Whatever Happened to St. Christopher?

A long-ago legend has it that,
there once lived a man of towering strength, a giant of a man.
He was a pagan whose strength perhaps
led him to believe that he needed no higher power.

He made his living by carrying travelers across a broad river.
One day a beautiful child came to the bank of the river.
As the man bent down to allow the child to climb upon his back,
the young lad said, “Are you sure you can bear my weight?”

The man laughed. “Why, I’ve carried full-grown men across the river.
You, my little one, will be lighter than a pebble.”

“Very well,” said the boy. “But I must warn you. I am heavier than I look.”

With a grin,
the man raised the child upon his massive shoulders
and stepped out into the swirling water.
But the weight on his back grew strangely heavy.
Soon the brawny giant was struggling not to sink.
With  superhuman effort he crawled up onto
the opposite bank of the river and letthe child down.

“How can you be so heavy?” the perplexed man asked. “Who are you?”

“I am Jesus of Nazareth,” replied the boy.
“And I carry the burdens of the world on my shoulders.
Let me carry yours too.”

And so it was that this pagan became a Christian.
His baptismal name was Christopher — Christ-bearer.
Today he known as Saint Christopher.
Although his feast is not celebrated as it once was
due to the lack of historical evidence,
the story IS true and he is still a saint.

Christ has room for us upon his shoulders.
Believe it!  Count on it!


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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