Shia LaBeouf said he became a member of the Roman Catholic Church after becoming a Christian while filming his upcoming movie “Padre Pio.”
The actor opened up about his conversion to Christianity in an interview with well-known Catholic figure, Bishop Robert Barron, that was released on Thursday.
The actor first got involved with the church when he moved into a monastery with Franciscan Capuchin friars to learn more about the late mystic St. Padre Pio, whom LaBeouf will play in the upcoming movie.
Before starting the project, LaBeouf said that a string of public scandals had put him in the darkest place of his life. He was drawn to spirituality and joined a number of faith groups to find meaning and fight off suicidal and hopeless thoughts.
LaBeouf told Barron that attending traditional Catholic masses, which are held in Latin, was instrumental in his conversion and in his portrayal of Pio in the film.
Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione in 1887 in southern Italy. He rose to prominence by displaying stigmata, or crucifixion wounds, similar to those found on the body of Jesus Christ. He died in 1968 at the age of 81, was beatified in 1999 by Pope John Paul II, and canonized in 2002.