I was ecstatic to see the character of one of my favorite, but little known movies featured in the Google Trends list today. Pope Joan was recently featured on the Reelz Channel and is based on the book by Donna Woolfolk Cross. I do not want to spoil the book (or movie) for those yet to experience the story, but I highly recommend both.
This a is a very compelling account of a woman who disguised as a man, rose through the ranks of the Catholic Church to become Pope. It also highlights the place of women in society during that time frame and the hold of religion on mostly uneducated people. Joan is born to a father who is a religious leader in a village of uneducated citizens and a mother who still clings to her pagan roots. Both of these religions along with knowledge, help Joan become an understanding teacher and physician.Her father believes that Joan’s intellect is against God’s wishes. A misfortune befalls the family and her father tells her that God caused the incident as a punishment because she had sinned. The characters are superbly written and immediately capture the reader’ s emotions.
The central theme of this book revolves around how the education of women begins to empower them, which of course is not what most men desired. During this era it seems, that anything men did not deem appropriate, neither did God. Her perseverance, courage and devotion is not just to God but to the betterment of mankind. This sweeping drama also tells a romantic tale of the love Joan must fully deny herself. Click here to visit the website of this wonderful novel.