St. Francis Xavier, Now a Comic Book Hero

Biography of 16th-Century Missionary Published in Cartoons

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MADRID, Spain, NOV. 26, 2002 ( St. Francis Xavier, patron of the missions, has joined the ranks of comic-book superheroes.

The comic book will be available in more than 10 languages with sketches by Miguel Berzosa, a religious comic-specialist.

The work is being published around the world on the 450th anniversary of the death of the Jesuit from Navarre.

“I have sketched the life of a hero who is not cowed by danger and gives his life for an ideal,” Berzosa told ZENIT.

The 48-page comic book is already available in Spanish and Basque, and will soon be published in Catalan, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Lithuanian, English and probably Japanese.

Berzosa wished to express the human point of view of Francis Xavier.

“I have focused on the adventures he undertook, leaving to one side the miraculous and highlighting the heroic aspects of a person who was dedicated to an ideal to the point of giving his life for it,” he said.

The author produced the comic at the request of Mensajero Publishers. He describes it as his “most complete” work.

Miguel Berzosa is convinced that today the world needs figures like Xavier, capable of presenting great ideals in an attractive manner, “without imposing one’s own point of view.”

Francis Xavier was born in 1506 in Xavier Castle. He met Ignatius of Loyola in Paris in 1529. After making his religious vows in 1534 in Montmartre, he was ordained a priest in 1537.

King John of Portugal, a papal legate, sent him to Goa, India, in 1542. Seven years later, Francis arrived in Japan. He died in China in 1552.

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