Xavier, Chico Francisco Candido

Xavier, Chico Francisco Candido (b. 1910)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Chico Xavier was a Brazilian automatic writer who produced well over 100 books. In Brazil, automatic writing is known as “psychography.” By 1971, Chico Xavier’s books had been published in twenty-three different languages.

Chico Francisco Candido Xavier was born on April 2, 1910, in the small town of Pedro Leopoldo in the central state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He had eight brothers and sisters. His mother died when Chico was five; that same year she appeared to him in spirit. He quickly became accustomed to seeing and hearing spirits clairvoyantly and clairaudiently. As a young schoolboy, he won a prize for an essay on the history of Brazil which he produced by inspirational writing, dictated by a spirit who appeared to him.

Chico left school at age thirteen and began working as a medium at seventeen. One of his sisters appeared to go insane, but was completely and quickly cured by a Spiritist healer. This so impressed the family that they all renounced Roman Catholicism and became Spiritists. They joined the newly formed evangelical Spiritist center founded by the healing medium’s wife, Mrs. Carmen Perácio. A spirit voice kept telling Mrs. Perácio to give Chico pencil and paper, and every time she did he produced many pages of automatic writing. According to Guy Lion Playfair (The Flying Cow, 1975), “Chico soon proved to be an amazingly prolific automatic writer, and before long he began to produce a series of poems that made a profound impression on his fellow members of the center run by Mrs. Perácio. The poems kept on coming, signed by the names of most of Brazil’s greatest deceased poets. In 1932, a selection of these poems was published by the Federacão Espirita Brasileira (FEB), or Brazilian Spiritist Federation. The 421-page volume is still in print today [1975] and has sold some 40,000 copies.” It became a bestseller almost overnight, with no mistaking the styles of the famous poets.

Although Chico Xavier held a full time government job for nearly thirty years, he continued to produce books by automatic writing at the rate of three or four a year. Many of his books were written during public sessions. His sixtieth book was Evolution in Two Worlds, which was the first of a total of seventeen automatically written in collaboration with another medium, Waldo Vieira, a young doctor. Playfair said, “The interesting feature of this collaboration was that Chico, still in Pedro Leopoldo, would receive one chapter while Dr. Vieira would receive the next three days later and 250 miles away. In this way they produced the book’s forty chapters at alternate sessions between January 15 and June 29, 1958. Upon completion of his half, Chico’s spirit guide Emmanuel instructed him to contact Dr. Vieira and put the book together.”

In 1958, Chico left his home town of Pedro Leopoldo and moved to Uberaba, 250 miles to the west. There he set about building up a small Spiritist center. This grew rapidly, funded by the royalties obtained from Chico’s many books. He refused to use the royalties for himself—instead, he gave everything to pay for food, clothing and medical assistance for the poor. Playfair observed that Brazilian Spiritists make a clear distinction between escrita automatica, automatic writing which may or may not come from the unconscious mind, and what they call psicografia, which is the writing of a separate spirit entity. Chico said, “I have reached a state of certainty, an intimate certainty that is naturally personal and nontransferable, that if I were to say these books belonged to me, I would be committing a fraud for which I would have to answer in a very serious way after I left this world.” Chico was the second most prolific writer in the Portuguese language, after Coelho Neto. Yet his formal education had only reached the primary level and he had, for most of his life, suffered from defective eyesight precluding him from further study.


Playfair, Guy Lion: The Flying Cow: Research into Paranormal Phenomena in the World’s Most Psychic Country. London: Souvenir Press, 1975
Xenoglossis see Glossolalia
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