Five Catholic Facts About Elvis
- one of Elvis' early performances (1955) was at the Catholic Club, Helena, Arkansas. However, his unorthodox performance did not impress the parish priest, Fr Keller, especially when the singer autographed a female fan's leg. 'You are a disgrace to manhood', he was allegedly told, 'don't come back anymore'. Read more about it here.
- It is well known that the beautiful Dolores Hart, the niece of Mario Lanza who starred alongside Elvis in Loving You (1957) and King Creole (1958), left Hollywood in 1963 to become a Benedictine nun at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, Connecticut. There have long been rumours that Dolores previously had romantic attachments to Mr Presley. 'I'd done two movies with Elvis Presley', she later said, 'I'd been around Hollywood for a while - and saw how needlessly competitive and negative it could be. It never held my interest'. She eventually became Prioress and Mother Hart now holds the unique distinction of being the only nun to be a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- I've mentioned before Elvis' last feature film, Change of Habit (1969), in which he plays a doctor working alongside three sisters 'on placement' (see picture at top of post). The unique finale, showing Elvis as part of a folk group at an interim, pre-Novus Ordo Mass, can be seen here.
- Elvis recorded a song called 'The Miracle of the Rosary' in 1971 (issued on the 1972 album, Elvis Now), with the lyrics: 'O Blessed Mother we pray to thee/Thanks for the miracle of your Rosary/Only you can hold back/Your holy son's hand/Long enough for the whole world to understand/Hail, Mary full of grace/The Lord is with thee/Blessed are thou among women/And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus/O Holy Mary dear mother of God/Please pray for us sinners/Now and at the hour of our death/And give thanks once again/For the miracle of your rosary'.
- When Elvis died in his Graceland bathroom thirty years ago today, he is said to have been reading a book about the Holy Shroud of Turin - normally identified as A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus (1972) by Frank O. Adams, which argues that the Turin Shroud really is Our Lord's Shroud. It has since become eagerly sought after by Elvis fans. Less impressive is the other book he was allegedly reading - Sex and Psychic Energy. Hmmmm, we better move quickly along.
NB There really was a Celtic saint called St Elvis, who was a bishop of the Irish See of Munster and may even have baptised St David, Patron of Wales - so it is a valid baptismal name!