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: