Was St. Christopher a real saint? A new perspective
Is Saint Christopher a real saint? This is a question debated by fans -and detractors of the historic figure of St. Christopher. Christopher was removed from the canon of Catholic Saints in 1969 since there was no evidence he existed that could satisfy Church officials.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Christopher is invoked as a protector and a patrol of those who travel. His feast day is July 25 and he has many historic churches and shrines dedicated to his memory. The problem with St. Christopher is that there are no primary sources which indicate he actually lived.
All we have of St. Christopher is legend, a story that he once carried a child on his shoulders across a river as an act of charity. He found the child to be heavy, only to learn that child was actually Christ carrying the weight of the world Himself.
The legend says that St. Christopher was martyred under Emperor Decius around 250 AD.
There certainly was a persecution of the Christians under Decius. And it is very possible that Christopher lived. We have often found that legends have a basis in fact. Consider the historical example of the city of Troy.
The city of Troy was long believed to be just part of a legend by the Greek poet Homer, with no evidence for its existence. It wasn't until Heinrich Schliemann located the ruins of the ancient city in 1871 and discovered treasure and other artifacts there that the city was proven to be real.
In another legend that turned out to be true, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were once lost to history and some began to say they were merely legends. However, archaeologists have located a pair of ancient twin cities, likely destroyed in the same cataclysmic event dated to biblical times. Many believe these ruins in Israel to be those doomed cities.
As further evidence, many Catholics claim the intercession of St. Christopher and say they have had experiences which prove his existence. After all, how could St. Christopher make petitions on behalf of the faithful if he didn't exist?
Like many things we are called to believe, direct, primary source, scientific evidence may not exist in a form that satisfies the harshest critics. Instead, we accept some things on the basis of faith, which is something skeptics may not be able to grasp or appreciate.
Nonetheless, millions of Catholics believe in St. Christopher. Furthermore, they swear by his intercession during travel. Are these faithful suffering from a mass hallucination or delusion? Or is something holy at work behind their prayers?
Each Catholic is free to believe as they wish when it comes to St. Christopher. He remains a very popular saint in many communities and his icon hangs proudly next to the hearts of millions of faithful men and women.
Whatever people say, you shouldn't accept the words of others, but instead see for yourself if St. Christopher is real to you. Get the medal and wear it close to your heart. Petition St. Christopher as you journey, be it across town or across oceans. May God bless you and answer the petitions you make, and those made by the saints on your behalf.
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