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The Legend of St. Christopher: Quest for a King Paperback – March 15, 2017
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The story begins with a Christian woman from the 3rd Century praying to the Virgin Mary every night for a child. Like Samuel's mother from the Bible, the woman promised to dedicate her child to the Lord and make sure he served God. It wasn't long before the Lord blessed them with a son. Unfortunately, her husband was a pagan, so he dedicated the child to Apollo and named him Offerus. Offerus grew up to be a giant among men. However, he was a gentle giant, who used his size and strength to help as many people as he could. Even with all the good he did in the world, he longed for a greater purpose. He wanted to serve someone bigger and stronger than himself. First, he served a worldly king, but the king was scared of the devil. After Offerus discovered this, he sought out the devil and served him. He did much evil for devil, but soon he found out that the devil was scared of Jesus. It took much searching, but he met a priest who taught him who Jesus was, baptized him, and forgave him for the sins he committed while serving the devil. He also gave him a new name (Christopher) and gave him a task of helping people cross a river that normal people couldn't cross. Christopher did this frequently, until one day he carried a child across the river who was Jesus. One day another king has Christopher captured, because Christopher was telling everyone that Jesus was the true king. Christopher ended up being martyred, but through his martyrdom the king realized that Christopher was right and Jesus was the true king.
The book is illustrated in the style of Japanese comics (also known as manga). The story is mostly serious in nature, but there are a couple of jokes/less than serious moments that are completely in character for this illustration style. The book is an easy and engaging read that will teach your children everything they ever wanted to know about St. Christopher. Be sure to check out other graphic novels from Pauline Books and Media including the recently released Saint Clare of Assisi: Runaway Rich Girl.
This book was provided to me for free by Pauline Books and Media in exchange for an honest review.
Now to be honest this style of art is not my favorite to begin with. But when you combine that with historical inaccuracies and also what I consider suspect story elements it was hard to keep giving the book more chances. My first major problem is on page 2, Saint Christopher’s mother gores to pray at a statue of Mary because she has been married a number of years and has not had a child. I love that element of the story, but the statue has a modern Rosary hanging from Mary’s arms. This statue and the Rosary are seen in a few different frames. The Rosary in this form would not be seen for almost 1000 years to the date from this date.
The next element of the book that really caused concern was a section where the Devil is attacking a husband and a wife. The wife pays and raises a cross to defend them. And then she screams at and intimidates her husband. Not fitting with the story or events.
This book was originally published by Pauline in Korea; the artwork is very consistent with a specific style that may be more fitting in a different culture. Manga as a whole is an import into North America and maybe something with this volume was lost in the cultural translation.
For the most part it is the retelling of a great saint’s life. The overall story is pretty good. I am just on the fence about recommending this book. I am interested in this series, and loved the other book I read, but this one I am uncertain about.