Saint Christopher is a beloved saint who was ousted from the Roman calendar in 1969. His image can be found inside of cars, on the walls of churches, and around the necks of safety-seeking travelers. His most prevalent image is that of a tall, formidable man who wades across an unruly river. Wooden staff firmly in hand, his face is often strained, looking upward to the sweet-faced child resting on his oversized shoulders. Though the life of this mighty martyr was later questioned by historians, Saint Christopher’s story and his worldwide appeal have proven invulnerable. He is referenced in literature: Chaucer wrote about him in The Canterbury Tales; and in film, such as 2005’s Crash in which a habitual car thief uses his trusty Saint Christopher medal as a good-luck charm. Saint Christopher—patron of travelers, protector against toothaches, hailstorms, and sudden death—is one of the most endearing for Catholics. His life and story, bordering somewhere between legend and legitimacy, is a complex, faith-affirming exercise in service, grace, and love. Christopher has proven his resilience, growing in popularity over the centuries and withstanding suspicious historians who have questioned his validity. Though the life of this mighty martyr was later questioned by historians, Saint Christopher’s story and his worldwide appeal have proven invulnerable. For more about this great saint, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
James “the Greater” and his brother John are called by Jesus as they are mending their nets in their boat on the Sea of Galilee. He belongs to the inner circle of the Apostles. With Peter and John, he witnesses the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, Jesus’ Transfiguration, and his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The mother of James and John asks Jesus to give them the seats at either side of him, positions of honor and authority. This prompts Jesus’ teaching: “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (credit: Magnificat, 25 Jul 2020). For more about this great saint, witness of the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for a homily from St. John Chrysostom on the Sons of Zebedee, please click on the image. Peace be with you!