Student Reader

Saint Christopher

Lived 3rd century
Rank and group: Martyr, Holy Helper
Feast day: 25 July
Patron saint: Travelers, motorists
Attributes: Christ child on shoulders
Status: Roman Martyrology

The Roman Martyrology lists Christopher as a Lycian martyr under Decius, but little else is known about him. However, various legends have arisen about Christopher.

Christ child on shoulders

Christopher was immensely tall, and often carried people on his back across waters. One stormy night he carried a small child across the water, which proved to be a struggle that nearly led him to collapse Christopher's immensity and the child's smallness. The Child turned out be Christ, carrying in His hand the weight of the whole world. This gave rise to how Christopher is depicted in art, and also to his name Christopher, Christ-bearer. This fable is a reminder that Christianity is not an easy option, not an escape, as it can weigh one down with the myriad forms of sorrows that it tackles -- but it does so with the grace of God.

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