
A great age of philosophers ended.
So where could you
study their writings?
How could all that knowledge
be preserved for so long?
Well, in that same year...
Saint Benedict founded
his monastery in Montecassino.
Soon, many others were built, and within
their protected walls the legacies of
the wise, Greeks and Romans, could be
handed down through the centuries.
The Earth is the center of the universe.
We're encircled by a
crystal shelf, the sphere...
to which the planets are attached.
Pythagoras says they even
make music as they turn.
I... have bad news.
Another man has applied
for the position of schoolmaster,
and the Bishop thinks he is
better suited than I.
- No! That cannot be!
- I'll go to Byzantium,
Now I will do whatever I can to make sure
your precious gift will not go unused.
I have promised you.
This is for you.
It is Homer's "Odyssey,"
The oldest writing work
known to mankind.
I transcribed it myself.
First, the Greek original,
followed by the Latin translation.
- Where did you get this book?
- Aesculapius gave it to me.
What kind of language is this?
- How can you read this?
- It is Greek, father.
I learned it from Aesculapius.
You have insulted God
with your disobedience.
As the punishment... you work day and
night, taking nothing but bread and water
until every last word of
unchristian writing is off here.
Begin! Begin!
Then I will teach you to fear
the pains of Hell.
No. She is your daughter!
- Out of here! Both of you!
- Please Mama, come!
Bare your back and kneel!
- Say the Lord's prayer.
- Our father which art in heaven.
Keep going!
Keep going! Or did that heretic
teach you a different prayer?
Hallowed be...
...thy name!
Your Kingdom come.
Thy will be done...
on earth as it is in heaven!
Give us this day
our daily bread...
and forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us.
- Are you the priest of this village?
- I am.
I'm an envoy from The Bishop of Dorstadt.
Then you've been on the road for weeks.
Just to find me?
Not entirely.
The Bishop is calling you
to the Schola.
Forgive me, sir, but I'm here
to bring a girl to Dorstadt.
- A girl named... Johanna.
- I'm Johanna! I'm to go to the schola!
It's ridiculous! Johannes, Johanna...
A small mistake in the writing.
- Happens even to the best of scribes!
- That may be...
Use your head, what's a girl
supposed to do in the cathedral school?
You're the mother.
What do you say?
Disrespectful man, you dare doubt the
word of a devoted servant of the Lord?
Calm yourself, pious father.
Remember the authority that I represent.
You must have known about these plans.
The Bishop does not just send
for any child,
so... which one
am I supposed to take to Dorstadt?
You ought to take the boy.
So should it be. Hurry!
A raft is waiting for us.
Come, come.
Pack your things!
Johannes, it's time.
Prove yourself worthy receiving
somewhat good. Go now.
Give this letter to the Bishop.
Don't dare to open it yourself.
For seven days the two of them
rode the Rhine downstream.
Many of the rafts men were captivated
by Johanna's wisdom...
and touched by her story.
Johanna knew...
God wanted to rescue her
from her miserable existence.
Why else would He have allowed
her to find her brother?
The Lord had reached out His hand to her
and she felt compelled to take it.
This is from the Bishop.
We are expected at the Schola.
Pardon me, Eminence.
The girl has arrived.
- You had her fetched from Ingelheim.
- Oh, Yes, now I remember.
That Greek scholar's idea.
But am I seeing double?
The boy is her brother.
Their father, a priest, insists that
he too be allowed to attend the schola.
What do you know? I send for one.
I get two.
If only the Emperor were as generous
as this holy man from the countryside.
Well, are you really the little scholar
they described you as?
I studied hard, Sir.
It is said that you can
read and write Greek.
Not even our highly regarded Odo
has mastered it.
Right, Odo?
You know very well that I cannot
condone this new whim of yours.
It goes against God's will to
accept a woman at the cathedral school.
It is also pointless.
Women do not possess natural ability
to draw logical conclusions.
The useful sections of the
female brain are so small.
Women are incapable of understanding
higher ideas or concepts.
St Paul himself has asserted this truth...
that women are subservient to men,
as determined by the order of creation,
hierarchy and strength... of will.
Well, young scholar, have you
nothing to counter it?
How can woman be second
to man in creation?
She was made out
with Adam's rib.
Adam, on the other hand,
was molded from common clay.
Go on.
As for strength of will...
woman can be viewed
superior to man.
Eve ate from the apple out of love
of knowledge and learning.
Adam ate only because
Eve asked him to.
The child is an inspiration!
Just what we need here in the Schola!
Odo! You have two
new students.
Have your reverend decided yet where
the child should be housed?
Obviously she cannot live
in the boys' dormitory.
The girl can live with me in my family.
She'll be a good companion
for my two daughters.
Excellent, Conde Gerold!
The girl will stay with you.
Welcome to Villaris, Johanna.
- Good evening, Sir.
- Good evening.
- What does the meaning of this?
- Richilde! May I present you Johanna.
Johanna, this is my wife, Richilde,
the Lady of the House.
Johanna arrived today to begin
her study at the Schola.
A girl? A girl is to attend
a cathedral school?
At the request of the Bishop.
- He is a disgrace to the Church.
- Johanna is going to live with us.
With us?
This country pumpkin?
Richilde, you forget who yourself is.
Johanna is a guest of this house.
And she should be treated as such.
Have no fear.
You will be fine in here.
What are you looking at?
Why are you not working?
- Forgive me, I...
- Silence!
Is there mistake...
in the writing?
Well... No.
But still... your hand...
It is not sure enough here... and here.
What excuse do you have for...
for such lubberly work?
I have no excuse, Sir.
To atone for your carelessness and so
you may learn the meaning of humility,
you will clean the floor tonight.
During that time, you will contemplate
the writings of Saint Paul...
about the position of women.
Do you know them?
"I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over man"...
"but to be in silence".
- You ought to remember it well.
- Yes, Schoolmaster.
Gisela, Johanna.
Sensible with this women.
Just open your eyes.
Can't you see it's there?
But they are blind!
If they kill the pig,
they get the meat.
Psst!, young woman!
Do you know what this is?
Milk of the Holy Virgin Mary!
There are only five of these bottles.
This is the last.
And since you're such a friendly girl.
I will give it to you...
for only one denarius.
- Are you mad? How dare you?
- Forgive me, Sir.
But even the milk of the Virgin
will be spoilt after 800 years.
That milk is holy! It cannot spoil!
Perhaps not. But how did it stay warm
all these years?
And how can you ask such a low price
for something so holy?
- Are you laughing at me?
- No, not at all.
I'm in all of you Johanna
with all my heart.
Oh, look!
What is this?
They are writings in Greek. But...
I don't understand the drawings.
Probably some sort of construction plan.
Can you translate?
It looks like a pulley, but not one
you use with your hands.
Maybe we could build it...
I see you have an eye for a bargain.
The paper might be old,
but it can still be put to use.
Come! Come!
It works! It works!
Do you still think it was a sin
to accept Johanna to the Schola?
You should take this girl as a model!
Her work is perfect.
Seven years later
What is troubling you?
The Norsemen are pushing deeper
and deeper into our land.
But surely we are safe here?
They've even taken Paris.
The Emperor is assembling troops.
- You are going away... to war?
- Yes, in a few days.
No more dark thought.
Come, want to show you something.
What is it?
Don't move.
Just Stay there.
Now watch this.
- The Greek apparatus.
- Yes.
Only bigger!
Look at this!
Can you show it again?
Well, we have to get more water
from the stream.
Where are the buckets?
I'm going to tell the Bishop
all about your skill.
He will name you chief constructor
of the city...
and free you from your duties
to the Emperor.
Then you will not have to go to war.
What do you say to that?
What's wrong, wise Archimedes?
Suddenly so speechless?
Forgive me. I should take you home
as long as I have the will power.
Trust me, It's better this way.
You've done well schoolmaster,
I thank you.
As soon as my husband leaves to the North
I will deal with this annoying problem.
I will not allow this little nobody
to embarrass me
in front of the entire city.
Your are aware that the Bishop holds
his protective hand over the girl?
Not for long, Schoolmaster,
not for long.
You would force the girl to marry
against her will?
What does your husband say
about the matter?
He does not know.
Gerold's feeling clouds his judgment.
Once Johanna married, she will no longer
be allowed to attend the Schola.
That is why I'm here to
ask your consent.
I see.
For many years, she has been
fed and clothed by my family.
How long must we provide such charity?
The blacksmith's son is a good match.
He is blunt and illiterate.
May I remind you
that Johanna was put in my custody.
As the Lady of Villaris I have the right
and the duty to arrange her future.
- You want me to scribe a letter, my Lady?
- I would do it myself if I could.
But as a noble lady reading and writing
are beneath me.
To whom would you like
the letter addressed?
To your father.
Well, Reverend Sir,
I write to inform you to inform you
of the betrothal of your daughter Johanna.
You cannot do that.
- It has already been decided.
- but...
Gerold's told me what happened
down by the river,
and we have a good laugh over it.
It can't be.
Marrying you off is
his idea, silly goose.
This was not the first time,
believe me.
Gerold has been playing this game
for years. I have got used to it.
Gerold is a knight.
He needs to conquer.
Well now, you finally see?
So... to get on with the letter.
I hate you. You took me
into coming here.
- I never should have listen.
- What do you mean?
I was only allowed to attend the Schola
because of you. Now I have to leave too.
But now you can become a soldier
like you always want it.
You're wrong!
Do you remember the letter father
gave me on the day we left?
The Bishop gave it back to me,
and he intends to obey father's will.
If I don't succeed at school, they'll have
to send me to the monastery at Fulda!
I'd rather die!
You came here to tell me that...
I tell you that you brought me
nothing but trouble.
You always have to be different,
no matter the price.
You had to learn to read and write,
even though this is unnatural.
I wish you've never been born!
Behold the word of God!
And dare not enter...
3 years later...
Johannes Anglicus.
Since her father
was an Englishman,
the Abbot chose this monastic name
for Johanna...
when she was accepted
by the brotherhood at Fulda.
For years she was able
to keep her secret.
And all the brothers
took her to be... a young man.
Impressed by her linguistic ability,
the Abbot assigned Johanna the task...
of translating the collection
of Greek manuscripts on medicine.
Thus she was able to study the works
of Hippocrates and other scholars.
Johanna had retained her mother's
knowledge of healing plants and herbs.
And she so impressed Brother Benjamin,
the monastery's medicast,
that he made her his pupil.
As a woman, her intelligence
and her thirst for knowledge...
had brought her delusion and content.
Here in the monastery Johanna was praised
and rewarded for this very same qualities.
Yet Johanna was constantly aware of
the danger she faced... everyday.
Brother Johannes?
Are you wounded?
A small cut. Nothing more.
Johanna knew that exposure
meant certain death.
She suffered most
during the reading of chapters.
If a brother had found her out
or merely harbored the suspicion,
she would hear about it there.
Brothers, before we discuss the
temporal concerns of our monastic life,
- are there any transgressions to confess?
- Yes, father.
What offence have you committed,
Brother Thedo?
I fell asleep
while working in this scriptorium.
I am unworthy and sinful, Father.
Please bring the harshest of
punishments upon my head.
For three days you will
not be allowed at meals.
You're too lenient, Father.
In light of the severity
of my transgressions,
I beg you to extend it to a week.
God does not appreciate pride,
Brother Thedo, not even in suffering.
Does anyone else have any
shortcomings to confess,
or any misconduct to the brethren?
It upsets me, but I must report
that a terrible sin...
has been committed
within these very walls.
A most heinous crime!
Will the sinner not come forward?
This brother intends to secretly
leave the monastery,
thereby breaking the holy oath
he made to God.
It was my father's oath, not mine!
Your father placed you
in the service of God.
To take such a gift away
from the Almighty...
would be an unforgivable sin.
Is it not also a sin to bind a man into a
life contrary to his very nature and will?
Your soul is in rebellion, Valentinus,
and therefore in terrible danger.
In order to find your way back to God
in quiet and solitude,
you will not take meals
with the brethren for 30 days...
and you will not be allowed
in the auditorium.
Why do you not just free me and
cast me out of the monastery?
You will also thank Brother Odilo
for his concern about your salvation...
and wash his feet with due humility.
It is not faith that rules
within these walls, it is your tyranny.
The sickness of disobedience
has taken hold of you, Valentinus.
For your own good, we must
banish it from your body.
I hereby forbid you from entering
any public places.
I forbid you to eat or drink
in the presence of other people.
I forbid you from washing
in any stretch of water...
and from touching children
or giving them anything.
I beseech you, Abbot!
Let me go home!
Four fatherless children
are waiting for me.
- Heaven will care for the innocent.
- How, venerable Father, how?
If I did not go home they will die!
You may be dead
in the eyes of the world,
but still you live
in the eyes of the Lord.
Forgive me, Reverend Father.
This woman is not a leper.
What're you talking about?
Her lesions are different, and must
therefore have a different origin.
God has marked her.
We must not contradict his will.
She is marked,
but not by leprosy.
Will God be pleased, if we consign
to a living dead one...
who He Himself has not elected?
Let me treat this woman,
so we do not make a sinful mistake.
How do we know you have correctly
interpreted God's sign?
Is your pride so great
that you place it above your brothers'?
For if you administer to this woman,
you put the entire brotherhood at risk.
Not if you would allow me
to leave the monastery with her.
I will vouch for Brother Johannes,
Reverend Abbot.
He is pious and upstanding, and will
withstand all temptations.
Thank you, brother!
God bless you.
Give me the baby, Arn!
- What is your name?
- Arn.
Arn, there is much work
to be done here. Will you help me?
- What is still missing?
- St. John's word, for itching.
- And maybe some yarrow.
- Very good.
You learn quickly.
I can write my name too.
The priest showed me how.
If it were possible and
your mother allowed it,
would you like to attend
the monastic school?
Fulda lay far in the East. So the people
there were spared the struggle over...
succession to the Emperor's throne,
that had devastated other parts
of the Frankish Empire.
Before his death, Emperor Louis
divided the empire among his three sons.
When the eldest, Lothair, tried to
claim the entire realm,
his two brothers rose up against him.
Lothair lost the Battle of Fontenoy,
yet he retained a dominion...
stretching from the coast in the North
all the way down to Rome.
Show your face, woman!
- Praised be the Lord.
- Praised be the Lord.
So the years passed,
and Johanna was convinced...
she had found her rightful place
in the world.
She perfected the art of disguise
and felt safe among the brothers.
But then,
the fever came to the monastery.
Sit down.
We have to lower the fever.
- We have to get you undressed.
- No... no!
We must apply cold linen.
Lift the shoulders.
- Let me go!
- Gernot, Thedo!
Brother Johannes buried his father
only a few days ago.
Give him time to calm himself.
Start searching fresh linen.
You're too weak to walk far.
Take the rowing boat
hidden in the weeds by the ford.
You have to leave right away.
The brothers revere you.
To cure you, they will undress you
by force, and then...
their reverence will not save you.
- How long have you known?
- For many years.
Why didn't you tell?
And rob God of one of His
most precious instruments?
Tell the brother at the gate
he's needed here.
That will give you time.
May God protect you...
You must hurry.
Come quickly, she's awake!
- How are you feeling?
- I'm hungry.
This is a good sign! It has been two days
since we're able to feed you a bit of soup.
- Where am I?
- Count Riculf's estate.
50 miles downstream from Fulda. Your boat
got tangled in the weed along the shore.
- You were half mad with fever.
- So you saved my life.
And I thank God for
giving me the chance
to repay you for what you did
for me and my family.
Pardon me, but...
But how should I address you?
Now... now that we know
what we know.
Johanna. My name is Johanna.
This is my wife, Bona.
And this is our daughter, Arnalda.
God bless the three of you.
Tell me what happened.
My mother got married again,
to a saddle-maker.
As his apprentice, I accompanied him
here to the count's estate.
Because I knew how to read and write,
thanks to you,
he invited me to stay on the estate
and help his steward.
The steward died two years ago,
and now...
- And now Arn is the count's best man.
- I have no doubt.
- Please, eat.
- Thank you.
When you have regained your strength,
You must tell us your whole story.
We are burning with curiosity.
If with that I can reward
your family's kindness,
then I will gladly tell you everything.
- And what is that?
- An oak!
That is right. They grow to be
hundreds of years old,
and if they could speak, they would
surely have hundreds of stories to tell.
Just like you!
Now something harder. 8 times 7?
How many fingers did you fold down?
- Five.
- And tens?
- Fifty
- And?
- Six and fifty... fifty-six.
- Good!
What is that?
- That?
- Yeah.
Catherine was so wise that the heathen
emperor and his greatest scholars
could not turn her from her faith.
Instead, she convinced the scholars that
God exists.
And she spoke so wonderfully of
His acts and the paradise
that they all became Christians
on the spot.
She did well then.
But she paid for her courage with her life.
Many were afraid of her wisdom.
But now she is in heaven and
she watches over you.
And she taught us something important.
We have to stay true to our convictions
no matter how high the price.
A pilgrimage?
To Rome?
Thanks to you I'm healthy again
and strong enough...
to go out and see the world.
But that is far too dangerous!
Not if I travel with other pilgrims,
disguised as a man.
We thought perhaps
you would stay with us.
As you can see there's
always work to be done.
And here you would
always be safe.
I appreciate your kindness, but...
I have lived so long as a man,
and I'm afraid I would not be
of much help to you.
- But...
- Let her!
She is meant for a different path, and
we have no right to divert her from it.
I will miss you terribly.
A gift from the count,
and if you do not take it,
I'm gonna send you back
to the monastery.
I do not know
how to thank you.
Your father promised me
that he would teach you.
Maybe one day you will even
have a tutor.
Saint Catherine...
will help you learn...
to use that knowledge
for the benefit of others.
So take good care of her.
Despite poverty and overcrowding,
Rome remained the powerful attraction
for people from far away.
For pilgrims and other travelers
from abroad needing help or lodging,
A schola was always a secure haven.
Thanks to her name "Anglicus,"
Johanna was welcomed to the
Schola Anglorum with open arms.
Before three years had passed, Johanna's
name was known to all Rome.
Pater Noster, qui es in caelis.
Sanctificetur nomen tuum...
We must use this day before the Moon
passes into Gemini...
an inauspicious time
for blood letting.
His condition worsens everyday.
You must do something.
Must I?
What if it's God's will that he die?
Your confidence is misplaced, my son.
You're still too inexperienced
to be elected Pope.
You underestimate me, Arsenius.
For weeks I've been a Pope's proxy,
everyone needs my council.
But the people of Rome do not know
what goes on inside these walls.
If Sergius's soon to die
they'll choose another for the Pope...
and Saint Peter's Throne will be
out of our reach for years to come.
You're destined to be Pope, my son,
and add this last and greatest jewel
to our family crown,
but we must not act rashly.
So... what if you are the one
to save Pope Sergius?
My name would be on everyone's lips.
In the streets, there is talk
of a healer from Franconia.
A foreigner...
physiking a pope?
They say that he can diagnose a disease
by examining the patient's urine.
It's said that he's cured
even lepers.
Johannes Anglicus!
- Are you Johannes Anglicus?
- I am.
Ah, the famous miracle healer!
We are all burning with anticipation.
This urine from the Pope
is only an hour old.
Would you care to tell us
what you can read in it?
It's a miracle! Our Holy Father
will give birth to a child.
Enodius! You gave him
a pregnant woman's urine?
I had to be sure that Pope is not
falling into the hands of a charlatan.
He is a charlatan. Just like all
the others. I don't trust them.
I'm Anastasius, Papal Nomenclator.
I sent for you to hear your opinion
on the Pope's condition.
Your reputation precedes you.
Pater Noster, qui es in caelis:
Sanctificetur nomen tuum...
Ah! That pain! I...
can bear it no longer!
Waldipert! More wine!
Holy Father.
This is Johannes Anglicus,
a healer with great renown.
Another doctor! To hell with him!
Where is that wine?
- No wine! Bring water!
- I want wine!
Forgive me, Holy Father.
At least... this one does not have
the hands of a... butcher!
Another blood-letting could kill him.
Will you prevent this from happening again?
What're you giving him?
His Holiness suffers from gout.
The sickness is widespread in my country.
He shows all the symptoms as
described by Hippocrates.
God would never allow such
heathen teachings to cure the Pope.
I'm giving him root of colchicum
and herban to help him sleep.
The worst pain
should be over soon.
Drink this.
His Holiness needs rest.
Surely God can still hear
our brothers' prayers...
if they are spoken
in the hallway.
He's old and weak, Aio.
He won't live to see another winter.
It is tempting indeed.
But you're asking for only a small sum.
Why not? Should I one day need, say,
your influence with the people of Rome.
I may ask you for return
of this favor.
But what if the Pope refuses
to make me a bishop?
Rest with it, Aio. Papal decisions have not
been made by the Pope for a long time.
- How do you feel?
- The pain is gone.
The pains... are gone!
I feel new-born.
And I'm hungry!
- Bring me some wine!
- Absolutely not!
A plate of vegetables
and a jug of water.
The devil must have sent you.
I will not permit you to undo a week
of recovery with a single meal.
What? An entire week?
Johannes Anglicus never
left your side, Holiness.
Then it must have been God
who sent you.
How can I thank you for
your services, Johannes Anglicus?
Allow me to return
and see to your recovery.
No, I wish for you to remain here.
There's something unusual about you,
something missing from these walls.
If your wish it, Holiness,
I'm your humble servant.
Then it is settled.
Holiness, the Papal Court
is meeting.
Would you care to preside.
Please, Arighis, Anastasius
has been leading
these meetings for
quite some time now.
Forgive me, Holy Father,
but the people did not choose
Anastasius as their supreme shepherd.
They chose you. And didn't you
just say you felt new-born?
Did I?
It would be a sign.
And how long would this take, Mamertus?
Construction could be completed
by year's end.
I've secured the services
of the best craftsmen in Rome.
And how expensive
is this undertaking?
With the Pope's support,
it would...
Your Holiness, is this wise?
You should not put your recuperation
at risk just to observe this meeting.
Your concern for my
health does you honor, Nomenclator.
However, I am feeling
quite well, thank you.
And I'm here not just to observe.
I am here to preside.
I rejoice to hear it,
as does all Rome.
Well, proceed.
Holy Father,
I was requesting permission...
to rebuild the old orphanage
into a hostelry for pilgrims.
And what would become of the orphans?
There are poor houses that can take them.
This hostelry will be the pride of Rome.
Counts, dukes, even kings
will seek to stay there.
Orphans are no less dear
to God than kings.
Your request is denied, Mamertus.
I've already made a deal
with the Nomenclator.
We have an arrangement, and payment
has already been made.
Well, Holy Father, Mamertus offered
a generous donation to the Church...
in order to expedite
the success of his undertaking.
Ah! Blessed are all the merciful,
for they shall find mercy.
We thank you for your
generous donation, Mamertus.
It will be used to help the orphans.
God will repay you.
Tell me about yourself, Johannes.
You come from Franconia,
yet you are called "Anglicus".
My father came from Britannia
to preach God's word to the Saxons.
Ah, the Saxons. A godless people!
Most are Christians now...
as much as any can be who are brought
to the faith with fire and sword.
It is the Church's duty
to convert the heathens.
What value has any pledge
exacted by force?
Yet Christ commands us
to spread God's word...
among all the races of the earth
and baptize His people.
But... consider the order
of the commandment.
First, teach the people,
then baptize them.
How could we offer the sacrament of baptism
before faith is lodged in the heart?
You reason well.
Where were you educated?
A Greek schoolmaster, by the
name of Aesculapius, taught me.
Then I went to the Schola in Dorstadt, and
later I joined the brotherhood at Fulda.
Fulda. The Abbot recently presented me
with a beautiful psalm, Ah...
When I thank him, I shall mention
your skilled service.
- I fear he would not speak well of me.
- Why is that?
He holds obedience
be the greatest of all religious vows.
Yet to me it has always
come the hardest.
Is that so?
What about the other vows?
I was born into poverty and
am accustomed to it.
What about chastity?
I have always resisted
the temptations of women.
I'm glad to hear it.
Soon after Enodius was expelled
from the Palace,
and Sergius made
Johanna his personal physician.
He included her in
political decisions as well.
Over the next few years, Johanna became
one of the Pope's most trusted confidants.
would make a good bishop, Holiness.
He is not Roman, so many will
be opposed to his appointment,
but he is a man of God
and will remain true to you.
So it will be.
Today I shall...
Holy Father! The Bishops
need to see you urgently.
What's all this?
Emperor Lothair is on the march to Rome,
recruiting troops in every city.
And he'll be here in ten days.
He has sworn revenge against Rome,
for our insulting him.
I predicted it!
Not to wait for the Emperor's approval
of your consecration...
...was a provocation.
It was a sign of strength!
The Frankish throne needs us
more than we need it.
But now his is marching on Rome.
Spare me your point, you!
I do not wish to hear it.
- What is so important, Count Gerold?
- It's been another incident.
Five soldiers pillaged a farm stead
and nearly beat the farmer to death.
Have them whipped.
Anything else?
You didn't disturb me just for
this trifling matter?
My Lord, with respect,
this entire campaign is irresponsible.
Instead of protecting our coast
from the Norsemen,
we're recruiting peasants
who don't even understand...
why we're marching against the Pope.
Sergius has publicly defied
my rule of authority.
But he has no army! So why are we
gathering nearly 5,000 men?
The more impressively
we're marching to Rome,
the more quickly
the Pope will surrender.
and the sooner these blockheads
can get back to their squalid homes.
What has seemed you would
rather be yourself.
As you know, I haven't. No home.
The army has become my home. Still...
Instead of lecturing your Emperor,
you should be tending the black sheep
in your rings.
You may go.
By the way, Gerold. A bishop from
Rome arrived a short while ago,
and seeks an audience with me.
Apparently I was right to march
with so many men.
Follow me please!
- What can I do?
- The city's best engineers!
Can you summon them?
At once.
Emperor Lothair!
Before this holiest shrine,
the Tabernacle of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and his earthly representative,
kneel and show due respect!
It is you, Holy Father,
who owes me a sign of respect,
and I am here to demand it!
Lord! Give us a sign!
Is seeing us...
not sign enough?
Behold the hand of God which has brought
this holiest of His altars against you.
God has revealed himself to you, Lothair,
If you respect Him, His power,
and His anointed representative,
then you are welcome in Rome.
However, if you dare show your sword
at the tomb of the Apostle,
the wrath of God will descend upon you...
and your soldiers!
Can you be so pitiless, Lord?
I thought I had banished him
from my heart.
Must you test my resolve again?
It really is you.
I never thought our apparatus would work
with such heavy doors.
My men and I
returned one day too late.
I've searched for you for days but...
I also knew the Norsemen to be...
merciless creatures who
often abduct women.
I buried your brother
next to my daughters.
And... after many weeks, we still
haven't find a trace of your hair.
Forgive me, I... I buried you in spirit.
But you're alive!
How did you come to this?
God led me here on an unusual path.
Why did you want to marry that boy?
- You... you yourself ordered it.
- What?
You wanted me to marry me off.
She had told me everything.
She knew about us.
About what happened at the river.
How could she'd known if not from you?
No, I... I swear to you Johanna,
I never...
She said I was just another one
of your many conquests.
And you believed her?
Even then I wanted you more than
I have wanted any woman before.
But didn't want you as my lover.
I wanted you as my wife.
Finally! The Savior of Rome
shows his face.
We owe you a debt of gratitude,
Johannes Anglicus.
It was God's will, Holiness,
that you and your papacy be saved.
I have decided to name you
Papal Nomenclator.
But Anastasius has held
that position for years.
God has chosen you as his instrument,
and I mean to obey his will.
- You are too gracious, Holy Father.
- And yet you hesitated.
Johannes, it is an exceptional position
and exceptional honor.
You will be first Secretary
to his Holiness.
Do not press him, Arighis!
Surely we can allow the defender of the
Papal Throne a night to consider.
That cannot be!
Word has spread from the entire palace.
A foreigner pursued your position?
You'll be disgrace to our family!
I have distrusted this priest
from the very beginning.
If only I had not
listened to you!
I have to wonder, the entire evening
the Pope doesn't touch anything
but fruit and water. I was told he is
a lover of rich food and wine!
For years, his physician has barred
such pleasures.
- Sergius eats like a penitent.
- He doesn't behave like one.
Instead of bowing to my
power, he frightened
my soldiers with his
cheap trickery.
Preventing this would've been
a welcomed proof of your loyalty.
Not even the inner circle knew
of the scheme, my Lord.
We thought the work being done in the
Cathedral was merely strengthen the doors.
And from what we can glean the physician...
had a hand in this as well?
A medicast was behind this large plan?
I admit we underestimated him
and... his influence.
If he is so influential...
Then perhaps he should be made
to disappear.
Why chop off only a branch,
when we can fell the entire tree?
I see you were not exaggerating when
you called yourself ambitious.
I'm sure you understand... that I will
have to leave Rome as soon as possible.
Something, well, were to happen to
the Pope while I'm still in the city,
suspicion would fall on me and on every
successor I might support.
Not to mention it is costing me a fortune
to keep this worthless soldiers.
Given the upcoming election of a new Pope,
my money could be put to better use.
- The votes of the people can be expensive.
- My Lord.
I've heard that Lothair
is about to part Rome.
I'm no longer going to serve the Emperor.
Not now that I know you're alive.
You will lose Villaris!
Yes. But I have some good friends
outside the army who will stand by me.
and they need good men
to work for them.
We could start a life together, Johanna.
Sergius has asked me to
become Nomenclator.
I can do so much good at his side.
But you are in grave danger at his side.
If you are discovered you would be killed.
I've learned to accept that danger.
You are that attached to the Pope
that you will run at your risk.
I'm now attached to life as a man!
I'm independent, free to act and think
as I wish and I can be useful.
I have means here that other women
never dream of.
You want me to give all this up?
To live the confined existence of a wife,
tied to daily chores and duties?
I... I have no desire
to tie you to anything.
I would honor you
and care for you.
I have long cared for myself.
Forgive me. I love you.
But my place is here.
Even if I have to accept your decision,
you're in constant danger,
and I will not forsake you again.
Heavenly Father! Today the people
of Rome are gathered...
to choose a new Lord Pope.
According to law...
every Roman citizen, clergy and
laymen alike...
may raise his voice to tell us
what God has inspired in him.
I nominate Mercurius,
Bishop of Siena.
A wise man and a
devoted servant of the Church.
Mercurius is a candidate.
Romans! I submit the name of
Bishop of Castellum,
son of noble Arsenius.
He will defend not only the
Christian faith,
but also the interests
of the Roman people.
Your interest, you mean!
You've bought your Bishop with Aio!
The man is right! Anastasius
conspired with Aio!
Let me through!
The people need to hear this!
Anastasius is also a candidate.
Would anyone else like to
nominate a worthy contender?
I nominate myself!
I had brought the Pope a noble house.
I donated my property
to the Church!
- He had a knife! Did you see that?
- Do you see the danger you are in?
Whoever... would like to nominate
someone else? Come forward now!
No one? So there is these
two candidates!
Romans, you know I have served
the Holy Throne for many years,
and I want only what is
good for Rome.
Anastasius! And surely his father too.
Their plan is working. Anastasius
is being elected Pope so to speak.
This is Rome, Johanna. Here...
inconvenient people get killed,
no matter how good or
powerful they are.
Then I must leave Rome?
I only want you to live, Johanna,
with or without me.
You deserve to be happy and
do good but...
for that you don't need to be in Rome.
You stay here, you will die.
If this is the true face of Rome,
I will go with you.
Once he is elected, Anastasius will
move against you immediately.
We must leave.
Through the will of the Almighty God
and the people of our holy city,
you have been elected our new Lord Pope
and Supreme Bishop of Rome!
Merciful God, is it truly your will...
That someone such as I should
sit in St. Peter's chair?
Or will your just wrath strike me down
the moment the Papal Crown
is placed on my head?
But then, why would you
have led me here?
Why would you have tolerated me
in your garden all these years?
Hold your hand over me Lord,
and I will be a faithful servant unto You.
Long live Johannes Anglicus,
by God decree, our Chief Bishop,
and Universal Pope.
Long live Johannes Anglicus,
by God decree,
our Chief Bishop, and Universal Pope.
Long live Johannes Anglicus,
by God decree,
our Chief Bishop, and Universal Pope.
May I too benefit from your experience,
your competence and your good heart,
as my Nomenclator?
- It would be an honor to serve you.
- Then it shall be.
From what I have heard I have you
to thank for this heavy burden.
Leave me alone for a moment
with the Count.
- You summoned me, Holiness?
- Will you ever forgive me?
The Almighty and I seem to be
in contest for the same woman.
Believe me, she wished she could
split herself in two.
Because I know I would have a
fulfilling life at your side.
But apparently, this is my calling.
Please, understand.
I will try.
All my life I have searched for God.
And now, I've found Him.
He's in the hope that people put in me.
He's in the good deed I can do for them.
When I'm doing God's will,
I can feel Him in my heart.
Anastasius will recover quickly
from his defeat.
Then he will do everything in his power
to trouble and depose you.
You know exactly what he is like.
Then stay with me, as Superista,
Captain of the Papal guard.
I'm stronger,
when I know you are near.
You're playing with fire, Johanna.
Johanna began her papacy
full of purpose and zeal,
and she was determined
to keep her promise.
She knew the suffering of the Roman
people better than anyone,
and she did all in her power
to alleviate it.
She sent physicians to the slums,
and decree that collections from
every third Sunday
were given to the poor houses.
Soon, the Romans named her
"Papa Populi"... the people's Pope.
But Johanna wanted to be more
than just a merciful Bishop of Rome.
After all, she was spiritual head
of the entire Christian Church.
She summoned all the bishops to
Rome for a Synod.
Many Church doctrines were reviewed
and reconsidered
and more resolutions passed
than ever before.
Thank you, you may go.
Thank you, Selestinus. I won't be
needing you any more tonight.
Merciful God!
Now we must leave Rome.
If you're discovered, they will
torture you to death.
I understand you better than you think.
I know your heart is torn, but...
now you are with child, the decision
is out of our hands.
Give me until Easter.
That's more than three months away!
I can do so much with that time.
Yes, but... whatever you'd do
your successes can easily undo.
Not when they see that it is good.
If need be, I will get you out of the city,
even against your will.
Holiness, this cannot truly
be your intent!
It is!
Why else would I
trouble you with this?
A school for girls?
Never before...
Never has been such a thing!
You mean we should abandon
the idea just because it's new?
We can only be sure
of one truth,
the truth that has been handed down
to us through the ages.
Everything that is old...
was once new.
Holiness! As I'm sure you know,
the more a girl learns,
the smaller her womb becomes.
- Where did you read?
- It... It's commonly knowledge.
So common that no one has
bothered to write it down?
You do not need books for
what is obvious to all.
No one has written that wool comes
from sheep, and yet, it's known to all.
Then how do you explain the
extraordinary fertility
of educated women like Laeta?
She exchanged letters with St. Jerome,
who reports she brought
15 children into the world.
An aberration.
A rare exception to the rule.
Jordanus, if I remember correctly,
your sister Julia can read and write.
Just enough to keep the
household books.
And nonetheless,
according to your theory,
these abilities must have had
their effect on her fertility.
How many children
has she birthed?
- I haven't counted them.
- Is it not twelve?
Another aberration?
I promise, if in 20 years there aren't
any children left in Rome,
I will close the school.
I thank you all.
His Holiness does not understand that
he needs strong allies.
He has not learned that...
even a Pope must show gratitude.
Well, what do you expect
from a stranger?
Maybe we should
build a school for him.
Let me put it bluntly, my friends,
the Church does not need
a glib trouble of the people,
It needs a man of influence.
A man whose family has shaped
Rome's destiny for decades.
- No doubt you mean a man like you.
- Who is not afraid to show his strength.
You want to take
the Papal Throne by force?
- Let us call it... liberate.
- Are you sure it can be done?
Such a bold plan requires the
support of influential people.
It seems I have that already.
Is that also true
with the Papal Guard?
They are devoted to their captain.
So he... seems to be the key
to our success.
- Are you feeling unwell?
- It's nothing. I'm fine.
Holy Father! Show mercy and give me
your cloak. Mine is old and dirty.
With that ring on your finger,
I can feed my family for a year.
We don't need a procession.
We need bread!
Here! Look what we have to eat!
Arighis, what if it's a trap?
Calm yourself, Holiness, no one
threaten the Superista.
Watch out!
Stop them. Now!
I command you to help
your Superista.
Lean on me!
After Johanna's death,
Anastasius occupied the Lateran Palace...
and claimed St. Peter's Throne
for himself.
But the Romans, horrified by
this violent grab for power,
refused to accept him.
Soon words spread that it was Anastasius
who had ordered Gerold's murder.
Even his own supporters turned against him.
And Anastasius was deposed and
sent to monastic exile.
But hatred festered within him.
And after many years,
he finally found a way
to take his revenge on Johanna.
He wrote the "Liber Pontificalis,"
a chronicle of all the popes.
All except Johanna.
He concealed her papacy,
and erased her entire existence.
Rome and the Church
were delighted with the book
and make sure to
circulate it widely.
It helped them forget this most
shameful chapter in their history.
40 years after Johanna's death, I too heard
about the suppression of her papacy...
and made my way to Rome.
So extraordinary a life
must not be forgotten.
There should be at least one manuscript
where the truth can be read.
My father Arn, my entire family
have so much to thank her for.
This act is the very least
I could do for Johanna.
Following in her footsteps, I wonder...
if I have met other sisters over the years
without recognizing them,
other women who chose the same
arduous path as I did?
How many of us are there?
With this book a debt is paid...
and something new begins.
One day someone will
read these pages,
and once again Johanna's story
will be told.