Christopher, Saint krĭs´təfər [key] [Gr.,=Christ bearer], 3d cent.?, martyr of Asia Minor. His characteristic legend is that one day when he was carrying a little child over a river, he felt the child's weight almost too great to bear. The child was Jesus, carrying the world in his hands. Hence St. Christopher is usually represented as a giant, with the Holy Child on his shoulder; he leans on a staff. He is the patron of travelers, hence the practice of wearing his medal on journeys. His name was dropped from the liturgical calendar in 1969. Feast: July 25.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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