Monday, 1 February 2021
Monday, 7 September 2020
This month (September 2020) we have kick started production once again with a morning spent filming scenes for an upcoming DVD about Edel Quinn and the Legion of Mary.
We headed for Clapham Wood and church in West Sussex with our camera, a few props, costume and tripod to capture some imagery representing Edel Quinn in Ireland for the first part of her biography.
Edel Quinn travelled often to set up praesidiums, so we used a suitcase from our 94 year old grandfather's loft which looked perfect to accompany Edel on her travels.
Tuesday, 7 April 2020
Monday, 30 March 2020
If we had faith the size of a mustard seed we would be able to move mountains. Saint Bega of Bees, an Irish princess, had such a faith that it bore fruit in the events of her life. When she was promised by her father in marriage to the son of the king of Norway, Saint Bega, a devout Catholic who had vowed herself completely to Our Lord, set in motion a plan to escape her father’s court at night and flee to England.
She arrived upon the shores of the Cumbrian coast and for some years lived life as a devout anchorite. Eventually, fearing raids from pirates on the coast, Saint Bega was guided to the court of King Saint Oswald in Northumbria where she met with Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne.
She was advised to enter a convent and received the veil from Saint Aidan. Saint Bega led a holy life of virtue and piety, courage and wisdom in a mission among the English people that saw her become one of the great Saints of England. Devotion to her was once widespread and popular but waned after and because of the Protestant Reformation.
She remains, however, a great intercessor and example of Catholic Truths and devotion especially for today. Learn about the inspiring journey and life of Saint Bega of Bees in this new DVD.
Our film production style has been internationally praised for not only presenting information, details and facts about Saint Bega of Bess but a prayerful and spiritual film experience.
Friday, 27 March 2020
Did you know that Catholic chapels mostly dedicated to Our Lady, built on or beside bridges throughout England, was a common and devotional practice and way of life in England when it was Catholic?
Very many chapels built in England were constructed on or at the sides of bridges, so that on entering or leaving a town it was the custom to pause in prayer in these little sanctuaries. This was a popular custom throughout England while it was dedicated to Our Lady as her Dowry.
In most of these chapels beside bridges, Masses were said at a very early hour, especially for the benefit of travelers. The chapel on London bridge, dedicated to St Thomas, is one such famous bridge chapel.
Such chapels were erected on bridges in York, Sheffield, Lincoln, Leeds, Wakefield, Durham, Rochester, Salisbury, Rotherham, Droitwich, Bradford, Derby, and other places.
The present Ive Bridge in Bradford may have been originally called 'Ave Bridge', and derived its name from the custom of saluting some statue of the Blessed Virgin, though the chapel itself was dedicated to St Osith or Sitha.
A chapel dedicated to St Mary the Virgin was built together with the bridge at Leeds in 1376. It stood at the North-east end. At the dissolution of the chantries under King Edward VI it was made into a school, and subsequently a warehouse.
Ancient histories tell us that it was often monks and priests who built the bridges in England, or how the exhorted the rich to this good work.
"The bridge at Beford-upon-Turege is a very notable work and has twenty four arches of stone. A poor priest began this bridge, and it is said he was animated to do so by a vision. Then all the country about set their hands unto the performing of it. There stands a fair chapel of Our Lady at the very end of it." - Leland's Itinerary.
In his History of Wiltshire, Sir Richard Hoare gives a very detailed account of the bridge and chapel built over the Avon at Salisbury. Mass was said at dawn every morning. To the chapel a hospital for old people was attached.
The source of revenue by which bridges and chapels and hospitals were maintained was entirely cut off by the Reformation. The very altar stones were taken from the chapels and placed on the bridges to be trodden under the feet of men and cattle. After this, barriers had to be substituted on our bridges in England in the place of open chapels, and forced tolls instead of voluntary offerings.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Monday, 9 March 2020
|Saint Ralph Sherwin (right) and John Paschal (left) in prison|
|Saint Ralph Sherwin at prayer|
|Paschal and Saint Ralph Sherwin|
|Hearing confessions in the homes of recusants|
|Saint Ralph Sherwin and John Paschal in prison|
|Paschal is taken to the rack|
|John Paschal renounces the Catholic Faith under torture|
|John Paschal is reunited to the Catholic Church|
|John Paschal became a much persecuted recusant Catholic in England|
Saint Ralph Sherwin remained firm under the most refined cruelties. He was almost torn apart from the racking, threatened, beaten and relentlessly questioned as the government tried to break the priest's resolution, Faith and spirit.
|Saint Ralph endures threats and beatings in prison|
|Saint Ralph in the snow|
|Saint Ralph Sherwin kisses the executioners hands|
|Saint Ralph Sherwin's last speech.|
Thursday, 5 March 2020
A group known as the 85 Martyrs were beatified in Rome in November 1987 by Pope Saint John Paul II. They provide a powerful witness to the defense of the Faith during the Reformation and an inspiration for us today.
But what is meant by the Reformation?
From the 14th century onward there were various groups of people opposed to the doctrine and power of the Catholic Church. The most notable of these were the Lollards who believed in the SOLE authority of Scripture in religion and denounced the worldliness of the clergy, They influenced the development of Protestantism on the continent.
In England the Reformation came from the above. Although King Henry VIII was keen to keep the Lutheran ideas out of England he became increasingly autocratic and defiant of the Papacy. When Pope Clement VII refused to recognize the nullity of his first marriage to Queen Catherine of Aragon and threatened to excommunicate King Henry in 1533 if he did not dismiss Anne Boleyn whom he had secretly married, the King of England made moves to break with Rome. Laws were passed in 1534 giving the king of England the right to nominate bishops, culminating in the Act of Supremacy.
This Act declared King Henry VIII the Supreme Head of the Church in England. Under the Act of Succession, all officials and clergymen had to take an oath saying that Anne Boleyn's children had right of succession. Under the Treason Act, anybody questioning or refusing to accept the new Royal title was guilty of High Treason.
It was a result of these laws that the first martyrs died in England. Among them were St John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and St Thomas More, the former Lord Chancellor, both executed in 1535.
As things progressed the Mass was gradually outlawed, it was illegal to be a Catholic priest in England, hundreds of men, women, monks and priests were executed by law and the beautiful shrines and statues, images and devotions to Our Lady, for which England was renowned, were destroyed, smashed and, as in the case of the Saxon statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, was dragged to Chelsea and burned.
King Henry VIII wanted control of the extensive monastery lands and had a law passed in 1536 suppressing nearly 300 monasteries and confiscating their property. It was not until the reign of Edward VI that any great changes in Church practice occurred.
Gradually the Mass was abolished and a new Liturgy was intruded in the Prayer Book of 1552. Under Queen Mary I, the Reformation went in reverse as the country tried to recover and return laws, properties and churches, union with the Universal Church and the Mass, statues, shrines and devotions to the people. Persistent leaders against the Catholic Faith such as Thomas Cramner were executed under the heresy laws that had been in place for centuries (remember that Queen Elizabeth I would burn Anabaptists etc...during her reign under the same laws).
When the Protestants came back to power they gave Queen Mary I the infamous sobriquet 'Bloody Mary' which lasts in history to this day. Almost 200 priests and lay people were put to death in Queen Elizabeth's reign alone, including many of our famous English Martyrs.
In 1886, Pope Leo XIII (who had a special love for England) declared 318 English and Welsh Catholics to have been true Martyrs for the Faith. Of these, 157 have been beatified and another 42 canonized. Another 85 were numbered among the Blessed in 1987 and are wonderful intercessors for the faithful Britain today.
Get to know the Martyrs of England and Wales through DVD from Mary's Dowry Productions: