Graphic Novels on the Saints from Pauline Books & Media

I have to hand it to the folks at Pauline Books and Media: they continue to delight me with the products they send me.

When I see the brown envelope in my mailbox, addressed so politely to “Mrs. Sarah Reinhard,” I always know there’s a treat inside. And late last week, what should arrive but…

…GRAPHIC NOVELS ABOUT THE SAINTS!!!

(Yes, it warrants all caps. Really.)

There’s a series of four planned, and the first two have been released: Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Leading the Way and Saint Francis of Assisi: Messenger of Peace. I showed them to my eight-year-old and promptly hid them, because I want to read them first before they are shuffled into the bowels of her book organization.

They’re beautifully done and they remind me of the Picture Bible that planted the seeds of the love of the Word of God in me when I was a child.

They’re designed for ages 8-10 (through 36, I think) and were written based on historical records. And the artwork! The artwork!

Next in the line-up: graphic novels about Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Bernadette. Why yes, I am reallllly looking forward to those! (And so is my daughter. But I may or may not tell her when they arrive…)

Here’s a bit about each of the two books they’ve just released:

Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Leading the Way

In the year 1491, in the Spanish town of Azpeitia, the Lord of Loyola and his wife give birth to a son, Ignatius. Growing up to serve the royal court of Castile and fight as a knight against the French, Ignatius seems to be fulfilling his dream of living like the men described in his chivalry and romance books. But when he starts reading about the life of Christ and the lives of the saints, he starts to feel unfulfilled by his current ways…

What causes Ignatius to reconsider his lifestyle? Will he continue his military career? Or will he discover how to be a very different kind of “soldier?”

Saint Francis of Assisi: Messenger of Peace

In the year 1181, in the Italian city of Assisi, a rich merchant and his wife give birth to a son, Francis. Francis grows up living a carefree life of luxury and extravagance, much to his parents’ dismay. When war breaks out between the cities of Assisi and Perugia, Francis-enchanted by his dreams of knighthood, longing for chivalrous adventure, and quest for military glory-eagerly joins the fight. But when Francis is taken prisoner and becomes very sick, something inside him begins to stir…

What causes Francis to rethink his ways? Is this military path the one he is supposed to follow? Or is he supposed to deliver a message other than war?

About Sarah Reinhard

Looking for Sarah Reinhard? Chances are she's hiding from her kids with her nose in a book...which is just too bad for the housework and cooking. Her greatest delight of late is how her kids are becoming bigger bibliophiles than she is. (And she's really only a beginner and a hack at that.) She’s online at SnoringScholar.com, CatholicMom.com, and is the author of a number of books.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I remember having a comic book of the Life of St. Francis and another of the Life of Pope John Paul II when I was younger. I’m so glad to see these around again. I hope they highlight the lives of some of the lesser-known saints, too, as time goes on.

    • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

      Yeah, I hope so too, Rebecca. I hope it becomes a long line of books…they’re really beautiful!

  • Adam Frey

    Well, the art looks alright. The font on the text looks too “regular,” though–presumably it was done through a computer. That may sound weird, but the lettering in mainstream comics tends to look more “natural,” as though an actual human hand had penned it. (Most comic lettering at Marvel and DC *is* done on computer, but it’s more “human” looking–if that makes sense–so it’s a little more pleasing to the eye.)
    I’d recommend tracking down “The Big Book of Martyrs” if it can be found–it’s well over a decade old. It was done by Paradox Press, a subset of DC Comics, and deals exclusively with Catholic martyrs from the Holy Innocents to Edith Stein. Each is in a different art style, so some may appeal visually where others won’t. It does portray violence that the Saints suffered, but not egregiously so, and there’s no nudity.

    • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

      OK, Adam, I am TRACKING THAT DOWN! Thanks so much for the lead.

      Interestingly, about the time I got these, I started reading the old Picture Bible to my girls. They are on the edge of their seats every night when I say “that’s all for tonight,” and I can see what you’re saying about the hand-lettering. Thanks again!

  • http://www.expressly-yours.net/ David Clar

    I’m no big fan of religious biographies but I will give it a try this time. Sounds interesting to me.


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