Fr. Richard Čemus, SJ



Fr. Richard Čemus, SJ, was born in Prague in 1954. His family was persecuted by the communist regime due to religious practice. Because of this persecution, his father spent 7 years in prison. In 1970, his family immigrated to Germany.


Fr. Čemus began highschool in Berlin and finished in Fürstenfeldbruck. From 1975 to 1981, Fr. Čemus studied Theology and Philosophy; first at Freiburg im Breisgau and later in Salzburg, Austria. Later. Fr. Richard also studied Russian religious thought at Lateran University in Rome.


Joining the Society of Jesus in 1983. he made his novitiate in Genoa, Italy. Fr. Čemus completed his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík. The thesis focused on Russian spirituality and prayer. Currently, Fr. Čemus teaches spirituality of the Christian East, Eastern Monasticism and Russian Spirituality at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

Country of Birth

Prague, Czech Republic

Degrees Held

Bachelors of Theology, Freiburg im Breisgau

Licentiate in Russian Religious Thought, Pontifical Oriental Institute

Doctorate in Russian Spirituality and Prayer, Pontifical Oriental Institute


Irenée Hausherr et la spiritualità de l’Orient chrétien. Actes du symposium organisé par Richard Čemus à l’Institut Pontifical Oriental le 3 avril 2003 à l’occasion du 25e anniversaire de la mort du P. Hausherr, OCP I/2004.


Ignatij Brjančaninov. Sulle tracce della Filocalia. Pagine sulla preghirea esicasta, 363 pp. Milano 2006.


Modlitba Ježíšova — modlitba srdce, Velehrad 1996, 77pp.


Spotkać Chrystusa dziś, Orientale Lumen 3, Warszawa-Lublin 1998.


Ha curato (assieme a G. Marani), il primo ed il secondo volume della storia del Russicum: Costantin Simon, The Pioneers and Witnesses of the Struggle for Christian Unity in Eastern Europe 2. The first Years 1929–1939, Roma 2002.


Traduzione dal francese (assieme a Petronilla Cemus) del libro: Tomáš Špidlík, Die Russische Idee. Eine andere Sicht des Menschen, Der Christliche Osten, Würzburg 2002, 623 pagine.


Assieme a T. Špidlík e M. Tenace: Questions Monastiques en Orient, OCA 259, Roma 1999;
trad. romena: Spiritualitatea Răsăritului Creştin III. Monahismul, Sibiu 2000;
trad. ceca: Spiritualita křesťanského Východu. Mnišství, Velehrad 2000.


La preghiera nel cristianesimo orientale: in M. Piantelli, a cura di, Le preghiere del mondo. Un’antologia delle più belle invocazioni a Dio, dai popoli privi di scrittura fino ai nostri giorni, Cinisello Balsamo 1998, 383–420.


Umění modlit se srdcem, in: Upřímná vyprávení poutníka svému duchovnímu otci. Velehrad 2001, 5–49


Ignatij Brjančaninov. Sulle tracce della Filocalia. Pagine sulla preghirea esicasta, 363 pp. Milano 2006.

Notable Projects

Currently, Fr. Čemus conducts research at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. In addition, for the last five years Fr. Čemus taught Russian Spirituality in Belarus to students.


His research focuses on Mysticism in the Eastern Christian tradition.


Favorite Quote


Love is the gate to knowledge.


– Euagrius Pontikus