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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saint Christopher




Ordinary Time: July 25

Third century martyr in the persecutions of Decius. Also known as Offero. Little else is known for sure.

His fame derives from the pious legend of him being a “Christ-bearer” (= Christopher). He was a powerfully built man, who wandered the world in search of novelty and adventure. He came upon a hermit, who lived beside a dangerous stream and served others by guiding them to safe places to cross. He gave Offero instruction in the truth of God. Offero took the hermit‘s place, but instead of guiding travellers, he carried them safely across the stream.

One day he carried a small child across the stream; the child‘s weight nearly crushed him. When they arrived on the other side, the child revealed himself as Christ, and he was so heavy because he bore the weight of the world on himself. He then baptised Offero with water from the stream. Christopher’s service at the stream led to his patronage of things related to travel and travellers, people who carry things, etc. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

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