Padre Pio Movie Changes Lives–Including Actor Who Played the Saint


Barbara Inciarte, Guest Reviewer, Online Tritonian

The story of Padre Pio is one told to many as you grow up. This incredible saint had the stigmata, the wounds of Christ; he was known for his piety, charity and the quality of his preaching; and he famously advised others to “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

Directed by Abel Ferrara and released in 2022, the film Padre Pio follows the story of the famous saint played by the famous Transformers actor, Shia LaBeouf.

Before his role in playing Padre Pio, LaBeouf felt his life was falling apart, so much so that his mother would not answer his calls. He was trapped in a life of sin and could not find a way out. 

LaBeouf found a light at the end of this dark tunnel when he was offered the role of Padre Pio in this new film. Padre Pio focused on the Franciscan friar’s early years, and the audience emerges from a story of war, terror, faith and redemption. 

LaBeouf is a well-known name in Hollywood. I had seen some of his films and always loved his acting. What I had never looked into was his struggle with life. He felt shut down from the world and carried an endless sense of anger in his heart.

In an interview with Bishop Robert Barron, LaBeouf recounts his journey to becoming Pio. 

“My life was on fire. My life was a mess, and I felt deep shame and deep guilt,” explained LaBeouf to Bishop Barron. His life of sin and his struggle were what led him to find peace. For this artist, his training as an actor and his ego to get back on top allowed him to open up to the possibility of learning more about God. 

“This is my chance to get back on the hustle,” explained LeBeouf. “It was my ego that led me to research Pio.”

  As someone who has heard great things about Padre Pio, I was inspired by LeBeouf’s spiritual journey to Christ. He felt a sense of letting go and allowing God to take control. 

The feeling of letting go is one I am too familiar with. We are asked by society to take everything upon ourselves, while our Catholic faith encourages us to let go. 

Everything connected like a puzzle piece for LeBeouf after he let go. He became familiar with the faith and now has a newfound sense of peace. He went from not wanting to be here anymore to finding purpose in Christ. 

We are all struggling in our lives and seeing how the Holy Spirit changed LeBeouf’s life gives me the encouragement to be patient and understand that God has a plan for each of us. The lives of the saints inspire us to be holy and invite us to a deep relationship with Christ, even when we feel unworthy of holiness. 

To continue to be inspired by LeBeouf’s story, I highly recommend viewing the interview and witnessing the story that led to an incredible film. In the words of Shia LeBeouf, “Let go and reach out.”