FEast: July 25th
transportation, travel, unmarried men, storms, epilepsy, surfing. mountaineering
Much like many other very early Christian martyrs, St. Christopher's story has been passed through tradition and can cannot be confirmed. Likely it could be a combination of the stories of a few different martyrs, or it could have been changed throughout the years. His story is an interesting, much different one than that of many other saints.
Born in Canaan or Egypt, Christopher was originally named Reprobus. He was said to be extremely tall, possibly 7 and a half feet! Some accounts say that he also had a tough-looking face to go with his immense height. He worked in the court of the king of Canaan, until one day he decided he only wanted to serve the king that was the greatest.
He left his position to travel and find a king who was more powerful. When he thought he had found the most powerful king, he one day heard that king mention how he was afraid of the devil, so Christopher decided instead that he would worship and work for the devil.
Though he may have been fooled by a violent, law-breaking man with a group of thieves that followed him, Christopher traveled again until he found this man who called himself the devil. He joined the terrorizing and chaotic group until one day the leader avoided a cross and Christopher discovered that the only thing "the devil" feared was Jesus.
Amazed at this discovery, Christopher set off once again to try and learn more about the man called Jesus. He eventually met a Christian hermit who told him about the man and the faith. When he asked what he could do for Jesus, the hermit told him that he could try fasting and prayer, which is what he himself practiced everyday.
Though he tried, Christopher found that this type of sacrifice was not working for him personally and not aiding him in his faith. The hermit suggested that instead, he should try to do something good that would utilize his actual strengths and gifts - two of them being his size and strength!
There was a river nearby that was very dangerous for people to cross, and Christopher found a purpose in helping people to cross.
He performed this mundane, but loving task of service for a long time until one day he saw a child on the bank who wanted to cross. As Christopher carried him, the child began to grow extremely heavy, and he worried he might not make it through the middle of the river. Once safely on the other side, he asked the child what had happened. He replied that he was Jesus, and that Christopher had just carried the weight of the whole world by carrying him. There are versions of the story that say the Child then baptized him and renamed him Christopher, and some that say he asked him to press his staff into the ground, which then turned into a flowering tree. He then disappeared.
After this, it is said that Christopher began to travel again to tell the world about this miracle and about Jesus.
When he was in an area that is now Turkey, Christopher had converted thousands of people in the city. When he was asked to sacrifice to the emperor, he would not. He was offered money and two women were sent to seduce him, but he would not comply and converted the two women as well. Many attempts were made to assassinate him, but after none of them worked, he was instead arrested and beheaded.
to travel through this world and this life is dangerous. there is so much unknown, so many challenges, and so many choices. Like you, may we bear each challenge for, and with Jesus, and may we never be afraid of the unseen road ahead. Keep us safe on our journeys, and, at the same time, show us all the lessons and amazing wonders to be seen.
Not only a large man, but also a humble one in pursuit of knowledge and greatness, I made Christopher to resemble an experienced hiker on the move. With his staff (walking stick) and travel pack strap bearing patches from all the places he's been, he's on a mission and seeing the world, all in the name of the child featured on his t-shirt.