Thursday 15 June 2017

THE LAST COVERSATIONS OF THERESE, the Little Flower, prayers for the dying, FILM, Mary's Dowry Productions

The Last Conversations of Therese
The Little Flower, Saint Therese of Lisieux
Therese Martin was born to Saints Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin on January 2nd 1873.
At the age of 15 she entered the Carmelite convent at Lisieux, France.
With the religious name of Sr. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, she lived a hidden life of prayer.
She was gifted with great intimacy with God.
Through sickness and darkness, she remained faithful, rooted in God's powerful love.
She dies on September 30th 1897 at the age of 24.
The world came to know St. Therese through her autobiography, "The Story of a Soul."
Her sisters also recorded the words of Saint Therese during the last few months of her life into several notebooks.
Great insights into her spirituality and the workings of love and grace in her soul shine forth from the last conversations of St. Therese.
Therese described her life as "a little way of spiritual childhood."
She lived each day with unshakeable confidence in God's love.
What matters in life is "not great deeds but great love."
The inspiration of her life and her powerful presence from Heaven touched so many people so quickly that she was solemnly canonised on May 17th 1925 by Pope Pius XI.
Had she lived, she would have only been 52 years old at the time of her canonisation.
In 1997, St. Therese was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said.
"I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.
I will let fall a shower of roses."
Countless lives have been touched by her intercession, and millions have imitated her "little way."
She has been acclaimed the "greatest Saints of modern times."
Everywhere in the world, her roses continue to fall.

In 2011 we filmed several scenes from the last months of the life of Saint Therese.
Our film, 'The Last Conversations of Therese', presents many sayings of Therese as she approached eternity. We combined the footage of flowers and nature which Therese loved so much.
The film is in black and white and has many beautiful tracks of music taken from Bernadette's albums in her 'Holy Spirit' series, available through Mary's Dowry Productions on CD.
The DVD can be purchased in all region formats and shipped worldwide through our online shop:
Founded in 2007, Mary's Dowry Productions is a Catholic film production apostolate bringing the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs to people through film.

SAINT PETER'S REMORSE, Saint Robert Southwell, English history, Elizabethan poet, prayer

By Saint Robert Southwell
Reading for 15th June
Saint Robert Southwell was a Catholic priest, a missionary and an Elizabethan poet who was executed at Tyburn, London for defending the outlawed Catholic Church in England.
Many seculars throughout the last 400 years of history up to and including the present day admire Saint Robert Southwell for his gift of prose. Catholics hold him up as a Martyr as well as admire and appreciate this young priest's gift for preaching, writing, poetry, love of the Mass, daring missions throughout England and as an intercessor for us today in the glories of Heaven. Many of his poems can be read today.
St. Peter's Remorse - an Elizabethan poem
IT is a small relief
To say I was thy child,
If, as an ill-deserving foe,
From grace I am exiled.
I was, I had, I could -
All words importing want;
They are but dust of dead supplies,
Where needful helps are scant.
Once to have been in bliss
That hardly can return,
Doth but bewray from whence I fell,
And wherefore now I mourn.
All thoughts of passed hopes
Increase my present cross;
Like ruins of decayed joys,
They still upbraid my loss.
O mild and mighty Lord!
Amend that is amiss;
My sin, my sore, thy love my salve,
Thy cure my comfort is.
Confirm thy former deed,
Reform that is defiled;
I was, I am, I will remain
Thy charge, thy choice, thy child.
St. Peter's Remorse - by St. Robert Southwell, English Martyr
Reading for June 15th from
The Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales
by Henry Sebastian Bowden
In 2015 we decided to film our own visuals from key moments in the life and mission and suffering of this great Jesuit priest, Saint Robert Southwell. We recreated the atmosphere and settings of Saint Robert's stay with the Countess of Arundel, his travelling, meetings with other English Martyrs of that time, imprisonment in the Tower of London, trial and execution at Tyburn. This allowed us to be able to present in a 30 minute film an encounter with this inspiring English Martyr, with historical information, facts and spiritual insights.
Our film is available on DVD in all region formats, ships worldwide from:
For more films on the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs visit our websites:
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Follow us on Twitter - @Catholicdvds

Wednesday 14 June 2017

'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy' - a NEW film, biography, devotion, Saints, FILM PRODUCTION NOTES, Mary's Dowry Productions

Film Production
NEW DVD - June 2017

Film Inspiration

The Divine Mercy devotion has been part of our lives at Mary's Dowry Productions for about 25 years. We remember being interested in the events leading up to St. Faustina's Beatification and Canonisation, especially because our parish priest had a special love of the devotion. There have been Divine Mercy prayer groups in our parish and recently some of the young mothers in the parish have had a particular zeal for the devotion and set up a Divine Mercy prayer group which has been running for a couple of years now.

We were inspired to make a film presenting Saint Faustina's life and the message of Divine Mercy several years ago, but since there is already an abundance of good resources available for people to learn about the Divine Mercy we focused our efforts on biographies of the English Martyrs because they are lesser known and also we worked on projects that were specifically requested.

We were fortunate to be able to document and film a painting of the Divine Mercy in progress for our productions.

We knew this would be especially good to have and use in a film about Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy during a segment about the painting of the first image.


Film content

Saint Faustina's biography takes place in the beginning of the twentieth century. We have used relevant paintings and photographs from the Era and from Poland, including WWI and WWII, when needed. The film incorporates numerous events from Saint Faustina's life and we look especially at:

The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
The image of the Divine Mercy
Saint Faustina's devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Saint Faustina's mission to pray for the dying
Saint Faustina writing her diary
Various words of Jesus recorded by Saint Faustina
The spread of the message of Divine Mercy after Saint Faustina's death

Below is an assortment of screenshots from our film showing Saint Faustina praying and writing her diary.

As in our 2010 production 'Blessed Alexandrina da Costa', we had a narrator record the words of Jesus that we included in our film 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy'. This is very effective and adds to the depth and spirituality of the film.

We used several paintings of the Divine Mercy as well as statues. 

It was lovely to be able to incorporate several photographs of Pope Saint John Paul II in the last part of the film.

Film Release

 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy' film in NOW available on DVD through our online shop:

Visit our website for full listing of all of films, shipped worldwide in all region formats

NO LEAVE TO LIE - Blessed Thomas Whitbread, Tyburn Martyr, reading for June 13th

Blessed Thomas Whitbread - English Martyr
"I declare to you here present and to the whole world..."
IN the course of his speech from the infamous Tyburn scaffold on 20th June 1679, Blessed Thomas Whitbread, a Catholic priest, said before he died:
"I suppose it is to be expected that I should speak something to the matter that I am condemned for and brought hither to suffer; it is no less than plotting his Majesty's death and altering the government of church and state. You all know, or ought to know, I am to make my appearance before the face of Almighty God, and with all imaginable certainty and evidence to receive a final judgement on all the thoughts, words and actions of my whole life.
As then I hope for mercy from His Divine Majesty, I declare to you here present and to the whole world that I am as innocent of the charge against me as when I was born.
Further, I renounce from my heart all manner of pardons, absolutions, dispensations for swearing falsely, which some impute to us as part of our doctrine and practice; it is a thing so unlawful that no power on earth could authorize me or anybody so to do.
I forgive my accusers and pray for their repentance, otherwise they will find they have done to themselves more wrong than to me, though that has been much.
May God ever bless his Majesty, to contrive whose death and hurt I have ever believed to be unlawful. I commit my soul into my Redeemer's hands."
"Putting away lying, speak ye the truth, every man with his neighbour; for we are members one of another." - Eph. 4, 25.
Reading for 13th June from
The Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales
by Henry Sebastien Bowden
(Screenshot taken from the Catholic film biography 'Saint Alexander Briant' by Mary's Dowry Productions, available on DVD worldwide)
For films about the Saints and English Martyrs:
MARY'S DOWY PRODUCTIONS is a Catholic Film Apostolate founded in 2007 to promote and share the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs and Catholic heritage through film.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

AN UNJUST JUDGE - Blessed Thomas Whitbread, English Martyr, reading for June 12th

Blessed Thomas Whitbread - English Martyr
Reading for 12th June
WHEN Father Whitbread, with four companions, was eventually brought to trial, the informers Oates and Bedloe swore to Whitbread having assisted at a meeting in London to kill the king; Bedloe gave as of his own personal knowledge what he had before spoken of as hearsay, and explained that he had intentionally softened his witness on the previous occasion. Judge Wylde told him that he was a confirmed perjurer and ought never enter the courts again, but go home and repent.
Father Whitbread showed the improbability of his conspiring with a man whom he had never seen, and who had been expelled from St Omer for his irregular life. He produced fifteen students who swore that Oates was at St Omer when he swore he was at the meeting in London.
"If this plot existed," urged Whitbread, "in which many persons of honour and quality were engaged, why are there no traces of its evidence, no arms bought, no men enlisted, no provision made for its execution? There was no evidence for the jury but hard swearing."
Speaking for himself and his companions he contrasted the known blamelessness of their lives and the vicious wickedness of their accusers. Nevertheless, Chief-Justice Scroggs directed the jury to find them guilty, and himself sentenced them to death.
"O thou are grown old in evil days, now are thy sins come judging unjust judgements, oppressing the innocent and letting the guilty go free." - Dan. 13. 15-53
From the Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales.
Blessed Thomas Whitbread was executed at Tyburn on 20th June 1679
For Catholic films about the English Martyrs
As seen on EWTN
(Photograph is a screenshot taken from our film 'Saint Alexander Briant')
Titus Oates Plot, English Martyr, Tyburn Gallows, London, English history, priest, Catholic, Martyrs

Monday 12 June 2017

"We can." Blessed Thomas Whitbread, Jesuit English Martyr, Titus Oates, English Catholic history

"We can."
Reading for 11th June
BORN of a gentleman's family in Essex, Blessed Thomas Whitbread was educated at St Omer, entered the Society of Jesus, and for thirty years laboured with great fruit on the English mission. Made provincial superior of his English brethren, he preached at his visitation at Liege, on St James' day, 25th Julyn1678 (that is, about two months before the Oates persecution began), on the gospel of the feast:
"'Can you drink the chalice which I am to drink?' they say to Him, 'We can'."
He then showed clearly his foresight of the coming storm and much suffering in store for his brethren and himself; after saying that the times were now quiet, but that God only knew how long they would be so, he pointedly repeated the text.
"Can you drink the cup? Can you undergo hard persecution? Are you contented to be falsely betrayed and injured and hurried away to prison? Can you take it? We can. Blessed be God. Potestis bibere? Can you suffer the hardships of a jail, a straw bed, the rough food, the chains and fetters? Can you endure the rack? We can. Blessed be God. Can you patiently receive an unjust sentence of a shameful and agonising death? We can."
And this last clause he uttered as a prayer, with his eyes towards Heaven.
(From the Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales by Henry Sebastian Bowden)
Blessed Thomas Whitbread was born in 1618.
He was martyred at Tyburn on 30th June 1679.
For Catholic films on DVD of the lives of the English Martyrs visit:
As seen on EWTN

Queen Mary I, Mary Tudor, History of England, Catholic Heritage - a film

Queen Mary I of England
Mary Tudor, History of England, Catholic Heritage
Last year (2016) saw the release of our film 'Mary Tudor - The Catholic Queen' on DVD.
The film is a historical, biographical journey with Queen Mary I of England told in her own words.
Film Production
We had wanted to have a film about Queen Mary Tudor in our collection since we founded Mary's Dowry Productions. She was the last Catholic Queen of England and remains the most maligned. It was a heavy task to research and write the narrative. While we did not want to be too biased we wanted to provide a film that is Queen Mary friendly because there is a lot of Queen Mary unfriendly out there. Interestingly, the actual historical documents, facts and information are all Queen Mary friendly, it is pretty much the interpretation and presentation of Queen Mary since the Reformation that has always taken a specific tone. So the first step in our production was to work very carefully on the facts, details and information in history and write our narrative presentation.
Next step was to find locations for our visuals, as well as the image that we wanted Queen Mary to have on screen.
Obviously we were going to include Queen Mary's most famous association with 'burning heretics' and that is how we open our film. For the imagery we drew upon footage we had captured while on location in Gosport in 2009 at the Living History Village. We open up the film with the Revival of the Heresy Acts, a fascinating part of England's history that goes back to 1382 and places Tudor governmental sentencing within the correct and whole historical context. The narration opens over the sound of the crackling of fire and the visual of the official written text of the 'Revival of the Heresy Acts' document of November 1554 - this is a very fascinating look at history linked to Queen Mary I.
We had to present our own visuals of Queen Mary I to run throughout the film, so we decided to film outside and chose two locations local to us. The first was in the ruins of a missionary church and school located in a forest in Bedham near Petworth. We liked the idea of having the form of Queen Mary Tudor walking through a ruined building. The structure is very atmospheric and seemed to capture history. We spent a couple of hours in the eerie silence acquiring footage of Queen Mary I for specific segments of her biography.

After the opening of the film with the Revival of the Heresy Acts, we go back to the very beginning of Mary Tudor's life, to her birth. In the context of history this is very fascinating and often moving and tragic. We made good use of portraits and paintings of the Princess Mary, following her through her infant and childhood years to specific events and circumstances in the life of her father, King Henry VIII, that shaped history and Princess Mary's life and future reign.

Of particular interest to us in Mary's private life was Mary's love of music and reading and later, when she sent cucumbers from her own garden to the pregnant Jane Seymour, showing her human and personal qualities and interests.
For additional visuals we travelled to Racton Ruins outside of Chichester. This was a very eerie place with some beautiful views. We wanted Queen Mary I to have a structure behind her and this worked very well in the background. The various images and locations are interspersed throughout the film and give an overall effective presentation of Queen Mary I as a person, a living form, that we were able to run beneath the narrative of her life and reign.

To complete a film by Mary's Dowry Productions, the final edit is given colour effects and any special effects required. It is then sent as an AVI file over to our composer, Bernadette. Bernadette has her own music blog where she often writes about her inspirations and experience writing each film score. It can be visited here:
This is the most important finishing touch because the original music score flows alongside the narrative and visuals to complete our unique filmmaking style. In the music for our film about Queen Mary Tudor, Bernadette used a lot of Gregorian Monks in the segments about the Church in England, the dismantling of Catholic culture and the Mass. This is beautifully effective and spiritual.
Overall, the music score for 'Queen Mary I of England' draws the viewer and listener into the journey of the Queen, with special touches of instruments from the Tudor Era fused with several modern instruments. Some of the instruments used in our film score include:
'Queen Mary I of England' by Mary's Dowry Productions was a journey through faith and history in England for ourselves too and one that we are now pleased to have available on DVD worldwide. Having wanted to present her life and reign for so many years, we are pleased to be able to offer another source for anyone interested in the life of the daughter of King Henry VIII and Queen Katherine of Aragon. It is a film that delves into the history of England and England's Catholic heritage.
Our film runs for 55 minutes and very carefully and thoroughly presents the life, reign and death of Queen Mary I of England with our trademark style and approach.
We are pleased to be able to offer this DVD worldwide in all region formats in our online shop which can be viewed by following the link below.
Coming soon from
Mary's Dowry Productions
to DVD
'Queen Katherine of Aragon'

Sunday 4 June 2017

Saint John Bosco and his dreams - Catholic Film News - a new DVD now available, 40 dreams, priest, teacher, friend.

'Saint John Bosco and his dreams'
NEW from Mary's Dowry Productions is our 50 minute film exploring the life and dreams of Italian priest, educator, writer and friend, Saint John Bosco, produced in 2017 and now available on DVD worldwide through:
Saint John Bosco is one of 80 original films on the lives of the Saints produced by Mary's Dowry Productions, and is one of our new releases in 2017, the 10th year of the founding of our film production apostolate. Saint John Bosco has a run length of 50 minutes and takes the viewer on an informative, prayerful and very atmospheric journey through the life and dreams of this Italian Saint.
A book called 'The 40 dreams of Saint John Bosco' first came into our hands about 20 years ago. It presents a selection of dream/visions that Saint John Bosco had, beginning as a small boy, as recorded by the Saint in his journals and diaries. The dreams made a great impression upon us and have often been the subject of our conversations.
In 2016 we had one of our conference/discussions about Saints and films and thought how amazing it would be to have not only a biographical film about Saint John Bosco's life and missions, but a presentation of some of his dreams. His dreams were given not only as lessons, warnings and instructions for his Oratory boys, but for all Christians, and they are especially relevant today.
Of course, recreating such vivid and descriptive dreams would be a challenge, especially for a film apostolate that functions on the tiniest of budgets. But when we feel that a subject is inspired, we simply go for it. So, at the end of 2016 we booked a couple of filming days in the 'barn' (our 'studio') next to our church and set about planning our film.
Saint John Bosco's Oratory Boys
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Casting was the first step in the production process. We like to have a variety of imagery in our films, sometimes they only show a Saint in an abstract way, distant shots out and about. Other times we call upon our eager and willing team of 'actors' to portray specific Saints and characters associated with them. This requires backdrops and a filming day especially set aside.
For the portrayal of Saint John Bosco we asked a parishioner friend who had portrayed Saint Maximilian Kolbe for us in 2015. For Don Bosco's story we needed a selection of visuals to run beneath our narrative that would include Saint John Bosco's Oratory boys. Among the boys would be Saint Dominic Savio. The boys would feature in the Oratory scenes as well as the dreams we chose to present in our film. As well as boys, we needed a few girls to work with Saint Mary Mazzarello, co-foundress with Saint Don Bosco of the Salesian Sisters. We also needed characters who would feature in Saint Don Bosco's dreams, such as the devil, Death's Messenger, the 'man in the cap' - Don Bosco's guide - and others. We called upon a cast of about 20 parishioners, local Catholic school children, teachers and friends to portray these various people.
Death's Messenger
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
The Devil
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
The dreams that we chose to portray also include 'To Hell and Back', one of Saint John Bosco's most vivid and sobering dream involving a long journey with his guide into hell. We kept things simple but this turned out to be visually very effective in the end result.
The filming day took place in January 2017 in the 'barn' and its courtyard and garden with simple sets to serve as backdrops. The visuals that we acquired were perfect. It was a difficult day, lots of things go wrong and there is always the sense of oppression whenever we film (always a good sign), but lots of things happen that make us stop and think 'wow that is so guided'. We acquired some wonderful images. The next step saw us finalising narrative, acquiring paintings, photographs and images over the next few months so that in May we were able to work on the editing process.
Editing process
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

Editing Saint Don Bosco
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Finally, at the end of May, despite numerous obstacles (again, always a good sign) the film was complete with effects and credits and ready for the music. Music composition on our films is the most important part because it creates such a specific atmosphere for the film. Our films are prayerful encounters and journeys as well as informative tools. Bernadette wrote a beautiful and powerful score for Saint Don Bosco while Emily finalised the DVD cover. The film was ready for release on June 2nd and is now available in our online shops and through Amazon.
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Our film 'Saint John Bosco and his dreams' takes a look at some serious topics such as the tragic consequence of sin and the reality of hell. Some of the imagery in Saint John Bosco's dreams is powerful and shows some of his Oratory boys fleeing the Justice of God into hell. Saint John Bosco's visit to hell, its chambers and viewing platform as well as the inscriptions shown to him by his guide, are also sobering.
We were pleased to be able to present these important messages and images through film and our own experience watching the final DVD left us truly feeling as though we had journeyed with Saint Don Bosco through the places God wished for him to see and share with us.
© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions

© 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions
Our film is available NOW through our online shops and Amazon UK.
Coming soon:
Saint Dominic Savio
Saint Mary Mazzarello
as well as
Saint Faustina
Saint Margaret Mary
Blessed Bartolo Longo
Saint Claude de la Columbiere
and many more.