Let me first do a little scene setting for those of you unfamiliar with this Italian priest. First of all he is fictional (sadly). Secondly, he lived (if a character in a book can be said to have 'lived') in post war Italy and never ever set foot in Great Britain. Thirdly, he has characteristics that, perhaps are part of all of us. He is a passionate defender of the faith, he gets things wrong occasionally, he converses with the crucified Christ, he is a shade hot tempered and liable to bash his opponents about the ears and, deep down he loves his enemies. But, above all else, he loves the crucified Christ.
He battles daily with the devil (mainly in the stylised form of Communist Mayor Peppone) who is really someone whom he loves as one of Christ's own (Peppone that is, not the devil). This is post war Italy, still a country split by violent factions, ex Partisans, Reds, Christian Politicos and even a few fascists still lying around all contribute to a volatile existence for a country parish priest.
But Don Camillo, aided by the Lord on the cross, bashes his way to keeping the faith uppermost in people's minds. In this clip he is about to lead a procession for the annual blessing of the River Po when he learns that the communist mob, led by Peppone, is out to wreak havoc on his parishioners and his plans.
What does he do? He does not cancel the procession, he sends the altar servers and his parishioners home to safety. He is a good shepherd.
And then he realises that he has to undertake the procession alone, except for the crucified Christ. The symbolism is heavy here. He picks up the cross and commences the slow march to the river......the rest you may see for yourself!
This form of action is what we lack today. But then, of course, one could argue that we in the western world at least, are not called to fight our corner in the way that Don Camillo had to except.......maybe we are; not with flailing fists but with reasoned logic and a fearless approach to standing up to an authority that wishes to destroy life in the womb, dispose of the homeless, aged and incapacitated and fragment the family unit.
I find strong comparisons between Don Camillo and our blogging priests who, metaphorically, at least, are not afraid to knock a few heads together!
* The Don Camillo series is written by Giovanni Guareschi. Several films were made in the 1950s starring Fernandel as Don Camillo, an inspired choice.