St Christopher is one of the more popular saints within catholicism. However, the story of Saint Christopher didn’t originate until after 251 AD when he was supposedly killed by beheading by Roman Emperor Decius and didn’t become a prominent figure in catholicism until the 7th century. This is why saint Christopher does not appear in the holy bible. Because there wasn’t enough historical evidence the man ever existed, Pope Paul VI dropped him from the religious calendar. The name Christopher means Christ-Bearer, which was given to Reprobus, a Canaanite man, after the story of his life and his encounter with Christ.
The Story of St Christopher, the patron saint of travel and children
In the legends, Saint Christopher, originally named Reprobus, was a large man that may have been considered a giant in historical times. He resided in Canaan. He towered over men with a height of over 7-ft.
Because of his height and Stature, Reprobus was most likely ostracised from his community and likely referred to as a monster destined for a life of solitude. This would explain the definition of his birth name of Reprobus, which means firstly false or spurious and then secondly rejected or condemned as below standard.
Reprobus was powerful and feared and, due to this, aspired to serve the strongest King, so he did for his local King. However, during his time as a servant, it became apparent that the King feared the devil, so in his efforts to serve the most influential figure, Reprobus left to find and serve this person or figure known as the devil.
In his journey, Reprobus discovered a group of thieves led by a person who identified himself as the devil. Reprobus pledged his loyalty to the devil and served him in his acts of wickedness and sin.
One day as they journeyed across the land, they stumbled upon a cross buried in the ground. The devil winced at the sign of the cross and ordered them all to flee from the area. Again, Reprobus, discouraged by the fear his leader had shown for this cross symbol, left to find the king that this cross belonged and struck so much fear into the devil.
He travelled again and discovered a group of Christians. They feared him because of his size and appearance when he approached them. He asked if he could meet their leader. The holy man of the group explained that they served the king of kings and aimed to spread the lord’s name in a peaceful, loving way and that he would not be suitable for the task at hand and a life of prayer and fasting. The Bishop refused to baptise Reprobus and sent him on his way.
Discouraged, Reprobus wandered the land until he came across a hermit, a prophet-type individual wise to the world. The hermit explained to Reprobus the life of christ and explained that there are other ways to serve the lord.
The Hermit described a nearby town where to gain access, people must cross a dangerous river that had claimed the lives of many men. He advised Reprobus to use his strength and height to assist the individuals who wished to cross.
This is what Reprobus set out to do. One day when the crossing of the river had been busy and the river had been hazardous. Late in the evening, a small boy approached an exhausted Reprobus asking for assistance with safe passage to the town.
Reprobus agreed and placed the child on his shoulder to cross the river. As Reprobus approached the deepest part of the river, the boy became heavier and heavier. Reprobus could hardly carry the boy, and his legs nearly gave out. Reprobus battled against the current with an enormous weight on his shoulders and finally reached the other side.
Reprobus asked the small boy how he could be so heavy. The boy presented himself as christ and exclaimed that he carried him whilst he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, making him extremely heavy. The boy then told him to go and tell the bishop. “Tell him to baptise you with a new name. From now on, you shall be called Christopher.”
Reprobus would then go on to be named saint Christopher, and he went forward and gained a reputation for holiness among Christians and was a cause of many conversions to the faith. The Roman Emperor Decius later martyred him because of his unwavering faith and ability to convert people to Christianity. He became a prominent figure within Christianity in 700 ad, which is when the first churches and religious buildings started to be named after the saint.
Saint Christopher in Jewellery
The Story of Saint Christoper and his kindness made him the patron saint to protect travellers and children. Many people who travel far for their living, people who bear a significant responsibility, and people who work on water carry or wear a St Christoper to protect them. Many also give an st. Christopher pendant to children to help protect them as Rerprobus did for Jesus Christ across the river.
Here are some examples of St Christopher gift ideas.