Saturday 22 October 2011

St. Thomas More DVD, Tudor figure, Catholic Saint, Wolf's Hall, High Chancellor, Catholic

Saint Thomas More film, Saint Thomas More DVD.
Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), was the Chancellor of England, a Tudor figure in English history and is venerated by Catholics as Saint Thomas More. Saint Thomas More was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was also a councillor to Henry VIII, and Lord High Chancellor of England from October 1529 to 16 May 1532.
Saint Thomas More opposed the Protestant Reformation, in particular the theology of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. He also wrote Utopia, published in 1516, about the political system of an imaginary ideal island nation. Saint Thomas More opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church, refusing to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. After refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was convicted of treason and beheaded.

Saint Thomas More with Cardinal Wolsey
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Thomas More'

Pope Pius XI canonised More in 1935 as a martyr. Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared him the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians."
He is often portrayed in secular entertainment, such as 'Wolf's Hall' by Hilary Mantel, as a villain since England bears the fruit of the protestant rejection of Catholic faith, morals and understanding.

In 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions filmed over a few days scenes from the lives of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher. Our film about Saint Thomas More runs for one hour and covers his whole life, beginning with his life as a child.

Saint Thomas More reading to his family in Chelsea
© Mary's Dowry Productions 2012
Screenshot from 'Saint Thomas More'
Our visuals and portrayals run beneath a narrative using Saint Thomas More's own words, with an original soundtrack composed for the film that is contemplative and atmospheric. While the film is full of historical facts, information, writings and more, it is first and foremost a spiritual encounter with Saint Thomas More and should be watched prayerfully.

Saint Thomas More spends his time in prayer in the Tower of London
© Mary's Dowry Productions 2012
Screenshot from 'St. Thomas More'
In secular media, Saint Thomas More is often portrayed as a villain by writers and television producers who do not understand history or the Catholic Faith. This is the fruit of the reformation during Saint Thomas More's own day. Our film is from a Catholic perspective and is historically factual and detailed.

From the Guardian - an article regarding secular thought on Saint Thomas More:
Author Hilary Mantel’s 2009 story of political intrigue in the court of Henry VIII in Wolf's Hall has already persuaded hundreds of thousands of readers that Thomas Cromwell, played by Mark Rylance, was an admirably modern man and not simply a grim political fixer for a self-indulgent king. But the actor Anton Lesser appears in the role of Sir Thomas More in the new BBC2 series, he will also be taking up arms in a second long-running battle for the public image of a famous man. And unlike Cromwell, More was not only a key political figure in England’s history: for many he remains a revered saint.
Thomas More (1478-1535), lawyer and moral philosopher, is still regarded by many Catholics as the quintessential good man. He has been held up to schoolchildren for centuries as the most significant English defender of the true Catholic faith. Mantel’s portrait, however, is of a torturer of heretics with a penchant for self-punishment and a misogynist to boot.

Always concerned for the souls of those around him, Saint Thomas
More shows King Henry VIII proofs from history and scripture against
the King's desires to annul his lawful marriage.
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'St. Thomas More'
The Catholic writer Peter Stanford suspects that many Catholics, lapsed or otherwise, will be dismayed when Mantel’s well-researched yet passionately argued slant on the merits of Cromwell versus More reaches a wider TV audience. “As a child I was told that More was a very clever man who defended the pope against a parvenu king and who would not let him fiddle around with the eternal truths so that he could have his way with another woman,” he said. “He is still revered, often alongside John Fisher, the bishop and martyr, who was beheaded by Henry VIII in the same year as More. He is important as a defender of the faith, even though we are not persecuted any more in this country. Wolf Hall is going to be hard for some people to watch because there are lots of churches named after More and several of the old recusant stately homes have relics. They frequently have part of Mary Queen of Scots’ rosary, a bit of the stick that John Fisher used to stagger up to the gallows on and something claimed to have been written by More.”
Saint Thomas More with Erasmus, two great minds of Tudor England
Screenshot from 'St. Thomas More'
© Mary's Dowry Productions 2012
Hilary Mantel, who received a Catholic education at a convent school, uproots More and places Cromwell, the king’s chief adviser, much closer to the moral core of her story – although he is rendered as complex and enigmatic. More, in contrast, cuts a dry and uncompromising figure. “Mantel may portray Thomas More as a callous religious obsessive, but for us growing up he was the exact opposite,” said Stanford. The biographer of Lord Longford adds that a religious education is such a powerful tool that many with a Catholic background will, like him, never have questioned More’s saintly status. - Taken from an online article by Vanessa Thorpe.

Saint Thomas More's daughter, Margaret Roper, tries to
see her father one last time as he is led from Westminster to
the Tower of London, a condemned man
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'St. Thomas More' DVD
Our film about Saint Thomas More is taken from his own historical writings and the documents of his day. In a spirit of meditation and prayer, our film offers the viewer a source of reflection and spiritual insight into the life, writings and spirit of Saint Thomas More, a man who so loved God and those around him that he was revered even abroad. His life and example has stood the test of time and will continue to give light and hope in the darkness of difficult days.

Saint Thomas More calmly fixes his blindfold as he kneels before the block
© Mary's Dowry Productions 2012
Screenshot from 'St. Thomas More'
In 2007 Mary’s Dowry productions created a new form of film media to present the lives of the saints. Mary’s Dowry Productions recreates stunning silent visuals, informative, devotional narration, and original contemplative music that touches your spirit to draw you into a spiritual encounter with the saint. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear. Our films seek to offer a window into the lives of our saints. Using your spiritual senses we invite you to shut out the world, sit prayerfully and peacefully and go on a journey of faith, history and prayer with this inspiring Tudor Saint.
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