What Is the Meaning of the Saint Christopher Medal?


The Saint Christopher medal is worn by members of the Catholic Church as an appeal to Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. By showing their devotion to the saint in this manner, Catholics believe he will bless them and protect them from storms and other hardships they may encounter. Saint Christopher began to be well recognized for his piety starting in the fifth century.

Legend has it that Christopher carried travelers across a river in service to God. Once, he carried a small child who suddenly became extremely heavy. The child revealed himself to be Christ, and the weight he bore was the weight of the world; in Greek, Christopher translates to “carrier of Christ.” In art, he is usually represented as a tall, bearded man carrying a very small Christ child. The legend further claims that Christopher died during the third century as a martyr in the reign of the Roman emperor Decius.

Though the legend of Saint Christopher has grown in popularity over the centuries, there is little evidence to support the fact that he ever really lived. Because of this, in 1969, the Catholic Church determined that he and certain other saints would be removed from the official calendar of feast days.