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Servant of God Rose Hawthorne has her own comic book

Servant of the Suffering: Rose Hawthorne

Courtesy of Voyage Comics

J-P Mauro - published on 07/06/23

Voyage Comics continues to illuminate the lives of Catholic figures, saints, and even original superheroes in beautifully illustrated graphic novels.

Voyage Comics, the publisher that illuminates the lives of saints and Catholic figures through high quality graphic novels, is back with another fine release in 2023. For years Voyage has been forging a unique product that features stories of the lives of Catholic figures, saints, and even original superheroes, always presented with faithful Catholic narratives and themes. This time around Voyage has brought Servant of God Rose Hawthorne to life, with a gripping narrative and splendid illustration.

Voyage Comics covers Hawthorne’s entire life story in Servant of the Suffering: Rose Hawthorne, a period piece that follows Rose through vivid settings like 19th-century Rome and New York City.

Rose was the daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a pillar of American literary history, who inspired her to pursue a career in writing. While she was not raised in the Catholic faith, a trip to the Vatican as a child planted the seeds that would lead to her conversion as an adult. 

After the death of their firstborn child, Rose’s husband fell into alcoholism, which necessitated their separation. Feeling called to help those in need, Rose would move to New York City, where she would convert her apartment into a clinic where women with maladies could rest and recover. Her good works would eventually lead to her taking vows as a nun and founding the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, who offer free care to patients who are dying of cancer.

Various Dominican sisters of this order have shared their experiences on the pages of Aleteia: See here and here, for example.

Emphasis on action

Servant of the Suffering was written by Aleteia’s own Philip Kosloski, who keeps the readers engaged through the eventful narrative. The work is further brought to life with exceptional art by Marcelo Salaza, who has a distinct talent for capturing the perfect facial expressions for each character and scene. From start to finish Servant of the Suffering is an entertaining journey that will also teach you about the life of a Catholic nun who is on the path to sainthood.

Kosloski, founder of Voyage Comics, was kind enough to sit down with us to discuss the new graphic novel: 

What drew you to Rose Hawthorne as a subject for a graphic novel, and as an author what is your favorite part of her life story?

What I found fascinating is how the daughter of a famous American author converted to the Catholic Church. In particular, I was able to learn more about Nathaniel Hawthorne and how his parenting laid the foundation for Rose’s care for the sick and suffering.

Were there any challenges in writing a period piece as opposed to your more modern setting in Medal Knight?

With comic books, there is always an emphasis on action. When it comes to the lives of the saints, you don’t always find events that have that same POW! However, I do think we did a good job telling the story of Rose Hawthorne in an entertaining way that is also authentic to her lived experience.

How much research did Servant of the Suffering require? Were there any difficulties in finding information on her life?

Thankfully I had much help from the Hawthorne Dominicans, who have an archive of information about their founder. This helped greatly, as it wasn’t always easy finding the truth behind her story.

When she became estranged from her husband, was Rose stigmatized for conducting her work in a different city so far away from him?

Rose had a difficult time with her husband and while there does not exist firm information as to why exactly that happened, it was clear that she couldn’t stay at home, both for her safety and for her husband’s well-being. It was a tough decision, and not everybody understood it. However, she did what she thought God was leading her to do.

We especially liked how you provided a brief timeline of Rose’s life at the end of the graphic novel. How can fans learn more about her life?

Besides checking out Servant of the Suffering, you can visit the website of the Hawthorne Dominicans in Hawthorne, New York.

What’s next for Voyage?

Stay tuned for a comic book on the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha that will be coming out in July!

Servant of the Suffering: Rose Hawthorne is available now. Visit Voyage Comics to secure your copy today.

Servant of the Suffering: Rose Hawthorne

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