Catholic Dictionary

Term

ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL

Definition

One of the most popular religious medals of our day. St. Christopher is pictured carrying the Child on his shoulder. The story is told that this third-century saint as a big-bodied youth served God and his neighbor well by carrying people over a dangerous river that had taken the lives of many. Among those he carried across was Christ himself, who, on one occasion, appeared to Christopher (Greek, Christ-Bearer) in the form of a child. He is the special patron and helper of travelers, especially those who travel by plane and automobile. Hence the custom of having St. Christopher medals (or statuettes) on the dashboard of automobiles. The feast of St. Christopher is on July 25 and his name remains on the Church calendars of particular regions. It no longer appears in the universal calendar because his cultus (like that of many saints) was not originally part of the liturgical tradition of the city of Rome, unlike other early saints, e.g., Sts. Agatha, Agnes, and Cecilia. But the Church has not removed him from veneration by the faithful as a saint.