Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Saint Bega of Bees, Virgin, Hermit, Irish Princess - DVD of her life


Saint Bega of Bees, Irish Princess, hermit and virgin - DVD - from Mary's Dowry Productions

     In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear. Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.

St. Bega of Bees
St. Bega was an Irish princess who fled her homeland in the night to escape a planned marriage.  As she stood upon the seashore St. Bega implored of God a means to cross the Irish Sea to England. God heard her prayer and she cut a section of turf from the ground, placed it upon the sea and miraculously crossed to Cumbria where she lived as a hermit. Fearing the attack of pirates St. Bega made her way to the court of King Oswald of Northumbria and received the veil from St. Aidan of Lindisfarne. Miracles occurred after her death and she has been remembered recently in secular novels, plays and paintings. Includes a prayer found recently in a 15th century book of hours to St. Bega.  
What you will hear:
The life of St. Bega and other fascinating historical facts in a simple yet informative narrative for the whole length of the film. Original contemplative music to accompany the narrative.
What you will see:
A selection of paintings, historical art, sacred imagery, relevant photographs; St. Bega and footage of English countryside. 
Length:
The film runs for 27 minutes.
‘St. Bega of Bees’ is available on Region Free DVD worldwide.
AVAILABLE ON DVD WORLDWIDE FROM

Saint Ursula, A new DVD of her life, Early British Saint, pilgrimage, friendship and prayer


St. Ursula
 
A beautiful Catholic princess goes on a holy voyage of discovery, devotion and faith from England to the continent, like one of the first Apostles, Ursula became a bright light in history showing the devotion, Catholic spirituality, character and friendship of the people of her time.  Step back into the 4th century and be inspired.

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 Romano-British princess.  

 Length and Format:
The film runs for 27 minutes and is available on Region Free DVD worldwide.
 
Saint Ursula as she appears in 'Saint Ursula'
Mary's Dowry Productions © 2014

Thomas Cromwell, the King's Collaborator, DVD, new, the Wolf of Wolf's Hall, King Henry VIII, Tudor England, a Catholic Perspective


Thomas Cromwell: The King’s Collaborator
In 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions filmed key moments from the lives of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher, two Catholic Saints from Tudor England. Many of these scenes included events that took place with Thomas Cromwell. Due to request, Mary's Dowry Productions produced a DVD that looks at Thomas Cromwell from a Catholic perspective, using the silent and contemplative scenes filmed for Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher.

Thomas Cromwell seated while in thought
© 2014 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator' DVD
The life of Thomas Cromwell is presented in a reflective manner. With Mary's Dowry Productions' style of film making we have created a new form of media. We offer a way to prayerfully and spiritually contemplate the lives of the Saints through film. While Thomas Cromwell is not a Saint or Catholic figure, his actions in history affected many of our Catholic Saints with whom he interacted, therefore this film about his life and work in a pivotal time in the history of once Catholic England is worth pondering. This is a film for Catholics.

Thomas Cromwell looks on while King Henry VIII warns Saint
Thomas More not to oppose him in his state and religious plans.
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator'
While this film is produced for Catholics, it is filled with historical information, facts and details from the documented life of Thomas Cromwell. People unused to watching film with their spiritual senses may perhaps find it intriguing.

Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator is available on DVD worldwide in all region formats through Mary's Dowry Productions online shop:
www.marysdowryproductions.org

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 our inspiring Saints.

Thomas Cromwell arrives in the Tower of London to convince
both Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher to go with the King
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator' DVD

Tudor statesman, politician and reformer Thomas Cromwell remains known in history as one of the most powerful figures during the turbulent times of early 16th century England.  In this Catholic film of his life the Earl of Essex is presented as he was; friend of a king, enemy of a queen and reformer of a country, ambitious, determined and ruthless yet devoted in his aim to serve King Henry VIII with dedication, no matter what was commanded and with his own agenda in mind.  Looking in simple detail at his humble beginnings and his rise to power we follow Thomas Cromwell through his early years as Cardinal Wolsey’s secretary, a post that could have tarnished his career yet showed how ambitious this man from Putney truly was as he climbed the ladder of politics; we look at Cromwell’s part in King Henry VIII’s usurpation of the Church in England and his eventual position as King Henry VIII’s chief minister where he reshaped a nation, was finally condemned by the King as a traitor and executed at Tower Hill.  A presentation of paintings, maps, documents and costumed visuals make this a creative way to learn about the notorious Thomas Cromwell.
 
Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator' DVD

Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, KG (c. 1485 – 28 July 1540), was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540.
Cromwell was one of the strongest and most powerful advocates of Reformation especially using Religion for matters of State. He helped to engineer an annulment of the king's marriage to Queen Catherine of Aragon to allow Henry to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn when the Catholic Church deliberated that the King's marriage to Queen Catherine was lawful and vaild. After failing in 1534 to obtain the Pope's approval of the request for annulment, the English Parliament endorsed the King's claim to be head of the breakaway Church of England, thus giving Henry the authority to annul his own marriage. Cromwell subsequently plotted an evangelical, reformist course for the embryonic Church of England from the unique posts of vicegerent in spirituals and vicar-general.
During his rise to power, Cromwell made many enemies, including his former ally Anne Boleyn; he played a prominent role in her downfall. He later fell from power after arranging the King's marriage to a German princess, Anne of Cleves. Cromwell hoped that the marriage would breathe fresh life into the Re-formation of England, but because Henry found his new bride unattractive, it turned into a disaster for Cromwell and ended in an annulment six months later. Cromwell was arraigned under a bill of attainder and executed for treason and heresy on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540. The King later expressed regret at the loss of his chief minister.

Thomas Cromwell visits Bishop John Fisher in the Tower of London
attempting to convince the Bishop to take the Oath
© 2012 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator' DVD

Until the 1950s, historians had downplayed Cromwell's role, calling him a doctrinaire hack who was little more than the agent of the despotic King Henry VIII. Geoffrey Elton in The Tudor Revolution (1953), however, featured him as the central figure in the Tudor revolution in government. Elton portrayed Cromwell as the presiding genius, much more so than the King, handling the break with Rome, and the laws and administrative procedures that made the English Reformation so important. Elton says that he was responsible for translating Royal supremacy into Parliamentary terms, creating powerful new organs of government to take charge of Church lands and largely removing the medieval features of central government. Subsequent historians have agreed with Cromwell's importance, although downplaying the "revolution" that Elton claimed.
Leithead (2004) says of Cromwell:
Against significant opposition he secured acceptance of the king's new powers, created a more united and more easily governable kingdom, and provided the crown, at least temporarily, with a very significant landed endowment.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Saint Teresa of Avila film on DVD, Carmelite, Founder, Doctor of Prayer

Saint Teresa of Avila, Carmelite and Founder, A new DVD - Mary's Dowry Productions

    
In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.
St. Teresa of Avila
The life of Spanish mystic, author, reformer and Doctor of Prayer St. Teresa of Avila is looked at in detail in this biographical film presentation that is suitable for all. St. Teresa’s early life, devotions, trials and decisions as well as her novitiate, conversions, development of prayer, her reformation of the Carmelite Order and much more are here carefully presented. St. Teresa’s natural qualities, humour, devotion and writings attracted and inspired many during her lifetime and continue to do so today. Good humoured, determined and deeply in love with God she is a great example for all. Sacred art, paintings, photographs and maps of Spain, a simple costumed visual, scenery, narrative and music combine to present a creative, detailed and devotional film presentation of the life of St. Teresa of Avila.
What you will hear:
The life of St. Teresa of Avila in an informative narrative for the whole length of the film. Original music to accompany the narrative.
What you will see:
A selection of paintings, historical art, sacred imagery, relevant artwork and photographs; a simple costumed visual of St. Teresa of Avila to help aid the narrative. 
Length:
The film runs for 28 minutes.
Target Audience:
The film is suitable for all ages, aimed mainly at Catholics with an understanding of the Faith and an appreciation for the spiritual life. 
The producers:
Mary’s Dowry Productions was established in 2007. The films presenting the lives of the Saints and Martyrs of the Church provide original and simple ways to share the stories and words of these heroic examples of the Faith.
Format:
‘St. Teresa of Avila’ is available on Region Free DVD worldwide.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Saint Helen and the True Cross, a film of her life on DVD


In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.

Our film about St. Helen and the True Cross (see earlier post) is available now on DVD worldwide through Mary's Dowry Productions.
www.marysdowryproductions.org
We ship worldwide and Region Free


St. Mildred of Thanet, film of her life, new DVD


In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.
 
In this film we follow the gentle, devout and faithful Saint Mildred from her home in England to France and a conflict with a worldly abbess determined to align herself with this royal English family.
Miracles followed St. Mildred who escaped from France, returned to England and became a famous abbess, later a Saint whose popularity once outshone that of the great Saint Augustine of Canterbury in England among the English people. 
Immerse yourself in beautiful works of art, footage of nature, the drama, faith and devotions of an early English Saint with historical imagery, narrative and music in this 30 minute film of her life available worldwide on DVD from Mary's Dowry Productions:

St. Bertha: Queen of Kent, Pope Gregory the Great, St. Augustine of Canterbury, Saxon England, St. Ethelbert of Kent, Roman Mission, Gregorian Chant, Merovingian Kings, Christianity, DVD, NEW FILM


Our film about St. Bertha: Queen of Kent is now available on DVD worldwide from:

In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.
 
In this film we look at the life of Saint Bertha, a Frankish Princess born into the Merovingian Dynasty, given in marriage to the Pagan King Ethelbert of Kent so as to forge political ties under the condition that Saint Bertha would be able to continue practising the Catholic Faith.
We look at Pope St. Gregory the Great's Gregorian Mission to England, how St Bertha's example assisted in King Ethelbert's conversion to Catholicism and the founding of Canterbury Cathedral, the Mother Church in England until the schism of the 16th Century known as the Protestant Reformation.  The last Archbishop of Canterbury Cathedral was Reginald Pole, son of Blessed Margaret Pole the Countess of Salisbury and English Martyr.
We look at how the Mother Church in England was finally re-established with the opening of Westminster Cathedral in London.  We also look at the Roman Occupation of Britain, Pope St. Gregory's letter to St Bertha thanking her for her holiness and witness to the Catholic Faith and praising her faith and knowledge of letters and other interesting facts from history. 
A careful blend of footage of England, historical imagery and photographs, paintings, works of art, stained glass windows, a simple costumed portrayal of St. Bertha, statues, sculptures, maps, narrative and music make this a creative way to meet St. Bertha and learn about her wonderful example of Catholic Faith and devotion and her important place in the history of the Catholic Church in England.
St. Bertha: Queen of Kent is available now on DVD worldwide.
www.marysdowryproductions.org
We ship worldwide and region free
 
 

The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction, England, UK, UPDATED WEBSITE

 
The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction, England, website has been updated this month.
Check it out for interesting information and facts here.
  Gary Bevans completed the world's only exact copy of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in 1993 upon the ceiling of his parish church of the English Martyrs, Goring-by-Sea, Worthing, England.  A natural artist, Gary was trained as a sign writer and converted to the Catholic Faith when he was seventeen years old.  He donated several paintings to his parish church over the years including portraits of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. 
 
St Thomas More and St. John Fisher
Portraits painted by Gary Bevans in the early 1980's
Currently located in English Martyrs Catholic Church, Worthing
 In 1987, after a pilgrimage to Rome for the Beatification of George Haydock and the Blessed Martyrs Gary was inspired to paint a copy of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling upon the ceiling of English Martyrs church after having visited it in Rome and noting the ceiling was practically the same shape and size as that of his parish church at home. 
After having received permission from Bishop Cormac Murphy O'Connor Gary undertook the work in his spare time, unpaid, as a gift to the Universal Church.  The massive work of art took five years to complete, materials were funded by the kind donations of parishioners and visitors, and the completion was celebrated by a special Mass in November 1993 where Gary was presented with the Papal Medal 'Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice' from Pope John Paul II. 
The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction remains a popular place of interest today.
  Gary is a Deacon at English Martyrs Church as well as continuing to work at his full-time job of painting and decorating.  Gary has contributed set pieces, props and paintings to many of our films and his Ceiling has featured in several of our productions, for instance, a film telling the life of English Martyr and Jesuit priest St. Henry Morse included St. Henry Morse's early days in Rome where he worked as a tour guide.  We were fortunate to be able to use Gary's Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction as the backdrop for a scene in this film:
 
St. Henry Morse shows visitors the Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Screenshot from 'St. Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague'
by Mary's Dowry Productions
Mary's Dowry Productions was founded in 2007 by Gary's two daughters to produce films sharing the lives of the English Martyrs and Saints on DVD, especially for people who had not heard of their fascinating and inspiring lives. 
Gary remains a key contributor to several productions and some portrayals have been filmed in the 'barn' attached to English Martyrs Church where the Sistine Chapel Ceiling is housed.
Known for being 'media shy' Gary rarely contributes to the on going interest of his reproduction of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in secular media but in 2008 he narrated an hour long documentary in which he explains in depth his fascinating journey and process creating the work of art.  The documentary includes never-before-seen photographs and footage donated by Gary and is available worldwide on DVD through Mary's Dowry Productions and Amazon.
 
Click this link to go to the film:
 
Click this link to visit the updated Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction website:
 
 
Be sure to check back for updates as photographs, interviews, information and facts are added.
Gary's copy of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Reproduction in process
 
 


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Saint Philomena, a new film of her life, with special thanks to the Universal Living Rosary Association


In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.

Our film presenting the life of St. Philomena is now available on DVD worldwide through our online shop. This is a contemplative, detailed and devotional look at one of the most powerful Saints of the Catholic Church. With an open narrative looking at the discovery of St. Philomena's relics, we continue to an informative and fascinating account of Saint Philomena's life told from her own point of view.  The film concludes with a final narrative that explains about devotions to St. Philomena as recommended by Popes and Saints and her role as protectress of the Living Rosary Association.  Sacred art, historical imagery, a simple costumed visual, photographs, original music and narration make this an original and enjoyable way to learn about the great Grecian princess and Martyr Saint Philomena.
OUT NOW ON DVD at
www.marysdowryproductions.org
We ship worldwide and Region Free

Monday, 11 August 2014

On location at the Waterwise Garden, Worthing, St. Mildred of Thanet, Kent

St. Mildred of Thanet
Great, great granddaughter of King Ethelbert of Kent
Our lovely contemplative and informative film about St. Mildred of Thanet was filmed locally to Mary’s Dowry Productions in some interesting settings in Worthing, giving our lovely early British Saint some pleasing backdrops in which to walk, think and pray.  Here at Mary’s Dowry Productions we try to keep our films as simple, creative and local as possible, keen to share our local area of the South Downs, beaches, woodlands, history, nature and wildlife with our local and international viewers.  In ‘St. Mildred of Thanet’ you will see the great, great granddaughter of King Ethelbert of Kent, walk the pretty paths of Marine Gardens, contemplate the sacred Relic of the Nail in the Waterwise Gardens and stand on the coastal edge of Goring beach as she looks across to France.  The Waterwise garden was a location we wanted to use in one of our films about our early Saxon Saints due to the interesting wood sculptures that certainly have an ancient feel to them.  
Worthing's Waterwise Garden features in our film about
St. Mildred of Thanet
The new shingle garden was constructed on the Foreshore at West Parade in Worthing to highlight the need to water conservation during periods of reduced rainfall in the south east of the country.  The Waterwise gardens shows what can be achieved by gardeners using drought tolerant plants, many of which are characteristic of vegetated shingle and exhibit adaptations to conserve scarce water in this extreme environment.  The project cost £50,000 and was funded by a partnership between Worthing Borough Council’s seafront improvement budget and Southern Water. 
St. Mildred of Thanet in the gardens at the Abbey of Cheles
Filmed at Marine Gardens, Worthing
It was a little more tricky using the lovely Marine Gardens in the film but we managed to acquire a selection of lovely visuals to blend with sacred art, creative and striking paintings and footage of nature.   A small neat ornamental garden on the seafront laid out in 1930, this seafront site has a cafĂ©, pavilion, bowling green, putting green, ornamental gardens and a pond with public conveniences including disabled facilities.  Here in this shot you can see Saint Mildred, studying in the ‘Abbey of Chelles’, filmed in Marine Gardens.  St. Mildred’s story is full of history and faith and includes miracles, relics, devotion, a dramatic escape, prayer, virtue and some lovely original music to accompany the narrative and the visuals.  The film has been broadcast free recently in New York through Telecare and we received some excellent feedback from delighted viewers.  
St. Mildred of Thanet is available on DVD through our online shop www.marysdowryproductions.org and AMAZON.   In practically all of our films we use a blend of simple costumed portrayals, historical imagery, sacred art, original music and detailed, informative narration to present the lives of the Saints.  This is not a ‘movie’ produced for entertainment neither is it purely a documentary, it is a creative way to learn the life of Saint Mildred of Thanet through film.  OUT NOW!

St. Bega, a film of her life, Irish Princess, Virgin, Saint, St. Begh

Irish princess, St. Bega
Mary's Dowry Productions
In 7th century Ireland there lived an Irish princess named Bega. Despite being born into a privileged family, Bega’s heart and soul were drawn completely to God. Her family were Christians and Bega had been instructed in the Roman Catholic Faith which she loved and accepted with deep joy and faith. St. Bega decided that a little corner of the earth where she could be alone without any company but her crucifix was more desirable to her than the palaces of kings. So it was that Bega went away from the crowd and meditated deeply upon the life of Jesus, especially His Hidden Life in Nazareth. Thus begins our film presenting the delightful, inspiring and enjoyable biography of St. Bega of Bees currently in production. We filmed some original contemplative visuals in the absorbing natural beauty of the South Downs close to us, especially Cissbury Ring, where St. Bega walked the paths and hills, absorbed in meditation.  In our film, St. Bega’s journey unfolds as she decides to flee Ireland and cross the sea to England in order to escape an arranged marriage. 
 
St. Bega's bracelet
Mary's Dowry Productions
She had a special love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and guided by Our Lady, through a special inspiration, St. Bega consecrated herself completely to Our Lord and made a private vow of her virginity to Jesus.  St. Bega received from an Angel a special bracelet marked with the sign of the Cross as a symbol of her consecration to Christ. God alone had created Bega’s heart and He created it for Himself alone, therefore St. Bega asked God to be its master.  St. Bega stood upon the beach and besought God to assist her to cross the Irish Sea and find refuge and solitude in England. Since there were no ships or vessels to give her travel the Lord heard the prayer of his servant. St. Bega was inspired to cut a section of turf from the ground which she placed upon the waters of the sea. She stepped upon it and floated miraculously upon the turf across the Irish Sea where she landed at St. Bees on the Cumbrian coast, then a part of the Kingdom of Northumbria.  There St. Bega lived a holy life of solitude until pirates forced her to seek a different location in order to protect her purity.
St. Bega of Bees
Mary's Dowry Productions
 St. Bega’s whole life was a preparation for a holy death for she knew that she would leave all material and earthly things behind, taking with her one thing only, the good things that she did for the Lord in this life. How could a virgin who had belonged to God alone be afraid at the moment of death? How could a person who had never sought consolation and happiness save in God, who had never had any ambition but to become ever more acceptable to him, be fearful in that hour?  St. Bega’s detachment and scorn for this world’s goods caused her heart to be free to fly to her Lord God. She saw in Jesus a kind and merciful father. St. Bega had her lamp trimmed and ready and was not afraid to hear the words: The bridegroom is coming; go out to meet Him. So it was that full of hope and trusting in God, St. Bega died a holy death in the 7th Century. 
 
 
St. Bega of Bees DVD
St. Bega was an Irish princess who fled her homeland in the night to escape a planned marriage.  As she stood upon the seashore St. Bega implored of God a means to cross the Irish Sea to England. God heard her prayer and she cut a section of turf from the ground, placed it upon the sea and miraculously crossed to Cumbria where she lived as a hermit. Fearing the attack of pirates St. Bega made her way to the court of the Catholic King Oswald of Northumbria and received the veil from St. Aidan of Lindisfarne. Miracles occurred after her death and she has been remembered recently in secular novels, plays and paintings. Includes a prayer found recently in a 15th century book of hours to St. Bega. A prayerful, mystical journey with St. Bega.  


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 saint.
 
Length and Format:
The film runs for 27 minutes and is available on Region Free DVD worldwide.
 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

St. Margaret Ward at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton

St. Margaret Ward, an Elizabethan English Martyr
has a great love for the Mass
St. Margaret Ward was born in Chester in Elizabethan England. Tragically her life and martyrdom remains little known and yet St. Margaret Ward’s biography is a stirring and interesting part of Catholic history. In this half an hour presentation we meet this Elizabethan young woman whose deep love of Christ and the Mass and her profound respect for the office of the Catholic priesthood saw her undertake daring visits to Bridewell prison, smuggling in rope to assist in a tortured priest’s escape. She was caught, arrested, scourged and imprisoned, eventually executed by order of Queen Elizabeth I for upholding the outlawed Catholic faith in England and refusing to deny the church. A beautiful blend of historical paintings, maps and imagery combine with footage of nature and historical locations with a selection of simple yet effective costumed visuals of this lovely English Martyr. We spent an interesting morning back in 2010 filming a selection of costumed visuals at ‘The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum’ near Chichester in West Sussex. 
St. Margaret Ward
Filmed on location at Bayleaf Farmstead, Chichester
The interior shown in this screenshot was filmed inside ‘Bayleaf Farmstead’ which is a 15th-16th century building with furnishings.  You will see St. Margaret Ward studying maps of London and the area to plan her work visiting the local persecuted Catholics, as well as sewing scapulars and rosaries and praying.  We also filmed in the meadows and fields of the open air museum and around Poplar cottage where the birds flew in and out the opened windows during the shoot.  Additional scenes were filmed on location at English Martyrs Catholic Church in Goring-by-Sea where a set in the ‘barn’ hall was constructed for Bridewell prison interiors.  All of these costumed visuals and footage run beneath the narrative which has St. Margaret Ward tell her story, combined with additional visuals of historical maps, paintings and relevant artwork.  We have filmed on location at the Weald and Downland Museum for several of our productions over the past seven years.  Our film about St. Margaret Ward is not a ‘movie’ produced for entertainment neither is it purely a biographical documentary, this is a creative way to learn the life of St. Margaret Ward with visual aids to help the narrative flow.

What you will hear:
The life of St. Margaret Ward in a narrative for the whole length of the film told from her own point of view. She will tell you her story. Original music to accompany the narrative.
What you will see:
Historical images, maps, footage of historical houses including effectively used locations such as Singleton near Chichester and Parham House; sacred art, devotional art; simple costumed visuals of St. Margaret Ward to help aid the narrative.
Length:
The film runs for 30 minutes.
Target Audience:
The film is suitable for all ages, aimed mainly at Catholics with an understanding of the Faith and an appreciation for the spiritual life. This film has had excellent feedback and is popular on EWTN.
The producers:
Mary’s Dowry Productions was established in 2007. The films presenting the lives of the Saints and Martyrs of the Church provide original and simple ways to share the stories and words of these heroic examples of the Faith.
Format:
St. Margaret Ward is available on Region Free DVD worldwide.

St. Helen and the True Cross, a film from Mary's Dowry Productions

St Helen and the True Cross
Mary's Dowry Productions
There are several modern theories given today as to where St. Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine was born, but the 12th Century Welsh chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth and the 12th Century English historian Henry of Huntington, both men closer to the time frame of St. Helen, tell us that St. Helen was born in Britain.  St. Helen was an English princess, the daughter of King Coel who was King of Essex and Hertfordshire. Since she had no siblings and no brothers to inherit the throne of Britain, St. Helen was raised in the manner of a future queen.  Her manner was gentle and modest and she knew that she was called to undertake a great role in the world. Perhaps she supposed that this role was fulfilled when she married the future Roman Emperor Constantius, but God had a greater task for the young Empress, one that would impact not only the material world, but the spiritual world too, for St. Helen would be the one chosen by Our Lord to recover the precious relic of the True Cross of Christ.  www.marysdowryproductions.org and Amazon.  It is available NOW on DVD worldwide.
St Helen, Empress and mother of Caesar Constantine 
Our film on the life and mission of St. Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine, not only looks at this wonderful Catholic Saint, but also at the history of the Church in the early centuries with simple detail and devotion.  You will see some simple, contemplative visuals of St. Helen which we acquired on a beautiful sunny morning up at the ancient hill-fort of Cissbury Ring near Findon, a location close to us at Mary’s Dowry Productions (see a few posts before for a little information on Cissbury Ring if you are not already familiar with it).  You will also see some relevant and abstract art, Sacred Art, historical imagery and maps, beautiful paintings and more as you hear the life of St. Helen and her search for the True Cross in the historical context of the great events of the 4th Century. 
This film is available on DVD worldwide through
Amazon UK and Amazon COM

 

St. Bede, England's Doctor of the Church, his works, words and life, a new film out now

St. Bede - England's Doctor of the Church
Mary's Dowry Productions

In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.

“For if history records good things of good men, the thoughtful hearer is encouraged to imitate what is good; or if it records evil of wicked men, the good religious listener or reader is encouraged to avoid all that is sinful and perverse and to follow what he knows to be good and pleasing to God.” – St. Bede, England’s Doctor of the Church.
 
Our new film on the life of St. Bede is now available on DVD worldwide through our online shop: www.marysdowryproductions.org.  This is a lovely and interesting way to enjoy an overall presentation of St. Bede with quotes in his own words interspersed throughout the narrative.  A selection of contemplative portrayals assist the flow of the narrative combined with historical artwork, imagery and relevant photographs.
 

St. Henry Morse, the priest of the plague - a film new about an English Martyr

 

 
 
In 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions created a new form of film media in which to present the lives of the Saints on DVD. We invite you to watch our film prayerfully and quietly and to engage your spiritual senses. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear.
Mary's Dowry Productions loves to recreate key moments, silently and with no dialogue, from a Saint's life, using historical costume and beautiful backdrops. Original contemplative music runs beneath a detailed narrative that seeks to engage the viewer with the Saint. Our films offer a window into the life of each Saint.

 
‘St. Henry Morse: The Priest of the Plague’, a famous Jesuit priest of 17th Century England, is looked at in our new film of his life, available worldwide on DVD.  He has a fascinating and important story that is tied to the history of England.  This brave man responded to the call of Christ once he had converted from the State Religion and left England to train abroad to become a Catholic priest.  The Catholic Church and Christian Faith had been attacked by Protestants since Henry VIII left the Catholic Faith and established his own Church of England, one that he could control and guide, declaring himself its head.  The former Catholic King created his own bishops, thus breaking the line of Apostolic Succession in this new Church.  Men such as Henry Morse, raised in the State religion yet responding to God’s grace, risked their lives to convert to the Catholic Faith and he, like many, became a priest, determined to return to his homeland and bring the outlawed Sacraments to the faithful Catholics of England, reconciling many Protestants to the Catholic Church as well. 
St. Henry Morse - filmed on location at
The Sistine Chapel Reproductions, Worthing
One of the lesser known of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, Saint Henry Morse left us such a great witness to the Catholic Faith in England during persecution and some important words, especially his last speech at the gallows.  While he was training for the priesthood in Rome, St. Henry Morse worked as a tour guide, showing English visitors around the more famous parts of the City.  We saw this as an opportunity to include our world famous copy of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling painted by Gary Bevans (father of Mary’s Dowry Productions founders) as a double for the one in Rome which St. Henry Morse would have perhaps guided people around in the 17th Century.  For most of our films on the lives of the English Martyrs we film simple costumed scenes in ‘the barn’ attached to our parish church of the English Martyrs, Goring.  We have found this very useful when there is a great lack of historical imagery and paintings relating to the English Martyrs, so we create ‘moving pictures’ of vital moments in their story to run beneath the narrative, combined with sacred art, maps and other imagery relating to the era, using costumed characters in relevant settings.  St. Henry Morse laboured throughout England for many years, staying for some time at a Catholic Mass centre in the north run by Dorothy Lawson known as St. Anthony’s.  For this location we used the Hiorne Tower in Arundel Park, a location close to us.  We have filmed this interesting folly for several other productions and it always works well as it is a solitary structure with a mysterious atmosphere well suited to the contemplative, historical moods of our films. 
The Cybermen at
The Hiorne Tower, Arundel
The Hiorne Tower is actually a triangular shaped folly situated in Arundel Park close to Arundel Castle.  The tower was built during the eighteenth century by Francis Hiorne for the then Duke of Norfolk; it is unusual as it is named after the architect and not the owner.  The Duke was actually looking for an architect to rebuild the castle and designing the folly was a test, though Hiorne died shortly after its completion.  The Hiorne tower is located on a very steep hill overlooking Swanbourne Lake, and it is also said in local folklore to be haunted.  It is believed that a young woman climbed the tower and threw herself from the top.  Her ghost has been seen on moonlight nights at the top of the tower looking out over the car park, presumably searching for her lost love.  Sometimes the sound of ghostly canons can be heard and the ghost of a cavalier named the Blue Man has been spotted by keen ghost hunters in the vicinity.  The Hiorne Tower was also used in an episode of Doctor Who, the 1988 episode ‘Silver Nemesis’ featuring the Cybermen.  We always imagine seeing the Cybermen when we are up there filming!  It is great to be able to feature this interesting local building in our films and in ‘St. Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague’ you will notice it doubling as the exterior shot for ‘St. Anthony’s Hall’.  But St. Henry Morse is most famous for ministering to the London plague victims of 1636 with fellow English Martyr St. John Southworth.  We recreated several scenes to run beneath the narration for the plague scenes.  These shots include Plague Doctors approaching infected houses and visiting victims of the dreaded disease. 
The Plague Doctor
An excellent Steampunk Plague Doctor came in very useful for this part of the film!  St. Henry Morse carried a white stick to show all he passed that he himself visited plague victims.  He was given a list of 400 families infected and since Catholics were considered as non-persons at that time they were ignored and abandoned by the government doctors and physicians.  A group of Catholic doctors assisted St. Henry Morse and St. John Southworth in their work among the Catholics.  St. Henry Morse contracted the plague himself but miraculously recovered so as to continue his work among the sick.  He was hunted, captured, imprisoned, arrested and exiled many times but always returned to England to continue his work for the people and the Church.  Finally, the Jesuit priest was sentenced to death at the Tyburn gallows in 1643.  His last words resound down the timeline of England to today, both appropriate and relevant for he said while at the gallows: “The kingdom of England will never be truly blessed until it returns to the Catholic faith and its subjects are all united in one belief under the Bishop of Rome.” He ended by saying: “I pray that my death may be some kind of atonement for the sins of this kingdom.” Then he said his prayers and asked that the cap be pulled over his eyes; beat his breast three times, giving the signal to a priest in the crowd to impart absolution. He then said: “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”
St Henry Morse: The Priest of the Plague
Mary's Dowry Productions
After he was dead his body was torn open, his heart removed, his entrails burned and body quartered. In accordance with the custom that followed executions, his head was exposed on London Bridge and his quartered body was mounted on the city’s four gates.  St. Henry Morse was 50 years old at the time of his martyrdom. He was canonised along with 39 other English Martyrs by Pope Paul IV in 1970. Our film of his life runs for half an hour and gives a detailed layout of his whole journey, mission and Martyrdom. It is not a ‘movie’ produced for entertainment, neither is it purely a documentary but a creative way to learn his story using historical images, costumed visuals, maps, footage of nature, relevant imagery, narration, original music and more.
   Visit our website www.marysdowryproductions.org for full listings of our DVDs on the Saints and Martyrs.



A film about St. Bertha, Queen of Kent, upcoming film in production, DVD


St. Bertha: Queen of Kent - Mary's Dowry Productions
We have been busy this past month filming visuals for some new productions on the lives of some of our early Saints.  Our film about St. Bertha: Queen of Kent is currently underway.
St. Bertha’s story begins in 7th Century Paris, France. The daughter of King Charibert I, she was a devout Catholic princess, descended from the holy Saint Clothide, wife to King Clovis I, considered to be the founder of the Merovingian Dynasty.  King Charibert I however lived in excess and sin and his immoral behaviour resulted in his being excommunicated from the Catholic Church.  When Charibert first became King of Paris he married his daughter to the pagan English King Ethelbert of Kent. King Ethelbert was the third king to hold imperium over the Anglo Saxon kingdoms. Raids on Britain by continental peoples had developed into full-scale migrations by the 5th Century. The newcomers are known to have included Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians, and there is evidence of other groups as well. These groups captured territory in the east and south of England but at the end of the fifth century, a British victory at the battle of Mount Badon halted the Anglo-Saxon advance for fifty years. Beginning at about the year 550, however, the British began to lose ground once more, and within twenty-five years it appears that control of almost all of southern England was in the hands of the invaders.
St. Bertha married King Ethelbert of Kent - Mary's Dowry Productions
King Ethelbert’s marriage to Bertha connected the two Royal courts, although not as equals: the Franks would have thought of King Ethelbert as an under-king but the marriage would have forged useful bonds between the Kingdoms.  King Ethelbert permitted his new wife St. Bertha to practice the Christian Faith when she took up residence within his palace. So it was that St. Bertha arrived in Kent with the Catholic Bishop Liudhard as her private confessor.  King Ethelbert was immediately struck by St. Bertha’s disposition and with her he restored a Catholic church in Canterbury, which dated from Roman times, and the Bishop dedicated it to Saint Martin of Tours. It became St. Bertha’s private chapel where Bishop Liudhard offered daily the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  In the chapel St. Bertha spent time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and gave a good example of holiness, simplicity and devotion to her pagan husband with whom she had a good relationship.  It was about that time that Pope St. Gregory the Great decided to send a group of missionaries to England to preach the Gospel to the English people. The native Britons had converted to Christianity under Roman rule but the Anglo-Saxon invasions had separated the British church from European Christianity for centuries, so the church in Rome had no presence or authority in Britain, and the Universal Church knew so little about the British church that it was unaware of the unique developments of certain Celtic customs such as the erroneous dating of Easter.  Queen Bertha and King Ethelbert welcomed Saint Augustine and this incredibly important time in history is looked at in simple detail in our film. Saint Bertha’s influence in the Kentish court was instrumental in the success of St. Augustine of Canterbury’s mission in 597. St. Augustine of Canterbury owed much of his favourable reception to the influence of Bertha.
St. Bertha welcomed St. Augustine of Canterbury to England
Without her support, monastic settlements and the great Roman Catholic cathedral of Canterbury would likely have developed elsewhere.  So it is that we see King Ethelbert convert to Catholicism and St. Bertha’s continued example of holiness, fairness and devotion, where she helped share the Truths of the Faith with her English subjects.  Visuals for our film ‘St. Bertha: Queen of Kent’ were filmed locally to Mary’s Dowry Productions, up on Cissbury Ring in Findon, West Sussex, the largest hillfort in Sussex and the second largest in England. Our local folklore tells how Cissbury Ring was formed when the Devil tried to dig a hole in the South Downs to allow the sea to flood the Sussex Weald and all its churches.  As the devil dug out Devil’s Dyke, clods of earth fell to the ground forming Cissbury, Chanctonbury, Rackham Hill and Mount Caburn.  We have filmed visuals for many of our films up at Cissbury Ring, the fortifications of which date back to the beginning of the Middle Iron-Age possibly around 250 BC but abandoned in the period 50 BC – 50 AD.  The film presents a blend of simple, contemplative costumed visuals in the English countryside, sacred art, historical imagery and more to give a creative and enjoyable way to absorb the fascinating and important story of one of our great early British Saints: Queen Bertha of Kent. 
Visit our website at: www.marysdowryproductions.org
 
 
St. Bertha: Queen of Kent
A French princess who brought her Catholic priest to Pagan England, paving the way for St. Augustine's Gregorian Mission, converted her husband, the king of Kent, through her prayer, gentleness and kindness.  A fusion of Gregorian chant, contemporary and contemplative original music with mysterious and beautiful imagery lifts this inspiring story of hope and new life to the present day.

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 Saint Bertha. 

Length and Format:
The film runs for 25 minutes and is available worldwide on Region Free DVD.