Feb. 26: The Duke’s Witness of Faith

Father Matthew Muñoz from the Diocese of Orange, California, has an impressive lineage.  His grandfather is Academy Award-winning actor John Wayne.

In an interview with Catholic News Agency, Father Muñoz explained Wayne’s spiritual path: “He was raised with a lot of Christian principles and a Bible faith that, I think, had a strong impact upon him.”

In 1933, Wayne married a young Catholic woman named Josephine who is Father Muñoz’s grandmother.  The priest said, “He was constantly at Church events…After a while, he got the sense that the common secular vision of what Catholics are—and what his own experience actually was—were becoming two different things.”

Though Wayne and Josephine civilly divorced in 1945, she never stopped praying for him and his conversion.  That prayer was answered in 1978, the year before the actor’s death.  Father Muñoz said, “He wanted to become baptized and become Catholic.  It was wonderful to see him come to the faith and leave that witness for our whole family.”

Come, let us return to the Lord. (Hosea 6:1)

Lead me in Your ways, Jesus.

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