The Cloisters. Basilica Of Saint Paul-Without-The-Walls, Rome. Author: Dnalor 01. Licence (CC-BY-SA 3.0). Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Saint Christopher ("Who bears Christ"). Martyr. Feast Day 25 July.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint Christopher.
   Feast Day 25 July.


Red Vestments.

Saint Christopher bearing The Christ Child.

Saint Christoper was a native of Chanaan. His name ("Who bears Christ") expresses his love of Jesus. A generous Soul, he walked like a giant in The Way of Virtue.

The Piety of our Fathers, inspired by this grand allegory, caused them to place a colossal statue of Saint Christopher at the entrance to Cathedrals. He was Martyred towards 250 A.D.

He is one of "The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints".

Mass: In virtúte.


Saint Christopher.
Greek: Christos, Christ; Pherein, to bear.
Latin: Christophorus, Christbearer.

Canonised: Pre-Congregation.[Editor: A Pre-Congregation Saint is a Christian Saint whose Beatification and/or Canonisation occurred before the institution of the modern investigations performed by The Congregation For The Causes Of Saints (i.e. pre-11th-Century)].

Patron Saint of: Bookbinders; Epilepsy; Gardeners; Mariners; Pestilence; Thunderstorms; Travellers;

A Martyr, probably of the 3rd-Century A.D. Although Saint Christopher is one of the most popular Saints in The East and in The West, almost nothing certain is known about his life or death.

The legend says: A heathen King (in Canaan or Arabia), through the Prayers of his wife to The Blessed Virgin, had a son, whom he called Offerus (Offro, Adokimus, or Reprebus) and dedicated him to the gods Machmet and Apollo.

Acquiring in time extraordinary size and strength, Offerus resolved to serve only the strongest and the bravest. He bound himself successively to a mighty King and to Satan, but he found both lacking in courage; the former dreading even the name of the devil, and the latter frightened by the sight of a Cross at the roadside.

For a time, his search for a new master was in vain, but at last he found a Hermit (Babylas ?), who told him to offer his allegiance to Christ, instructed him in The Faith, and Baptised him.

Christopher, as he was now called, would not promise to do any Fasting or Praying, but willingly accepted the task of carrying people, for God's sake, across a raging stream.

One day, he was carrying a child, who continually grew heavier, so that it seemed to him as if he had the whole World on his shoulders. The child, on inquiry, made himself known as The Creator and Redeemer of the World.

To prove his statement, the child ordered Christopher to fix his staff in the ground. The next morning, it had grown into a Palm-Tree bearing fruit. The miracle converted many. This excited the rage of the King (Prefect) of that region (Dagnus of Samos in Lycia ?). Christopher was put into prison and, after many cruel torments, beheaded.

The Greek legend may belong to the 6th-Century A.D.; about the middle of the 9th-Century A.D., we find it had spread through France. Originally, Saint Christopher was only a Martyr, and, as such, is recorded in the old Martyrologies.

The simple form of the Greek and Latin passio soon gave way to more elaborate legends. We have the Latin edition in prose and verse of 983 A.D., by the Sub-Deacon, Walter of Speyer, "Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimus" (Augsburg, 1721-1723), II, 27-142, and Harster, "Walter von Speyer" (1878).

An edition of the 11th-Century is found in The Acta SS., and another in The Golden Legend of Jacob de Voragine. The idea conveyed in the name, Christopher, at first understood in the Spiritual sense of bearing Christ in the heart, was, in the 12th- or 13th-Centuries, taken in the realistic meaning and became the characteristic of the Saint.

The fact that he was frequently called a great Martyr may have given rise to the story of his enormous size. The stream and the weight of the child may have been intended to denote the trials and struggles of a Soul taking upon itself The Yoke of Christ in this World.

The existence of a Martyr, named Saint Christopher, cannot be denied, as was sufficiently shown by the Jesuit, Nicholas Serarius, in his Treatise on Litanies, "Litaneutici" (Cologne, 1609), and by Molanus. in his history of Sacred Pictures, "De picturis et imaginibus sacris" (Louvain, 1570).

In a small Church, Dedicated to the Martyr Saint Christopher, the body of Saint Remigius of Reims was buried, 532 A.D., (Acta SS., 1 Oct., 161).

Saint Gregory the Great (+ 604 A.D.) speaks of a Monastery of Saint Christopher (Epp., x., 33).

The Mozarabic Breviary and Missal, ascribed to Saint Isidore of Seville (+636 A.D.) contains a special Office in Saint Christopher's honour.

In 1386, a Brotherhood was Founded, under the Patronage of Saint Christopher, in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, Austria, to guide Travellers over The Arlberg mountain range.

In 1517, a Saint Christopher Temperance Society existed in Carinthia, Styria, in Saxony, and at Munich, Germany. Great Veneration was shown to the Saint in Venice, Italy, and along the shores of The River Danube, The River Rhine, and other rivers where floods or ice-jams caused frequent damage.

The oldest picture of the Saint, in the Monastery on Mount Sinai, dates from the time of Emperor Justinian (527 A.D. - 565 A.D.). Coins with his image were cast at Würzburg, in Würtermberg, Germany, and in Bohemia. His statues were placed at the entrances of Churches and dwellings, and frequently at bridges; these statues and his pictures often bore the inscription: "Whoever shall behold the image of Saint Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day."

Painting of The Fourteen Holy Helpers (The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints).
From Left to Right:
Saint Blaise (Blase, Blasius);
Saint Denis (Dionysius);
Saint Erasmus (Elmo);
Saint Pantaleon (Panteleimon);
Saint Vitus (Guy);
Saint Cyriacus;
Saint Christopher (Christophorus);
Saint Agathius (Acacius);
Saint Eustace (Eustachius, Eustathius);
Saint Giles (Aegidius);
Saint George (Georgius);
Saint Barbara;
Saint Catherine of Alexandria;
Saint Margaret of Antioch.
Date: 1800s.

denkmalschutz-knatsch-in-dobl-1.2679391 (abgerufen am 7. Oktober 2015).
Author: Not stated.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Saint, who is one of The Fourteen Holy Helpers (or The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints), HERE, has been chosen as Patron by many Cities, including: Baden; Brunswick; Mecklenburg; as well as by Bookbinders, Gardeners, Mariners. He is invoked against lightning, storms, epilepsy, pestilence. His Feast Day is 25 July; and, among the Greeks, on 9 March; and his emblems are the Tree, The Christ Child, and a Staff. Saint Christopher's Island (commonly called Saint Kitts), lies West of Antigua in The Lesser Antilles.

[Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia.]

Saint Christopher carrying The Christ Child.
Date: 1480-1490.
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
This File: 22 January 2007.
User: Alekjds.



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