“We wanted to tell the story of Fatima. But, what the story of Fatima is really is the story of a battle,” Rick Rotondi, Vice President of New Business at Saint Benedict Press, told CNA.
“That battle goes a long way back to the very beginning of the Bible, with enmity with the serpent. It’s a long story and that’s what we are trying to tell: the battle that Our Lady is engaged with in modern times,” he continued.
The new program is titled Queen of Heaven: Mary’s Battle for You and was released by Saint Benedict Press only a few weeks ago. The video series is broken down into eight different segments, in a document-style format and is hosted by Leonardo Defilippis, a Shakespearean actor and founder of St. Luke Productions.
Throughout the segments, over a dozen theological experts such as Tim Staples, Fr. Dominic Legge, Dr. Carrie Gress, and Fr. Chris Alar weigh in on the life of the Mother of God. The videos also take viewers around the country to places like the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the World Apostolate of Fatima Shrine, and the St. John Paul II National Shrine, where parts of the program were filmed.
The program was created for group study in parishes, where individuals can come together and learn more about the Queen of Heaven as a parish. However, individual study is possible through the use of DVDs.
“As you go through the program, you are learning about the richness of the Marian devotions and how to incorporate them in your life. That full experience is reserved for the parishes, but individuals will have access to the DVD content and a book,” Rotondi said.
Rotondi, who is also one of the script writers and developers for the program, noted that the whole series took about nine months to complete, and is a unique program unlike any other.
The release of the series at the beginning of March “was very deliberate,” Rotondi explained, saying that the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima was the driving force behind its debut.
“Seventy-five percent of the content is a study of Mary in the Bible and Mariology, the study of Marian doctrine, and even Our Lady of Lourdes and Guadalupe. Twenty-five percent is Fatima,” Rotondi stated.
Since its release only a few weeks ago, Saint Benedict Press has received positive feedback about the series, and they hope it continues to grow.
“It’s in a number of parishes currently, and we are getting very favorable responses,” Rotondi said.
Moving forward, the material for Queen of Heaven is also going to be available in a Spanish edition this summer, and DVDs will be released later this year. A book will also be published this May.
Rotondi believes that the goal behind this new series is “to have a deeper love of Our Lady,” and he hopes this program will be able to draw individuals closer to the Mother of God.
“Our Lady always brings us to her Son. I think a lot of people who will watch this love our Lord already, but may have not yet considered Our Lady in these ways,” Rotondi said.
“The greatness of Our Lord is also revealed fully when you realize what a beautiful Queen he has.”
By Maggie Maslak