Panama City, PA -19 Feb. 2009- Staff. Manuel Goya wasn’t a pious man until 10 months ago, on Easter Sunday, when he awoke to find that his unicycle was emblazoned with the face of Jesus Christ. After leaving the bike out all night in the rain, however, a strange pattern appeared on the head tube badge, warping the logo into the image of the face of the Christian Savior.
As a result, Mr. Goya now dedicates his life to serving God. “From that moment, my life changed,” says Goya. “I was an evil man, and God sent me this sign to give me a mission of peace and hope.”
Mr. Goya, after much soul searching, has now decided that he will ride the unicycle chosen by God all the way around the world to solicit funds for constructing a cathedral on the site of the miraculaous image. “This journey will inspire others as God has touched my life. For my salvation and the continuing salvation of the human race, I will ride the unicycle God has ordained and erect a monument to his Glory.”
If he secures enough initial funding, Goya’s unicycle route would take him up through the U.S., across the Atlantic and then through Europe and Asia, before crossing the Pacific and returning home an d beginning work on the cathedral. Along the way, Goya hopes to solicit monetary donations from penitent congregations all over the world.
Despite being a wildly popular initiative in his home village, Goya’s globe trotting quest has drawn the ire of local church officials. Father Federico Hermano, leader of the village parish was particularly doubtful. “The glory of God is in the charitable acts of the Church, not some half brained, mock Richard Branson stunt,” he said.
Still, Goya is nearly halfway to his fundraising goal and remains optimistic. “God has set this unicycle aside for great things, and I will do his will wihout hesitation,” said Goya.