Actor Shia LaBeouf announced recently that he had converted to Roman Catholicism after immersing himself in studies of the faith in preparation for his role portraying Saint Padre Pio.
The actor is as well known for his intense and hard hitting character portrayals as much as his off screen antics which have seen him run fowl of the law and LaBeouf admitted he had considered suicide before his conversion.
The 36-year-old lived in a monastery as part of his research for his role portraying Italian monk and Stigmatist St. Padre Pio and said he was drawn to the spirituality of the religion as he battled suicidal thoughts and deep-rooted feelings of shame.
“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,” LaBeouf said in an interview with American bishop Robert Barron.
“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.'” LaBeouf went on to say.
“It was seeing other people who have sinned beyond anything I could ever conceptualize also being found in Christ that made me feel like, ‘Oh, that gives me hope’.
“I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission.” The actor confessed in his moving interview with Bishop Barron.
Some have taken to social media to warn the young actor that his public conversion to Catholicism and his championing of the faith is likely to provoke the ire of the powers that be in Hollywood who have a decades long unrelenting hostility towards Christianity and Catholicism in particular.
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