The Meaning of the St. Christopher Medal
Most people know that St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers; however, there is quite a story to tell about one of the most popular saints worldwide. Have you ever wondered why St. Christopher is so renowned? Have you ever wondered why people everywhere adorn and protect themselves with a St. Christopher Medal? In this article we will explore the history, meaning, and even the new traditions behind the St. Christopher medal.
The History Behind the Legend Saint Christopher
St. Christopher is one of the only saints not mentioned in the Bible. In fact, there is no actual proof that he existed at all. In 1969, the Catholic Church removed him from the universal calendar, but did not revoke his canonization. He is, regardless of his removal, known as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
Originally born as Reprobus or Offerus, St. Christopher lived during the 3rd century in the Roman Empire. According to legend, St. Christopher grew to be 7 feet tall and was considered a giant. One day he decided to leave his home. He wanted to figure out why he was put upon this earth. He came upon a hermit who told him about Christ and then he was baptized. This is when he changed his name to Christopher (Greek for Christ-Bearer) and made an oath to God to help travelers cross a treacherous river.
One day a child asked to cross the dangerous river and St. Christopher promised to get the child safely to the other side. Once he began to walk across the river with the child on his back, the child got heavier and heavier with each stride. With a mighty and heroic effort, St. Christopher bore this crushing weight and delivered the child safely to the other side of the river.
Legend has it that St. Christopher said it felt like the whole weight of the world was upon his shoulders. The child then confessed that he was the Christ Child and that he had in fact carried the whole weight of the world upon his shoulders. To prove that it was true, the child told him to drive his staff into the ground. The next day the staff had turned into a lush fruit tree. There is some debate about which King or Emperor was reigning at the time. Some say it was the 3rd century Roman emperor Decius, others say that it was the emperor Maximinus Daia. Regardless, whoever was ruling at the time was threatened by St. Christopher, so he put him in jail and then had him beheaded – making St. Christopher the martyr that he is today.
The Meaning Behind the Saint Christopher Medal
Initially, the St. Christopher medal was primarily for Catholics to represent their faith and to provide protection while they travel. However, the St. Christopher medal has become popular for people of all religious backgrounds.
The legend of St. Christopher has been depicted in countless paintings and sculptures throughout the Renaissance. The medal itself generally depicts St. Christopher as a very large man with a child over his shoulder and a staff in his hand crossing a river. The most popular choice is to wear it as pendant on a necklace or a charm on a bracelet.
Through the years these necklaces have come to represent much more than just safe travel and protection. The medal has become a symbol for overcoming adversity and the courage to follow your destiny. Since St. Christopher saved people from drowning, it can also represent safe passage at sea.
The Perfect Gift
A St. Christopher necklace or charm makes a thoughtful gift for a wide array of people regardless of their religious beliefs, gender, or age! We’ve listed a few examples below.
We will start with the most obvious. St. Christopher jewelry makes a perfect gift for the globetrotter who is constantly traveling or someone who is about to embark on a trip or an adventure. Soldiers often wear St. Christopher necklaces to anchor them back to their loved ones at home.
University / College Students
Loved ones who are leaving home for the first time to go off to university or college would appreciate a St. Christopher medal. Your high school graduate will want something that reminds them of home and makes them feel safe and protected.
Milestone Birthday Heirlooms
St. Christopher necklaces make a perfect gift for milestone birthdays even if the recipient is a newborn, infant, or toddler. Many people consider them heirlooms to be saved until the child reaches a certain age.
First Time Drivers
Nervous parents of first-time drivers will want to give their teenager something that symbolizes safety and protection. Some people even hang their necklaces on the rear-view mirror.
Thalassophiles are people who love and are magnetically attracted to the sea or ocean. From surfers to sailors to divers or even avid swimmers – the St. Christopher medal is popular among those that have a connection to the water.
Hamilton Jewelers has a vast selection of St. Christopher necklaces and charms for a bracelet. It’s a perfect gift for just about everyone, as it shows you care about their well-being, and it reminds them of the people who love them at home.