On the night of Easter Sunday, April 17, the Vatican will premier a feature program that explores the portraits of the people we meet in the Gospels. Titled “Faces of the Gospels,” this unique show will be broadcast by the Italian network Rai Uno.
The Holy See’s Dicastery of Communication announced the TV special on April 5, noting that Pope Francis will “draw portraits of characters from the Gospels.” The pontiff will examine multiple Gospel passages including: the Good Thief being crucified next to Jesus, Pontius Pilate washing his hands, the call of a tax collector named Matthew, and the drama of the apostle Judas.
The pope’s presentation will be accompanied by a series of paintings, frescoes, and sculptures depicting each biblical moment. These visual aids will illuminate Pope Francis’ musings, as viewers will be treated to art from the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Vatican Museums. The Vatican’s statement promises works of art both famous and never before seen.
In anticipation of the Easter special, Pope Francis gave an interview in which he encouraged all of the faithful to have a daily encounter with the Gospels. The pope said:
“I continue to advise daily contact with the Gospel, because if you don’t have daily contact with the person you love, you will hardly be able to love…,” he explains.
Roberto Benigni to participate
Famed actor Roberto Benigni, who won the Oscar for Best Actor in the 1998 film Life is Beautiful, will also take part in the special. Benigni’s part in “Faces of the Gospels” has yet to be revealed, but it was said he has prepared a contribution to the program dedicated to “the joyful face of Jesus on the day of the Resurrection.”
Faces of the Gospels” is a three-part series that will air Easter night. After its premier the special will then be broadcast by Rai Cultura on the Rai 5 channel.