Devout Catholic Mark Wahlberg says faith is ‘not popular’ in Hollywood but would not deny his because that’s ‘an even bigger sin’ as he celebrates the start of lent with an Ash Wednesday cross on his forehead
- Mark Wahlberg said he has always talked about his faith as a Catholic
- But the Ted actor, 51, said he ‘doesn’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat’
Devout Catholic Mark Wahlberg has said his faith is ‘not popular’ in Hollywood but he cannot deny his religion because that would be ‘an even bigger sin’ as he celebrated the start of Lent.
The Ted actor, 51, said he has always talked about his faith – but he added ‘he doesn’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat’.
Wahlberg said Catholicism had allowed him to focus on being a ‘better version of himself’ as he appeared on the Today Show on Ash Wednesday, which starts 40 days of Lent.
Wahlberg appeared on the show with a black cross on his forehead – Christian devotees receive repentance ash in the form of the cross on Ash Wednesday, a holy day of praying and fasting.
‘I have always talked about my faith,’ Wahlberg told the Today Show. ‘It’s a balance. I don’t wanna jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith.
Devout Catholic Mark Wahlberg has said his faith is ‘not popular’ in Hollywood but he cannot deny his religion because that would be ‘an even bigger sin’ as he celebrated the start of Lent
The Ash Wednesday ceremony
Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of fasting that falls on the first day of Lent.
A priest places ashes on a believer’s head while reciting the dictum ‘Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return’ or ‘repent, and believe in the Gospel’.
Traditionally the ash for the ceremony comes from leaves burned in last year’s Palm Sunday services.
It comes from the ancient practice of fasting and it is generally considered bad taste to dine out, to shop, or to go about in public after receiving the ashes in the service.
It is not required that a person wear the ashes for the rest of the day, and they may be washed off after Mass.
However, many people leave the ashes on their forehead until the evening.
‘That’s an even bigger sin. You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but, you know, I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people.’
Speaking about what his faith means to him, Wahlberg said: ‘It’s everything, it’s afforded me so many things.
‘God didn’t come to save the saints, he came to save the sinners. We’ve all had issues in our lives and we want to be better versions of ourselves, and through focusing on my faith, it’s allowed me to do that.’
Wahlberg’s family are Catholic, which his son Michael attending his confirmation in July last year. Michael wore a white button-down shirt with a gray tie and matching gray slacks at the time.
Confirmation is one of the seven Catholic sacraments. It is a rite where Catholics reaffirm their faith in the religion they first joined after being baptized.
The Uncharted actor shares four children with Rhea Durham: Michael, 18-year-old Ella, 13-year-old Brendan and 12-year-old Grace.
Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of praying and fasting as devotees receive repentance ash in the form of a cross on their foreheads to either the words ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel’ or the dictum ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’
As a devout Roman Catholic, no doubt it is important for Mark to participate in acts of contrition as in his teenage years he served 45 days in prison for felony assault for two racially charged attacks on Vietnamese men on the same day.
Mark Wahlberg attends Steven Tyler’s Second Annual GRAMMY Awards Viewing Party wearing his rosary beads in LA in 2019
In April 1988, Wahlberg assaulted a middle-aged Vietnamese man named Thanh Lam calling him a ‘Vietnam f***ing s***’ before knocking him unconscious with a wooden stick.
Later that day he attacked a second man named Hoa Trinh whom he punched in the eye.
He was arrested as investigaotrs noted that Wahlberg made numerous unsolicited racial statements about ‘g**ks’ and ‘slant-eyed g**ks’ according to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun in 1997.
Before that in June 1986, Wahlberg and three friends chased after three black children while yelling ‘kill the n****r, kill the n****r’ and throwing rocks at them.
The next day he and others followed a group of school children during a field trip at the beach and yelled racial epithets at them, threw rocks at them, and ‘summond other white males who joined’ in the harassment according to those The Smoking Gun documents.
In August 1986, civil action was filed against him for violating the civil rights of his victims and the case was settled the following month.
In August 1992, Wahlbeg fractured the jaw of a neighbor in an attack as court documents state that ‘without provocation or cause, viciously and repeatedly kicked’ a man in the face while another man held the victim to the ground.
Since those days, the Boston-native has moved on to a successful career and hip-hop then acting.
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