The whole purpose of Christmas is reconciliation. Through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, His passion, death, and resurrection, God’s mercy flowed into the world, the breach of original sin was mended, and fellowship between God and man was restored. Each Christmas commemorates again this wondrous gift of reconciliation and love. Read the rest…
I have often been amazed at how God answers a particular question, responds to a petition, or gives me guidance on a specific issue through Sacred Scripture. The reality of this points to a great truth — God is always seeking to reveal Himself and His will to us. In fact, one spiritual writer tells us that God already had us in mind when He inspired the evangelists in their writings. Consider this as you pray the Scriptures using Read the rest…
Hopefully, your experience of praying Holy Scripture using the Lectio-Divina form of prayer was a good one. However, it can take a bit of perseverance if this is new to you. Do not be discouraged, but continue to call upon the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Read the rest…
Great events are marked by great preparation. A wedding, the coming of a new baby, graduations, special anniversaries, significant birthdays, and celebrations of all sorts are often months in the planning. Read the rest…
On Sunday, October 13th, Pope Francis will consecrate the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. How do we prepare ourselves for such an awesome event?
Many of you may already be using the 33 Day Preparation described in True Devotion to Mary or perhaps you are using Fr. Gaitley’s outstanding program, 33 Days to Morning Glory to get ready for this special day. Read the rest…
Friends, I have been privileged to be part of the team to preview the upcoming film “Mary of Nazareth.” From beginning to end, this breathtakingly beautiful movie had me riveted. It has the power to do for the life and story of Our Blessed Mother what the “Passion of the Christ” did for the story of Jesus’s passion. As the ending credits rolled across the screen, I was held in prayer and gratitude both for the life of Mary but also for the gifted artists and creators of this epic film. I am happy to give it my unabbreviated endorsement. As Catholic Christians, we need to show our support for well made movies that uphold our values and positively portray the realities which we hold dear. I strongly encourage you to support this movie. Go and take your family and friends with you!
Mary of Nazareth: An Epic Film on the Mother of Christ
MARY OF NAZARETH is an epic new motion picture on the life of Mary, mother of Christ, from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus.
This full-length feature film about the life of Our Lady, shot in English in High Definition, was filmed in Europe in very authentic locales with outstanding cinematography, a strong cast, and a majestic music score . Actress Alissa Jung gives a beautiful, compelling and inspired portrayal of Mary. Pope Benedict XVI had the opportunity to screen this film in the Apostolic Palace, and was touched by the portrayal of Mary so movingly revealed on film.
The film vividly captures the essence of Mary’s profound faith and trust in God amidst the great mysteries that she lived with as the Mother of the Messiah, her compassionate humanity and concern for others, and the deep love that she and Jesus shared for one another. This movie underscores her special role in God’s plan for our redemption, her unique relationship with Christ, and the tremendous suffering that she endured in union with his passion and death, as well as her serene joy at his Resurrection.
Directed by acclaimed European film director Giacomo Campiotti (BAKHITA, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, ST. GIUSEPPE MOSCATI) and written by Francesco Arlanch (RESTLESS HEART, PIUS XII, POPE JOHN PAUL II), in addition to the luminous performance by Jung, the film provides inspiring portrayals of all the main roles, including Andreas Pietschmann as Jesus, Luca Marinelli as Joseph, Paz Vega as Mary Magdalene and Antonia Liskova as Herodias. The original music score was written by Guy Farley.
Originally a 200-minute film, it has been edited down to 153 minutes for the theatrical release.
MARY OF NAZARETH will become available for sponsored screenings in theaters through Ignatius Press and Carmel Communications beginning October 1, 2013. Don’t miss your chance to bring the life of the Mother of Christ to a theater in your town during this limited engagement!
“In light of the reality that the Virgin Mary is God’s created masterpiece and the pinnacle of the feminine mystery, there is no harder person to portray in a movie than her and, yet, Mary of Nazareth offers the best presentation of Our Lady I have ever seen. Mary of Nazareth is an absolute theological and Mariological masterpiece! It will make you want to love her more than ever. Mary’s beauty is pure and ageless, her feminine mystery filled with wonder and virtue, and her divine motherhood is both tender and captivating. Without a doubt, this is the most stunning portrayal of the Virgin Mary on film!” Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC | Author, NO TURNING BACK: A Witness to Mercy
“With careful attention to detail and a remarkable cast, Mary of Nazareth is an impressively beautiful portrait of the life of the Blessed Mother. Starting with her unique childhood and following her life through the resurrection of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ, this film will bond families ever more closely to the life of a woman who forever changed our world. Come to know Mary for the first time, or renew your friendship with the mother of us all with a cinematic work of art that brings Mary’s amazing ‘yes’ to life.” Lisa Hendey | Founder of CatholicMom.com
“I was captivated from the first scene of Mary of Nazareth to the last! My appreciation of and entry into the mysteries of faith were deepened through the beautiful cinematic depictions of the annunciation, visitation, birth of Jesus, and His passion and death. I sat in quiet meditation as the credits rolled and thanked God for the gift of His Son, the Woman whose fiat brought Him to us, and St. Joseph’s loving fatherhood which fostered Him through time.” Johnnette Benkovic | Founder of Women of Grace, EWTN Radio and Television Host
“One’s love for Jesus and Mary should certainly be increased by this beautiful film of Mary of Nazareth which profoundly shows Our Lady’s role in the Redemption. St. Joseph, too, will win your heart. Perhaps the greatest beauty of the film lies in the fact that the members of the Holy Family are portrayed as real flesh-and-blood people. We loved this film!” Mother Assumpta Long, OP |Prioress General Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
“Mary of Nazareth helps us see Our Lord through the eyes of his Mother. This sensitive and delightful movie provides new insights into the daily life of Our Lady and her relationship with her Son. Her combination of joy and sorrow, faith and questions sheds light for us on the path of faith following the example of Mary. Gripping story, authentic background, faithfully orthodox with beautiful cinematography.” Steve Ray | Host/Producer, The Footprints of God
“Mary of Nazareth the movie? Really? But who can play Mary? To my surprise and delight, the actress in this film is remarkably beautiful, believable, and lovable. She opens up a window for all of us to peer into the often elusive mystery of our Blessed Mother, Mary. This film touched my heart.” Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC | Author, 33 Days to Morning Glory
“Powerful, captivating, and mesmerizing—Mary of Nazareth will transport you to another place and time and you’ll grow immensely closer to the Mother of God. Highly recommended!” Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle | EWTN TV Host, Author, Rooted in Love
“A terrific film that presents Mary as the woman of deep faith, revealing especially how she responded in her humanity to the mysterious call of God to be the mother of the Messiah, and shared so fully in his work of Redemption. This film can really help those who have questions or doubts about Mary, to see how she so generously cooperated with God’s plan to bring his Son into the world, and the great love and suffering that cost her.” Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR | Author, FATIMA FOR TODAY
I want to personally invite you to join me, Fr. Philip Scott, FJ and Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, President of Heartbeat International for our upcoming 7th Annual Women of Grace Retreat and Benedicta Leadership Institute. It is certain to be a time of grace and healing in which Our Lord will refresh you with His spirit and renew your zeal for the mission to which He has entrusted you. Here’s a preview of what you will experience. Please pray about coming and if you feel prompted, give us a call or register online today.
Your sister in Christ,
I have very exciting news! Peggy Hartshorn, President of Heartbeat International, an affiliation of over 1400 crisis pregnancy centers internationally, will be presenting our Benedicta Leadership Institute this year, July 11th – 12th. She will train all attendees in her highly successful method for communication and leadership called called the L.O.V.E. Approach. The theme of the Institute is “The L.O.V.E. Approach…For Such A Time As This (Esther 4:14).”
Called to transform the world one woman at a time, Women of Grace exercise the charism of authentic femininity through the gift of spiritual motherhood. With the Blessed Virgin Mary as their exemplar, Women of Grace seek to do for the beleaguered Body of Christ in our day what Our Lady did for the infant Church in hers. Empathy, self-donation, compassion, and the faithful witness to truth characterize this apostolate of love, and build a strong dynamic for a profoundly Catholic women’s leadership. The Women of Grace® 2013 Benedicta Leadership Institute for Women® will train women in a proven approach that develops these four virtues, and is applicable to all professions, vocations, states in life, and life situations. Women of Grace® Regional Coordinators and Facilitators will find this approach particularly valuable in their interaction with each other and in the work God has entrusted to them with their study group participants.
The L.O.V.E. APPROACH™ Is:
• Completely consistent with Sacred Scripture and Catholic Teaching
• A catalyst for achieving a “civilization of love” according to the vision of Blessed John Paul II
• A jump start for the “New Evangelization”
• Proven efficacious and effective with women via 1400 international crisis pregnancy centers
Attendees will come away with skill development in:
• Listening with empathy and understanding
• Opening options with loving concern and compassion
• Imparting a new vision of life and relationships with values and virtues faithful to God’s desire for us
• Extending hope others by helping them constructing a new plan for their life through goal-setting and strategy development
Margaret “Peggy” Hartshorn, Ph.D., is the developer of The L.O.V.E. Approach which has been used with great success in over 1400 crisis pregnancy centers internationally. Since 1993, Dr. Hartshorn has been president of Heartbeat International, the most expansive network of Christ-centered, life-affirming, pregnancy help ministries in the world, with over 1,400 affiliated pregnancy help centers, medical clinics, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and abortion recovery programs, located in forty-eight countries. She has been a guest on the Women of Grace® Television Program, seen on EWTN and hosted by Johnnette Benkovic, and is one of the guest contributors via video to the new Women of Grace® Study, Feminine Genius…”For Such A Time as This (Esther 4:14)”: Blessed John Paul II and Authentic Femininity.
For information or to register for the Benedicta Leadership Institute or the Women of Grace Retreat, both located in Malvern, PA, please visit our website here or call the Malvern Retreat Center at 1-610-644-0400.
Yours in Christ,
As we close in on the final hours of his pontificate, please join us in offering prayers for Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who has been such a tremendous gift to the Church and to the world. We love you Holy Father, and no matter where you are our hearts will be with you! Read the rest…