NAME: "Christ bearer," you'll find out why later
EARTHLY LIFE: Third century, Asia Minor
CHARACTERISTICS AND ACTIVITY: Helped ferry the need across a river; carried Jesus across & converted to Christianity; died a martyr
PATRON OF: Mountaineers; climbers; athletes; drivers; boaters; railroad workers; tram drivers; porters; dockworkers; pilgrims; postal workers; travelers; fruit vendors
SPECIAL DEVOTIONS: Invoked against unexpected death, hurricanes, hail, toothaches
SYMBOLS: Depicted a giant carrying child Jesus on shoulders.
(Blatently stolen from "Saints in Art" by Rosa Giorgi, Trans. by T. M. Hartmann)
Once upon a time, there was a giant named Reprobus. He wished to serve the most powerful being on earth.
First he served a king. The king was very powerful; he held the life and death of his subjects in his hands. But one day, a man in court mentioned the name of The Devil, and the king crossed himself in fear.
Reprobus asked, "Why do you do that?"
The king answered, "Because I am afraid of The Devil."
Reprobus snorted and said, "Well, if you are afraid of The Devil, then he is obviously more powerful than you. I will serve him."
And he did.
But one day, Reprobus saw The Devil flee from a cross in horror.
Asked Reprobus, "Why did you flee from that?"
Answered The Devil, "It is the symbol of Jesus Christ and he frikkin' scares me."
Reprobus snorted, and said, "Well, if he scares you, then he is obviously more powerful than you. I will go and serve him."
This turned out to be rather hard. Reprobus searched high and low, as hard as he could, but could not find this "Jesus Christ." Finally, he asked an old hermit how he could serve Jesus.
Answered the hermit, "Help people."
So Reprobus took to ferrying people across a wide river. This wasn't so hard, because Reprobus was quite large. He did this for many years, until one stormy night, a small child showed up and asked to be taken across the river. Reprobus put the child on his shoulders and set out. But as he got farther and farther across the river, the child got heavier and heavier. It was harder and harder for Reprobus to go on. Finally, he asked:
"Why are you so /heavy?/"
And the child answered: "I am Jesus, and I carry the world."
And thus, Reprobus became St Christoper.