Shia LaBeouf Converts to Catholicism

by Joe Rutland

Actor Shia LaBeouf, who has been working on a movie about Padre Pio, is speaking out about his conversion to Catholicism. LaBeouf has been studying about the Catholic mystic, who is revered because of stigmata on his hands. The actor has been through some personal trials in his life. But staying with Franciscan Capuchin friars helped him better understand Padre Pio. LaBeouf will play the saint in an upcoming movie, the New York Post reported.

The actor first engaged with the church while living with a monastery of Franciscan Capuchin friars. He did this in order to better understand the late mystic St. Padre Pio, whom LaBeouf portrays in the upcoming movie. LaBeouf talked at length about his conversion with Word on Fire Catholic Ministries’ Bishop Robert Barron.

Shia LaBeouf Claims That He ‘Had A Gun On The Table’

“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” LaBeouf said during the interview. “(And) 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.”

LaBeouf would tell Barron that he knew that God was using his ego to draw the actor closer to God. “Drawing me away from worldly desires,” he said. “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.'” 

One thing that reportedly helped him understand his life better were the Christian ideas of sin and forgiveness. LaBeouf would begin to get a better grasp on his own situation thanks to these two things. Yet last year, life was not treating him very well. LaBeouf happened to be charged with petty theft and battery, which are misdemeanors. Then, his former girlfriend FKA Twigs would sue him over his alleged abusive behavior. Yet another former girlfriend of the actor also was listed in the suit and claimed he was abusive toward her.

Padre Pio is a film that is being directed by Abel Ferrara. The movie will explore the life of the Franciscan Capuchin mystic. For historical context, Padre Pio was born as Francesco Forgione in southern Italy in 1887. His stigmata were crucifixion wounds like those on the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Padre Pio died in 1968 at the age of 81. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999, then canonized in 2002. Ferrara had previously done a short documentary on him.