Since finding her way back to the Catholic faith seven years ago, famous Mexican telenovela star Karyme Lozano has had the opportunity to tell many people how praying the rosary has been of vital importance in her life. Lozano hopes she will soon have the opportunity to show the public at large as well.
Lozano is slated to star in and help produce the short film “Eyes of Mercy,” the latest endeavor from Vox Dei Productions depicting the power of the rosary. Currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the project aims to combine state-of-the-art visual and audio effects with its compelling script and original score in order to take audiences on a sensory journey exploring the profound impact of praying the rosary, a journey Lozano feels has the potential to inspire millions.
“The way it’s written is beautiful, and it’s very clear how the power of the rosary can influence not only the person who prays, but the person it is prayed for,” stated Lozano in a recent phone interview. “We want to tell that story to the best of our ability. We want to do it at a high Hollywood level so that teenagers, kids and the whole family may feel attracted to it.
“Because the purpose here is to evangelize; it’s to invite and inspire millions of people to pray the rosary,” she continued. “Especially these days, when the world is in chaos and there are so many bad things happening. We have the key; the key to making the world a better place. That’s the purpose of this movie; for people to understand and get to knowthe power of the rosary.”
Scheduled for a 2017 release that coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the miraculous apparitions at Fatima, “Eyes of Mercy” will feature Lozano playing the part of Doris, a mother who prays the rosary with a petition for her husband Ray, who is struggling with a crisis in faith. Helmed by award-winning director Roberto Girault (who also penned the script along with Brian Kennelly and Vox Dei producer Dennis Crow), the film relies largely on visuals to show a parallel universe in which the Virgin Mary, having heard Doris’ prayers, guides and protects Ray throughout his spiritual warfare.
“When I read the script, I thought, ‘Wow, this is so powerful; my character is so empowering and so beautiful,’” recalled Lozano. “And I identified with her completely, because when I pray the rosary, I pray for my husband, my daughter and my family as a way of protecting my family.”
Though Lozano feels a deep connection to the character of Doris today, it’s not a connection she would have felt in any capacity as recently as a decade ago. Growing up in Mexico City, Lozano was born and raised a Catholic, “but I didn’t really understand the faith, no one really explained it,” she explained. “I did first Communion and that’s it. I believed in Jesus before, but in my own way, in my own convenience. I didn’t believe in the Church and many aspects of the Catholic faith.”
Lozano fell in love with acting at a young age, and just after graduating from high school began studying at the worldwide industry-leading telenovela production company Televisa’s acting school, quickly launching her career as a popular telenovela actress. But while Lozano attained her wildest dreams, fortune and a glamorous lifestyle, she admits feeling a void that fame couldn’t fill.
“I lived my life upside down; everything was opposite of the faith,” admitted Lozano of her early success. “It was ignorance. I didn’t believe in marriage or understand the sacrament of marriage. I was a single mom. I didn’t believe in chastity. I was looking for happiness everywhere else: through fame and fortune, in material things, and I was empty.”
That all changed dramatically in 2009, however, when her father became terminally ill with cancer.
“When I saw his suffering, I think that started changing my heart in some way,” explained Lozano. “After my father passed away, I made a very deep prayer asking God for help and guidance and to open my eyes. I prayed very deeply for guidance and understanding, and to have God in my life in the right way. I opened my heart to Him. When you pray from the heart, miracles happen.”
And in the same way that “Eyes of Mercy” explores the power that the rosary instills both in those who pray it and those for whom it is prayed, Lozano feels that she mustered the strength to course-correct her life not only from her own prayers, but also from the prayers of her father.
“I think that when my father passed away, a miracle happened,” she said. “I really believe he prayed for me and said, ‘God, please take care of my daughter. Grab her!’ I thank God for grabbing me from the dirt and for helping me and opening my eyes. I always pray ‘God, please don’t let me go back to my prior life.’”
In her vastly different new lease on life, Lozano has maintained praying the rosary as a focal point of her daily routine. And Lozano continues to be awed by the happiness she derives from praying and reflecting upon the rosary’s mysteries.
“Before I came back to the faith, I had never even touched a rosary,” said Lozano. “But when I started to pray it, I realized it’s such a powerful weapon against evil. And it brings me so much peace and love. Through the rosary, in meditating and praying the mysteries, our mother Mary has brought me closer to Jesus.
“That’s what I really wish our secular brothers and sisters understood more,” she continued, “that Mary, through the rosary, is enabling us to better know, understand and love Jesus, and build a relationship with him.”
Lozano’s endeavor to build upon her Catholic faith has brought about another major change in her life: she no longer accepts acting roles in projects that are offensive to God or to women, even if it means leaving large sums of money on the table. That is why Lozano firmly believes that “Eyes of Mercy” was, quite literally, a Godsend.
“I want to be a good example to teenagers, but I also want to continue to do what I love,” stated Lozano. “So I recently found myself praying in front of a tabernacle: ‘God, please send me projects that will help me make a difference in the world.’ … A few days later, I got the script for ‘Eyes of Mercy.’ … And when I read it, it was so clear that God was responding to me.”
Though Lozano feels that the script was an answer to her prayers, she’s well aware that the process of producing the script into the kind of film it deserves to be will take a village. Securing the necessary funding will be a long battle, but Lozano views it as a prime opportunity for Catholics to make a statement.
“We have to show the secular world that, one, Catholic projects are made at a high quality; two, we unite in helping each other; and three, these types of projects are needed and supported,” said Lozano. “It is vital to show the world that family projects made with love, that inspire the world in many ways, are supported by many people.”
If you would like to learn more about “Eyes of Mercy,” visit www.voxdeiproductions.org; and if you would like to donate to the film’s Kickstarter campaign, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/voxdei/eyes-of-mercy.