The Many Faces of Val Kilmer

Tribute to The Saint

This is a tribute long overdue. To the movie and one of my favorite actors - Val Kilmer. He’s had many successful movies, but perhaps a favorite of mine is “The Saint” from 1997. And, the luminescent Elizabeth Shue provides an apt foil for Val Kilmer. In keeping with the namesake in the movie, the original soundtrack for the movie by Graeme Revell is medieval and atmospheric.

In a recent interview, the “Past Lives” actress Greta Lee describes Val Kilmer in this movie being one of her early inspirations. While the movie “The Saint” is not seen as a critical or commercial success, if it inspired a brilliant actress, who can complain.

In the movie, Val disguises himself after Catholic saints. As a "Saint Head", something I always wanted to understand a bit more, a background of all the Catholic saints that crop up in the movie. 

Simon Magus

Val Kilmer as the character “Simon, The Magician”

Simon Magus is a controversial figure in Christian history. He is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as a Samaritan magician who converted to Christianity but later tried to buy the power of the Holy Spirit from the apostles Peter and John. This incident is the origin of the term "simony," which refers to the buying or selling of ecclesiastical offices or sacred things.

John Rossi

Val Kilmer as the character “Ivanovanovitch”

Saint John Rossi (1622-1685) was an Italian priest and canon lawyer who was martyred for his defense of the poor and oppressed. He was born in Piacenza, Italy, to a wealthy family. After studying law at the University of Bologna, he was ordained a priest in 1649. He then devoted his life to serving the poor and disadvantaged, and to defending the rights of the oppressed.

Martin de Porres

Val Kilmer as the character “Martin de Porres”

Saint Martin de Porres (1579-1639) was a Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican Order who is known for his charitable work and his devotion to the Eucharist and constant prayer. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony and animals.

Bruno Hautenfaust

Val Kilmer as the character “Bruno Hautenfaust”

Saint Bruno Hautenfaust, also known as Saint Bruno of Cologne, was a 11th-century German canon and theologian who founded the Carthusian Order, a monastic order dedicated to a life of solitude and contemplation. He was born into a wealthy family in Cologne, Germany, around 1030. After studying at the cathedral school in Reims, France, he became a canon of the cathedral. He was a brilliant scholar and teacher, and he quickly rose through the ranks of the clergy.

Thomas More

Val Kilmer as the character “Thomas More”

Saint Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535) was an English lawyer, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He also served King Henry VIII as Lord Chancellor of England from October 1529 to May 1532. He is best known for his book Utopia, published in 1516, which describes the political system of an imaginary island state.

Charles Borroneo

Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was an Italian cardinal and archbishop who was one of the most important figures of the Counter-Reformation. He was born into a wealthy and aristocratic family in Milan, and was groomed for a career in government or the Church. However, he was drawn to a life of prayer and service, and decided to become a priest.

Peter Damian

Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072) was an Italian cardinal, bishop, and Doctor of the Church. He was a leading figure in the Gregorian Reform movement,

Luigi Guanella

Luigi Guanella was an Italian Catholic priest and the founder of the Servants of Charity, a religious order dedicated to caring for the poor and the sick. He was born in 1842 in Fraciscio, Italy, and ordained a priest in 1866. After his ordination, Guanella served as a parish priest in several parishes in northern Italy. He was deeply moved by the plight of the poor and the sick, and he began to establish schools, orphanages, and hospitals to care for them. In 1890, he founded the Servants of Charity, a religious order dedicated to this work.

Nicholas Owen

Saint Nicholas Owen (c. 1562 – 1/2 March 1606) was an English Jesuit lay brother who was the principal builder of priest holes during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and James I of England. Owen built many priest holes in the buildings of English Catholics from 1588 until his final arrest in 1606, when he was tortured to death by prison authorities in the Tower of London. Owen is honoured as a martyr by the Catholic Church and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Vincent Ferrer

Val Kilmer as the character “Vincent Ferrer”

Saint Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) was a Dominican friar and preacher who is known for his missionary work and his role in helping to end the Great Western Schism. He was born in Valencia, Spain, and entered the Dominicans at the age of 19. He was a gifted student and became a professor of theology at Valencia. In 1394, he was appointed confessor and theologian to the antipope Benedict XIII at Avignon. However, he resigned from this position after five years in order to undertake missionary work. In 1394, Ferrer was preaching in Valencia, Spain, when he was betrayed by a group of his own followers. These followers were disaffected with Ferrer's support of the Avignon papacy and his attacks on heresy. 

August Christopher

Val Kilmer as the character “August Christopher”

Saint Christopher is a venerated saint in the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy. He is the patron saint of travelers, motorists, ferrymen, and all who work in transportation. According to legend, Christopher was originally named Reprobus and was a Canaanite of immense size and strength. He vowed to serve only the greatest king, and so he set out to find the most powerful ruler on Earth. He served many kings, but none of them satisfied his desire for the greatest king.

And, here is a review, candid and in support of “The Saint”.


  • The photos are sourced from the internet
  • Google Gemini helped provide the quick summary of each of the catholic saints


Popular posts from this blog

Cloudera Quick Start VM in Hyper-V

Book Review - The Price of Being Fair

Meta Prompting for Success