Pope Francis on Wednesday met the Italian-American movie director Martin Scorsese whose latest film Silence recounts the persecution of a group of Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan. Scorsese was accompanied at the audience in the Vatican by his wife, his two daughters, the producer of the Silence film and the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications Monsignor Dario Viganò. A Vatican statement said the meeting was very cordial and lasted 15 minutes.
Pope Francis told those present that he had read the novel on which the film Silence was based, written by the late Japanese author Shusaku Endo.
Scorsese gave the Pope two paintings on the theme of “hidden Christians,” one of them a much-venerated image of the Madonna painted by a 17th century Japanese artist. Pope Francis gave his guests rosaries.
The audience in the Vatican came after a special screening of Silence in Rome on Tuesday night for more than 300 Jesuit priests. The movie is due to premiere in the United States this December.