See the Joyful Mysteries Where They Took Place in the Holy Land

‘Joyful Mysteries’ is the second installment of Paradisus Dei’s new video series, ‘Mysteries of the Rosary’

A scene from the Joyful Mysteries installment of ‘Mysteries of the Rosary’ is filmed in the Holy Land
A scene from the Joyful Mysteries installment of ‘Mysteries of the Rosary’ is filmed in the Holy Land (photo: Paradisus Dei)

The beautifully filmed and exceptionally inspiring Joyful Mysteries filmed on location in the Holy Land is newly released and ready for watching, free of charge.

Joyful Mysteries, the second installment of Paradisus Dei’s new video series, Mysteries of the Rosary, is beautiful and inspiring. Families, groups and individuals can travel via video to the places in the Holy Land where the events took place as well as to some places in this country to gather a few words of wisdom from various people to help deepen the mysteries.

The man who writes and hosts this series is Mark Hartfiel, the vice president of Paradisus Dei, a lay Catholic ministry devoted to marriage and family life. He offered his thoughts on some highlights of the Joyful Mysteries installment, and reflected on the current situation in the Holy Land.


Why did you film the Sorrowful Mysteries first, before these Joyful Mysteries?

I felt pretty strongly [I had] to do the Sorrowful Mysteries first because the Passion and Death of Our Lord is so central to our faith. At the time we’re in such a spiritual battle seeing all these wars, spiritually, culturally, within the Church and external to the Church.

I wanted to look at how Christ fought the fight. That was very relevant. I wanted to look at his Passion which is the greatest love story ever told. That was the main reason starting with what he suffered on our behalf, and how he won the victory over evil. Then the idea was — now let’s go back to the beginning.


What are some Joyful Mysteries highlights you’re happy will help viewers?

The joyful mysteries expanded the territory in which we would travel to film. All of the Sorrowful Mysteries take place in Jerusalem. They’re just the last few moments of our Lord’s life. And they’re all in Jerusalem proper, which is the Old Town. It’s very congested. There’s a lot of people, a lot of hustle and bustle in this city.

Doing the Joyful Mysteries we were able to go to places like Nazareth and Bethlehem and Galilee. Galilee is just so beautiful. We got to do a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and shoot drone footage. So it’s going to give the viewer some really beautiful scenery, which I think is very appropriate for joy — the Joyful Mysteries.

A highlight for me was to go to these different places. Ein Karim is where the Visitation took place with Mary and Elizabeth. Again, strikingly beautiful. And you get to see this path [in the video]. Scripture says Mary goes out into the hill country in haste to see her cousin Elizabeth. This was the journey that she went on. These are the hills that she had to walk. So the beauty in the filmography that the viewer is going to see in the Joyful Mysteries is visually pleasing. 


Some of the beauty and insights connected with these mysteries were with people stateside too.

There are some cool stories not just [about] being in the Holy Land, but some of the interviews we got to do such as with Sister Faustina Maria Pia with the Sisters of Life in New York. Many people are familiar with the Litany of Trust. She’s the author of the Litany of Trust. I just can’t tell you how perfectly that prayer fits in the episode on the Annunciation. So we spend the episodes contemplating Mary’s “Yes,” Mary’s Fiat. We end the episode giving our Fiat. And we actually pray the Litany of Trust. Then Sister Faustina talks about the moment of inspiration in which she wrote the prayer.


How does the joy and the sorrow fit together?

Another amazing dynamic is when we pray these mysteries, we separate the sorrow from the joy. We have the Sorrowful Mysteries; we have the Joyful Mysteries. What I’ve come to learn through the process of going through this — in the heart of God, it’s just one act of love. And in the heart of Our Lady and her Immaculate Heart, it’s just one movement of love. And in that movement of love, we experience both joy and sorrow; they’re not necessarily separate in the heart of God and the life of God and the life of Our Lady. In fact, three of her seven sorrows take place during these Joyful Mysteries.

I didn’t go into the series expecting them. But as we see, she experienced this consolation at the Cross when Dismas is converted. During the Joyful Mysteries, she experienced this great sorrow. Simeon prophesized her heart would be pierced by a sword. She loses the Christ Child. There has to be a great sorrow in the heart of Our Lady as they are escaping and fleeing into Egypt after the Prince of Peace has been born into the world. So, three days after we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, the Church remembers the massacre of the Holy Innocents on Dec. 28.

How do you see people relating to this?

So even in the midst of this joy, we enter into this great mystery of our own lives. There’s joy right there and sorrow. You don’t know what the next moment is going to bring. You’ll begin to learn when a heart is so open to love, such as the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They love so much. They open themselves to the vulnerability of having their heart pierced by a sword. It’s a heart willing to suffer on behalf of their children, on behalf of another.

That’s what we find in the heart of Jesus. And that’s what we find in the heart of Mary. It’s a heart open to love and therefore wounded because it loves so much. This is the piercing of the heart that takes place. Mary experienced that. It wasn’t just at the cross that she experienced that. That was the manifestation of the fullness of the wounds.

In fact, with the current events that are taking place there in the Holy Land, I think Jesus wept over Jerusalem in the Scriptures and he continues to weep over Jerusalem now. And Our Lady’s heart continues to be pierced by this constant conflict. Because she has this great love for her children to see them at war with each other is a great sorrow.


Will the situation affect continuing with filming the Glorious and Luminous Mysteries?

We planned to go back in mid-February to do the Luminous Mysteries. That doesn’t look very good right now. We have all sorts of our own ideas of what we could do. But this whole project was born out of prayer and silence. And I felt it really came as Our Lady’s initiative. This is all so new and fresh that I need to really take some time to confirm what God wants us with the rest of the project.

But one of the ideas that’s high on the list right now would be to do the Glorious Mysteries next. And if you look at the five Glorious Mysteries, they don’t all take place on earth, so to speak. Mary is assumed in heaven, and she’s crowned in heaven. So it is possible to maybe have a different location for that. One of the ideas we are praying through is the possibility of doing more of a European trip. And maybe going to Lourdes, Fatima, Rome and a few other places to possibly do the Glorious Mysteries next.

It’s an opportunity to just surrender and trust in God and, more than anything else, pray for the people whom it’s affecting there. And for Israel.


From being in the Holy Land filming the Mysteries of the Rosary, any thoughts on the current situation there?

This is not a political statement; it’s a spiritual statement: The world needs Jesus. Whether it’s this situation or any situation, the world needs Jesus. And the crazy thing about this particular situation is, he’s right there. He came to that spot. And sometimes I find myself asking the question through this all: “Lord, how could this be?” It seems so scandalous that there’s still this conflict where the Prince of Peace came. How is there so much conflict in the place where the Prince of Peace was born and walked? And I find myself in prayer receiving the answer: “Mark, this is where I came because there was conflict.”

So God entered into human history 2,000 years ago, but he specifically entered into human history and a place in the world where there was already constant conflict. He fully inserted (himself) into the mess of the situation of sin. And he entered into that to offer us hope and offer salvation and give us the answer, which is ultimately a divine love.

The fullness of love is heaven. The fullness of hate is hell. And what we’re seeing on our televisions, and on our cellphones, we’re seeing hell being unleashed on earth. And it’s just hatred. And our Lord is Love Incarnate. And so those two realities are face to face, and eternal souls are at stake.


Anything thought you would like to add about this newest series, the Joyful Mysteries?

What struck me so profoundly is that I believe the world is desperately in need of a joyful Christian witness. The New Evangelization will be marked by Christian joy. Mother Teresa said, “Joy is the net of love to catch souls.” As Christians, if we’re called to be fishers of men, we’re called to be fishers of souls. The Lord is telling us this is how we do it. We have to be very careful as we go out.

We’re certainly called to admonish the sinner. And we’re called to have joy now. We’re called to have the fullness of truth and to tell people about it. But if we don’t do that in joy and in love, we’re not really good bait to catch those fish.

The world has to see something different in a Christian. They have to see a joy that transcends the tribulation — these moments of tribulation which are enormous at every turn. If people don’t see in us a joy that transcends all of that, they’re not going to see the God whom we preach. Our word won’t be meaningful and authentic until they see the joyful Christian witness. It’s not something you manufacture, but only something you receive from the gift of the Holy Spirit. So we have to be deeply in tune with God, we have to beg him for his spirit and ask him for a joy that transcends the tragedy of this world.


Watch the Joyful Mysteries and other Rosary videos free at Joyful Mysteries and Mysteries of the Rosary.