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Admirable Men # 1: Father Gabriel (The Mission)

Brief preamble: Being a chap in the 21st century is tricky. Finding acceptable examples for masculinity is something of a challenge, and role models are needed. So without further ado, here is the first in a series…


If you die with blood on your hands you’ll betray everything we’ve fought for. You promised your life to God. And God is love!

If might is right, then there is no place for love in the world.

Watching The Mission makes me want to be a Christian, which all things considered is really something of an achievement. This is down to two things: the reading of I Corinthians 13 by Robert De Niro in the jungle, and the character of Father Gabriel. The leader of a group of Jesuit missionaries trying to protect the Brazilian Indians from slavery, he is compassionate, intelligent, deeply religious (in the good way) and resolutely pacifistic, even to the very end.

Essential Man Qualities: compassion, spirituality, leadership, courage (non-violent), indifference to own death, awesome beard, proficiency with a violin, ability to rock climb waterfalls

Defining Manly Moment: After one of his priests is killed by the Guarani Indians above the Iguazu Falls, he rock climbs up to them in an attempt to find and communicate with the Indians. Trouble is, he doesn’t speak their language. So he uses an oboe. Badass.


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