All of the Catholic blogging world is falling in love with Wonder Woman, and that love is well-deserved because this movie has Christianity written all over it. During my second viewing, I couldn’t help but notice how Diana Prince and Steve Trevor brought to mind another heroic couple: The Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph.
- Diana and Mary: A Child Set Apart
When we first meet Diana, we come to notice very quickly that she is the only child on the island of Themyscira. Through dialogue from her mother, aunt and other Amazonian women, we learn that Diana is destined for a great purpose [SPOILER: She is the only one who can defeated Ares, the story’s Luciferian villain]. In a similar fashion, Mary is the only person who was born without the stain of Original Sin on her soul, which most definitely sets her apart from the other Nazarene children.
- Steve and Saint Joseph: On A Mission He Never Asked For
Now I know that comparing Steve Trevor to Saint Joseph is a bit of a stretch, but here’s my case: In their respective arch, Saint Joseph and Steve Trevor start off as average men who are just doing their jobs (Steve is a WWI pilot and Joseph was a righteous carpenter). Joseph was betrothed to Mary and Steve is sent on a standard assignment. Though initially preparing to quietly divorce Mary, Joseph is propelled to action when he is visited by an angel in a dream who tells him to take Mary as his wife. While Steve Trevor is not visited by an angel, he is confronted with the evil intent of sadistic chemist Dr. Isabel Maru, which compels him to reluctantly act.
- Diana’s Protective Heart for Mankind
Diana has a slightly romantic, but overall compassionate outlook on human beings. She recognizes the threat of Ares, the god of war who influences the hearts of men to do his bidding, in the same vein that Mary knows that Satan and his minions tempt human beings to sin. As a result, Diana is protective of mankind and sees the inherent goodness in the heart of every mortal. Meanwhile Mary sees us all as children to be saved and it is through her that we come to
know her Son, the Savior Himself.
- Steve Doesn’t Understand Her; Still Protects Her
We can safely assume that neither Steve nor Saint Joseph completely understood the women they were journeying with. Throughout the movie, we see Steve trying to wrap his head around Amazonian women, war gods and clay babies, but never once does he ridicule or condescend Diana for her otherworldly beliefs. As for Saint Joseph, the idea of a virgin birth was beyond his comprehension and, as previously mentioned, he was ready to quietly divorce Mary to protect their reputations. However, both men chose to love these prophetic women and safeguard their dignity against all odds.
- Diana vs. Ares/Mary vs. Satan
Any exorcist would readily tell you that there’s nobody the devil fears more (other than Jesus Himself) than Mary, the reason being that to be defeated by a human woman is a crushing humiliation for the bitter fallen angel. [SPOILER] We find out that Diana is the Godkiller, i.e. the only being who can kill an immortal. As we can imagine, Ares is quite afraid of her and does what he can to interact with her as little as possible.
To be clear, Mary is the exact opposite of a Godkiller–though one of her titles is God-bearer/Theotokos. As with Ares, Satan wants nothing to do with Mary. He’ll fight her, no doubt, he’d probably just want to fight literally anyone else but her.
At one point during the climactic battle, Ares shouts angrily at Diana, “They [humans] do not deserve your protection!” Diana rejects his claim and fights on behalf of the mortal world not because we deserve it, but because she believes in love. Speaking of which, we certainly don’t deserve Mary’s love and protection, but she is the mother of love Himself, so she believes in us and mightily fights for the salvation of our souls.
Mary crushes the serpent’s head with her foot, while Diana strikes Ares with the fatal thunder bolt.
- The Martyrdom of Legacy
Again, this is another stretch in comparing Steve Trevor to Saint Joseph, but allow me to flesh it out: [SPOILER] Steve ultimately sacrifices his own life in order to destroy the lethal gas bombs. He knew that he would never live to marry Diana and have children with her, and would end up being one of many soldiers who died in the war–quite possibly ending up forgotten in the throes of history, but he willingly gave his life to save thousands.
While Saint Joseph did not die a traditional martyr’s death, the fact that he willingly sacrificed having children of his own, which in his day was a man’s defining legacy, in order to be the foster father of Jesus is an act of martyrdom in and of itself. Both Steve and Saint Joseph share a sacrificing of their own marks on Earth to serve purposes far greater than they could have ever imagined.
One last point: If you look closely at Diana’s breastplate, you will notice how the golden top is designed like an eagle–a bird…looks a lot like the Holy Spirit. 🙂
Most Holy Family, pray for us.