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Mel Gibson Introduced ‘Close’ Friend Shia LaBeouf to Traditional Latin Mass Services for ‘Padre Pio’

The actor's experience conducting research for "Padre Pio" led him to convert to Catholicism.

"Padre Pio"

“Padre Pio”


Shia LaBeouf may be emerging from a month of bad press over his involvement with (and exit from) “Don’t Worry Darling,” but the actor is able to take solace in his newfound faith. LaBeouf recently starred in “Padre Pio,” a new Abel Ferrara film that sees him portraying the eponymous monk who famously exhibited stigmata throughout his life. LaBeouf converted to Catholicism while working on the film (which may have contributed to his recent apologies for his past behavior) and credits his experiences attending traditional Latin Mass services with inspiring him to believe.

LaBeouf elaborated about his interest in Latin Mass in a new appearance on the Catholic web series “Bishop Barron Presents,” which is hosted by Bishop Robert Barron, the current bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. He explained that he was introduced to Latin Mass by his friend Mel Gibson, whose passion for historically accurate Christianity led him to film “The Passion of the Christ” in Latin.

“I’m quite close with Mel Gibson. I didn’t know how to get to Latin Mass. I didn’t know how to find it. You can’t, like, go online and type it up and find it,” LaBeouf said (though for the record, the online Latin Mass Directly allows users to do exactly that). “And he introduced me to a certain Latin Mass, because he’s very into that traditionalist thing.”

LaBeouf went on to say that once he began attending events populated with traditionalist Catholics, he became aware of the massive pressure that came with playing the beloved saint. But the intensity of participating in Latin Mass instilled a level of humility in him that made it possible to ignore that pressure.

“You walk into that realm, and you have people coming up to you once they know that you’re playing Pio. They start coming up to you and tugging at your shirt sleeve and saying, ‘Don’t get it wrong. He’s the only one we have.’ You start hearing things like that and you ship out with so much pressure,” he said. “Then you’re standing in front of the mass that he used to serve mass at, and you’re trembling in fear. And there’s no way you can actually find the agency that he had.”

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