Saint Christopher was reputedly born in the modern Middle East, sometime in the 4th century AD. His original name was Reprobus, and tradition states that he was almost a giant in stature. The future saint decided that he wanted to serve a Great King, so he left home to find such a personage.
During his travels, the future saint fell in with a gang of thieves, the leader of whom claimed to be the devil. Initially, the future Saint was greatly impressed by the devil and his gang, until he noticed the power that crosses had upon them. Christopher was so impressed that he decided that he wanted to serve Christ. He consulted a hermit, who told him that he should serve Christ with his gigantic size and strength by helping people across a dangerous river.
The future saint made his way down to the river, and helped countless travelers and saved many lives. St. Christopher asked the Lord to give him “a steady hand and a watchful eye” when he helped travelers.
One day, a small child asked for his help crossing the river. Christopher agreed, and helped the child. Remarkably, this giant of a man was barely able to lift the child, and was almost crushed by his weight. However, Christopher managed to get him across. He then turned to the child and told him, “When I was carrying you I thought I was carrying the whole world.” The child turned to him and responded that he had just carried Him who had created the world. The child was Christ.
Before Christopher could speak to the child, it suddenly vanished.
Saint Christopher was very brave. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Decius there was a great persecution of Christians. The Emperor martyred countless Christians. Saint Christopher bravely comforted those who were being persecuted. He was steadfast in his faith. When he refused to sacrifice to some pagan gods he was ordered to be executed. This occurred sometime in the middle of the 4th century AD.
There are several miracles associated with St. Christopher on his way to his execution.
A stick in his hand blossomed, and he multiplied loaves of bread to feed those travelers that he met on the road as he was being led to his death.
St. Christopher was ordered to be executed in a horrible fashion. He was ordered into a red hot metal box, but he did not suffer or feel pain. He also was subject to other cruel forms of execution, but he did not die. Eventually, St. Christopher was beheaded.
St. Christopher is still safeguarding travelers to this day. Many travelers have a medal or image of this saint to protect them from harm on their journeys.