The Miracle that Led “Obi-Wan Kenobi” to Convert to Catholicism


Sir Alec Guinness is one of the most recognizable actors of the 20th century. While he appeared in lots of films over the years and won many awards, he is best known as having played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

What many people don’t know about him, though, is that at the age of 42 he converted to Catholicism – in part because of a miracle.

[See also: The Amazing Deathbed Conversion of Oscar Wilde]

[See also: The Night Charles Dickens Was Haunted By the Spirit of… the Virgin Mary?]

Guinness was born in 1914 in London to a broken family. He never knew his father and grew up in poverty. Though he was confirmed in the Anglican faith at 16, he was unsure of what he really believed about religion. Over the next few years he bounced around Presbyterianism, atheism, Marxism, Buddhism, and even attended a few Quaker meetings. Like a good Englishman of the early 20th century, though, he had no interest in Catholicism.

While rehearsing for the play Hamlet, an Anglican priest approached him and explained that he was blessing himself wrong and showed him the correct way. Something about the encounter had a spiritual impact on him, and he regained some interest in Anglicanism.

He was drawn further into the Anglican faith in the turmoil of World War II, but it wasn’t until 1954 when he was 40 years old that he had another experience that would open him to considering Catholicism.

He was in France working on the film Father Brown, based on G. K. Chesterton’s well known fictional crime-solving priest. He was playing the title role and so was dressed up as a Catholic priest. While walking down the street in priestly attire, a local child spotted him and mistook him to be a genuine Catholic priest. The child ran up, grabbed his hand trustingly, and walked with him down the road.

The trust and affection the child had for Catholic priests had a deep impact on him and made him start to seriously consider Catholicism. He later explained:

“Continuing my walk, I reflected that a Church that could inspire such confidence in a child, making priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable, could not be as scheming or as creepy as so often made out. I began to shake off my long-taught, long-absorbed prejudices.”

Soon after, his son Matthew contracted polio and appeared to be close to death. Desperate and seeking divine help, Guinness started dropping by a local Catholic church to pray.

He made a deal with God: if God healed Matthew, he would allow his son to become Catholic if he wanted.

Against all expectations (miraculously?), his son recovered! So Guinness and his wife enrolled him in a Jesuit school. A few years later, Guinness, his wife, and his son all converted to Catholicism.

Guinness remained a faithful Catholic the rest of his life until he died in 2000. May he rest in peace!

Do you know of another famous person who converted to Catholicism? Share in the comments!

[See also: This One Quote Convinced Me to Convert to Catholicism]

[See also: Watch ChurchPOP’s Editor on “The Journey Home” Share His Conversion Story]




  1. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  2. hello!,I love your writing so so much! share we communicate more approximately your post on AOL? I need an expert on this house to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  3. In this awesome design of things you actually get an A+ for effort and hard work. Where you lost us was in your particulars. As as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And that could not be much more accurate at this point. Having said that, allow me reveal to you what exactly did give good results. The writing is certainly highly engaging and that is possibly the reason why I am making an effort to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. 2nd, despite the fact that I can easily see the jumps in reasoning you come up with, I am not necessarily confident of exactly how you appear to connect the ideas that produce your final result. For now I will yield to your position however wish in the future you connect your dots much better.

  4. Another famous person who converted to Catholicism is referenced in the article. G. K. Chesterton was a convert! And Malcolm Muggeridge, and of course Blessed Cardinal Newman. Total: 4 intelligent Englishmen who converted in their adult years.

  5. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  6. We unquestionably like your website and find nearly all of the content to be precisely what I am trying to find. Would you offer guest writers to post information for you? I wouldn’t mind writing an article relating to Arvind Pandit Kansas or even on most of the topics you write about on this page. Awesome blog!

  7. Hey! This is my first comment on this site so I just wanted to say a quick hello and say I truly enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend other blogs that cover free facetime? I’m likewise quite fascinated with this! Thanks for your time!

Leave a Reply