By: Kelly Schaffer
Monday, September 10, Franciscan students gathered in the Finnegan Fieldhouse to hear Catholic actor Eduardo Verástegui share his life testimony before watching a special screening of one of his movies, “For Greater Glory.”
“(The Eucharist) is his priority,” said the Rev. Gregory Plow, introducing Verástegui. “He is a man of substance and faith.”
Verástegui is one of the stars of the 2006 movie, “Bella,” and the new movie, “For Greater Glory.”
Born in Mexico and expected by his father to be a lawyer, Verástegui had other plans for himself. He started a boy-band and acted in Mexican soap operas. He wished to pursue a career as an actor. Eventually, after moving to America, Verástegui was offered an audition with 20th Century Fox, and his career began to flourish.
About 10 years after Verástegui’s career had taken off, he said he realized he hadn’t found true happiness in life. Despite his fame, riches, family and friends, he felt that something was missing. With the prompting of his English tutor, a devout Catholic, Verástegui decided to raise the standards of the types of projects he would be involved in.
“I will never do anything to (negatively) affect my faith, family or my Latino culture,” Verástegui said.
Because of this new commitment, he lost practically everything; money and friends.
With the continued instruction of his English teacher, Verástegui sought answers about his Catholic faith, which, had been only a cultural issue to him. One of the books that prompted him to start going to mass and pray the rosary was “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott Hahn.
“I go to mass every day because I need Jesus in my heart,” said Verástegui. Still left with almost no money or support, he said, “I had nothing, but I had everything.”
With the help of his pastor, funds were raised for Verástegui to go to Rome to meet the Holy Father. Verástegui asked him to pray for the new film company he started with some friends and he was given two blessings.
The opportunity to film the movie “Bella,” a pro-life drama, arose and the movie went on to receive awards at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006.
“More than 1,000 babies have been saved (through Bella’s message),” Verástegui said.
When Verástegui was offered a role in “For Greater Glory,” he said he had no idea about the Cristero War. The movie depicts the battles between Catholic Mexico and their government in the Cristero War of the 1920s. When he learned more about the story, he was ecstatic to do the movie. Verástegui said “For Greater Glory” is a movie that is definitely needed in this day and age, and that religious freedom is one of the essential rights of all citizens.
Verástegui ended his talk with a discussion on the importance of living a chaste life.
After Verástegui’s talk, students sat to watch his most recent movie.