Manly Movie Moment: Forgiveness in The Mission

While it is difficult for those who don’t frequent the sacrament of confession to understand, there is great joy to be found in true repentance. Perhaps one of the best illustrations of this joy is found in the 1986 movie, The Mission.

First, some context. Rodrigo Mendoza is a former slave trader and mercenary, and he has spent years capturing native Guarani people and selling them into slavery. After being imprisoned for killing his brother, Mendoza is visited by Jesuit Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons), who, after hearing Mendoza’s confession, challenges him to do penance for his sins. Rodrigo agrees, and he decides to accompany the Jesuit missionaries on the difficult journey to their remote jungle mission—all the while dragging behind him the heavy armor and weapons he used during his sinful life as a mercenary.

On their way to the mission, the travelers encounter a band of Gaurani natives. Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is tense, as both Rodrigo and the missionaries are unsure how the natives will respond to the man who sold many of their family and friends into slavery.

What follows is a beautiful illustration of sincere penance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Remember this scene the next time you go to confession!


This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at The Catholic Gentleman.


Sam Guzman is an author and editor of The Catholic Gentleman whose work has appeared in several publications. He resides in Wisconsin with his wife and two small boys where he is also the Communications Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage