by Clyde Ericson H. Nolasco
During an interview on Word on Fire with Bishop Robert Barron, Shia Labeouf exclaimed: “Padre Pio saved my life.” Thus, seemingly announcing his conversion to the Catholic faith.
Known for his roles as Louis Stevens for Disney Channels’ Even Stevens and as Sam Witwicky in Michael Bays’ sci-fi action film series Transformers, Labeouf took a 180 degree turn to know and appreciate the Catholic faith thanks to his portrayal of Padre Pio.
A Jewish-Christian Background
Shia was born in a family of entertainers. His father Jeffry was a comedian as a rodeo clown and even a performer at a circus where he also trained chickens while Shayna his mother was a ballet dancer who eventually became a couturier and a jeweler. Shia was an only child. Though Shia claims to be agnostic before knowing Padre Pio, his dad was a Christian. On the other hand, his mother was Jewish. He was even named after his mother’s father, a Jewish comedian. “Shia” in Hebrew means “gift from God.” He was baptized and when he was 13 years old, underwent the Bar Mitzvah ceremony, a rite of passage for Jewish people.