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...



  1. "Someone" recently told me that St. Christopher isn't an official saint, so I looked it up. According to that online know-it-all, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Christopher), "While the Roman Catholic Church still approves devotion to him, listing him in the Roman Martyrology among the saints venerated on 25 July, it removed his feast day from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1969. At that time the church declared that this commemoration was not of Roman tradition, in view of the relatively late date (about 1550) and limited manner in which it was accepted into the Roman calendar." Interesting bit of churchly trivia, isn't it?

  2. Christopher carried people safely across a dangerous river and while carrying Christ nearly drowned while crossing a body of water that's the sailor and surfer connection.

    1. When a surfer ventures out on his or her board, that brave man or woman places life and safety in the hands of Christ. Christopher of ancient times dedicated his life to serving others through carrying travelers across a river. He was 7.5 feet tall! One day he carried a child across who revealed Himself to be the Christ and was blessed forever.Surfers and sailors wear the medal to remember service and love to others and for the protection of St. Christopher in the sea. Amen.