"Now let me tell you this,

you pilgrims all

Love is a long desire,

a short disease,

An everlasting healing

and a call......"

"Vagabond of God"......

A Film on John Bradburne.......


"Vagabond Of God" The Film

Based upon the book "Strange Vagabond of God" by Fr John Dove, "Vagabond of God" is a 60 minute film, presented by Fr. Dove, tracing the life of John Bradburne, the Franciscan mystic and poet of Mutemwa, Zimbabwe.

John Bradburne's life bore many similarities to that of St. Benedict Joseph Labre and Charles de Foucauld.

John's austere lifestyle was marked with a special devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. His legacy attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims to the remote village of Mutemwa each year.

John breathed poetry. The thousands of pages of poems that he left behind have earned him the recognition of critics of fame.

In "Vagabond of God", Father Dove recounts the intriguing tale of John's life, from the time of their meeting in a Gurkha regiment in India. He tells of John's dedicated search through various religious communities in Europe before he finally arrived in Rhodesia - the land in which his unique calling was to be fulfilled.

Since John's death in 1979, Father Dove has been the protagonist in promoting an awareness of the life of John Bradburne. His captivating account of John's experiences are recounted with profound insights drawn from the deep friendship they shared.

The film also features original recordings of John Bradburne reciting two poems as well as much footage of the scenery of Mutemwa and Zimbabwe. Infact, the first seven minutes of the film set the stage by focussing purely on the game and landscapes of Zimababwe (especially the Victoria Falls).

This film was released to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of John Bradburne's death.


A review of the video by Gunther Simmermacher


A review of the video by Owen Williams


How the video came to be made

"John Bradburne's life had all the simplicity, beauty and mystical depths which one finds in reading the life of St. Francis in the accounts called the "Fioretti".

As John's closest friend, Fr. John Dove recalls his life, and this is what comes across. This new video with Fr. Dove as the main storyteller is therefore an important document of a man who one day could be Zimbabwe's first canonized saint."

Fr. Claudio Maria Rossi S.J.

...More on "Vagabond of God" By Norman Servais

My approach to creating the video "Vagabond of God" was primarily to create a video version of the essential elements of Father John Dove's engrossing book on the life of John Bradburne, "Strange Vagabond of God".

In order to do this the obvious choice of story teller would be Fr. Dove himself, a man who clearly knew John's story better than anyone alive today. The video could thus be seen not just as a document of John Bradburne's life, but equally as a document of something of the personality and spirit of Father Dove. Owen Williams, a respected South African film critic, states "Fr. Dove speaks with feeling, but his cultured voice has always the clear, level tones of reason. He must be the man who knows the subject best."

In the video, Father Dove comes accross as a man of intense spirituality and sensitivity. He clearly had a great influence on Bradburne's life through the friendship that they cherished. Father Dove relates John's story with clarity and intensity despite the fact that the video was recorded some twenty years after Bradburne's death. It is evident that John Bradburne is still a very important part of Father Dove's life. {\rtf


Another important aspect to the video is the music. Appropriate themes composed by Michael Brewer sensitively complement the images and provide an ambient backdrop to the mood of the narrative and to the context - Zimbabwe and Mutemwa.


How to order the video

This video may be purchased from our secure website and shipped internationally. Simply go to the CatholicShop website by clicking HERE, add the video to your cart and then create a unique username and password as you checkout.

Back to John Bradburne Main Page