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Father, we thank You for calling Shia LaBeouf to You. We pray that You would move in the hearts of more actors, God, and spread Your holy fire across Hollywood.
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Shia LaBeouf is a changed man. And it looks as though the spiritual prep for his latest movie role deserves a lot of the credit.

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Playing the lead in the upcoming biopic “Padre Pio” appears to have guided the actor toward a new commitment to Christianity.

The film relays the real life story of one of the most beloved Catholic priests and humanitarian figures, an individual who within Catholicism has been given the designation of “Saint.”

Padre Pio was an Italian Franciscan Capuchin friar who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and has been venerated in the Roman Catholic Church ever since.

He was known around the globe for manifestations that many believe could only have emanated from above.

Over the course of his lifetime in shepherding his flock, he exhibited numerous supernatural phenomena and miraculous occurrences, including the marks of stigmata (wounds on the body that correspond to those suffered by the crucified Christ), visions, healings, and the ability to bi-locate and prophesy.

The Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina is located in the Province of Foggia, Italy, the southern Italian region (Puglia), where much of the filming of the “Padre Pio” movie took place.

Shia accepted the starring role of the film in the summer of 2021 and immediately arranged to spend time with a group of Capuchin Franciscan friars who resided in Northern California.

Traveling later to Rome, he went to stay at a monastery in southern Italy, the same locale in which the movie had initially been filmed. He even chose to sleep in the same bed where Padre Pio had rested his head.

In a recent conversation with Bishop Robert Barron, Shia revealed how he was led to become a Catholic Christian.

Referring to the time spent at the California monastery, he said, “When I walked into this, my life was on fire.”

The “fire” of which he spoke related to the personal tribulation he was going through, not only dealing with feelings of shame and depression, but even thoughts of ending it all. This was because back in 2020 his former girlfriend had sued him, accusing him of sexual assault.

In the aftermath of the debilitating experience, Shia parted with his agency and made the decision to take time off from his career.

He described a moment where serious suicidal thoughts were flooding his mind.

“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” he said. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened.”

He also described the depth of emotion that had overtaken him.

“Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go…,” he said.

He came to a point where his past actions made him feel as though he wasn’t worthy of being loved by God or of being received into a faith community.

He would soon be in for a blessed surprise. Living with the friars, he got to experience the love and support his heart and soul were aching for.

As Shia interacted with the friars and immersed himself in the Bible, he felt an “invite” to “let go” of obstacles.

Learning about the gifts of repentance, redemption and forgiveness convinced him of that all-important truth – in God’s eyes he is, as we all are, precious, worthy, and yes, loved beyond measure.

“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,’” he explained. “I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission.”

A transformational event in Shia’s personal journey was experiencing the Catholic Mass in its traditional Latin form.

“While we were practicing Latin Mass, I was having genuine emotional experiences,” he said.

Shia thought he had taken on the “Padre Pio” movie part for career reasons. However, he eventually came to realize that the Ultimate Director was working on a most beautiful subplot.

“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,” he said. “The reach-out had happened. I was already there, I had nowhere to go. This was the last stop on the train. There was nowhere else to go—in every sense.”

No doubt Shia’s spiritual path has been a unique one. His mother is Jewish and his father is a Christian. Both a bar mitzvah and a baptism graced his childhood.

As his first religious denomination, he chose his mother’s Jewish faith. Then in 2004 he shared that he had a “personal relationship with God that happens to work within the confines of Judaism.”

He later discovered his father’s Christian conviction while filming a movie. He said in an interview in 2014, “I found God doing [the film] Fury. I became a Christian man. Brad [Pitt] was really instrumental in guiding my head through this.”

In June of 2022, while at a park in Pasadena, California, he was seen reuniting with his estranged father, where the two read from Bibles as they sat next to one another.

Shia sees his religious pilgrimage as analogous to his method acting approach.

“I like to be immersive,” he said. “I like all immersive experiences, not just acting. That’s probably why I like Catholicism as well. I like adventure, and that requires full immersion.”

It seems to me that we could all use an immersive experience in faith these days.

“Padre Pio” is scheduled to premiere at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, which runs from August 31 to September 10.

Are you encouraged by this conversion story? If so, share this article with your friends and family to encourage them!

(Article by James Hirsen. Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Susan CC
September 5, 2022

“Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go…,” he said.

“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…he reach-out had happened. I was already there, I had nowhere to go….There was nowhere else to go—in every sense.”

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.

Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Dear Heavenly Father, You put Godly sorrow upon Shia. Using his ego to draw him to Yourself, You broke his heart and led him to repentance. You gave him a new heart, he is now Your man. Thank you for this testimony and I ask for MORE. I am praying for Godly sorrow to fall upon the godless. Your Son and our Savior says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him… no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him.” Father, I am praying that TODAY, You will draw countless to Jesus. TODAY, would You draw countless into this soul shattering sorrow that leads to repentance and salvation. We need You Father. We need You Jesus. We need You Holy Spirit. Amen

September 5, 2022

Growing up Catholic, I reached out to God the only way I knew, with Our Fathers and Hail Marys. I remember as a child leaving a note to God, Jesus in the Nativity scene at church. In college it was a priest priest who led me back to Jesus when I was a mess, and told me about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Over the years I’ve been saddened by remarks like They’re Caaaatholic, which seemed like a put down.

September 5, 2022

Franciscan Friars: In our life of prayer we look to and faithfully strive to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary who “pondered all these things in Her heart” (LK. 2:51), especially in Her humble and hard- working life at Nazareth, where we reflect on Her being “full of grace” (LK. 1:35) and where She lived in the profound and loving intimacy with Jesus.
Since when did the above become part of a “born-again” Christian’s life? No where in any Bible I have read are we to strive to be like Mary. Mary needed a SAVIOUR just like we do, and is not an intecessor between man and GOD! THAT IS ONLY JESUS CHRIST…THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE! No man comes to the FATHER but by ME says JESUS! Is IFA some kind of ecumenical organization? Catholicism Does Not believe or worship like my Bible says. The ex-catholics I know renounced it when they became born-again just like ex-sinners and ex-muslims, etc.! We are all ex something! Someone, anyone please show me in my Bible, from Genesis to Revelation any such idol worship as cathicism does. It does not tell us to pray to Mary or saints…or to us them for interesting to GOD! I pray to my Heavenly FATHER in the NAME of JESUS period! FATHER GOD please reveal YOURSELF to Shia Lebeouf and lead him to JESUS CHRIST alone and the one and only true salvation in JESUS MIGHTY NAME! Amen!

Francie Robertson
September 4, 2022

Oh thank You Heavenly Father for SHIA!
When I saw the photo and who it was, I was not surprised. I watched the movie FURY when it first came out and was blown away by the depth of Shia’s performance (especially when he quoted scripture with so much of his heart in it!). He was most definitely the star of the film – an unsung hero!


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