ST. CHRISTOPHER, HOLY HELPER
"Who casts the eye on St. Christopher will be unharmed by weakness that day."
This inscription usually stands underneath his picture or at the walls or entrances to the medieval towns, or churches.
One night of storm and driving rain, Reprobus carried over the river a small child who insisted on making the journey at that moment. With each step he took, his burden became heavier; half-way over he felt certain that his strength would fail, and that he and his passenger would sink in the river. When at last he reached the opposite bank, the child told him that he had carried on his shoulders all the sins of the world, and asked him to plant his great walking staff in the ground. At once a wonderful tree springs up miraculously and gave fruit, just like Aaron's cane. Then Christopher recognizes the Christ Child, and sees face to face the King whom he has vowed to serve.
Some legends say that, having borne Christ, he should now bear his name, and so henceforth Offero becomes Christ-Offero.
As the Golden Legend puts it: 'And afterwards he was named Christopher, which is as much as to say bearing Christ.'
Christopher left the service on the riverbank and committed himself to religion. He preached Christ to all who came his way, with such conviction and zeal that the earthly agonies of martyrdom were as nothing to him. He was probed by various temptations - the legend says he was assailed by two harlots who wanted to seduce him and make him leave the faith, but he converted the two of them.
In the middle ages his picture was to be found at the entrance of churches or at the gates of cities, prompted by the belief that those who gazed upon his image should not that day be a prey to sudden death: and that today, no matter where men may travel, St Christopher should go with them.
In the year 251. in time of Roman emperor Decius, a persecutor of Christians, Christopher ended up on greek island Samos where he was arrested and then wooed to give up Christianity. He was tortured and the taken to the scaffold to be fired at by 40 archers but all 40 missed as the arrows glanced off and returned to the shooters, guided by God's hand. One of the returning arrows went through king's heart. Finally, not knowing how to harm him, he was beheaded.
" Although so little is known about the life of St. Christopher, there is much to be gathered from his experience of carrying Christ across the river. His story represents a message of hope that all Christians are called to bear and to "put on" Christ, by taking up the crosses, given to each of us, in our lives. Christopher bore his "cross" (Christ himself) and eventually suffered martyrdom for the faith, fulfilling the commandment of Christ, "He who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:38). " - source http://orthodoxwiki.org/Christopher_of_Lycia
The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates Christopher of Lycea with a Feast Day on May 9 while in western churches his day is commemorated on 25th July.
ST. CHRISTOPHER - PATRON SAINT OF RAB
Today, on St. Christopher's day (25.07.) begins the biggest festivity on the island Rab; RAB FEST Days 25.07.-27.07. with culmination on 27th when the archers' tournament is held. The Saint relic ( the cranium) is held in an gilded case and guarded in the town's museum with the rest of the sacral collection.
More on St. Christopher
Images of the Saint
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