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EXT. ST. PHILOMENA BASILICA - DAY

The priest and the workers flee out of the church.

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INT. ST. PHILOMENA BASILICA - LATER

Now a CROWD surrounds the fallen slab. A MONSIGNOR (60s) faces the marble then glances at the priest who stands wide-eyed beside him. The monsignor braces himself and gestures.

MONSIGNOR

Open it.

A NEW crew of workers pries at the slab. The massive grave cover is hauled aside and beneath it, amid the tatters of rotting clothes, lies a man, his flesh whole.

This is JEAN-MARIE VIANNEY.

Audible GASPS

WOMAN

He’s alive!

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INT. ST. PHILOMENA BASILICA - DAY

TITLE: FRANCE 1904

The church is a monument of faith in stone. LABORERS toil throughout the church. They hang banners, retouch gorgeous frescos, and polish carved reliefs, in particular, one depicting a crowd being blessed by a priest.

A flesh and blood PRIEST (40s), wearing a cassock, cuts through the chaos to an area of relative calm where several WORKERS pry at a MARBLE SLAB in the center floor of the nave.

PRIEST

My friends, the ceremony is tomorrow.

What is the delay?

WORKER 1

Pardon, Monsieur. I is a delicate thing,disturbing the dead.

PRIEST

This man is forty years buried. Are you afraid of dust and bone?

The workers look chastised and put their backs into the metal bars used to pry up the slab. Sweat. Strain. CRACK.

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