Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer (2010/2011)

Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer

Executive Producer:
  • Patrick F. Gallo
  • Dwight Grimm
  • John Foster
  • Richard Devletian

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Opened: 04/08/2011 Limited

Quad Cinema/NYC04/08/2011 - 04/14/20117 days

Trailer: Click for trailers

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


Experience the mysteries of God with the ancients in the new full-length feature film and book, "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer," from SnagFilms and HarperOne.

Leave your busy, stressful world for a moment to discover the ancient and powerful Jesus Prayer. Known by generations of eastern Christians, this mystical prayer has been in use since the Apostles, but remains largely unknown in the west. For the first time on film, desert hermits, monks and nuns reveal the simple prayer, bringing us into their private cells, caves and sanctuaries in the Middle East, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Russia.

Travel on film to the far reaches of the east, discovering the Jesus Prayer firsthand with Emmy award winning theologian and author, Dr. Norris J. Chumley, and renowned historian and priest, Very Rev. Dr. John A. McGuckin. Join along as they take a modern exodus to the ancient lands where Christianity and the Church began. Witness the Jesus Prayer directly, still in use today. See some of the world's oldest treasures of religious art and sacred altars -- hidden away in monasteries and chapels -- off-limits to the outside world. Until now.

Eight years in the making, "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer" beings at the oldest surviving monastery and church in the world, St. Antony's from the 4th century, near the Red Sea in Egypt. Crawl inside St. Antony's cave where he lived for 46 years.

Meet Father Lazarus, former atheist, now its spiritual leader. Travel to Mt. Sinai where Moses encountered God -- to St. Catherine's Monastery to experience prayers and meditations with the monks, long before daylight. Voyage to holy Mt. Athos, Greece, where only hermits and monks are allowed, joining in continuous prayers and chants for the last 1,000 years. Come along as Father John and Dr. Norris bring you to Transylvania in Romania, encountering Christian sages and mystical masters. Explore caves and hermit monk's cells from the 13th century in Kiev. Hear the world's largest bell at Sergiyev Posad Monastery in Russia, heralding the arrival of the Russian Patriarch, His Eminence Kyrill. Join along with hundreds of monks, bishops, angelic choirs and thousands of devout Russians gathered to celebrate the holy mysteries of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

There has never before been this kind of access to such holy, ancient locations and secret practices. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime trip to the heart of God.

About the Filmmakers

Dr. Norris J. Chumley is an Emmy Award winning documentary producer, director and author whose work has been featured on major networks including PBS, NBC, ABC, A&E, USA, SHOWTIME, and HBO/Cinemax channels. He has received numerous awards including the SONY/American Film Institute's Grand Prize in Video and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Cultural Programming. He is currently a featured columnist for the Huffington Post, daily editor and columnist for, Executive Producer and Director of Media for Columbia University's Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, and the chairman of Manhattan Neighborhood Networks, the original and largest public-access television network in America. Chumley is also an instructor at New York University's Kanbar School of Film and Television.

V.Rev. Dr. John Anthony McGuckin is Nielsen Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Christian History, Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. Born in Newcastle, England, he is a priest-theologian of the Romanian Orthodox Church, a fellow of the British Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts and has authored 22 books including: Standing in God's Holy Fire: The Byzantine Spiritual Tradition; The Orthodox Church: Its History and Spiritual Culture; and The Book of Mystical Chapters: Meditations on the Soul's Ascent from the Desert Fathers and other Early Christian Contemplatives.