The legend behind St. Christopher is worthy of its own Web site, but I’ll do my best to do it justice. The story goes that Christopher, a tall and powerful man living around the third century, wanted to serve the greatest king so he set out to find the most powerful king he could. When he found the king, he was surprised to see the man cross himself at the mention of the devil. Christopher figured the devil was more powerful than this king so he went off to serve the devil. Christopher then saw that the devil would avoid crosses and Christian relics, so he figured that king must be even more powerful. But Christopher couldn’t find this king as easily.
A hermit taught Christopher the ways of Christianity, and when asked how he could serve, the hermit suggested Christopher help people across a dangerous river. Christopher did so happily.
One day a small child walked up to Christopher asking his assistance in crossing the river. Christopher put the child on his shoulders and began the trek across the river. During the crossing, the river began to rise, and the weight of the child became almost unbearable–it was as if Christopher carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. When he reached the other side and set the boy down safely, the child replied that he was the king that Christopher served, and the weight of the world’s sins was the force weighing him down.
There’s no historic record of Christopher ever existing, however the legend is as real as the millions of medals that bear his story. To Catholics, he’s the patron saint of travelers. Though I don’t consider myself Catholic anymore, I usually have my St. Christopher medal with me in my journeys and legend trips. I can think of no better good luck charm, or reminder of the power of legends.
I didn’t consult the Catholic church on this one, but I hereby adopt St. Christopher as the patron saint of legend trippers everywhere.