rab croatia

St. Christopher

Life: ? - 251 AD (sort of, it’s complicated)

Feast day: July 25

Patronage: travelers, against toothache, nightmares, headaches, and sudden death 

Life Story: St. Christopher is one of the saints who is probably a legend and not a historical person. However, this is how his story usually goes. St. Christopher was a very tall and strong man. One day, he decided that he would only serve the strongest king in the world. He served one human king for a while, until he learned that the king feared the devil. Then he went out in search of the devil to serve him. He found the devil and almost began serving him until Christopher learned that the devil feared God. So then he found a hermit to teach him how to serve God. The hermit taught him Christianity and told Christopher that he could serve God by using his strength to help people across a dangerous river. One day, a kid asked Christopher to carry him across the river. Christopher did, but with every step the kid grew heavier. When they made it across Christopher said, “ You have put me in the greatest danger. I do not think the whole world could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were.“ The kid replied: "You had on your shoulders not only the whole world but Him who made it. I am Christ your king, whom you are serving by this work.” The kid then vanished. Christopher died in Lydia, where a local king had him put to death for refusing to worship pagan gods (’though it took multiple tries before he actually died.)

Symbols: staff, a tall man carrying the Child Jesus, sometimes he has the head of a dog.

Offerings: candles, good deeds, anything to do with travel

Holy Places:

the Museum of Sacred Art in St. Justine’s Church on the island of Rab, Croatia (where his skull is)

the Church of St. Christopher in Mystras, Greece

St. Christopher Wayside Shrine in Huntsville, Alabama, USA

Prayers:

Protect us, St. Christopher, on our travels and wherever we may roam. Please keep us safe and guide us always safely home.

Prayer to St. Christopher while Travelling

Dear Saint Christopher,
protect me today
in all my travels
along the road’s way.
Give your warning sign
if danger is near
so that I may stop
while the path is clear.
Be at my window
and direct me through
when the vision blurs
From out of the blue.
Carry me safely
to my destined place,
like you carried Christ
in your close embrace.

Amen.

*Other Information*

He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

It is said that if one looks at a depiction of St. Christopher, they will not die on that days, at least, without being prepared. This, along with being the patron of travelers, is why many wear his medal or keep it in their car.