The Duke


“Finding Faith at The Finish Line”

No doubt John Wayne was an iconic pilgrim of Americana in 175 films as well as in his rugged personal life.  What is less known about ‘The Duke’ is his deathbed conversion to Catholicism in May 1979 as  documented by a nun, Karen Edmisten in her book “Deathbed Conversions.”  As his stomach cancer progressed, she spent time conversing with John sharing her knowledge of God with him.  Two days before he died, he asked for a priest.  “Yeah,” Duke said, “I think that’s a good idea.  There must be a higher power, or how does all this stuff work?”

John Wayne left a great American legacy, but how his life ended on June 11, 1979, was even greater because it is never too late to embrace God.

These two quotes from him confirm his remarkable conversion:

“When things are going good, I’m a Protestant.  When things are not going good I’m a Catholic.”

“When the road looks rough ahead, remember the ‘Man Upstairs’ and the word H-O-P-E.  Hang onto both and ‘tough it out.”

…He did so…and so can we…