Friday 21 December 2018

Bells of the Reformation - Mary once honoured throughout England in bells

Bells of the Reformation - England

Bells in England before the Protestant Reformation had a strong collection to Our Lady.
In 1536, by an injunction of Thomas Cromwell, working as vicar-general of Henry VIII, the Angelus was outlawed. This deeply English-Catholic devotion was banned, not because of any scruple about the Hail Mary (which was prayed three times at 6 am, three times at noon and three times at 6 pm by the English people at the ringing of bells throughout the land) but, as it was expressly declared, 'out of hatred to the Pope'.
Pope Sixtus had granted indulgences at the request of Elizabeth, wife of King Henry VII, to those who prayed three 'Ave Maria's at these traditional times.

A special bell was set apart in the countless Catholic churches throughout England for centuries before King Henry VIII broke with Rome and took the country with him into schism. The special  bell was called the Gabriel Bell and was reserved to ring for the morning and evening Ave's.

In almost every peel of bells throughout England, one bell was reserved for Our Lady, to whom England had been consecrated as her Dowry. Prior to the devastating attack upon the Mother of God throughout England at the Protestant Reformation, inscriptions upon church bells were almost always religious.

Church bells were part of the plunder of King Henry VIII, King Edward the VI and Queen Elizabeth I. Almost the entire history of many centuries of honour given to Our Lady through the ringing of bells throughout her Dowry was eradicated, destroyed and purged from the country, and subsequently from the minds of the people and the history of the land.

The naming of bells had been an ancient Catholic custom in England. They were part of the culture and history of the country, as well as a form of devotion given in honour of the Mother of God.
For instance, Abbot Evesham in 1160 had two large bells made called Jesus and Gloria and William Boys, abbot in 1345, made two other great bells called Mary and Egwin.

On the bell named in honour of Our Lady was written:

'Me sonante pia succurre virgo Maria.'

What was truly wonderful about this devotion to Our Lady ever present in England through the glorious peeling of bells was the invocation to Our Lady infused in this devotional act.
One such inscription on a bell read:

"The rose when shaken fragrance around
The bell when struck pours forth melodious sound;
The heart of Mary moved in earnest prayer
Will scatter graces everywhere."

Oftentimes an inscription upon a bell read:

'Mary, let thy blessing fall
Upon those who hear my call.'

These beautiful inscriptions that brought down many graces through the loving hands of Our Lady upon the children of her Dowry were condemned by the Protestant Kings and Queens of England under the devilish 'excuse' that these inscriptions were held as

'being holden to be superstitious,' and thus 'were defaced, erased, washed over, or obliterated'

by the commissioners in the first year of Queen Elizabeth I.

The Catholic Martyrs of the Reformation, priests and recusants alike, were often arrested, imprisoned and fined for honouring the outlawed devotions such as lighting devotional candles, carrying rosary beads and honouring Our Lady in images and even bells.

 Perhaps this Christmas, whenever we hear mention of 'bells' in our hymns, readings and even the actual sound of bells at Mass, we might turn our hearts to Our Lady and pray especially for England, her Dowry, that the great devotion to her that was once so deeply established in this country will return.

For films about the English Martyrs and figures of the Reformation in England:

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Entire Catholic DVD collection - not including our range of NEW box sets

This month a Catholic parish and school raised money to order every single one of the DVDs that Mary's Dowry Productions has produced since 2007, for parishioners and school children to use in their Catholic parish in Idaho, USA. We were able to offer a special discount for them to be able to have the whole lot! How wonderful that so many of our little known English Martyrs will now become familiar to many more people.

Once we had organized the parcel we snapped a few photographs of the DVDs laid out in our conservatory before finishing up, packaging them and shipping them out today It was actually the first time that anyone has ever placed an order for our entire catalog so it was an opportunity for us, too, to see our whole body of films on the Saints and Martyrs laid out before our eyes. Wow, it's been a lot of work over the past eleven years but certainly worth it to have visual aids in film, music and media to help share the knowledge of these Saints.

The photographs show about 82 of our 87 individual DVDs. We now have box sets available as well which allow for us to offer 6 films for the price of 3 films due to reduced packaging expenses. The box sets are really wonderful and are getting a lot of lesser known biographies out there such as Saint John Houghton in the 'Tudor Box Set', many of which are also going to secular viewers.

Christmas is our busiest time of year (post-wise) at Mary's Dowry Productions so we have been spending the last few months working on DVD orders that have been shipped throughout the world to Catholic bookshops such as Saint Paul's Bookshop next to Westminster Cathedral in London and others in Australia as well as big orders throughout North America and Europe. We have also had a lot of orders for Christmas presents which we love doing because bringing the Saints of England, English Martyrs and well-known Saints into homes during the Holy Season is so exciting.

Our films not only present a biographical account of a Saint or English Martyr, often in their own words, but also bring in the Truths of the Catholic Faith as well as devotions to the mind and heart of the viewer.

With only a few days left for us to post out to the USA for Christmas now, we shall be working on parcels and packages containing biographies of the Saints and Martyrs and look forward to finishing production work in the New Year on films about Saint Alban Roe (English Martyr), Edel Quinn and the Legion of Mary, Saint Francis de Sales, and several important documentaries about the Shrines of Our Lady in England as we spend 2019 looking forward to the reconsecration of England to the Mother of God as Our Lady's Dowry.

Visit Mary's Dowry Productions website for a full catalog of Catholic DVDs and resources here:

Monday 10 December 2018

England: Our Lady's Dowry - new film coming to help prepare for the re-consecration of England, Mary's Dowry Productions

As most of our readers know, our Catholic film production apostolate Mary's Dowry Productions was founded in 2007 and is named after an ancient title for England, which was especially consecrated by the early kings of England to the Mother of God as her Dowry. With the re-consecration of England to Our Lady as her Dowry due to take place in 2020, we are finally organizing a film that will present the history of this unique and special title for England and its place in the Catholic Church and our times.

We now have over 86 DVDs, many about our early British Saints such as Saint Bede and Saint Etheldreda, as well as important Catholic Saints of the Middle Ages such as Saint Julian of Norwich, and especially of the English Martyrs of the 16th and 17th centuries when the attack upon the True Faith of England was especially fierce and destructive. With these images and footage acquired we will be able to provide a film that covers 2000 years of Catholic history in England and the significance of the title that England bears.

England is rich with the history of devotion to Our Lady which can even be traced back to the first century and begins in Glastonbury, with Glastonbury thought to be the birthplace of Mary's Dowry and in fact, the birthplace of Christianity in England. It holds the site of the first Christian Church, a place that was for centuries regarded as the English Jerusalem and one of the holiest places on earth.

It is interesting that Glastonbury is now renowned for occult shops, paganism, New Age and music festivals. At the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century the devil inspired the English heretics to specifically reject the Mother of God from England and they burned ancient and venerated statues of Our Lady (including the Saxon statue of Our Lady of Walsingham) in towns and cities such as Chelsea. Today, 'the sacred and the profane stalk the streets of Glastonbury in the shadow of the ruined abbey' - a loud proclamation to those that have ears to hear and eyes to see of 'the conflict of light and darkness every present in a palpably spiritual atmosphere' (Shrines of Our Lady in England).

We shall be travelling to Glastonbury next year to present part of our documentary 'England: Our Lady's Dowry', as well as several other locations. We are especially pleased to be able to present from Storrington, a town not far from us, which houses the priory of Our Lady of England, another important title for Our Lady. The little forgotten Shrine statue of Our Lady of England is kept above a door in the church in the priory, which has a whole fascinating history of its own which is very hard to discover.

In our 2012 film about Our Lady of Walsingham we brought in the great significance of the English Martyrs. We look forward to doing this too in our upcoming film about the title of 'Our Lady's Dowry'. We shall be producing a separate film about 'Our Lady of Glastonbury' too, including a look at Saint Dunstan and the last abbot of Glastonbury who was hung from the Tor by King Henry VIII for refusing to deny the Catholic Faith.

"Glastonbury is the foundation stone of the Dowry of Mary" (Anne Vail) and 2019 looks to be a special year for film productions by Mary's Dowry Productions.

Meanwhile, check out our website for a full listing of our Catholic DVDs on the Saints and English Martyrs:

Saturday 8 December 2018

The Last Moments and Words of a Martyr, St Polydore Plasden, December 10th

Three Martyrs for December

We have taken some time this week to produce new film trailers on each of the English Martyrs films (which we refer to as the trilogy) that Mary's Dowry Productions produced in 2010:

Saint Edmund Gennings
Saint Polydore Plasden
Saint Swithun Wells

These three men were executed with other important English Martyrs on 10th December 1591, but we focused specifically upon these three for our films. Two were Catholic priests who knew one another from seminary and one was a Catholic layman who provided a secret room in his London house for Catholic missionary priests during the Elizabethan persecutions, for these brave men to offer the outlawed Catholic Mass.

We filmed visuals and recreations of key moments from the lives of these three martyrs over two days, on location at specially constructed sets in the 18th century barn attached to our local Catholic church of the English Martyrs. For the first day we filmed their missions, their arrest in The Secret Mass Room and various expressions of their powerful priesthood, such as reconciling Elizabethans who had left the Catholic Faith, hearing Confessions, celebrating Mass and preaching the Truths of the Catholic Faith. We managed to film different scenarios from each of their lives as well as bringing the three Martyrs together for meetings and encounters.

On the second filming day we focused upon the prison cells and the triple Tyburn Gallows.

The three films compliment one another and give a full encounter with the story of these men who bravely died in defense of the Catholic Faith which was savagely persecuted in England during Penal times.

Here is the new clip and trailer for our film about Saint Polydore Plasden. We find their last words and moments at the gallows very profound and many have commented upon how moving each film is, especially the priests or layman's brave sacrifice at the gallows.

The DVDs can be purchased individually from Mary's Dowry Productions or in Volume One of our special Martyrs DVD Box sets which can be seen here:

Mary's Dowry Productions Music VLOG - Saint Edith Stein

The Music for 'Saint Edith Stein'
Catholic Music VLOG

A new Vlog from Bernadette, co-founder of Mary's Dowry Productions in 2007, and sole composer of the music for all of Mary's Dowry Productions films. In this video, Bernadette shares how she wrote the music for Saint Edith Stein, our film produced in 2015 about this great Carmelite Saint and Martyr, which Bernadette has recently produced into a CD music album which is available through our online shop.

Take a look here:

The Music CD can be purchased here:

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Saint Edmund Campion and his heroic mission to England during the Elizabethan Era

It has been 10 years since we produced our first film about an English Martyr using people to recreate specific and important moments from the lives of the Saints. For Saint Edmund Campion we were on a very small budget but were determined to capture the deep spirituality of this heroic Jesuit missionary as well as the information, facts and details of his life and martyrdom. We were also keen to have available through a visual means (the new media) the Catholic perspective of history in England especially during the so-called 'Golden Years' of Queen Elizabeth I's reign.

Our film about Saint Edmund Campion was filmed around Arundel, Chichester and Worthing with scenes at Littlehampton beach to represent Saint Edmund Campion's return to England in disguise, scenes at Cisbury Ring to represent his travelling, and three days of filming interiors on simple sets that included a court room, safe house and prisons.

We had fun making this film and were thrilled with the result, simply because we wanted to have this visual means available to share the life and mission of Saint Edmund Campion with people who would switch off listening to our excited monologues. We showed the film twice to a large gathering in our parish church and many were very moved by his story, having never heard of him.

People respond amazingly well to watching something and listening to the words with a visual aid and with Saint Edmund Campion we packed the film with truths about the Catholic Faith, history, England and of course, Saint Edmund's very own words in his Brag and 10 Reasons.

Over the past 10 years we have worked determinedly to produce as many films as possible about the great English Martyrs, with other Saints and Martyrs coming along for the Mary's Dowry Productions style of film too. We now have 85 films on the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs with 15 specific from the group known as the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.

To celebrate our film about Saint Edmund Campion we have produced a new trailer for Christmas as the date of the anniversary of his martyrdom draws near once more.
Our film about Saint Edmund Campion has been broadcast regularly on EWTN and our shorter film, 'God's Champion: Saint Edmund Campion' is used successfully in homes, parishes and schools throughout the world.

Visit our website for this DVD and a whole catalogue of our films here:

New Catholic films from Mary's Dowry Productions 2018

2018 has been a busy year for Mary's Dowry Productions. We've been catching up with productions filmed in 2017 giving us several new releases. NEW films include Thomas Garnet & the Plot, Saint Mechtilde of Magdeburg, Saint Claude de la Colombiere and Our Lady of Knock.

We have also been working on making available DVD box sets so that people are able to purchase 6 films for the price of 3 as our production costs are lower for these.

Visit our website for details here:


PRIEST, NOT TRAITOR (13th November - St John Roberts, English Martyr):

"I wish to ask you and the other magistrates one more thing. These twelve men, who have to give a verdict in this case are ignorant persons, unable to discern or judge the difference between the priesthood and treason. You strive to do an impossible thing when you wish to make it appear that to be a priest is to be a traitor.

That would make Christ Himself a traitor, and all His Apostles; Saint Augustine also, the Apostle of England, and all the priests and bishops who have succeeded him to this day would also be esteemed traitors, and you would condemn them if they were brought before you.

I therefore say that it is impossible that being a priest should make one a traitor. A priest as such, and in regard to his office as priest, which is sacred and holy, cannot be a traitor. But if a priest commit treason, I am not so ignorant as not to know that the man is a traitor, but not by reason of his being a priest or in consequence of exercising his priestly office.

However, as these (the jury) are simple and ignorant men, I humbly beg the members of the court to decide the case in their stead, so that these poor men may not be responsible for our blood." 

- At his trial, (martyred at Tyburn, England, 10th December 1610 for being a Catholic priest)

Monday 5 November 2018

Christmas with the Saints and English Martyrs of the Church, Christmas 2...


Sometimes we can get caught up in the Holiday Season and our sense of the spiritual dims. What better way to spend Christmas than with the Saints?

In this NEW film trailer we look at our new selection of Catholic DVD box sets

Full range of DVDs here:

Wednesday 24 October 2018

The 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, Catholic DVDs

Great Britain was known as the Island of Saints. On October 25th 1970, 40 men and women from England and Wales, who gave their lives in defense of the Catholic Church during Penal Times, were canonized Saints and Martyrs. For film biographies of many of these heroic men and women see:

Saint Padre Pio Film Trailer - NEW film about Saint Padre Pio, now available on DVD

A NEW film trailer for 'Saint Padre Pio' NEW Catholic film on DVD worldwide is now available.

The DVD is available from
Mary's Dowry Productions.

Saint Padre Pio: Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry:
Saint Padre Pio was called to a specific mission as a priest and friar. From a young age he practiced self-denial and mortification and focused his whole attention upon God. He was able to see his guardian angel and speak with Jesus and Mary. He was called to be a Catholic priest and chose to join the Capuchin order.

 After serving for a short time in the Italian army, Saint Padre Pio spent the rest of his life in his monastery of San Giovanni, Italy. For fifty years he bore the wounds of the stigmata. He wrote many spiritual letters, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was such deep devotion that he brought tears to the eyes of many and moved and converted thousands.

 His battles with the devil and his life of sacrifice and prayer, his devotion to souls in Confession, his extraordinary supernatural gifts and his holy soul are an important witness to the realities of sin, grace, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.

 In this new film, Mary’s Dowry Productions presents a new yet timeless encounter with one of the greatest Saints of the Catholic Church, Saint Padre Pio.

 Length and Format; This film runs for 52 minutes and is available worldwide on Region Free DVD. 

Note: As with ALL our DVDs you will automatically be sent the correct PAL or NTSC format for your country. You do not need to do anything.

Find out more here:


Saint Gemma Galgani NEW CATHOLIC FILM now available - released this week, October 2018


Now available on DVD worldwide, region free, a NEW FILM about Saint Gemma Galgani.


Saint Gemma Galgani: Saint Gemma Galgani is known throughout the Catholic world as the ‘Flower of Lucca’, the ‘Gem of Christ’ and ‘Daughter of the Passion’. Saint Gemma was born in Italy in 1878. As a young girl she was especially moved by the accounts of Christ’s Passion. She offered her life and prayers to Jesus in reparation for sin and for the conversion of sinners.

When she was 21 years old, Saint Gemma was cured of an illness after praying a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the assistance of Saint Gabriel Possenti. She was able to see and speak with her Guardian Angel, with Jesus and Mary and specific Saints.

Her spiritual director, a priest of the Passionist Order, instructed Saint Gemma under obedience to keep a diary and to write her autobiography. Saint Gemma experienced the Passion of Christ every Thursday through to Friday, bore the visible stigmata and interceded for souls in a special mission as a victim soul until the end of her holy life at aged 25.

In this new film about Saint Gemma Galgani we look at Saint Gemma’s extraordinary and inspiring life and mission which are especially important for Catholics in today’s world.

Length and Format: This DVD runs for 35 minutes and is available worldwide on Region Free DVD Format.

 Please note: As with all our DVDs, you will automatically be sent the correct NTSC or PAL format depending on your country. You do not need to do anything.

NEW Saint Gemma Galgani Catholic FILM trailer DVD release now available to watch

Our NEW film about Saint Gemma Galgani is now available on DVD from Mary's Dowry Productions. Saint Gemma Galgani was 25 years of age when she died after an extraordinary life in Italy. She was known as the Gem of Christ, Daughter of the Passion and Flower of the Passion. This film is an attentive biography of Saint Gemma's life and mission with a special look at her calling as a victim soul.

Check out our trailer for this new DVD about Saint Gemma Galgani.

The DVD is available worldwide, region free, from:

A successful Catholic film showing last week in Arundel and Brighton Diocese - Our Lady of Knock

Thursday 18th October saw Mary's Dowry Productions at the barn, English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, West Sussex, in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, showing the newly released 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' film to a group of about thirty people.

Seats gradually filling up
This film ran for 50 minutes on the big screen. We love to show our films in the barn on the big screen. We turn off the lights and people are able to absorb the movie account without distraction. This is important for the films of Mary's Dowry Productions which are very atmospheric and prayerful film experiences in the correct conditions as well as being packed full of information and details, imagery, facts and footage.

DVD stall

Selection of DVDs available
As well as showing the film, which received positive and enthusiastic reviews, we had available a table with a selection of our Catholic films available, especially new releases from 2018 so far.

'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' is available on DVD worldwide from

Saint Thomas Garnet Catholic movie trailer - The Gunpowder Plot

Saint Thomas Garnet was the nephew of Father Henry Garnet, head of the Jesuits in England during the Gunpowder Plot. His uncle was arrested and executed during the fresh wave of persecutions following the failed plot, and Saint Thomas' story was caught up in the dramatic events at that time too.

Check out this trailer for our film about one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, Saint Thomas Garnet, now available on DVD worldwide from

We remember the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales canonized 25th October 1970 by Pope Saint Paul VI


Since 2007 Mary's Dowry Productions have been producing Catholic films on DVD about the lives of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, many of which have been broadcast on EWTN and thus been introduced to Catholics who were unaware of these great English Martyrs.
Tomorrow (25th October) we remember especially this date in 1970 when Pope Saint Paul VI canonized the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.

Pope Saint Paul VI said some important and inspiring things about the 40 Martyrs, taking several individuals as examples. The following text is taken from the homily of Pope Saint Paul VI at the canonization of the 40 Martyrs.

From the Canonization homily of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales:

"Our time needs Saints, and especially the example of those who gave the supreme witness of their love for Christ and his Church: "no one has greater love than he who gives his life for his friends ( Me. l5, l3). These words of the Divine Master, which refer in the first instance to the sacrifice that he himself performed on the cross offering himself for the salvation of all mankind, are also valid for the great and chosen group of martyrs of all time, from the first persecutions of the Church rising up to those - perhaps more hidden but not less cruel - of our days."

"In its long and glorious history, Great Britain, an island of saints, has given the world many men and women who have loved God with this sincere and loyal love: this is why we are pleased to have counted 40 other sons of this noble land today. among those whom the Church publicly recognizes as saints, proposing them with this to the veneration of his faithful, and because these portray a vivid example from their lives."

"To those who have read and admired the acts of their martyrdom, it is clear, we would like to say clearly, that they are the worthy emulators of the greatest martyrs of the past, because of the great humility, intrepidity, simplicity and serenity with which they accepted their sentence and their death, indeed, even more with a spiritual joy and an admirable and radiant charity."

"We have among the 40 Holy Martyrs secular and regular priests, religious of various orders and of different rank, lay people, men of very noble descent as well as of modest condition; we have women who were married and mothers of the family: what unites them all is that interior attitude of fidelity to the call God asked of them, as an answer of love. And the response of the martyrs was unanimous: "I can not but repeat that I die for God and because of my religion; - so said the Saint Philip Evans - and I consider myself so happy that if I could ever have many other lives, I would be very willing to sacrifice them all for such a noble cause"

"And, indeed like many others, the Holy Philip Howard,Earl of Arundel also asserted: "I regret to have only one life to offer for this noble cause." And Margaret Clitherow, with a moving simplicity expressed the meaning of her life and her death: "I die for the love of my Lord Jesus". "What a small thing this is, compared to the much crueler death that Christ has suffered for me," cried the Holy Alban Roe."

"Like many of their fellow countrymen who died in similar circumstances, these forty men and women of England and Wales wanted to be, and were, loyal to their homeland that they loved with all their heart; they wanted to be, and were in fact, faithful subjects of the real power that everyone - without exception - recognized, until their death, as legitimate in all that belongs to the civil and political order.

But this was precisely the drama of the existence of these martyrs, namely that their honest and sincere loyalty to the civil authority came to be in contrast with fidelity to God and with what, according to the dictates of their conscience illuminated by the Catholic faith, they knew to involve the revealed truths, especially on the Holy Eucharist and on the inalienable prerogatives of the successor of Peter, who, at the behest of God, is the universal Pastor of the Church of Christ.

"Placed before the choice to remain steadfast in their faith and therefore to die for it, or to have saved their life by denying the former, they, without a moment of hesitation, and with a truly supernatural force, sided with God and joyfully they faced martyrdom.

But so great was their spirit, so noble were their feelings, so Christian was the inspiration of their existence, that many of them died praying for their beloved homeland, for the King or the Queen, and even for those that they were directly responsible for their capture, their torments, and the ignominious circumstances of their atrocious death.

The last words and the last prayer of Saint John Plessington were these: "God bless the King and his family and grant His Majesty a prosperous kingdom in this life and a crown of glory in the other. God grant peace to his subjects allowing them to live and die in true faith, hope and charity".

"So the Holy Alban Roe, just before the hanging, prayed: "Forgive, O my God, my innumerable offenses, as I lose my persecutors", and, like him, Thomas Garnet who - after having forgiven those who had betrayed him, arrested him and condemned him - begged God saying: "May they all obtain salvation and with me reach heaven".

Reading the acts of their martyrdom and meditating on the rich material collected with so much care over the historical circumstances of their life and their martyrdom, we are struck above all by what unequivocally and radiantly shines in their existence; it, by its very nature, is such as to transcend the centuries, and therefore to remain always fully current and, especially in our days, of paramount importance.

We refer to the fact that these heroic sons and daughters of England and Wales took their faith seriously: this means that they accepted it as the only norm of their life and of their whole conduct, portraying a great serenity and a profound spiritual joy. With a freshness and spontaneity not without that precious gift that is the typical mood of their people.

"The Church and the world today have the greatest need of such men and women, of every state of life: priests, religious and laity, because only people of such stature and holiness will be able to change our tormented world and to give that spiritual and truly Christian orientation to which every man intimately yearns - even sometimes without being aware of it - and of which we all so much need.

"Our gratitude goes to God for having, in his providential goodness, aroused in these Holy Martyrs, the industriousness and the sacrifice of which they have contributed to the preservation of the Catholic faith in England and Wales.

May the Lord continue to raise up in the Church the laity, religious and priests who are worthy emigrants of these heralds of faith.

May God, in his love, also flourish and develop centers of study, formation, prayer and acts to prepare the holy priests and missionaries as they were, in those times, the Venerable Colleges of Rome and Valladolid and the glorious Seminars of St. Omer and Douai, from which some of the Forty Martyrs came out

May the Lord grant us the grace that, in these times of religious indifference and practical materialism, the example and intercession of the Holy Forty Martyrs will comfort us in the faith, reinforce our authentic love for God, for his Church and for all men.

May be be strengthened in this hope by the heavenly friendship of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales who are canonized today. Amen." Pope Saint Paul IV, 25th October 1970."


Tuesday 16 October 2018

PAYING THE RENT - Saint Richard Gwyn, 40 Martyrs of England and Wales

RICHARD GWYN was born about 1537, at Llanidloes in Powys. He studied at both English universities, married and became a schoolmaster, teaching for 16 years at various places in Flintshire and Denbighshire. At a date unknown he was reconciled with the Church, and in a 'drive' against Catholic schoolmasters in 1580 he was arrested.

For four years he was carried from jail to jail in chains, brought up at eight assizes, fined absurd sums, tortured. At times he solaced himself by writing verses, in his native Welsh; some of it has survived.

At his last assizes, at Wrexham, he was arraigned for trying to reconcile a man with the Church, and for maintaining that the pope, as successor of St Peter, was head of the Church. The evidence was suborned, the jury packed and subservient.

Saint Richard Gwyn's wife was brought into court, baby in arms, to be admonished, but she rounded on the sheriff and said: "If you want blood, take my life as well as his! Give the witnesses a little bribe, and they will give evidence against me, too!"

She was sent to prison.

A few days later, on 15th October 1581, Saint Richard Gwyn was butchered at Wrexham, "paying my rent" as he put it, "before rent-day".

His last words, uttered in Welsh as he was disemboweled, were, "Jesus, have mercy on me!"

Saint Richard Gwyn was the first Martyr during Penal times to be executed in Wales. He was canonized by Pope Saint Paul IV in 1970.

Saint Richard Gwyn Catholic Film available here: 

Catholic film launch THIS WEEK on Thursday 18th October, Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

This Thursday, 18th October, at 7.30pm, there will be a film launch of the newly released Catholic DVD 'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock'!

This NEW film runs for 50 minutes and presents the story of Knock, Ireland. The film launch takes place in THE BARN, which is located next to English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, Worthing, West Sussex in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The church is home to the world's only full scale reproduction of The Sistine Chapel Ceiling.

'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock' was produced by Mary's Dowry Productions, a Catholic film apostolate established in 2007 in the Diocese to share the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs through the new Catholic media. Many of their productions have been broadcast on EWTN and featured on BBC1 and SKY TV.

As well as showing the film, there will be free refreshments, stalls and Catholic film trailers. Entrance and refreshments are free and hope to encourage an enjoyable evening among Catholics interested in the lives of the Saints, the story of Knock, Catholic history and art.

There will also be the opportunity to purchase DVDs from a wide range of Catholic films and resources, including Catechetical DVDs useful for Confirmation classes, parishes and RCIA.

Catholic films are a great way to enrich our Faith by encountering the Saints and English Martyrs, the riches of the Catholic Church and a chance to see inspiring Sacred Art and imagery.

'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock' will be showing on Thursday 18th October at 7.30PM - The Barn, English Martyrs Catholic Church, Goring Way, Worthing, BN12 4UH. Hope to see you there!

For more information about Mary's Dowry Productions:

Thursday 11 October 2018

A look back at The Martyrs Walk - By Bernadette Bevans.

This Blog Post will take a look at The Martyrs Walk DVD Film and Experience that came about in the early years of Mary's Dowry Productions.  After we completed our first film on Saint Philip Howard, the Earl of Arundel and English Martyr at the beginning of 2008, we were inspired to discover more of the English Martyrs, particularly the 40 martyrs of England and Wales.  An opportunity arose to attend "The Martyrs Walk" in London, led by Joanna Bogle.  
Waiting for the Train to London
We caught the train and met a group of Catholics and historians at Tower Hill.  The Martyrs Walk was led by Joanna Bogle and the Franciscan Friars of Renewal and the idea was to visit historic sites in London, the first Catholic Churches now destroyed, priories torn down during the reformation, and Joanna Bogle would explain the history behind these sites.

We also prayed litanies and sung hymns about the Faith and the martyrs as a witness.

Along the way we stopped at St. Patrick's Church, Soho for Mass, we continued along the busy streets, all the while we photographed, documented and filmed the event.

Bearing Witness to the Martyrs along the streets of London
  It was not until I stood and examined the plaques at Tower Hill that the reality and excitement of our Catholic Faith and History, especially the English Martyrs, struck me.  At this point we had only worked on Saint Philip Howard and discovered him as an awesome witness and martyr.  Seeing the spot where many of our Catholic ancestors were martyrs made it so real.
You can see Saint Philip Howard's actual writings in his cell in London, you can also stand on the spot where saints such as Thomas More and John Fisher were executed.  You can also stand on the spot where the Tyburn Gallows once stood.

Tower Hill, where many martyrs were killed
My interest and love for the 40 martyrs of England and Wales was ignited even more on this spot and I wanted to know all their stories!  The place of Tyburn Gallows is in the middle of traffic now but there is a plaque that marks the spot.  Saint Philip Howard died in the Tower of London but other Martyrs were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.  The Martyrs Walk ended at Tyburn Convent. where there were many relics of the martyrs.

It was not our intention to produce a DVD on The Martyrs Walk but we were so inspired by the history of these sites in London as well as the spots where the martyrs were executed, plus we had filmed and documented the entire event.  We decided to produce our second DVD 'The Martyrs Walk' sharing this history, these sites, great shots of London including many back streets and secret places, interjected with short biographies of many English Martyrs. This film is now available on DVD worldwide and has and still does prove popular over the years.

The Martyrs Walk DVD

The Music Score:

When I began writing the music score, I had only written 1 full length film score so this was my second score.  I wanted to capture the history and era and drew upon memories of atmospheres from places such as The London Dungeons, spooky sounds and eerie atmospheres created with soundscapes and noisescapes.  
I used early sounds such as Symphonic Choirs and Whispering Angels.  For the Opening Titles I used Pizz. Strings and create a very story like sound to lay the foundation for the film content.  To this date The Martyrs Walk has a very unique atmosphere. 
You can listen to the Opening Titles here in a short clip:

I particularly love the use of the bell, it takes you straight to the era of the English Martyrs.
Although we started our Catholic Media Apostolate with Saint Philip Howard and wanted to move straight on to Saint Edmund Campion, The Martyrs Walk event in London was such a blessing as it introduced us to all the martyrs including the many Blesseds and the Forty Martyrs.  It took us to the places of their deaths and to many historic sites of Catholicism in London.  
It set an amazing foundation for the next 10 years of productions on the English Martyrs and sparked a great zeal in us for our faith and history.  We have worked on a lot more Martyrs films over the past ten years but The Martyrs Walk experience and production was quite a catalyst for this.  Our mission continues today, to produce a DVD on each of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.  We currently have a growing range of Box Sets of English Martyrs available for collections.

The Martyrs Walk Box Sets
Each Box Set contains 6 full films on the English Martyrs in a 6 DVD Disc set and are available through our website or through Amazon. 

As Joanna Bogle said so prophetically "The martyrs sacrificed their lives for us and for our country yet the Forty Martyrs were not canonized until 1970.  It's as if all the graces they obtained were stored up for us until now when we most need them."