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Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, was an extraordinary friar of the Capuchin Order who knew things he had no way to know. The only tougher confessor would have been Jesus Himself. People would fly halfway around the world to stand in line for hours to confess to Padre Pio. And he would tell them what they had not confessed, and be right.
Not fuzzy stuff, none of this cold reading vagary and leading questions. He went straight to the, you paid the babysitter three pesos to commit a sexual act stuff. He almost never left the monastery, but had notorious episodes of bilocation, appearing in two places at once, including an appearance before the pope where no one saw him enter or leave, but everyone saw him there. And there was the corrupt bishop covering for rapist priests (nothing is new under the sun) who commanded under obedience that he not leave his cell for many years. I am currently reading Fr. Gabrielle Amorth’s memoir of his mentor and friend.
I heard the good news. Someone was making a new movie on the life of Padre Pio.
I heard the bad news. Shia LeBeouf was cast to play Padre Pio.
Now the Lord is famous for arranging battles such that the forces of the faithful appear hopelessly doomed. Send the thousands home, keep the guys who drink from the river just so. Send home the new husbands, and the guys with crops to bring in or vines to tend. When this starts, of course, victory was assured.
They cast Shia LeBeouf. Now, as an actor he is okay. He’s not an actor I seek out, but he’s not an actor I avoid. The setup to carry the mantle of the Indiana Jones series didn’t work, but the whole movie didn’t really work. And I’m the guy who loves the refrigerator scene. I was blissfully unaware of the arrests and lawsuits and violence and drug abuse, I don’t spend my time on other people’s wrecked lives, at least not outside of prison ministry.
And then I ran into this extraordinary interview. Padre Pio’s work continues among us.
If someone had told me a week ago that Shia LeBeouf could give an interview that would bring me light and hope, I would have called the guys with the butterfly nights. The Holy Spirit is busily at work.
Happy Lord’s DayPublished in