Tuesday, July 28, 2009

St. Christopher, patron saint of surfers

I am in St. Christopher's waters.
I'm vacationing in Laguna Beach, a paradise of salty air and a ridiculously accessible view of the Pacific Ocean. From my balcony, I can watch skilled surfers navigate huge waves. On a recent shopping trip, I saw an array of Saint Christopher medals for sale on thin chains. When I asked the salesperson why St. Christopher, she didn't know.
A frustrating Internet search ensued. I found out that he is supposedly the patron saint of lots of things--mariners, travelers and surfers-- but I found nothing that explained why. I always knew that St. Christopher was the patron saint of travel (I had two former boyfriends with medallions pinned to the sun visors in their cars), but the surfer/mariner thing was new to me. I'm a tourist here-- anyone know where the St. Christopher thing comes from? Do surfers wear the medallions when surfing? What's St. Christopher's role, and is it a big one for those who pray to him? In the meantime, I think I'll just keep watching the ocean...