Actor Shia LaBeouf has had some rocky moments in life. But his recent role portraying Padre Pio in the upcoming film Padre Pio has provided insight into his conversion to Catholicism, an announcement he shared last year.
Last year, LaBeouf spoke with Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota sharing that his conversion came at a low point in his life.
Director Abel Ferrara approached La Beouf about film focused on the life of Padre Pio.
According to the Padre Pio Foundation Foundation of America, “Saint Padre Pio was an Italian priest who was known for is adoration of charity and love for the people around him. He bore the wounds of Christ, which is still something that cannot be explained. Francesco Forgione was born May 25th, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy. He was the son of peasant farmers Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio. He had three younger sisters (Felicita, Pellegina, and Grazia) and one older brother (Michele), as well as two other siblings who had passed away as infants.”
It was while researching Padre Pio’s life that LaBeouf felt moved.
He tells Bishop Barron, “I’m falling into a group of men that met me in San Lorenzo, mainly a guy named Brother Jude, who starts talking to me about the Gospel. And he says, ‘Well, if you are going to play Pio you need to read the Gospel.’ And so I’ve never read the Gospel and he’s reading Matthew to me.”
“I read it for the first time and things start to strike me. Like John the Baptist. The story of John the Baptist being a reformed hedonist, being this man who was sort of scraggly and kind of felt like an old western character from — he felt like a cowboy. He felt kind of rustic and strong and masculine.”
“And my opinion of Christ at this point felt almost like I was reading about a Buddhist. Like this very soft, fragile, all loving, all listening, but no ferocity, no romance.”
“So all I know about was this very soft, weak Jesus, which didn’t fit into my idea of masculinity would be. My dad was a Mongol biker. It wasn’t appealing to me. But then I read about John the Baptist and it became quite appealing.”
During the interview, LaBeouf describes how his research became less about research for the movie and more about a spiritual journey.
Now, LaBeouf has detailed his plans for Confirmation.
“Now, in an interview to promote the upcoming Padre Pio film, LaBeouf provided an update on his journey to Catholicism informing the outlet he’s “in RCIA and scheduled to be confirmed in seven months. And I hope Bishop Barron comes down to confirm me. But we’ll see.”
He reiterated, “I’m in RCIA right now. Once a week I get on the horn with Father Bobby and we talk shop.”