Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
home iconNews
line break icon

See The Trailer for the Acclaimed, Faith-Filled, Family Movie “Little Boy”

Metanoia Films

Caitlin Bootsma - published on 03/15/15 - updated on 06/08/17

Can a boy's longing for his father work miracles?

One of the things I find so appealing about Lent is that we are not only called to contemplation, but also to action. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are all equally important ways of uniting ourselves to Christ and offering our lives to Him. Through fasting and sacrifice, my prayer life naturally deepens, my faith increases.

Little Boy, a new major motion picture, produced by Metanoia Films (the same company that released Bella), depicts this phenomenon in a poignant way. Little Boy tells the story of a young boy in small town America during The Second World War. When his father goes overseas to fight, "Little Boy" (so called because he is picked on for his size), desperately tries to find ways to bring his father home safely.

What can Little Boy do to bring about this thing he wants so badly? He thinks if he only had the power of the famous magician he admires, then he could bring his father home. Or, maybe if he just had faith that moves mountains, like he heard about in Church, then God would grant his fervent prayer. But, of course, his father’s return isn’t as simple as a magic trick. Little Boy, like the rest of us, has to learn the hard way how to trust that God’s Will will be done.

In scenes that I couldn’t help but enjoy, the local parish priest tells Little Boy about an "ancient list" that Little Boy should carry out if he wants his faith to grow so that it can move mountains. The list is the corporal works of mercy. Little Boy thinks that as he checks each item off his list, he will get closer to bringing his father home. Feed the hungry: check. Visit the imprisoned: check.

Of course, you and I know that the world doesn’t work that way. God doesn’t barter with us. He doesn’t say: you give X up for Lent and I’ll heal your sick relative. Or, if you fast well enough then I’ll solve your financial problems. 

What does happen is that God listens to our prayers. And, He blesses us in ways we might not expect. One of these blessings is the way that completing corporal acts of mercy or fasting changes our hearts. This certainly happens to Little Boy. At first, he befriends a lonely Japanese man (discriminated against due to Japan’s role in the war), because he can check some corporal acts of mercy off his list. By the end, Little Boy is no longer thinking about his list, he genuinely cares about his new friend.

I’ve found this change to be true in a million different ways in my spiritual life. When I fast, for example, I find myself to be more disciplined in other areas of my life. When I devote myself to trying not to gossip, eventually I find that I actually think more genuinely charitable things about people. In other words, these pious acts not only honor God, they increase our faith and our virtue.

I won’t tell you whether Little Boy’s father comes home or not. What I will tell you is that completing this "ancient list" is fruitful, though not entirely in the way that Little Boy expects. What a poignant example of how we should approach our own Lenten sacrifices and devotions: with determination, but also openness to how Christ will change our hearts.

To find out more about Little Boy, visit

Caitlin Bootsmais the editor of Human Life International’s Truth and Charity Forum ( as well as the Communications Director for Fuzati, Inc., a Catholic marketing company. This article was originally published on and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

Christian MoviesMovies
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.