As we draw close to the re-dedication of England to Our Lady as her Dowry, let us pray the prayer for England composed by Pope Leo XIII - our parish of the English Martyrs, Worthing, West Sussex has prayed this prayer together every week for over 50 years at Holy Hour and Benediction:
"O blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy "owry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home.
Here is a photo of one of the paintings in our Beatification booklet of 85 Martyrs for Britain in 1987. We were privileged to be able to attend this beatification - Saints and Martyrs of the British Isles pray for us!:
Here is a NEW film clip from Saint Claude de la Colombiere DVD from Mary's Dowry Productions. In this opening clip we see England's spiritual need in the wake of the Reformation and how Jesus chose the spiritual director of Saint Margaret Mary to take the Sacred Heart devotion to England.
Saint Claude de la Colombiere and the Sacred Heart in England:
As we prepare for the spiritual re-dedication of England to Our Lady as her Dowry, we look at many of the Saints who were called by Our Lord and Our Lady to bring the Truth to this land which was once known as The Island of Saints and the Dowry of Mary.
It was saint Margaret Mary’s confessor, saint Claude de la Colombiere, who was specifically chosen by Jesus to take the devotion of the sacred heart direct from Paray-le-Monial to England in 1678. Saint Claude was a French Jesuit priest, confessor to saint Margaret Mary and advisor to the saint as she received the great revelations of the sacred heart of Jesus for the world.
Providence sent saint Claude to St James’ palace in London to be preacher to the Duchess of York, Mary of Modena, the devout Catholic wife of the heir to the English throne, James II, who himself had converted to Catholicism.
When the infamous ‘Titus Oates’ plot broke out and a fresh wave of persecutions struck the recusant Catholics and Catholic priests of England, saint Claude met secretly with future English martyr saint John Wall and confided his admiration for the sacrifices priests were offering in the ‘land of crosses’. St Claude declared he would willingly give his life for the Catholic Faith in England but was exiled after having completed his task of giving the spark of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus among the faithful English. In this film we look at the life and mission of St. Claude, England and the Titus Oates plot as well as the first shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in England, linked to Blessed John Henry Newman.
Length and Format: This film runs for 35 minutes and is available worldwide on Region Free DVD format.
This week we paid a visit to a friend's garage. He stores the props for Mary's Dowry Productions because we don't have a garage ourselves. It's very kind of him because it means we can keep backdrops and numerous furniture and boxes of props we use when we have filming days.
The last filming day we had was in March 2018. Since 2008 we have incorporated filming key moments from the lives of the Saints and Martyrs in specific backdrops in the 18th century barn attached to our parish church of the English Martyrs near Worthing.
This means that friends and parishioners don a costume and portray a Saint for us, and they do a wonderful job. Because we have a mixed media style of production, we combine sacred art, film footage, narration and music to present the life of a Saint in film. This means that we can film all day without worrying about sound, we don't use the sounds. This is a good thing because the barn is close to a busy road and the day is peppered with ambulance sirens and motorbike engines - not at all fitting for an Elizabethan Era!
The consensus is to keep the cobwebs that have accumulated on the props. So that will be a fun filming day. We shall be using various items in the sets we shall be dressing in March for three new films about 3 of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.
This March we have planned (and are still planning) a filming day in the barn to acquire scenes from the lives of Saint Ralph Sherwin, Saint John Kemble and Saint David Lewis. We will also be heading off into the Sussex hills on a separate day to acquire film of our missionary Martyrs travelling.
We are excited to be able to make available through film media a biographical and spiritual look at the life of each of these Martyrs. More updates soon!
Full listing of Catholic films from Mary's Dowry Productions available here:
This week we have been finishing the narration for our film about Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God who is known as an Apostle of England and The Shepherd of the Second Spring.
God had been guiding the British people towards passing the great Catholic Emancipation Act that would reduce or remove many of the restrictions placed upon Roman Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws.
Catholics had been required to renounce the temporal and spiritual authority of the pope and Transubstantiation, particularly if they wished to serve in public office. The penal laws had started to be dismantled in the year 1766. The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 finally removed by law the most substantial restrictions on Roman Catholicism in the United Kingdom.
For 23 years, Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God prepared to come to England, suffering and praying in anticipation for the fulfillment of his calling to the Dowry of Mary.
His heart was consumed with desire for the conversion of England and Our Lady had an important role for her little Italian Passionist son.
When he learned of the Catholic Emancipation Act, Blessed Dominic wrote:
"O quam bonus Israel Deus! O quam bonus, O quam bonus Israel Deus! O quam bonus! O quam bonus? O Lord, other words can I not say! O how good thou art, O my God! “Merita supplicum excedis et vota:”
Yes O Lord, for thou hast infinitely exceeded the merits of him that offered his supplications unto thee! often and often have I prayed to thee for my beloved England, and now when I least expected it, I have heard the joyful news, which I so much desired, of the Emancipation of the Catholics of that Kingdom. “Merita upplicantisexedisti.”
But why do I speak of merits? What merits could I have, excepting such as would cast me into Hell? Not for my deserts; O Lord, but for thy own infinite mercy hast thou wrought this work. Not as yet, however, hast thou accomplished all my desires. No, my God, too much still remains to be done. My object was not merely to witness the Emancipation of the Catholics of England alone, but the return of the entire kingdom to the bosom of the Catholic Church.
This then now remains for thee to accomplish, and this thou wilt perform, not for my merits but for the infinite merits of thy divine son Jesus Christ. My heart, O Lord, will never rest content, until I behold that which I desire. Thou hast begun the good work, and do thou vouchsafe to finish and perfect it, through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever liveth and reigneth one God world without end. Amen."
Mary's Dowry Productions film about Blessed Dominic Barberi and the Dowry of Mary will be released soon.
Mary's Dowry Productions new film trailer about one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales can now be watched here:
HIGH STAKES is a NEW Catholic film from Mary's Dowry Productions UK about Saint Alban Roe, an English Martyr, who had a high-rolling strategy for souls in England when the Catholic Faith was outlawed.
Available from Mary's Dowry Productions on DVD and Instant Digital Download!
Saint Alban Roe was a convert to the Catholic Faith during Penal Times in England. Despite being expelled from seminary and getting into trouble with his fiery temper and often blunt wit, this pious and truly devout Englishman joined the Benedictines and returned to England as an outlawed Catholic priest to minister to the persecuted Catholics.
He was hunted and eventually arrested where he quickly learned the Fleet prison system that allowed him to walk the London streets by day, ministering the Sacraments, playing cards with prayers for ‘stakes’ and winning many converts.
This cheerful and often reckless soldier for Christ was eventually martyred for the Catholic Faith in England and is one of the celebrated 40 martyrs of England and Wales. Learn his inspiring story in this new Catholic film from Mary’s Dowry Productions.
Alban Roe was one of three Benedictine monks put to death for their faith between 1641 and 1646 under the ‘long, persecuting Parliament'. All of them are recorded by their contemporaries as notable not only for the zeal of their labours on the English Mission but also for their extreme cheerfulness.
Part of the work of Mary's Dowry Productions is planning the visuals needed when presenting the lives of the English Martyrs in film. With very few images of the English Martyrs available in painting or engraving form, (often none), our film production apostolate developed the mission of recreating key moments from the lives of the Saints and English Martyrs for an original film presentation of them.
Over the past 13 years we have spent many a Saturday in THE BARN attached to our local Catholic Church 'English Martyrs' in Goring-by-Sea, filming on sets with a variety of props.
In January, two of the Mary's Dowry Productions team (founders Bernadette and Emily) headed over to our local historic town of Arundel for a rummage about the antique shops looking for some new and interesting props to dress several sets we will be filming on in March this year.
Arundel is where Mary's Dowry Productions began in 2007 with the inspiration to produce a film about the life of English Martyr Saint Philip Howard whose castle is shown above (renovated and extended in the 19th and 20th centuries) and whose Shrine is located in Arundel Cathedral.
Emily ran the secondhand bookshop in Arundel for almost 10 years (2003-2012) so the first port of call was in the antique shop next door to the bookshop. (If you like to read, Emily pens novels based upon her years of book-selling which are available on our website in paperback and from AMAZON on Kindle Unlimited, Kindle and paperback worldwide - all proceeds go towards producing the films of Mary's Dowry Productions) : BOOK LINK UK
A delightful surprise was to stumble upon this original modern oil painting of Saint Philip Howard hanging on a wall on the 4th floor of the antique shop. Sadly we don't have any room for it but for any Saint Philip Howard fans this is a beautiful work of art priced at £85 if you are in the town!
After a good rummage and discussion six NEW old items were purchased for March's filming day.
An antique screen
A Falstaff jug (see below)
Two wooden plaques
A welsh tea party ornament
Three very old looking bottles of wine (wine present!)
A small tapestry of The Last Supper
We look forward to placing them in our sets!
Perhaps one day we will have a use for these...
This March we will be producing three more films about three more Martyrs for the group 'The 40 Martyrs of England and Wales':
Saint Ralph Sherwin
Saint John Kemble
Saint David Lewis.
More news soon! Head over to Mary's Dowry Productions YouTube channel for new film clips and trailers added regularly.
Released on DVD and Instant Video On Demand this February is a NEW film about an English Martyr, Saint Alban Roe, who is part of the group known as The 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.
He started life as a Protestant with a fiery character, often rude, reckless and fierce.
When he learned of a Catholic in prison who was firm in his Faith, Saint Alban (who began life as Bartholomew) went to the prison to convert him from his superstitions and papist beliefs.
Saint Alban Roe was the one who was set upon the path of conversion instead.
His journey saw him seek out Catholic priests, read and discuss with them, pray and eventually convert to the outlawed Catholic Faith in 17th century England.
Saint Alban decided to become a priest but was expelled from the seminary for his rebellious attitude and leading people astray (he loved to play cards and was often found in ale houses) but he was pious, devout and fervent and meant well.
He joined the Benedictines, curbed his attitude and used his zeal and fire to fuel his missionary work in England when he returned as a hunted Benedictine priest.
Eventually arrested and incarcerated in the Fleet Prison, Saint Alban was delighted to figure out the corrupt prison system that saw him able to walk freely during the day about the London streets provided he return to his cell at nightfall.
He used his freedom for ministering the Sacraments and seeking out souls especially in the local taverns and alehouses, which scandalized the Puritans, but since he was a Fleet prisoner already they could do nothing about it. His wagers were prayers and many a gambler lost to this wily priest and payed the forfeits in prayers, acts of contrition and invocations to Our Lady which led many to conversion.
Saint Alban Roe was eventually tried and sentenced to death for his priesthood and for refusing to deny the True Faith.
He is an English Martyr.
HIGH STAKES looks at the life, mission and martyrdom of this lively and inspiring English Martyr.
Over the past year we have been making our films about the Saints and English Martyrs available digitally for INSTANT viewing.
At Mary's Dowry Productions VIMEO Channel you can watch all of our films (more added regularly) on iPhones, Tablets, iPads, Smart TVS, with Roku, Android and other devices and services.
This is a fantastic way to watch the films of the Saints and English Martyrs on your digital devices, with free clips and trailers available too.
We have had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for making our films available digitally which has evolved into a new Catholic Film Club invitation for anyone, anywhere, to come along and get to know the English Saints, Universal Saints and English Martyrs through the new media.
Saint Alexander Briant:
From a young Catholic boy in Somerset to a hunted missionary priest in the City of London, St. Alexander Briant gained a reputation throughout Elizabethan England for being a Catholic force of good. He preached the Truths of the Faith not only during his celebration of the outlawed Mass, the priesthood and the Sacraments but in the shining example of his young, fervent life.
Father Alexander Briant travelled the country in disguise, sharing hidden lodgings with Fr Robert Persons who organised great Catholic missions for the hunted missionary priests. Although he was eventually arrested, his time before his trial and death was spent showing everyone the power of prayer. He declared that he was a Soldier of the Cross and stood like an angel of encouragement for his fellow Martyr Saint Edmund Campion.
Saint Alexander Briant is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. Our unique film production style has been praised for not only presenting facts and biographical information but a prayerful and spiritual film experience.
Length and Format:
The film runs for 30 minutes and is available worldwide on Region Free DVD.
He was born in Somerset, and entered Hart Hall, Oxford (now Hertford College), at an early age. While there, he became a pupil of Father Robert Parsons and he completed his studies with him at Balliol College, which, along with his association with Richard Holtby, led to his conversion. After leaving university, he entered the English College at Reims then went to the English College, Douai, and was ordained priest on 29 March 1578.
Assigned to the English mission in August of the following year, he laboured with zeal in his own county of Somerset.
A party of the persecution, searching for Father Parsons, placed Alexander Briant under arrest on 28 April 1581. Arrested along with Briant was Gilbert Bodey, brother of John Bodey. Gilbert Bodey was scourged at Bridewell and afterwards confined to Counter Prison. He was released on bond, and when not called to appear, escaped to Rheims.
In the hope of extorting information, Briant was sent to the Counter. After fruitless attempts to this end, he was taken to the Tower of London where he was subjected to torture. It was during this confinement that Briant penned his letter to the Jesuit Fathers in England requesting admission into the Society, which was granted.
He was arraigned with six other priests on 16 November 1581, in Queen's Bench, Westminster, on the charge of high treason, and condemned to death. In his letter to the Jesuit Fathers he says that he felt no pain during the various tortures he underwent, and adds: "Whether this that I say be miraculous or no, God knoweth." He was twenty-five years old when he was executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 1 December 1581.
Through either malice or carelessness of the executioner he was put to needless suffering. Edmund Campion and Ralph Sherwin were also executed with him.
Alexander Briant was declared venerable on 8 December 1921 by Pope Pius XI and beatified one week later on 15 December. Blessed Alexander Briant was canonized nearly forty-nine years later in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales with a common feast day of 25 October. His individual feast day is celebrated on 1 December, the day of his martyrdom.
From the 2017 Catholic film (DVD - ALSO INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD) 'Our Lady and the Visionaries of Knock' here is a clip looking at the miraculous light at Knock as seen by one of the fifteen Knock visionaries/witnesses.