Saturday 29 July 2017

75th Anniversary of the death of Blessed Titus Brandsma - our film of his life and martyrdom

The 75th Anniversary of the death of Blessed Titus Brandsma
26th July 2017

July 26th marked the 75th anniversary of the death of Blessed Titus Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite priest who suffered for the Catholic faith in Dachau concentration camp. It is spiritually beneficial to remember this priest and Martyr of the Church who has left us a life of inspiration relevant to us today. We say this often; that each and every Saint or Blessed of the Church has left us a witness relevant for us today. In 2015 we decided to produce a film for our audience on the life of Blessed Titus so that people who had not encountered him would become familiar with his story.

Blessed Titus was born in Bolsward in Holland in 1881. He joined the Carmelite order while he was a young man and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1905. Father Titus studied in Rome and was awarded a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University, returning thereafter to Holland. Blessed Titus spent many years teaching in several schools before he took up post of Professor of Philosophy and History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijumen, later appointed Rector Magnificus.

Aside of being a Professor, Blessed Titus was a prolific writer and deeply spiritual man. In 1935, he was appointed as the adviser to the bishops for Catholic journalists. Before the Nazi's occupied Holland, Blessed Titus was outspoken in his stance against the National Socialist ideology where he defended the right to freedom in education and for the Catholic Press. Because of this, he was followed by the Nazis and finally arrested and imprisoned.
Blessed Titus Brandsma suffered imprisonment in several prisons and camps until he was finally sent to Dachau. There he gave a striking witness of forgiveness, defense of the Truth and humility. On one occasion he was beaten while concealing the Most Blessed Sacrament in a leather pouch upon his person.
Eventually, due to his physical weakness after numerous beatings and the sufferings endured at the concentration camp, Father Titus was sent to the Nazi medical barracks where he was experimented upon before he was final given a lethal injection.
He was beatified as a Martyr by Pope John Paul II on 3rd November 1982.

We have letters and writings by Blessed Titus Brandsma as well as prayers he has written, and several photographs of this great modern Carmelite Blessed. In our own film biography we look at several of these as well as many details of his life and journey and have recreated some careful footage from key moments of his life.

Our film is available through AMAZON and through our online shops:

We ship our films on DVD in all region formats worldwide.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

4 Tudor Catholic films in a 4 DVD set from Amazon - Tudors, Reformation history, England, Catholicism on DVD


Available NEW exclusively from Mary's Dowry Productions on AMAZON COM (seller Mary's Dowry) are 4 Catholic film biographies of historical figures or Saints from Tudor England.
Enjoyed by the history seeker as well as the devotional, these films give a unique slice of England's Catholic history.
Also available as individual DVDs through our online shop, find out more from AMAZON COM at this link:

Reformation history, English history, Catholic history and faith.
By Mary's Dowry Productions

Monday 24 July 2017

St. Julian of Norwich - English author - The Revelations of Divine Love - FILM

A film

One means of introducing ourselves to this great English author, Saint Julian of Norwich, is through film. We have produced a 40 minute DVD told only in Saint Julian's words with visuals, paintings and scenery. Saint Julian herself will take us on a journey of Divine Love as recorded in her famous book 'The Revelations of Divine Love'.
We produced the film in the year 2015 because Saint Julian is one of our English Saints and her writings are rich with Catholic theology. We were especially interested in the texts of her meditations upon the Passion of Christ.

Julian of Norwich was an anchoress, mystic and spiritual writer who died after 1413. She is popular with Anglicans and Catholics, thus causing confusion as to whether or not she is classed a Catholic Saint. Saint Julian lived before the Protestant Reformation and  the division of Christians in England into Catholics and Anglicans. 

There are Anglican nuns of an order dedicated to Saint Julian and books by Anglicans so it is understandable that Catholics are often wary of her spirituality and can mistrust her theology. However, there are good Catholic editions of her writings available which in full context show her Roman Catholic theological understanding and spirituality.
This is why we wished to have a film available on Saint Julian in our catalog.

Keeping in theme with Saint Julian's spiritual atmosphere, we traveled to a ruined missionary church in the forests near Petworth, West Sussex, last year and spent a few hours capturing some very contemplative and mystical imagery of Saint Julian at prayer, writing or walking.
Saint Julian of Norwich is best known for her  work, The Revelations of Divine Love, which consists of a description of a series of Sixteen 'Showings' as she calls them. These are visions concerning the Most Holy Trinity and the Passion of Christ  given to her during a period of  illness in the 1373.
We are given insights into Saint Julian's character and biographical information throughout.

Saint Julian then devoted the whole of her remaining life to the contemplation of the visions. The result was the book titled ' The Revelations of Divine Love' which has become a classic in Christian Spirituality. 

Saint Julian's life is only known in few details because she lived her life as an English Catholic anchoress. She spent most of her life in solitude and prayer within a small anchorhold attached to the church in Norwich, England. 
Saint Julian described herself as a “simple creature unlettered.”
Although Saint Julian was never beatified or Canonized by the Church, she is honored with her own unofficial feast day, is referred to as 'Saint' and holds a  place among the greatest of English mystics.

Our film about Saint Julian of Norwich is presented by Saint Julian through her writings and is a way of getting to know her characters and work. It is available on DVD in all region formats, shipped worldwide, through our online shop:

Our film has proven to be a very popular and useful resource for Christians and secular readers.

           Julian of Norwich by Pope Benedict XVI

        Cloistered monasteries, oases of peace

At the General Audience on Wednesday, 1 December [2010], held in the Paul IV Audience Hall, the Holy Father talked about Dame Julian of Norwich. This English anchoress who lived in the late 14th and early 15th centuries is best known for her book "Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings". The following is a translation of the Pope's Catechesis, given in Italian.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching. One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.
The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.
It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope's return to Rome from Avignon, and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France. God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.
As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave. After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.
And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.
"'Would you learn to see clearly your Lord's meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love.... Why did he show it to you? For Love'.... Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord's meaning" (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).
Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision. Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.
She may have taken the name of Julian precisely from that Saint to whom was dedicated the church in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.
This decision to live as a "recluse", the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us. But she was not the only one to make such a choice. In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx.
The anchoresses or "recluses", in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study. In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people. Men and women of every age and condition in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them. It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice; precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.
We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life. This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called "Dame Julian", as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains. She had become a mother to many.
Men and women who withdraw to live in God's company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others. As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.
I therefore recall with admiration and gratitude the women and men's cloistered monasteries. Today more than ever they are oases of peace and hope, a precious treasure for the whole Church, especially since they recall the primacy of God and the importance, for the journey of faith, of constant and intense prayer.
It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love. Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older, and one that is longer. This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.
In this book we read the following wonderful words: "And I saw full surely that ere God made us he loved us; which love was never lacking nor ever shall be. And in this love he has made all his works; and in this love he has made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting... in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end" (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).
The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love. This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.
The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God's kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother's love for her children. In fact the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God's love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.
God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you" (Is 49:15).
Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life: God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust, and lets it become one's sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.
I would like to emphasize another point. The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (ff. nn. 304-313, 314).
If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist? And the Saints themselves asked this very question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote: "Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith ... and that ... I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in ... that 'all manner of thing shall be well'" (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).
Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God's promises are ever greater than our expectations. If we present to God, to his immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed. "And all will be well", "all manner of things shall be well": this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today. Many thanks.

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
8 December 2010, page 19
L'Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of the Holy See.
The Weekly Edition in English is published for the US by:
The Cathedral Foundation
L'Osservatore Romano English Edition
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Film Production Update - July 2017 - Catholic films about the Saints and English Martyrs

July 2017

Over the past couple of weeks we have been working on our new film about Blessed Bartolo Longo, an Italian lawyer and ex-satanic priest who is most famously known as the Apostle of the Rosary and for founding the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii.
We were able to film our own visuals for our film presentation from key moments in Bartolo's life, in March of this year, 2017. We first discovered Bartolo Longo through Pope Saint John Paul II Encyclical letter on the Rosary in 2003 and were struck by his words and example. We try to include the rosary in every one of our films, even if we just show the Saint or English Martyr running the beads through their fingers while in a posture of prayer and contemplation. So learning that Bartolo Longo is called the Apostle of the Rosary made us desire to look into his life and special mission and eventually offer a film biography for others to come to know him or be able to share his story.

To date, we have filmed all the scenes we require for our film and are currently collecting paintings, images and photographs. We have recorded the narration and will be moving on to editing narration and editing. We hope to have the film available over the summer.


A film that we have wanted to do for a while is 'Saint Padre Pio'. Our late parish priest, Father Enda Naughton, had a particular devotion to Saint Padre Pio. We have a very strong Italian community in a parish church in our deanery and a beautiful large statue of Saint Padre Pio before which we have often prayed. We have read about Padre Pio and used many of his prayers for decades and thought it would be good to have another resource available on this great Saint of our times.
The narration for our film about Saint Padre Pio is currently being recorded in a studio up in Harrow. We have yet to film any footage for our production but hope to do so over the summer and look forward to working on this DVD.


Of course, our main focus is always to make available DVDs on the lives of the English Martyrs and English Saints. We filmed for Saint Thomas Garnet early this year, one of our 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, and look forward to working on this. We also have visuals planned for:

Saint Hilda
Queen Katherine of Aragon
Saint Frideswide of Oxford
Saint Werburgh
Margery Kemp
Saint Dymphna 
Saint Margaret of Scotland
Saint Edward the Confessor
and more

Footage already filmed this year for other DVDs include visuals for:

Saint Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart
Saint Claude de la Colombiere and the Message to England
Saint Dominic Savio and the Vision of England
Saint Margaret Mazzarello
Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg
Saint Thomas Garnet - English Martyr

Our film about Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne is also almost complete and will be available on DVD soon.
For current films available on the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs visit: 

Thursday 20 July 2017

Saint Don Bosco, John Bosco, a Saint for our times - DVD, film

SAINT DON BOSCO - A Saint for our times
His prophetic dreams - his important message for today.

"Don’t you know how terrible God’s vengeance is? Do you think you can restrain one who is fleeing from His just wrath?" - St. Don Bosco's guide
Saint Don Bosco's life was filled with the supernatural and the mystical.
Not only did he found specific religious orders and is known for his education of children, but in his own words: "DON BOSCO IS A PRIEST FIRST".
He was a man of deep prayer and devotion with a striking love for the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament, devotion to Our Lady and all of the rich elements of our Catholic Faith.
He was favoured with many striking visions which were conveyed to him in what he called 'dreams' but which he described as being as real to him as real life.
Why is he relevant today? Why is he important for England?
Saint Don Bosco has left us one of the most astonishing accounts of the truths of the Catholic Faith in his biographical memoirs. His special concern and deep anxiety for the salvation of the souls of children were manifested in his constant prayer, guidance and example. He refused to be silent about important moral realities and one of these was the sad and devastating eternal consequence of unrepentant sin.
In his 'dream' about Hell, Saint Don Bosco is taken by his guide on a journey that is rich with spiritual significance and a powerful tool for Catholics seeking eternal life.
It seems almost inconceivable today to imaging young people going to eternal damnation. Saint John Bosco is very clear about the seriousness of life and warned the young boys in his care that they must remain pure and close to Our Lady and the Sacraments. Life is short. Our greatest concern must be for the salvation of our souls.
Saint Don Bosco was also linked to England in a mystical way through one of his students Saint Dominic Savio. In our film about Saint Dominic Savio (due out this year) we cover this important element of Saint Don Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio's missions.
Our film about Saint Don Bosco leans more towards the mystical and spiritual part of Saint Don Bosco's life and message. While it covers facts and details of his life, we present many of Saint Don Bosco's dreams, writings and spiritual advice so that it is both an informative and prayerful way to spend an hour with one of our great Catholic Saints. It is good for a sombre boost when we feel in need of serious reality check. But it is also inspiring and a message of hope and Heaven.


Catholic DVDs - films, biographies, history and the teachings of the Church in the lives of the Saints

The lives of the Saints - the teachings of the Church

Part of the mission of Mary's Dowry Productions when producing films on the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs, is to include specific teachings of the Catholic Church. For example, our new film 'SAINT AIDAN: APOSTLE OF ENGLAND' due out this year, has a clear and important section on the Precepts of the Church.
In every one of our films, the viewer will find useful elements of the Church's teachings which are often forgotten or not spoken about in numerous parishes, especially throughout England. Many people are unaware of certain elements of Catholic life and at a time when almost everyone absorbs information through visual media, it is a good means of conveying important and sometimes forgotten or unknown truths.

In our film 'SAINT EDMUND ARROWSMITH' we were able to clarify the Church's teaching on cohabitation. Saint Edmund Arrowsmith was betrayed by a young man whom the priest was gently but clearly rebuking for his immoral lifestyle. These great Saints and English Martyrs refused to remain silent when those around them lived lives contrary to the Church or the good of their souls.

Amazingly, and sadly, so many people have not even heard of the Precepts of the Church, with many hardly ever going to Confession, or many habitually missing Mass on alternate Sundays or not even considering going to Mass on Holy Days of Obligation. Our film 'SAINT AIDAN: APOSTLE OF ENGLAND' presents the Precepts of the Church clearly.

When we first established Mary's Dowry Productions in 2007, our main mission was to make the lives of the English Martyrs better known through visual presentation in film and to present reformation history and English Catholic history clearly. Our first film, 'SAINT PHILIP HOWARD; EARL OF ARUNDEL' not only shows how Saint Philip suffered for eleven years in the Tower of London and eventually died because he would not attend a Protestant Service, bit it also caused a stir in our own parish with many people ignorant of the Catholic history and persecution of Catholics especially during the so called 'Golden Age' of Queen Elizabeth I and the Elizabethan Era.

We were especially pleased to be able to present a film last year about Queen Mary I of England who is immediately known be almost everyone as 'Bloody Mary' due to the Protestant writers of England. A detailed look at her life and reign shows so many admirable elements of policy and rule and religious tolerance that does not feature in mainstream or secular entertainment or even historical presentation, although this has changed substantially over the last ten years or so.

In our film, SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE, we took the opportunity of Saint Maximilian's fight against Freemasonry to clearly present the Church's strong teachings and statements about Freemasonry, especially for Catholics.

Our film about the beautiful and inspiring life of SAINT EDITH STEIN has a five minute biographical look at Adolf Hitler which both Catholics and historians would find of interest.
Our film about SAINT PIRAN OF CORNWALL has a good, detailed section about relics, the history of relics and their importance and traditions throughout Christian history.
Our film about SAINT BERTHA: QUEEN OF KENT not only has a fascinating look at the Merovingian Dynasty but also the rise and fall of CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL as the seat of the Catholic Church in England.
Our film about SAINT MARGARET CLITHEROW includes information about Thomas Cranmer, the MASS and the Elizabethan policies.
We included a detailed look at THOMAS CROMWELL and THOMAS CRANMER as well as KING HENRY VIII and Protestant heresies in our films about SAINT THOMAS MORE and SAINT JOHN FISHER.
SAINT BEGA of BEES has beautiful teachings and quotes about purity.
Both SAINT ETHELDREDA: ABBESS OF ELY and SAINT WINIFRED AND HER WELL include miracles and the importance and truth of miracles, an element of church history that protestant thinkers and enforcers such as THOMAS CROMWELL tried to discredit and erase from Christian tradition.
SAINT POLYDORE PLASDEN affirms the True Presence of Christ in every particle of the Eucharist.
SAINT RICHARD OF CHICHESTER includes all of Bishop Richard's timeless teachings especially against 'married clergy' etc...
SAINT RICHARD GWYN is Co-Patron of the Latin Mass Society. His writings and witness encompasses specific understandings of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which he upheld and defended against the heresies in Elizabethan society, recognisable today.

Each of our films contains historical information and specific Catholic teaching which makes them useful tools for evangelisation and spiritual growth.
All of our films are listed and ship worldwide through our online shop.
You can also find our films on AMAZON under our seller name 'MARY'S DOWRY'.
We ship out in all region formats, worldwide.

A MAKER OF REFUGES - St. Nicholas Owen the priest hole maker, Jesuit brother, English Martyr, Tower of London

Saint Nicholas Owen - The Priest Hole Maker
Jesuit Lay brother
In our 2010 film we present the story of one England's greatest carpenters and builders, Saint NICHOLAS OWEN, an Englishman who spent almost 30 years travelling England, constructing the most ingenious hiding spaces, priest holes and secret rooms in country houses, many of which can be visited and viewed today.
His mission?
To provide hidden places throughout England during Penal times for hunted Catholic missionary priests to hide and escape capture, imprisonment and often death for keeping alive the Catholic Faith in England.
Nicholas Owen is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, a specific group of men and women who gave the ultimate witness to the truth of their Faith during the persecution of the Catholic Church in England over the 14th - 17th Century. 
ALMOST NOTHING is known of the early life and background of Nicholas Owen; but he was a craftsman of great skill in a little body, who saved the lives of unnumbered priests by his ingenuity in constructing hiding places for them. It is known that Nicholas had three brothers: John became a priest and worked on the English mission; Walter was a Deacon when he went to the English College, Valladolid, where he died, probably after his priestly ordination; Henry, the third brother, was a printer of underground Catholic literature and suffered imprisonment for his activities.
Nicholas Owen followed in his father's trade as a carpenter and builder, which soon became his vocation. Sometime before the year 1580, Nicholas was secretly received into the SOCIETY OF JESUS as one of the FIRST ENGLISH LAY BROTHERS.
Nicholas spent 26 years travelling all over England constructing hiding places for priests all over country houses, with incredible skill and extraordinary ingenuity. He disguised their construction in such a way that the access to them was virtually undetectable.
Built into walls, chimney breasts, underneath staircases and between floors, many examples of his hiding places still survive to be seen today. How many hunted Catholic priests took refuge inside these clever little rooms and holes and managed to be spared the gallows, torture or imprisonment?
Certainly a great deal of our great Missionary priests owe their lives to Saint Nicholas Owen.
What was especially exceptional about Saint Nicholas Owen was that he never made any hiding place the same, so as not to provide any clues that might lead to the discovery of others. Sometimes he made FALSE HIDING PLACES to fool the hunters and searchers so that, having found a decoy empty, they would depart, leaving the real hiding place undetected.
Saint Nicholas Owen often pretended to be carrying out repairs to a property during the day, but at night his real work began. He carried out his incredible mission singlehandedly, in great secrecy, at night.
Saint Nicholas Owen came to be nicknamed 'Little John' because of his small stature, which enabled him to get into some very small spaces. Nicholas worked especially close with Father John Gerard. In 1605, a large party of Catholics made a pilgrimage to St Winifred's Well in Holywell, Wales. Nicholas Owen joined the group and took the opportunity to renovate some of his hiding places in the houses they passed or stayed at en route to and from Wales.
Nicholas Owen was eventually caught and arrested in 1606. He was tortured mercilessly on 26th February during which he uttered nothing but "Jesus" and "Mary".
He died in terrible agony, tortured to death while refusing to deny the Catholic Faith or give up any of the priests that he so eagerly served.
Father Gerard afterwards wrote of him:
"I verily think no man can be said to have done more good of all those who laboured in the English vineyard...he was the immediate occasion of saving the lives of many hundreds of persons, both ecclesiastical and secular...How many priests then may we think this man did save by his endeavours..."
Our film 'SAINT NICHOLAS OWEN: THE PRIEST HOLE MAKER' has this inspiring, daring, devout and ingenious English Martyr tell his own story and is a good way to encounter one of our great English heroes.