This is a heartwarming story!
In an interview with Bishop Robert Barron, Shia Labeouf revealed he found the Catholic Faith while shooting for his upcoming movie “Padre Pio.”
Labeouf says “Pio saved my life.”
Before being offered the lead role to play Padre Pio, he says he was at the darkest point in his life amid public scandals, suicidal, and looking for meaning through spirituality.
“When I walked into this, my life was on fire. I was walking out of hell. I didn’t want to be an actor anymore. My life was a complete mess. I hurt a lot of people. I felt deep shame, deep guilt. I had a yearning to not be here anymore.
I was on my way out. I had a gun on the table. I was outta here. I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before, the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe.
You don’t know where to go. You can’t go outside and get like, a taco. But I was also in this deep desire to hold on.”
He explains he found Faith by accident. He originally headed into the movie focused on his career, not God.
“I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously. But there would have been no impetus for me to get in my car, drive up to the monastery if I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’m gonna save my career.’
And when I got here, a switch happened. It was like Three-Card Monte. It was like someone tricked me into it, it felt like. Not in a bad way. In a way that I couldn’t see it. I was so close to it that I couldn’t see it. I see it differently now that time has passed.”
Over the course of nearly 90 minutes, LaBeouf spoke at length about his devotion to the Latin Mass, peace he feels from the Rosary, his appreciation for Saint Augustine and Thomas Merton, and what it was like to receive the Eucharist for the first time.
“I start feeling a physical effect from it. I start feeling a reprieve and it starts feeling, like, regenerative, and I start enjoying it to such a degree I don’t want to miss it, ever.”
He added that he went to the Latin Mass “all the time” while preparing for the role.
“Latin Mass affects me deeply. Because it feels like they’re not selling me a car. It feels like it’s not being done to sell me on anything. And it feels almost like I’m being let in on something very special. The quiet, it activates something in me where it feels like I’ve found something. It feels like a special thing that you’ve found and you protect it and hold it and it’s yours.
“I was never an atheist. I was always an agnostic. I always had a belief, but I never had a connection. Latin Mass gave me something where I felt connected, which took me out of belief and into connection.”
A Franciscan Capuchin friar close to LaBeouf, Brother Alexander Rodriguez, says he is “always wanting to learn” more about the Faith. He attends Mass every Sunday and as much as he can during the week.
LaBeouf says although he is immersed in the Faith, he is not an expert. At first, he didn’t even know if he was baptized.
“I didn’t know I was baptized. I had been baptized earlier in my life and didn’t even remember it. My uncle had baptized me in the Trinitarian formula.”
Speaking about their interview, Bishop Barron said “anyone who is struggling to find the way to God will be interested in what he has to say.”
“It was a delight to sit down for an in-depth conversation with Shia LaBeouf, one of the most compelling actors of his generation. Shia is also a man with a fascinating story to tell regarding his spiritual journey.”
🙏 Pray for Shia LaBeouf!