St. Christopher

Artist: 
Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist's Narrative:
The one-time Catholic patron saint of travelers, Saint Christopher -- whose name means "Christ carrier" -- is not mentioned in the Bible. While there may have been a 3rd century Greek martyr named Christopher, the story told of him is now generally acknowledged to be a 12th century addendum to the Christian canon. Christopher is typically depicted as a tall, middle-aged, bearded man with a staff who wades across a river carrying the Christ child on his shoulders. As the story goes, the extremely robust Christopher devoted his life to carrying people across an otherwise unfordable stream. One day a little child appeared before him and asked to be carried across. To Christopher's surprise, as he forded the river, the child steadily increased in weight until Christopher found his tiny burden so heavy that it was almost impossible to bear. When he asked the holy babe why he weighed so much, the child replied that he carried the world's sins upon his shoulders. As a reward for his service, Christopher's staff was miraculously transformed into a living tree, and Christopher himself became the Patron Saint of travelers.

His feast day is July 25.

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