Whether Or Not He Had 'Visions,' The Star Of The Passion Has Deep Passionate Faith
By Michael H. Brown
Is there something we missed, or was it a misunderstanding? This we wonder in regard to reports in the secular press that Passion star Jim Caviezel has seen the Blessed Mother. "Underneath his Armani suits he wears a medal of the Pope and says he has seen visions of the Virgin Mary," asserts The London Mirror -- a line that has appeared in reports from as far away as India.
Most likely, the reports are confused over Caviezel's testimony about being present during an apparition with Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic -- an event that had a huge impact on Caviezel. It was Dragicevic who had the "vision." But we'll check into it. Caviezel and director Mel Gibson have both demonstrated strong mystical streaks, and when he met with the Pope on March 16, Caviezel in turn described John Paul as a "mystic."
The actor who plays Crucified Christ -- and was 33 at the time of filming -- has indicated spiritual promptings. "I have no doubt that God put me in this business," he has said. "I felt this huge pain in my chest, like a voice saying: 'Please get into this business -- this is what I need for you to do.' And I asked: 'But who am I? I know nothing about acting. I don't know any actors. I've never taken any classes.' But it wouldn't go away. It kept surfacing. And I think Our Lady had something to do with it."
As the Mirror points out, Caviezel "was raised a strict Catholic with his four brothers and sisters in a comfortable but strict home in Mount Vernon, Washington state. He wanted to be a basketball player and would occasionally have outbursts of temper and get into fights caused by frustration about his dyslexia. He also had a sharp tongue. 'Jimmy mouthed off to someone on the football team and they dumped him in a garbage can,' recalls his father, James, 62. 'He wasn't so cocky after that. He'd imitate Jimmy Stewart and Mr. T. He was dead-on.' The nuns at his school said he should think about becoming an actor - or a priest. His mind was finally made up in a cinema at the age of 19. During the movie he felt a sharp pain -- and saw it as a sign that God was calling him to acting."
The press has noted that his sister introduced him to his future wife Kerri, who is also a devout Catholic. The actor turns down sex scenes he considers gratuitous and claims he will never be tempted by any of his beautiful co-stars. Actress Dagmara Domincyzk, who starred with him in The Count Of Monte Cristo, recalls how uncomfortable he was with nudity. "Jim was very nervous because he had just got married," she says. An old high school friend says the actor regularly visits to tell pupils that it is possible to be cool and religious. He also has a sense of humor. "Asked how he prepared for the role of Jesus," notes the Mirror, "he quipped: 'I walked on my pool twice a day. It's hard to do.'"
"The fact that he was struck by lightning on the set has only deepened their conviction that God personally picked him for the role."
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