Tuesday, 16 October 2018

PAYING THE RENT - Saint Richard Gwyn, 40 Martyrs of England and Wales

RICHARD GWYN was born about 1537, at Llanidloes in Powys. He studied at both English universities, married and became a schoolmaster, teaching for 16 years at various places in Flintshire and Denbighshire. At a date unknown he was reconciled with the Church, and in a 'drive' against Catholic schoolmasters in 1580 he was arrested.

For four years he was carried from jail to jail in chains, brought up at eight assizes, fined absurd sums, tortured. At times he solaced himself by writing verses, in his native Welsh; some of it has survived.

At his last assizes, at Wrexham, he was arraigned for trying to reconcile a man with the Church, and for maintaining that the pope, as successor of St Peter, was head of the Church. The evidence was suborned, the jury packed and subservient.

Saint Richard Gwyn's wife was brought into court, baby in arms, to be admonished, but she rounded on the sheriff and said: "If you want blood, take my life as well as his! Give the witnesses a little bribe, and they will give evidence against me, too!"

She was sent to prison.

A few days later, on 15th October 1581, Saint Richard Gwyn was butchered at Wrexham, "paying my rent" as he put it, "before rent-day".

His last words, uttered in Welsh as he was disemboweled, were, "Jesus, have mercy on me!"

Saint Richard Gwyn was the first Martyr during Penal times to be executed in Wales. He was canonized by Pope Saint Paul IV in 1970.

Saint Richard Gwyn Catholic Film available here: www.marysdowryproductions.org 

Catholic film launch THIS WEEK on Thursday 18th October, Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

This Thursday, 18th October, at 7.30pm, there will be a film launch of the newly released Catholic DVD 'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock'!

This NEW film runs for 50 minutes and presents the story of Knock, Ireland. The film launch takes place in THE BARN, which is located next to English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, Worthing, West Sussex in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The church is home to the world's only full scale reproduction of The Sistine Chapel Ceiling.

'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock' was produced by Mary's Dowry Productions, a Catholic film apostolate established in 2007 in the Diocese to share the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs through the new Catholic media. Many of their productions have been broadcast on EWTN and featured on BBC1 and SKY TV.

As well as showing the film, there will be free refreshments, stalls and Catholic film trailers. Entrance and refreshments are free and hope to encourage an enjoyable evening among Catholics interested in the lives of the Saints, the story of Knock, Catholic history and art.

There will also be the opportunity to purchase DVDs from a wide range of Catholic films and resources, including Catechetical DVDs useful for Confirmation classes, parishes and RCIA.

Catholic films are a great way to enrich our Faith by encountering the Saints and English Martyrs, the riches of the Catholic Church and a chance to see inspiring Sacred Art and imagery.

'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock' will be showing on Thursday 18th October at 7.30PM - The Barn, English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, Worthing, BN12 4UH. Hope to see you there!

For more information about Mary's Dowry Productions:

Thursday, 11 October 2018

A look back at The Martyrs Walk - By Bernadette Bevans.

This Blog Post will take a look at The Martyrs Walk DVD Film and Experience that came about in the early years of Mary's Dowry Productions.  After we completed our first film on Saint Philip Howard, the Earl of Arundel and English Martyr at the beginning of 2008, we were inspired to discover more of the English Martyrs, particularly the 40 martyrs of England and Wales.  An opportunity arose to attend "The Martyrs Walk" in London, led by Joanna Bogle.  
Waiting for the Train to London
We caught the train and met a group of Catholics and historians at Tower Hill.  The Martyrs Walk was led by Joanna Bogle and the Franciscan Friars of Renewal and the idea was to visit historic sites in London, the first Catholic Churches now destroyed, priories torn down during the reformation, and Joanna Bogle would explain the history behind these sites.

We also prayed litanies and sung hymns about the Faith and the martyrs as a witness.

Along the way we stopped at St. Patrick's Church, Soho for Mass, we continued along the busy streets, all the while we photographed, documented and filmed the event.

Bearing Witness to the Martyrs along the streets of London
  It was not until I stood and examined the plaques at Tower Hill that the reality and excitement of our Catholic Faith and History, especially the English Martyrs, struck me.  At this point we had only worked on Saint Philip Howard and discovered him as an awesome witness and martyr.  Seeing the spot where many of our Catholic ancestors were martyrs made it so real.
You can see Saint Philip Howard's actual writings in his cell in London, you can also stand on the spot where saints such as Thomas More and John Fisher were executed.  You can also stand on the spot where the Tyburn Gallows once stood.

Tower Hill, where many martyrs were killed
My interest and love for the 40 martyrs of England and Wales was ignited even more on this spot and I wanted to know all their stories!  The place of Tyburn Gallows is in the middle of traffic now but there is a plaque that marks the spot.  Saint Philip Howard died in the Tower of London but other Martyrs were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.  The Martyrs Walk ended at Tyburn Convent. where there were many relics of the martyrs.

It was not our intention to produce a DVD on The Martyrs Walk but we were so inspired by the history of these sites in London as well as the spots where the martyrs were executed, plus we had filmed and documented the entire event.  We decided to produce our second DVD 'The Martyrs Walk' sharing this history, these sites, great shots of London including many back streets and secret places, interjected with short biographies of many English Martyrs. This film is now available on DVD worldwide and has and still does prove popular over the years.

The Martyrs Walk DVD

The Music Score:

When I began writing the music score, I had only written 1 full length film score so this was my second score.  I wanted to capture the history and era and drew upon memories of atmospheres from places such as The London Dungeons, spooky sounds and eerie atmospheres created with soundscapes and noisescapes.  
I used early sounds such as Symphonic Choirs and Whispering Angels.  For the Opening Titles I used Pizz. Strings and create a very story like sound to lay the foundation for the film content.  To this date The Martyrs Walk has a very unique atmosphere. 
You can listen to the Opening Titles here in a short clip:

I particularly love the use of the bell, it takes you straight to the era of the English Martyrs.
Although we started our Catholic Media Apostolate with Saint Philip Howard and wanted to move straight on to Saint Edmund Campion, The Martyrs Walk event in London was such a blessing as it introduced us to all the martyrs including the many Blesseds and the Forty Martyrs.  It took us to the places of their deaths and to many historic sites of Catholicism in London.  
It set an amazing foundation for the next 10 years of productions on the English Martyrs and sparked a great zeal in us for our faith and history.  We have worked on a lot more Martyrs films over the past ten years but The Martyrs Walk experience and production was quite a catalyst for this.  Our mission continues today, to produce a DVD on each of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.  We currently have a growing range of Box Sets of English Martyrs available for collections.

The Martyrs Walk Box Sets
Each Box Set contains 6 full films on the English Martyrs in a 6 DVD Disc set and are available through our website or through Amazon. www.marysdowryproductions.org 

As Joanna Bogle said so prophetically "The martyrs sacrificed their lives for us and for our country yet the Forty Martyrs were not canonized until 1970.  It's as if all the graces they obtained were stored up for us until now when we most need them."

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The English Martyrs in film - new Catholic DVD box sets of the lives of the Saints and Martyrs


Over the past eleven years, Mary's Dowry Productions has produced a growing library of films about the English Martyrs, many of which had been broadcast on EWTN and other Catholic networks throughout the world. This has been an exciting way to present the history of the persecution against the Catholic Church in England during Penal times as well as the devotion, missions, faithfulness, heroic sacrifice, steadfastness and defense of the Catholic Faith, including the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Papal authority and much more, by these great Catholic figures in film for a global audience.

We have now made these films more readily available in three new DVD box sets.

Volume One contains the following films:

God's Champion: Saint Edmund Campion,
The Secret Mass Room: Saint Swithun Wells
Defender of the Eucharist: Saint Polydore Plasden
The Hunted Priest: Saint Edmund Gennings
The Church Militant: Saint Margaret Ward
The Safe House Keeper: Saint Anne Line

Volume Two of The Martyrs Collection contains the following films:

Defender of The Latin Mass: Saint Richard Gwyn
The Exorcist from the North: Saint Edmund Arrowsmith
Soldier of the Cross: Saint Alexander Briant
Saint Thomas More
Blessed Margaret Pole
Saint John Fisher

Volume Three contains the following films:

Saint Edmund Campion: A Hero Returns
Saint John Houghton
Saint Nicholas Owen: The Priest Hole Maker
Saint John Southworth: Westminster's Priest
Saint Margaret Clitherow
The Morse Code: Saint Henry Morse

We will be making available a fourth box set as we complete our latest DVD about Saint Alban Roe, one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. All of these films are available on DVD singularly from

Monday, 1 October 2018

NEW DVD release today - Saint Mechtilde of Magbeburg and the Holy Souls in Purgatory

NEW DVD film release

Available on DVD today from Mary's Dowry Productions, our NEW film about Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg and the Souls in Purgatory.
In this film we not only look at the life of this 13th century Beguine, who spent the last years of her life in Helfta with Saint Gertrude the Great and Saint Mechtilde of Hackborn, both heralds of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but we look at Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg's visions about purgatory and prayers for the Holy Souls suffering there.

Here is the DVD information from our website:

Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg:

Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg was a 13th century German Beguine who spent the last years of her life with the nuns at Helfta, including Saint Gertrude the Great and Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn, both of whom have been called heralds of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In this new film we look at the life of Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg, her Beguine vocation, who the Beguines were and their significance today, Saint Mechtilde’s writings in ‘The Flowing Light of the Godhead’, and in particular her writings and visions of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Beautiful artwork and vivid imagery capture the spirit of this great medieval German figure and offer a specific meditation upon the Holy Souls in Purgatory as well as why prayers for the Holy Souls are important and necessary.

 Saint Gertrude the Great was influenced by Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg and we look at Saint Gertrude’s famous prayer for the Holy Souls in context with Saint Mechtilde’s work. Historical, informative and devotional, this new film from Mary’s Dowry Productions will be a good addition to any Catholic or historical DVD library.

 Length and Format:
 Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg runs for 28 minutes and is available on Region Free DVD Worldwide.


Saturday, 29 September 2018

Saint Edmund Campion - A hero returns. As seen on EWTN.

It has been 10 years since the launch and release of our DVD about Saint Edmund Campion. This film was broadcast on EWTN for over five years and remains a popular and inspiring way to journey with this great English, Jesuit missionary priest and martyr, who gave his life at the Triple Tyburn Gallows in 1581.

Saint Edmund Campion: A Hero Returns: 

The life, mission and death of English Jesuit priest and Martyr Saint Edmund Campion are remembered in this film from Mary’s Dowry Productions. Follow the journey of a man with a mission to minister to the persecuted Catholics of Elizabethan England. From the universities of Oxford, to the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, through Ireland, France and Rome and back across the channel to illegally re-enter England as a Jesuit Priest, Saint Edmund Campion is pursued by spies and priest-hunters, writes his famous ‘Brag’ and ‘Ten Reasons’, is captured, tortured, imprisoned in the infamous Tower of London, and is subjected to trials and debates.

Determined to remain loyal to his Catholic Faith, Saint Edmund Campion is eventually sentenced to a traitor’s death and gives his life on Tyburn Gallows in 1581. He died aged 41, a Catholic priest and a faithful Englishman.

This film presents Saint Edmund Campion’s journey using dramatic visuals and narration told from his own perspective. A challenging and important story for Catholics today.

Our unique film production style has been praised worldwide for not only presenting facts and biographical information but an authentically Catholic and prayerful film experience. Mary’s Dowry Productions was established in 2007 - a Catholic Film Production Apostolate based in the United Kingdom. Many of our films have been broadcast on EWTN, BBC and SKY. 

Length and Format: The film runs for 1 hour and 5 minutes and is available on Region Free DVD worldwide here:

Carmelite Saints DVD Box Set now available - Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Teresa of Avila and more

We now have available a 6 film DVD box set containing 6 films about the lives of 6 Carmelite Saints! This DVD is available direct from www.marysdowryproductions.org in our NEW Box Set section.
Our box sets mean that we are able to offer groups of films on DVD at lower costs.

The films included in this DVD box set are:

Saint Edith Stein
Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint John of the Cross
Blessed Titus Brandsma
Saint Simon Stock and the Brown Scapular
The Last Conversations of Therese (the Little Flower)

Here is the direct link to our NEW DVD box sets category:

With a run time of over 180 minutes, these six films are now available together as a box set that will be a welcome addition to any family, school, seminary, parish or home library. Informative, relevant, devotional, detailed, inspiring and authentically catholic, ‘6 Carmelite films’ bring together a collection of 6 Carmelite saints and Blesseds spanning 700 years of Carmelite history in films by Mary’s Dowry Productions.

NEW Our Lady of Knock DVD now available

Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock DVD is now available, shipping worldwide, from www.marysdowryproductions.org and also through Amazon.

In 1879, at the beginning of the Land War, and after 300 years of anti-Catholic persecution throughout Ireland, in a little village called Knock in County Mayo, an apparition of Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist occurred before the astonished eyes of fifteen people. It took place at the south gable end of the small local parish church. A little to the left of Saint John was an altar, upon which stood a cross and a Lamb with adoring angels surrounding.

The apparition occurred after and during a time of enormous religious, social, cultural and economic sufferings for the Irish people. The appearance of the Ever Immaculate Mother of God affirmed God’s blessing upon the Catholic faithful of Ireland and Our Lady’s support and comfort in their trials, reminding the people that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which for centuries had been attacked, outlawed and abused by the anti-Catholic oppressors of Ireland, is the most central, sacred and important act of worship and the greatest prayer on earth.

In this new film ‘Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock’ we look at the circumstances surrounding the apparition, the fifteen witnesses, Archdeacon Cavanagh who was the parish priest of Knock at that time and step back into Ireland’s past to 1536 when an Apostate Catholic King turned his bitter eyes upon a green emerald country that had once been described as the land of Saints and scholars.

Length and Format:
This film runs for 50 minutes and is available worldwide in Region Free DVD Format.

We will be showing this film on September 18th in the barn, English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex. Free entry. All welcome.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Editing for 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' film is completed - DVD coming soon!

Recreating the visionaries of Knock
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
Several of the visionaries with Archdeacon Cavanagh
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We have been busy editing our new film about 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' this week, which we decided to produce back in March when we had a filming day booked. It has been very inspiring to work on the editing, drawing all the elements of film production into a final presentation which has been exciting and very interesting.

Our film opens in 1879 at the beginning of the Land War, and after 300 years of persecutions of Catholics throughout Ireland, in the village of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.
After a small presentation of the social and spiritual, economical, political and historical setting that was the situation in which the apparition at Knock occurred, we go back 300 years to 1536 and King Henry VIII of England, who declared himself the King of Ireland and decided to conquer the country to bring it under crown control and introduce the Protestant Reformation.

The journey through the history of Ireland is fascinating, tragic and powerful; to see clearly Satan's attack upon the country once described as the land of Saints and scholars.

Silken Thomas
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We look at 'Silken Thomas' and his role in unwittingly drawing his cousin, King Henry VIII's eyes with full force upon Ireland. We journey through the 16th and 17th centuries to see the rebellions, persecutions and terrible attacks upon the Irish faithful by the English government, including plantations, evictions and wars, as they tried to suppress and destroy the Catholic Faith in Ireland.

Punishments for Irish Rebels
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We look briefly at the life and martyrdom of Saint Oliver Plunkett and the terrible Test Act which required all persons filling any office that was military or civil, the obligation of taking the oaths of supremacy and allegiance and pledging to a testimony against transubstantiation and also of receiving the Catholic Sacrament within three months after admittance to office!

Saint Oliver Plunkett
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The Test Act of 1673
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
Next, we look at the cruel and neglectful English landowners, the potato famines and social and political unrest in Ireland as the continued attacks against the faithful Catholic Irish people continues, twhich takes us to the setting of the apparition of Knock in 1879.

Recreating Ireland
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

Mary McLoughlin
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The Apparition chapel at Knock
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We really enjoyed presenting the events that took place in Knock, Ireland. Having visited the Shrine several times ourselves, it was really nice to immerse ourselves in the beautiful and profound events.

We spent some time carefully aging the footage of our recreation of the visionaries and Archdeacon Cavanagh which draws the viewer back into the moments of August 21st 1879. Archdeacon Cavanagh was the parish priest at Knock at the time of the apparition. Although he did not witness the apparition himself, his love for Our Lady and the Holy Souls in Purgatory was already renowned. He was self-sacrificing, devoted, never took a holiday and lived a life of service to his flock as well as having a life of deep prayer and contemplation. After the apparition he spent his time hearing confessions, preaching to the pilgrims, responding to letters and keeping a detailed journal of the miracles and healing that took place.

Archdeacon Cavanagh
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

Archdeacon Cavanagh and several visionaries
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

Archdeacon Cavanagh's journal
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
It was especially enjoyable to work with the recreations we filmed of the witnesses to the apparition. Alongside the main narration we recorded testimonies of four of the witnesses. This gives us a good look at the details of what they saw, the atmosphere of prayer, and also the significance of the vision which took place over 2-3 hours.

Mary Byrne urges her brother to come and see
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The visionaries are drawn to the gable
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The film concludes with a look at Knock after the apparition to the present day, including a short focus upon Monsignor Horan who is known today as the builder of Knock. For this recreation we invited our current parish priest to portray Monsignor Horan. He himself is from Ireland and had a good few stories to tell about Monsignor Horan.

'Monsignor Horan'
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We also included some photographs of a 1994 pilgrimage we took to Knock with our late parish priest. He was very devout and spent his retirement hearing confessions at Knock until his death three years ago. It was very special to us to be able to include him in our film.

Fr Enda Naughton at Knock
© 1994 Mary's Dowry Productions

Pilrimage to Knock
© 1994 Mary's Dowry Productions

Our film 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' will be available soon on DVD from
Mary's Dowry Productions