Wednesday 11 July 2018

Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI - Regina Doman and Sean Lam

Habemus Papam!
Pope Benedict XVI
Regina Doman
Sean Lam

Manga Hero
ISBN 9780983639756

I need to preface this review with two facts, first I am a huge fan of Regina Doman's prose. He fiction is among my all time favorite books. Second, I do not read a lot of graphic novels. Graphic novels especially in the manga style are typically not my thing. Fortunately, this volume only uses the characteristic oversized heads and super sized eyes for children, so for the most part not an issue. That being said I really enjoyed this book. Over the years I have read much written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Both prior to and after his election to the seat of Peter. But this is really the first time I have read much about him. And there was so much in this volume that surprise, amazed and even astonished me that I plan on reading more about the man that I believe will one day be named a saint. 

This book was an incredible read. There is so much information in this graphic novel. Situations and events in his life that were not part of my knowledgebase. I was totally unaware of his sister's role in his life and ministry. I had encountered stories about his brother in numerous readings, but the role Maria played. Even though she worked other jobs, she was his secretary, editor and support throughout her life. She followed his as his role within the church changed all the way to the Vatican. 

The book is written as a series of reflections back in time. It begins with Joseph being told by another cardinal either at the conclave or before it that he must become pope. From ether the story goes back to childhood memories, memories of John Paul II's election. Different roles and responsibilities he had that lead to this point. The story is masterfully told. Readers will come to see and appreciate the humble and gentle nature of this man that was known for so long as Pope John Paul II's rottweiler. Readers will encounter the man who was humble enough to step down from the seat of Peter. The man who was misunderstood through most of his public life, and yet a man who served God, the people and the church with all his heart.

The illustrations of the children as mentioned are not in a style that I am a fan of. But, even with that being stated this book is wonderfully illustrated. The spirit of Benedict is captured in both the words and the illustrations. Honestly anyone could read this book, no matter their knowledge of graphic novels or Pope Benedict XVI and appreciate it. Learn from it and grow from what they learn.

I could not put this book down, I devoured it in a single reading. And have already started reading it again with my youngest two children. And it has lead to me picking up another book on Benedict XVI already and likely more future readings.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Book by Regina Doman:
Fairy Tales Retold:
Snow White and Rose Red (1997)
Shadow Of The Bear (2002)
Black As Night (2004)
Waking Rose (2007)
Midnight Dancers (2008)
Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves (2010)

Rapunzel Let Down (2013)

Other Books:
The Story of Job

Contributed to:
Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut
Catholic Philosopher Chick Comes on Strong
The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide
The Chestertons and the Golden Key

Picture Books:
Angels in the Water (2004)
Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls (2009)

Our Fairy Tale Romance - Andrew Schmiedicke (2009)

Books by Benedict XVI:
Way of the Cross Meditations and Prayers
Way of Calvary: Stations of the Cross 
Spiritual Masters Fathers and Writers of the First Millennium 
Spiritual Masters Medieval Fathers and Writers

Books About Pope Benedict:
Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI - Regina Doman and Sean Lam
Benedict XVI - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky

Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI - Amy Welborn and Ann Kissane Engelhart

Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion – Amy Welborn and Ann Engelhart
Take Five: Meditations Pope Benedict XVI - Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris Stubna

Related Articles:
Daily Study Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI
Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

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