At a time when religious freedoms are at stake and the faith is being tested, actor Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions knows the power of the Gospel to inspire hope in the faithful. That’s why he’s bringing the Word of God to life with his unique one-man performance of The Passion According to Saint Luke, performing in churches and communities across the U.S. this Spring. The production is a tremendous opportunity for churches to share the Gospel with the wider public in a new and dynamic way. Due to the high number of requests for the production during Lent and Easter of 2012, booking is currently underway for 2013.
With more than three decades of experience before live, film and television audiences, Defilippis hopes that his non-profit ministry, Saint Luke Productions, can give to our culture the gift of courage. “The hunger in young people, their idealism, is palpable. When they see Christ and His saints brought to life before them, it touches a chord, and these young voices sing out, ‘That’s what I want! That giving of self is the only thing that will make me happy.’ It gives them something to live for. That is why I do this work.”
In The Passion According to Saint Luke, the simplicity of the production enhances the audience’s experience of a personal encounter with Jesus. Unlike other pageant-style productions or films on Christ’s Passion, where realism is the goal, Defilippis’ performance relies on the power of the Word of God to penetrate the heart of each individual audience member. The script is taken word-for-word from the Gospel According to Saint Luke, and is enhanced by a beautiful set, lights and original musical score. The actor uses only a few simple props and a cape to recreate the compelling story of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, His anguished night in the Garden of Gethsemane, His agonizing death on the Cross, and finally His glorious Resurrection from the dead.
Leonardo Defilippis’ journey as an actor can best be described as unique. After years as a Shakespearean actor at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he embarked on a profound spiritual journey that led him to establish Saint Luke Productions in 1980. Countless individuals across the globe have seen the company’s live and film productions on St. Francis, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Thérèse, St. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospels of Luke and John. Their feature film, Thérèse, which ran for a year in movie theaters across North America, was a remarkable grassroots success and surprised the mainstream movie industry.
The actor’s latest live production, Vianney, the story of Saint John Vianney, has been performed for more than 120,000 people all over the U.S. and Canada, and his new television production, Vianney Speaks, highlighting the saint’s powerful sermons, is available on DVD. Leonardo’s voice can be heard daily on nationwide radio through Benedictus Moments, a radio and web series based on the daily meditations of Pope Benedict XVI.
“What our ministry is trying to do,” explains Defilippis, “is to break through the secular mindset of dependence on self, the myth that we have control over our lives, so that we might enter into the freedom of dependence on God. My job is to get out of the way, so that the Holy Spirit can touch souls. It is a very humbling experience.”
For more information and a complete tour schedule of The Passion According to Saint Luke, visit www.ThePassionDrama.com. For additional information about the minsitry of Saint Luke Productions, which is now offering three different live dramas through 2013, visit www.stlukeproductions.com.