Award-winning actor Jonathan Roumie from the hit series “The Chosen” said he received wisdom and insights from Pope Francis during a private summit at the Vatican where he was charmed by the pontiff who, in a jovial moment, called him Jesus.
In a meeting with Christian celebrities who work in the entertainment industry for the two-day “Vitae Summit” organized by the Vitae Global Foundation, Vatican News reported that the pontiff met with Roumie, Denzel Washington, Patricia Heaton, Andrea Bocelli, Jessica and David Oyelowo, Eduardo Verastegui, J. Balvin, and Marcus Mumford, among others.
The initiative, held from Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at the Vatican’s Academy of Sciences, gathered Christians who wield influence in the entertainment industry to discuss how the arts and media are used to influence the culture with targeted messaging.
“My experience in Rome a few days ago was no less humbling and inspiring than my brief encounter last year, perhaps even more so,” “The Chosen” actor recounted in a post on Instagram.
Roumie first met the head of the Catholic Church in 2021 and said at the time it was a childhood dream come true. At that first meeting, Roumie asked the pontiff to keep him and his role as Jesus covered in prayer.
During the actor’s second meeting with the pope, Roumie said he received “wisdom and insights of the Holy Father.”
He added that listening to the pope’s “directive as ‘preachers of beauty’ amidst the backdrop of the Vatican was at once profound and thought-provoking.”
“‘The role of art,’ he (the pontiff) said, ‘is to put a thorn in the heart, which moves us to contemplation, and contemplation puts us on a path,'” Roumie recounted in his Monday post.
“I am provoked to discern: ‘How do I continue to amplify the light as an artist? How can I take this initiative further? How can I have greater impact on culture as a whole and beyond?'” he added.
According to Crux, the pontiff lauded the Christian celebrities as being “preachers of beauty!” “Beauty does good, beauty heals, beauty carries you forward on the journey,” he added.
The Jesus actor said he “wholeheartedly” accepted “the pope’s challenge” to work on positive and uplifting projects.
In a separate post from the event, Roumie shared a short video clip from when he posed for a photo with Francis and the Bishop of Rome can be heard in the background offering a caption for the photo, saying, “The Pope meets Jesus,” to which everyone around them laughed.
In a post accompanying the video Roumie wrote: “Spent some time with the Holy Father, Pope today, collaborating on ways in which artists can use the gifts they’ve been given to effect positive change in the culture. A remarkable 48 hours with two dozen extraordinarily talented folks from ALL walks.”
He added: “This moment may have selfishly taken the cake.”
After meeting other actors at the summit, Roumie said he felt buoyed by meeting so many like-minded creators from “many disciplines and denominations willing to come together and talk out the possibilities of greater influence in the realms of being light-bearers.”
The experience, he said, was a “poignant reminder” that “God can use anyone and everyone in any field that He wants to move hearts toward Him.”
“The Chosen” has become a record-breaking series. At the top of 2019, it became the No. 1 crowdfunded media project in history and has since garnered millions of dollars in crowdfunding. The multi-season series has been seen by nearly 400 million people in 180 countries and has been translated into over 50 languages.
Seasons one and two are now available to watch on The Chosen App. Season three will premiere later this year.