Friday, 20 January 2017

Off to Patching village to film a few scenes for 'Saint Faustina', new DVD coming soon

A former Catholic church in Patching village
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Patching village is first mentioned in the history of England in the year 948. Above the village on the South Downs are groups of neolithic flint mines, represented by slight hollows and mounds. Patching is crossed by the Monarch's Way long-distance footpath marking the supposed route of Charles II's flight to France in 1651. It has a lot of history linked to the Catholic Faith in England and is also located five minutes from where Mary's Dowry Productions 'lives'. We have filmed for many productions in Patching and, with permission, at the now Anglican church of St. John the Divine, which was once a Catholic church that dates back to the thirteenth century.
Saint Faustina at Patching church
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Today's filming adventure saw us driving the five minutes from our house to the village of Patching and the church of St. John the Divine to film the final visuals we wanted for our upcoming film about Saint Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy. We did a little essential shopping first in Goring and then set off. Into the church we went and began to costume-up when we realised we had left Saint Faustina's veil at home in the costume boxes that we had used for filming at 'The Barn' on the 7th January. Home we went, almost out of petrol, rummaged through the boxes, found it, drove back to Patching and began again. Every single filming experience has at least one test of perseverance.... We were determined to get the footage we needed and so would not be thwarted by forgetting parts of the costume!
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We have had requests to produce films about several well known Saints of the Catholic Church alongside our films about the English Martyrs and Saints of England. So we have been busy recently producing films on the lives of popular and very inspiring Saints such as Saint Faustina Kowalska. We have plans to film for four or five English Martyrs this year but over the next few months we are continuing to produce DVDs about many universal Saints of the Church.
Our seamstress made our Saint Faustina costume and headdress for us so we set out filming specific scenes for Saint Faustina's DVD over the past few months (see earlier posts). This was our last filming day for imagery for Saint Faustina which will see us ready to move onto the next phase.
Saint Faustina writing her Diary
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
It was FREEZING inside the church, like a tomb. Our fingers went completely numb and fog was blowing out of our mouths the whole time. While it was beautifully sunny outside, it was a crisp, cold January day. We managed to film some relevant scenes (after locating the light switches and popping a donation in the box for their use afterwards). We didn't turn on the heater because we didn't plan to be in there for a great deal of time - we thought it would be a decent penance!
Situated at the base of the church tower is the Lady Chapel. The 'altar' is an ancient wooden table covered in a cloth with a painting of Our Lady above it. The Anglicans who presently run the church ask, "Could this be the wooden Communion Table that was introduced when stone altars had to be discarded after the Reformation of 1547?" We sat 'Saint Faustina' at this table in the Lady Chapel to write her Divine Mercy Diary. Above us, the moon and stars painted on the Lady Chapel ceiling are believed to have been there since medieval times.
Saint Faustina praying the chaplet of the Divine Mercy
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Saint Faustina
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We filmed a few scenes in the nave and the chancel. It was peaceful inside and we admired that the church is left unlocked all day every day for visitors. We were the only ones there during our filming slot so we were able to get everything we needed without interruptions.
The church of St. John the Divine was a Catholic church built soon after 1200. In the year 1203 it appears as a chapel dependent on its mother church at Tarring. In August 1282 the Roman Catholic Archbishop Peckham restored its independence and from this date to the Protestant Reformation in England in the 16th century there was a Catholic priest at Patching to serve the Christians of the area. Mass used to be offered in the church and there are remnants of a piscina and a sedilia. There are also BATS in the church (but we didn't see any)! There is a lovely rood screen which was added in 1889 in the style of the original 15th century screen which would have been torn down and destroyed at the Protestant Reformation. The Baptismal font dates to the 15th century. It appears to have been removed, probably at the time of the Protestant Reformation, and after having reputedly been used as a feeding trough for farm animals, it was restored and replaced in the present position.
Saint Faustina in the cemetery
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Preparing to film Saint Faustina in the vestry
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We filmed a scene in the Vestry too of Saint Faustina writing her diary. After filming in the church for about forty minutes we moved out into the grounds. We managed to shoot a few scenes of Saint Faustina in the cemetery and praying by the church before we were so cold (and hungry) that we had to stop and call it a day. Plus we had to go to work later that afternoon and needed to get home.
Saint Faustina
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Now we have everything we need we will start to narrate and edit this production in the very near future. We look forward to seeing it come together to be able to present the beautiful life of Saint Faustina and the important message of Divine Mercy.
Visit our websites for a full listing of our DVDs:

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Blessed Jacinta Marto - a new film coming in early 2017 - Fatima 100th Anniversary

Jacinta Marto - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Last week, on Saturday 7th January 2017, we were very pleased to begin work on our new film 'Jacinta Marto', which focuses on the life of one of the three shepherd seers of Fatima.
We produced our film about Jacinta's elder brother and fellow seer, Francisco Marto, way back in 2010 and have been keen to present Jacinta's  beautiful, powerful and moving life too.
Francisco Marto - screenshot
© 2010 Mary's Dowry Productions

Seven years later, things were organised almost of their own accord to start work on this film this year. The lovely little girl who portrayed Jacinta for us was born in 2010, the year we were filming for Francisco. It was wonderful to revisit the same locations as our filming for Francisco so as to visually recreate moments from Jacinta's life with our little actress. We were especially keen to be able to place Jacinta in the same places as Francisco as a continuity of our films. Our film about Francisco is one of our personal favourites so we are pleased to finally be working on Jacinta's film.
Jacinta sees the vision of Hell - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We spent the whole day at 'The Barn' where we do our 'set' filming days with our parishioners, acquiring visuals for four new films. These were:
Most of the scenes from the four films were interspersed throughout the day but the main bulk of Jacinta's imagery took place in the afternoon. We have completed the narrative for our film about Blessed Jacinta and hope to begin work editing it as soon as possible. Working on the visuals on Saturday and also finalising the narrative ready for recording this week provided us with a very beautiful encounter with the message of Our Lady of Fatima and Jacinta's incredibly moving and powerful response.
Our Lady visits Jacinta in hospital - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Jacinta strews flowers - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
It is especially thought-provoking to see this little girl's response to the Angel of Peace and to Our Lady, especially after the third apparition. Jacinta was deeply affected by the vision of hell and sought to do as much as she could to assist in the conversion of sinners and to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for so many sins. She was especially affected by the thought of eternity. In her memoirs Lucia tells us:
"Jacinta's demeanour was always serious and reserved, but friendly. All her actions seemed to reflect the presence of God in the way proper to people of mature age and great virtue. I never noticed in her that excessive frivolity or childish enthusiasm for games and pretty things, so typical of small children. This, of course was after the Apparitions; before then she was the personification of enthusiasm and caprice!"
Jacinta prays many rosaries - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We get very excited to be able to recreate images of the Saints and English Martyrs for our films. Not only do we look forward to using the footage in our DVDs, but we are equally as pleased to have the screenshots and stills of the images too to use in blog posts, tweets a way to promote each Saint. The children especially capture innocence and beauty as they portray in our films.
Blessed Francisco Marto - screenshot
© 2010 Mary's Dowry Productions
Blessed Jacinta Marto - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We are looking forward to having this film available soon, especially for the 100th anniversary of Fatima this year!
Be sure to visit our websites for the DVD release of this new film:
Jacinta in hospital - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Saint Don Bosco - biography, dreams, To Hell and Back, Death's Messenger - filming day

Saint John Bosco and his boys - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
On Saturday 7th January 2017 we spent the day in The Barn (the old Catholic Church attached to our 1960's church of the English Martyrs - home of this):
The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction
Church of the English Martyrs - Goring-by-Sea
Also home to 'Mary's Dowry Productions'
Our filming day consisted of acquiring visual moments from the lives of:
We have been interested in Saint Don Bosco for years and years having read in the 1990's the book 'The Forty Dreams of Saint John Bosco' published by Tan Books. We wanted to present Saint John Bosco's inspiring life as well as some of his dreams. This was ambitious but we like to be ambitious!
Preparing to film a 'dream/vision' in 'Saint John Bosco' - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
The schedule involved a lovely group of children of various ages to represent Don Bosco's boys, a group of girls to represent Mary Mazzarello's girls as well as various parishioners and local Catholic teachers portraying Saints, guide's, ghostly figures, priests etc...
We bounced from one Saint to the other throughout the day, filming along different timelines and moments from all four. Everyone was either confused or intrigued but used to our methods. The day began filming Saint Don Bosco in his room.
Saint John Bosco in his room - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Various shots captured scenes and moments from the time Saint Don Bosco spent reading, writing etc...We also filmed a few encounters with his 'guide'. Saint Don Bosco describes his 'guide' as "the man with the cap". Whenever he turned up, Saint Don Bosco knew he was going to have some difficult, alarming, important or shocking dreams/visions. Our Lord guided Saint Don Bosco through dream/visions, mostly concerning the boys that he taught. They are very important, mostly about the spiritual life and applicable to us all, especially today.
Saint Don Bosco and his 'guide' - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We filmed sequences for FOUR specific dreams/visions throughout the day:
These cover a wide variety of warnings that Our Lord conveyed through Saint Don Bosco for souls.
We are looking forward to presenting these in our DVD.
'DEATH'S MESSENGER' - from Don Bosco's dream - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
'TO HELL AND BACK' Saint John Bosco and his guide watch two oratory boys
From Don Bosco's dreams
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
'TO HELL AND BACK' - Fleeing the Justice of God
From Don Bosco's dreams - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
'TO HELL AND BACK' - Touching the outermost wall of hell - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
'CONFESSION' - From Saint Don Bosco's dream - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Saint Don Bosco interacted with various other Saints in his life. We filmed scenes with Don Bosco and Sr Mary Mazzarello, as well as with Dominic Savio.
Saint John Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio - Screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Saint Mary Mazzarello and Saint John Bosco - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We look forward to putting this film together about Saint John Bosco, especially for people who do not know his story. One of our parishioners, who has been in our films since 2008 and who stores some of our props and set pieces in his garage, was interested in the filming day because he had chosen Saint Don Bosco as his confirmation saint - 65 years ago! He said he did not know anything about him! We always put up small biographies in the barn for our actors to read while they are waiting to be on set etc...and he came up to us and said that he and Saint John Bosco share a birthday, which must have been why he chose him for his confirmation Saint! He is looking forward to learning all about Saint Don Bosco too.
Two of our 'actors' and parishioners
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We hope to be able to present our film over the next few months on DVD.
Meanwhile, visit our websites for full listings of all of our DVDs on the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs, which are available worldwide:
Check back for blog posts on the other Saints we filmed for these past few weeks!

Friday, 13 January 2017

First filming days of 2017 - Mary's Dowry Productions - Jacinta, Don Bosco, Dominic Savio, Mary Mazzarello, Mechtild of Magdeburg


Screenshot - Saint John Bosco and his guide
Filming day 7th January at The Barn, English Martyrs Catholic Church
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
On Thursday 5th January we set out to look for little egrets in Ferring, near Worthing. We wanted to catch some imagery of these beautiful birds which nest along the Ferring rife, for scenery breaks in some of our future films . A little egret had landed a couple of times by our pond and spent ages standing in the waterfall contemplating the fish a few days before the new year. It looked so beautiful that we decided to go hunting with our cameras for the birds. While we did not find any little egrets we filmed the rife which was particularly lovely that morning. Having lived literally five minutes away from Ferring rife for 36 - 40 years (!) we had never actually been there. We spent our childhoods playing with friends along our own rifes in Goring. So we enjoyed filming the Ferring rife and decided we would go back there and travel further along another day.
Ferring rife - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We were about to leave when we noticed a ruined Sussex flint barn in the very centre of the enormous farmer's field to our right as we stood on the bridge over the rife. It looked to be of the same style as 'The Barn' attached to our parish church; we think that there were three of the same era (c. 1777) built in the vicinity of Goring and Ferring. The ruin looked fascinating so we ran across the field (which actually took ages) and checked it out.
Ruined Sussex flint barn - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

Ruined Sussex flint barn in Ferring - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
We filmed various shots and angles of the ruined flint barn and thought about how we could use it in the lives of the Saints. We have planned to make several films on the lives of Beguines and Anchoresses this year and thought this would be a suitable location. Although in the screenshots it looks as though it is easy to film, there is actually a main road in the distance on one side, houses on another and a large caravan park on yet another. There is only one angle suitable for wide shots which has a treeline with a distant large barn. But we are used to tricky camera angles so decided we would use it in a film.
Part of the ruined Sussex flint barn in Ferring, West Sussex - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Frozen puddles along the Ferring rife - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
 It was actually really cold with lots of frozen puddles around but we managed to get some lovely new scenery shots and images of the ruined barn before we decided to go home and continue with our planning. The ruined flint barn seemed to haunt us from then on! We had a large filming day booked on the Saturday with lots of people attending to provide visuals of various Saints for us so we had to prep for that, but we kept discussing the barn, and even dreamed about it!
Actors taking a break
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
On Saturday 7th January we spent most of the day in the (not-ruined) Sussex flint barn (Jupps Barn) attached to our parish church, with parishioners, friends and a few school teachers and students from our local Catholic school. We recreated imagery from the lives of four Saints of the Church:
Don Bosco, Dominic Savio, Mary Mazzarello and Jacinta Marto.
We were also very ambitious and recreated imagery from some of Saint John Bosco's dreams which proved quite a task but was enjoyable.
In the church filming for the dreams for Saint John Bosco
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
The children were excellent and worked hard all day. They enjoyed themselves too and learned a lot about the Saints they were helping to portray. We were delighted to be able to acquire lots of excellent imagery which will be very effective in our films.
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Our actors even helped with their costumes when it was discovered some of them were creased!
The filming day was organised chaos, as most of them usually are. There were costume and set changes throughout the day as well as moving into the church for various scenes and outside in the courtyard and along the side of the barn, with the use of fog machines, flame lights, lanterns, set pieces we moved from one set to another capturing moments from the lives of these Saints.
Filming in the church of the English Martyrs, Goring, West Sussex
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Once finished we had several hours worth of footage which we will now be able to organise and begin editing and to produce each DVD.
Filming for 'Saint John Bosco'
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Although we were exhausted after this filming day, we were still haunted by the ruined flint barn in Ferring, so earlier this week we organised ourselves and set off for more filming. We captured imagery for a film about Mechtild of Magdeburg.
Mechtild of Magdeburg - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

Struggling against the brambles in the ruined flint barn - Ferring
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
The filming experience out on location is very different from filming in 'The Barn'. Although the inside filming is hard work, it is always an effort against the elements and nature when we set off out. For some reason it seemed as though a hurricane decided to blow over the field and around the ruins from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. It was a real struggle but we were pleased with our final footage and look forward to presenting our film about Mechtild of Magdeburg as one of the first of our DVDs on the lives of Anchoresses and Beguines.
Filming 'Jacinta Marto' - screenshot
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
After a very busy start to 2017 we are presently finishing the music score for our film 'Julian of Norwich', finishing narrative for several projects and getting ready for another filming day at 'The Barn' in March when we will be capturing moments from the lives of Bartolo Longo, Margaret Mary, Claude de la Columbiere and hopefully St. Gemma Galgani too!
We will present some more blog posts on each of the Saints that we filmed for so far this year, with a few images and additional information about each DVD.
For a full listing of our DVDs available worldwide visit:

Friday, 23 December 2016

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about St. Julian of Norwich - Anchoress, Mystic, Author - a new film

Saint Julian of Norwich
© 2016 Screenshot - Mary's Dowry Productions
As we prepare to write the music for our new film on the life and writings of Saint Julian of Norwich, we are watching and re-watching our final edit and reflecting upon the atmosphere and words of Julian which make the narrative of the film. The imagery that we acquired for the visuals of Julian were filmed in the ruined church of Bedham, a small hamlet in the woods near Petworth, West Sussex. The imagery helps to draw us into Julian's writings which are Christ's Revelation of Divine Love.
This film is very absorbing with imagery of the Passion of Our Lord. It is a good means of reflecting upon the Revelations given to Julian, an anchoress of Norwich in the 14th Century. We are looking forward to releasing this film on DVD soon, hopefully before the end of the year.
Pope Benedict XVI gave us some beautiful insights into the writings of Saint Julian and her life during his general audience on December 1st 2010 which we have included in this post.
Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 1st December 2010
St. Julian of Norwich
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching. One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.
The very scant information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.
Julian writes her Revelation of Divine Love
© 2016 Screenshot Mary's Dowry Productions
It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon, and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France. God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.
As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave. After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.
St. Julian of Norwich - Visions
© 2016 Screenshot Mary's Dowry Productions
And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.
“‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love.... Why did he show it to you? For Love’.... Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).
Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision. Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.
She may have taken the name of Julian precisely from that Saint to whom was dedicated the church in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.
This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us. But she was not the only one to make such a choice. In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx.
The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study. In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people. Men and women of every age and condition in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them. It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice; precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.
St. Julian of Norwich - Film
© 2016 Screenshot Mary's Dowry Productions
We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life. This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains. She had become a mother to many.
Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others. As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.
I therefore recall with admiration and gratitude the women and men's cloistered monasteries. Today more than ever they are oases of peace and hope, a precious treasure for the whole Church, especially since they recall the primacy of God and the importance, for the journey of faith, of constant and intense prayer.
It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love. Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older, and one that is longer. This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.
St. Julian of Norwich
© 2016 Screenshot Mary's Dowry Productions
In this book we read the following wonderful words: “And I saw full surely that ere God made us he loved us; which love was never lacking nor ever shall be. And in this love he has made all his works; and in this love he has made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting... in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).
The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love. This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.
The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children. In fact the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.
God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).
Revelations of Divine Love
© 2016 St. Julian of Norwich Screenshot
Mary's Dowry Productions
Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life: God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust, and lets it become one's sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.
I would like to emphasize another point. The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).
If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist? And the Saints themselves asked this very question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith ... and that ... I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in ... that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).
Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations. If we present to God, to his immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed. “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well”: this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today. Many thanks.
St. Julian of Norwich - Revelations
© 2016 Screenshot Mary's Dowry Productions
Our film will be available through our online shops:
Visit our websites for full listings of all of our DVDs available worldwide in all region formats.