Friday 31 August 2018

Editing for 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' film is completed - DVD coming soon!

Recreating the visionaries of Knock
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
Several of the visionaries with Archdeacon Cavanagh
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We have been busy editing our new film about 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' this week, which we decided to produce back in March when we had a filming day booked. It has been very inspiring to work on the editing, drawing all the elements of film production into a final presentation which has been exciting and very interesting.

Our film opens in 1879 at the beginning of the Land War, and after 300 years of persecutions of Catholics throughout Ireland, in the village of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.
After a small presentation of the social and spiritual, economical, political and historical setting that was the situation in which the apparition at Knock occurred, we go back 300 years to 1536 and King Henry VIII of England, who declared himself the King of Ireland and decided to conquer the country to bring it under crown control and introduce the Protestant Reformation.

The journey through the history of Ireland is fascinating, tragic and powerful; to see clearly Satan's attack upon the country once described as the land of Saints and scholars.

Silken Thomas
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We look at 'Silken Thomas' and his role in unwittingly drawing his cousin, King Henry VIII's eyes with full force upon Ireland. We journey through the 16th and 17th centuries to see the rebellions, persecutions and terrible attacks upon the Irish faithful by the English government, including plantations, evictions and wars, as they tried to suppress and destroy the Catholic Faith in Ireland.

Punishments for Irish Rebels
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We look briefly at the life and martyrdom of Saint Oliver Plunkett and the terrible Test Act which required all persons filling any office that was military or civil, the obligation of taking the oaths of supremacy and allegiance and pledging to a testimony against transubstantiation and also of receiving the Catholic Sacrament within three months after admittance to office!

Saint Oliver Plunkett
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The Test Act of 1673
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
Next, we look at the cruel and neglectful English landowners, the potato famines and social and political unrest in Ireland as the continued attacks against the faithful Catholic Irish people continues, twhich takes us to the setting of the apparition of Knock in 1879.

Recreating Ireland
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

Mary McLoughlin
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The Apparition chapel at Knock
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We really enjoyed presenting the events that took place in Knock, Ireland. Having visited the Shrine several times ourselves, it was really nice to immerse ourselves in the beautiful and profound events.

We spent some time carefully aging the footage of our recreation of the visionaries and Archdeacon Cavanagh which draws the viewer back into the moments of August 21st 1879. Archdeacon Cavanagh was the parish priest at Knock at the time of the apparition. Although he did not witness the apparition himself, his love for Our Lady and the Holy Souls in Purgatory was already renowned. He was self-sacrificing, devoted, never took a holiday and lived a life of service to his flock as well as having a life of deep prayer and contemplation. After the apparition he spent his time hearing confessions, preaching to the pilgrims, responding to letters and keeping a detailed journal of the miracles and healing that took place.

Archdeacon Cavanagh
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

Archdeacon Cavanagh and several visionaries
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

Archdeacon Cavanagh's journal
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
It was especially enjoyable to work with the recreations we filmed of the witnesses to the apparition. Alongside the main narration we recorded testimonies of four of the witnesses. This gives us a good look at the details of what they saw, the atmosphere of prayer, and also the significance of the vision which took place over 2-3 hours.

Mary Byrne urges her brother to come and see
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The visionaries are drawn to the gable
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions

The film concludes with a look at Knock after the apparition to the present day, including a short focus upon Monsignor Horan who is known today as the builder of Knock. For this recreation we invited our current parish priest to portray Monsignor Horan. He himself is from Ireland and had a good few stories to tell about Monsignor Horan.

'Monsignor Horan'
© 2018 Mary's Dowry Productions
We also included some photographs of a 1994 pilgrimage we took to Knock with our late parish priest. He was very devout and spent his retirement hearing confessions at Knock until his death three years ago. It was very special to us to be able to include him in our film.

Fr Enda Naughton at Knock
© 1994 Mary's Dowry Productions

Pilrimage to Knock
© 1994 Mary's Dowry Productions

Our film 'Our Lady and the visionaries of Knock' will be available soon on DVD from
Mary's Dowry Productions

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Satan hates Saint Gemma Galgani, Passion Flower of Lucca - August DVD Vlog filming update

Satan hates St Gemma Galgani
The Passion Flower of Lucca

Last night we decided to plan our August Vlog update about current film productions and we planned to make a special Vlog about Saint Gemma Galgani and the significance of the Passion Flower the following morning. We planned our Vlog, decided to stand in front of our passion vine at the end of our garden and made notes and gathered information. The vine has been creeping along with its beautiful flowers and fruit and looked magnificent over our back gate.

Imagine our shock when we woke up and began to get ready and found that someone was in the process of hacking it to pieces! We managed to stop them just in time so that we had a bit of a back drop and some flowers to be able to do our presentation but what timing!

It's lovely to be able to have a passionflower vine in a Catholic garden because the flowers have been used for centuries to speak about the Passion of Christ. All aspects of the flower represent certain elements of Jesus' Passion. Saint Gemma Galgani had a great devotion to the Passion of Christ and understood the significance of all that Jesus suffered.

Satan hated Saint Gemma Galgani, especially her prayers for the conversion of sinners. For two years Saint Gemma suffered the stigmata and passion of Christ every Friday. She had a great sense of the realty of sin and offered many prayers of reparation. Because of her link to the Passion of Christ, her desire to be a Passionist nun and her great purity, among the many beautiful names for Gemma are 'The Passion Flower of Lucca' and 'The White Passion Flower of Lucca'.

In several books or paintings of Saint Gemma, the passionflower vine and its flowers are often used to decorate the covers or accompany the image.

The Passionflower vine that grows at the end of our garden is a Blue Passionflower. It is also known as 'blue crown', 'flower of 5 wounds' and 'Jesus flower'. It is a wonderful Catholic plant due to its symbolism of the Passion. It is also persistent, hardy and sometimes called a nuisance!

Spanish missionaries used the structures of the plant to instruct converts about the Passion of Christ. Varies elements of the flower represent the Crown of Thorns, the Nails, the Holy Lance, and the colours represent heaven and purity.

The flower presents a beautiful link to Saint Gemma Galgani, the Passion Flower of Lucca and we look forward to presenting our DVD about Saint Gemma. In our August Vlog we shall be speaking about the flower and about St Gemma. We will be putting our Vlog together and it will be available to watch on our Youtube channel soon.

In March of this year we filmed some scenes from St Gemma Galgani's life for our DVD. Here are some screenshots of footage we shall be using in the film:

The girl who portrayed St Gemma for us made her Confirmation a few months later and chose St Gemma as her Confirmation name and patron Saint. What a wonderful Saint to choose!

Our film about St Gemma Galgani is coming soon from Mary's Dowry Productions.