Wednesday, 18 October 2017

This month we remember Saint Richard Gwyn, one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales

Saint Richard Gwyn is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, executed during the Elizabethan Era for refusing to deny the Catholic Faith. He was interested in history and studied the Welsh Bards. The Welsh Bards were especially known for using song and rhyme to keep alive the persecuted Truths of the Catholic Faith. Saint Richard Gwyn, a school teacher, husband and father, imitated their style and is most famous for his own poetry and outspoken defense of the Catholic Faith in Wales.

After being hunted, fleeing with his family, keeping good cheer and driving Protestant preachers and judges to frustration with his blunt and sometimes humorous banter, he was executed in Wrexham Market on 15th October 1581 aged 47. His feast day is celebrated on 16th October and in some places on 17th.

We were keen to produce a film about this great Welsh Catholic Martyr that not only gives a biography of Saint Richard Gwyn's life but also looks at the Welsh Bards and Catholicism in Wales during the persecutions.

There is only one portrait of Saint Richard Gwyn (seen on the cover of our DVD) so we recreated our own visuals for this film. 

We loved the contemplative spirit that he kept with him constantly amidst his family life, writings, debates, arrests and imprisonment. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

NEW FILM RELEASE - Blessed BARTOLO LONGO, the former Satanist who became the Apostle of the Rosary, Bartolo Longo

Now available on DVD

Our NEW FILM about Blessed Bartolo Longo is now available on DVD worldwide through our online shops:


Bartolo Longo was an Italian lawyer who, while studying for his law degree in Naples, Italy, drifted away from his childhood Catholic Faith, was influence by the anti-Catholic thoughts in the university and fell into occult practices. His search for meaning in life drew him towards Spiritualism which was popular among the students in the college. His experiences with the occult, New Age practices and Mediums attracted the demonic. Bartolo eventually decided that he wanted to be the one to communicate with these beings. He joined a Satanic cult, was ordained into the order and received an evil spirit who communicated with him about everything, often giving him contradictory answers and information. Gradually Bartolo was living a life of terror, nightmares and darkness. The prayers of his family assisted his escape from the occult. A Dominican priest gradually led Bartolo back to the Truth through Confession and exorcisms of his mind. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart Bartolo Longo was reconciled to the Catholic Church and longed to give his life totally to God. Our Lady guided him. After much searching, Bartolo was inspired to help catechize the people in Pompeii and build them a church. Over the years, the church became a famous Shrine to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii and a Basilica where the miraculous painting of Our Lady of the Rosary in housed. Bartolo wrote many works about the Rosary, the Fifteen Saturdays devotion, and led a long life spreading devotion to Our Lady.

Blessed Bartolo Longo's experience with the occult and demonic activities, influence and deception makes him a powerful teacher against the dangers of the New Age. In this film we cover many aspects of the New Age that have crept into Catholic Churches, parishes, schools and sometimes convents and monasteries. We look at Church documents and statements that clarify the Church's teachings against practices such as Reki, Labyrinth, Astrology, Horoscopes, Yoga etc...

Bartolo Longo had a very deep devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus after joining a prayer group dedicated to the Sacred Heart. He had a very special love for Our Lady and advocating the power of the Most Holy Rosary which earned him the title of APOSTLE OF THE ROSARY.

Our film about Blessed Bartolo Longo runs for 50 minutes.
Our unique film production style has been praised for not only presenting facts and biographical information but a prayerful and spiritual film experience


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

SOLDIER OF THE CROSS - Saint Alexander Briant, English Martyr


When Father Alexander Briant was arrested, his thoughts were immediately drawn to the Cross. His had been a mission where the Cross had always been present. He had had to leave England to study for the priesthood and return as a hunted man. His journeys would have taken place in all sorts of weather, oftentimes cold, wet, uncomfortable and he would have rested or slept often without a roof over his head. He could not wear his cassock in public if he wished to maintain his missionary work for he would have been arrested and the people would have been deprived of the outlawed Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. His heart would have been saddened to see the destruction of England's Catholic heritage about him and the majority of Elizabethans following the State Church. There were times of joy when he reconciled Protestants to the True Faith, heard Confessions, administered the outlawed Sacraments, but he knew he would one day be captured and so, like Our Lord, he kept the Cross, his final destination, always before his eyes.

Once in his prison cell, Saint Alexander carved a small Cross out of wood which he held with him at his trial. Before that, he was subjected to torture on the infamous rack. While suffering, he united himself to the sufferings of Christ and afterward manged to write to his superior that it seemed to him as though he experienced the hidden stigmata. He no longer felt the pains of the rack. He was profoundly moved.
St. Alexander Briant was chosen to be executed with St. Edmund Campion and St. Ralph Sherwin at the Tyburn gallows, December 1581.
He was a serene presence for both priests who suffered before him and the crowd came to look upon the young Fr. Briant as an angel for his face was radiant with light. He earned his crown of martyrdom on December 1st and was canonized a Saint in 1970.

Our unique film production style has been praised for not only presenting facts and biographical information but a prayerful and spiritual film experience.

Our film about Saint Alexander Briant is available through our online shops:


Shipping worldwide.

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 traveled 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. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

St. Francis - A Legacy of fire and blood - Saint Francis of Assisi, Feast Day 4th October, Mary's Dowry Productions 2011 DVD


His heart was on fire with such love of God that Saint Francis has been compared to the Seraphim. His love was so profound that he shed his own blood through the gift of the stigmata, bearing the Wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.

Our 2011 film about Saint Francis of Assisi is a good way to journey prayerful and spiritually with Saint Francis while refreshing ourselves with the details and events of his life and mission. Not all of us are called to give such a striking witness of our conversion and love of God and although Saint Francis stands out in an almost extreme way, his message is profoundly simple.
We are called to imitate him in our own unique journeys in the way that God calls each of us, and Saint Francis is a powerful guide to help us along that path daily.

Someone recently wrote to us to thank us for our style of film, saying 'I hate films about the Saints (but) this is how films should be done. Mary's Dowry, great job!'
It is true that we put a great deal of trust in filmmakers and many films can be off-putting especially when they deal with matters of our precious Faith.
Our film production style offers a personal way to encounter a Saint or English Martyr.

Saint Francis of Assisi DVD blurb:

He was "the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation." (- Pope Francis).
In this film we look at the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, probably the most popular Saint in the Catholic Church. He was an Italian Roman Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land and remains one of the most venerated religious figures in history, not because of his achievements but because of his life and message of simplicity, love and peace as well as his profound love for the Church, the Passion of Christ and his great example of prayer.
We journey with Saint Francis through his whole life including his conversion, his miracles, prayers, devotions and his legacy which is especially relevant today.
In 2007 Mary’s Dowry productions created a new form of film media to present the lives of the saints. Mary’s Dowry Productions recreates stunning silent visuals, informative, devotional narration, and original contemplative music that touches your spirit to draw you into a spiritual encounter with the saint. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear. Our films seek to offer a window into the lives of our saints. Using your spiritual senses we invite you to shut out the world, sit prayerfully and peacefully and go on a journey of faith, history and prayer with this Holy Saint and Founder.
Length and Format:
The film runs for 45 minutes and is available on Region Free DVD worldwide.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

NEW film, Catholic DVD, Saint Aidan of Linisfarne, the Apostle of the English

The Apostle of the English

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne is known as the Apostle of the English. This inspiring Irish monk is most famous for his missions to the British from Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island. His specific approach to evangelization was met with great success due to his own personal witness of faith and piety. In our new film,we look at Saint Aidan's life and mission as well as Saint Bega of Bees who is linked to Bishop Aidan, Celtic Christianity in the history of the British Isles, the great Precepts of the Church and Lindisfarne today.

We have wanted to produce a film about Saint Aidan for years. This film has been in production for two years and we are pleased to finally have it stocked in our online shops and through AMAZON. Not only is this a good way to learn and appreciate Saint Aidan's life and mission, but it is a devotional resource for one of our great British Saints.

Saint Aidan's method of evangelization was fruitful due to his simple, clear preaching of the Truths of the Faith and the Catholic Church. We take a look at the Precepts of the Church in a likewise way, a useful tool for people today who are not aware of our obligations as Catholics in the life of Faith.

As well as looking at Saint Aidan's life and walking his missions with him, we explore the facts about Celtic Christianity as well as its myths and legends, leading us to the present day and how Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne remains a shining light of truth and inspiration for the English and the Universal Church.

Our film about Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne is now stocked in our online shops and through AMAZON under our seller profile Mary's Dowry.

Direct link to our online shop IS HERE:

Celebrate Fatima 100 - NEW Fatima 'fridge magnets' - set of 5 Holy Reminders exclusively from Mary's Dowry Productions

NEW set of 5 quality fridge magnets from Mary's Dowry Productions

We are currently re-stocking our popular sets of fridge magnets which will be appearing in our online shops and AMAZON over the next few weeks, especially as we draw near to the close of the Year of Fatima. Our set of 5 'Fatima' fridge magnets have always been popular as gifts or for personal use and we love these Holy Reminders on our own fridges at our homes.

Our line of Saints and Historical fridge magnets discontinued several years ago due to cost effective production problems but we are pleased to be able to re-start these items and stock them once more as materials and production costs have improved.

Fridge Magnets are a great way to have a Holy Reminder present in our kitchens.

Each magnet size is 6cm x 4 cm

Durable plastic with large flat magnet set in the back of each.

We use fast and reliable postage in secure, padded packaging exclusively from the United Kingdom. Many people have been adding a set to a DVD order in our online shops for good value in postage, especially to the USA. 

The FATIMA 100 set can be seen and purchased here:

Celebrate FATIMA100 with a set of 5 quality Fatima fridge magnets comprising 1 each of: 

Our Lady of Fatima
The Three Shepherd Children
Lucia dos Santos
Saint Jacinta Marto
Saint Francisco Marto.

Browse through our DVDs at our online shop for films about St. Jacinta of Fatima, St. Francisco of Fatima and many more Saints and Historical figures celebrating our Catholic faith and heritage.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

A priest's defense of the Most Holy Eucharist - Elizabethan England, English Martyr, Saint Polydore Plasden

A Priest's Defense of the Most Holy Eucharist

In 2010, Mary's Dowry Productions produced three films, intricately linked, on the lives and missions of three English Martyrs, who were also three friends: Saint Edmund Gennings, Saint Swithun Wells and Saint Polydore Plasden. Saint Swithun was an Elizabethan gentleman with connections to Shakespeare, who left his countryside sporting life to relocate to the heart of London. There he established a safe house for hunted Catholic priests complete with a hidden, upstairs secret room where the outlawed Mass could be offered. 

Two missionary priests and friends, Saint Edmund Gennings (24 years old) and Saint Polydore Plasden (28 years old) traveled to Swithun's home in Autumn of 1591 where they greeted once more Swithun, his wife, daughter and staff, and stayed at the safe house to offer Mass.
It was during Mass that Queen Elizabeth I's chief priest-hunter, a ruthless torturer named Richard Topcliffe, stormed the house with an army of men to arrest all in attendance, especially the two priests. Young Father Polydore bargained with Topcliffe at the door that should they be permitted to finish Mass they would go quietly with him. Surprisingly, the priest catcher agreed.
Father Polydore took meticulous care to consume every fragment and particle of the Most Holy Eucharist and purify every sacred vessel used in the Holy Sacrifice, knowing that Topcliffe was waiting to drag he and Father Edmund to the Tower to torture and then execute them both. Despite imminent terror and crushing oppression, this devout, calm and deeply reverent English priest was determined that the Most Holy Eucharist would not be subjected to sacrilege or desecration at the hands of the impious Topcliffe and his men.

Father Polydore Plasden, along with Father Edmund Gennings, several laymen and women, servants and Swithun's wife, were taken under guard to be questioned, imprisoned and tortured.
On a cold, dreary December morning, Saint Polydore joyfully went to his death, parting with his friends, Saint Edmund and Saint Swithun who were executed outside Saint Swithun's house, to the infamous Tyburn Triple gallows.

Saint Polydore Plasden's incredible witness to the Catholic Faith at the gallows so moved the crowd that among them, Sir Walter Raleigh, stepped up to stop the execution. He sent a message to the Queen to spare Father Polydore, but the Queen refused. Sir Walter Raleigh insisted that this brave, young Catholic priest be allowed to hang until dead before his body was brutally butchered.

Our films about these heroic witnesses to the Faith are available on DVD through our online shop.
As seen on EWTN

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Blessed Margaret Pole and Queen Mary I of England - two historical, Catholic films now available on DVD


Two historical Catholic films now available on DVD

Our film about Margaret Pole: Countess of Salisbury was produced in 2009 and filmed with permission at Cowdray House ruins in Midhurst, a significant location in the life of Blessed Margaret Pole. We love to produce films about known historical figures, especially those with important English and Catholic details, so a film about Blessed Margaret Pole was completed two years after we founded Mary's Dowry Productions.
Our film journey with Blessed Margaret Pole is an informative and moving testimony to her faithfulness to England and her unwavering devotion to the True Faith. Blessed Margaret Pole was the Countess of Salisbury and the last of the Plantagenet Dynasty. She was the friend of Queen Katherine of Aragon and the Godmother of Princess Mary Tudor. She made an enemy of King Henry VIII when she refused to accept the King's break with the Church. King Henry VIII imprisoned his daughter's Godmother in the Tower of London and had her beheaded when she was 67 years of age. We wanted to produce a film that especially journeyed with Margaret Pole in this turning point of English history that presents both information and facts as well as her character, bravery and spirituality.

After producing our film about Blessed Margaret Pole, we were keen to produce a film about her Goddaughter, Queen Mary I of England. It took us 7 years to get around to finally making and releasing our film about Mary Tudor, which is now available worldwide on DVD.
We hope to be able to produce a film about Queen Katherine of Aragon within the next year or two (we are presently working on her costume) and are pleased meanwhile to have films available on DVD about these two important women in England's Tudor history.


are both available on DVD through our online shops:

Saint Edith Stein - FEAST DAY Wednesday 9th August. Carmelite Martyr - film

Feast day - August 9th

In 2015 we filmed for a DVD about Saint Edith Stein. Many people in our parish had never heard of Saint Edith Stein (!) so we organised a filming day for three Catholic Martyrs who were murdered for the Catholic Faith by the Nazis. These were Saint Edith Stein, St. Maximilian Kolbe and Blessed Titus Brandsma. We spent a day filming key moments from their lives for a DVD presenting each of their biographies with the help of parishioners and friends.

Our film about St. Edith Stein runs for half an hour and is packed with biographical and spiritual detail. We journey with Saint Edith Stein through her early life, her studies, writings, her conversion to the Catholic Faith, her entrance into Carmel, her escape from Germany and her beautiful Carmelite spirituality, letters and writings to her arrest, her journey to Auschwitz and her moving death.
We were able to cover some truly inspiring elements of St. Edith's thoughts and writings, prayers and example in the face of evil.

Our film about St. Edith Stein is available on DVD and is a good way to learn about her, to share her story with others, and to celebrate her feast day this year.

To purchase copies:

TWICE HANGED - Blessed John Woodcock - English Martyr. Reading for August PART TWO


St. Alexander Briant - Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot © 2012
On hearing his sentence, Blessed John Woodcock exclaimed,
The priests Thomas Whitaker and Edward Bramber were condemned at the same time. The following night Father Woodcock spent in prayer and contemplation. At the dawn of day, he and his companions were led out in the usual way to execution. An immense and noisy crowd followed them. Catholics present were greatly heartened by their constancy, and not a few others were astonished at it. Father Woodcock was the first to mount the ladder. After he had said a few words on the Catholic Faith he was interrupted and cast off.
 It is said that, by some accident or through the carelessness of the executioner, the rope broke, and he fell to the ground. At the sheriff's order he mounted the ladder again, and, after being thus hanged a second time, was cut down and butchered alive; Lancaster, 7th August 1646.

"Thy dead men shall live, my slain shall rise again; awake and give praise, ye that dwell in the dust." - Isa. 26. 19.

Reading from the Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales by Henry Sebastian Bowden - 5th August.

For films about the lives and missions of the English Martyrs on DVD visit:

FORWARD TO THE MARK - Blessed John Woodcock - English Martyr - Reading for August PART ONE


St. Edmund Campion - Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot © 2009
We were privileged to attend the beatification of Blessed John Woodcock by Pope John Paul II on 22nd November 1987. He and the other 84 Martyrs who were beatified that day have a special place in our hearts and in Mary's Dowry Productions.
Blessed John Woodcock was executed on 7th August 1646.
Blessed John Woodcock was born in Leyland, Lancashire, in England. His parents, Thomas and Dorothy Woodcock, the latter a Catholic, were of the middle class. Woodcock converted to Catholicism about 1622, and after studying at Saint-Omer for a year was admitted to the English College, Rome, on 20 October 1629.
On 16 May 1630, he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in Paris, but soon afterwards transferred himself to the English Franciscans at Douai. He received the habit from Henry Heath in 1631 and was professed by Arthur Bell a year later. For some years he lived at Arras as chaplain to a Mr. Sheldon.
Late in 1643 he landed at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and was arrested on the first night he spent in Lancashire. After two years' imprisonment in Lancaster Castle, he was condemned on 6 August 1646, on his own confession, for being a priest, together with two others, Edward Bamber and Thomas Whittaker.
On 7 August 1646, in an attempted execution, he was flung off a ladder, but the rope broke. He was then hanged a second time, was cut down and disemboweled alive. The Franciscan Sisters at Taunton possess an arm-bone of the martyr.
John Woodcock was among the eighty-five martyrs of England and Wales beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 November 1987. (Wikipedia)

St. Alexander Briant - Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot © 2012
Reading for 4th August from the Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales:

Born in Lancashire in 1603, he was educated at St Omer and the English College at Rome. There he conceived a desire for a stricter life and found admission with the Capuchins in Paris.
"I have put on the habit, I praise sweet Jesus, almost three months," he wrote; but his joy was short. Owing to the opposition of relatives in England and to his weak health, he was dismissed. He felt these reasons to be insufficient, and his aim never slackened to be a religious and, further, to go on the English mission. Eventually after many difficulties, he was professed among the English Franciscans at Douay, and ministered zealously for a time in England.
Although his health got worse, he was allowed for a second time to sail to England. He had scarcely landed at Newcastle when he was apprehended; he remained for two years in Lancaster Castle, till he was sentenced, his perseverance rewarded.

"Forgetting the things that are behind, I press forward to the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus." -  Phil. 3, 13-14

For films about the lives and missions of the English Martyrs in England visit 

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
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