Throwback Thursday: Whatever happened to St. Christopher medals?

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday.” For today’s installment, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 2nd, 2015 and has been revised.

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Does anyone remember St. Christopher medals? Ho, boy! They were EXTREMELY popular within Catholicism when I was a young boy back in the 1960s. Well, Catholic tradition has it that Christopher was a 3rd-century Christian living in Palestine who served God by helping people ford a dangerously swift river. One day, a young boy needed help getting to the other side of the river so Christopher hoisted the lad up on his shoulder and carried him across. But Christopher staggered because the boy was so inexplicably heavy! Well, it was alleged that the child was actually the incarnate Jesus Christ who was so heavy because he was weighted down with the cares of the entire world! The legend of Christopher spread far and wide throughout the church.

Christopher was never formally canonized as a saint (the Roman church didn’t officially canonize its first saint until 993 AD), but was presumed to be one because of his longstanding popularity. He was designated by the church as the patron saint of travelers and millions of Catholics wore St. Christopher medals that had been blessed by their priest as protection in their daily commutes or on trips. Catholics were told they would never die in a travel accident if they wore a St. Christopher medal.

However, in 1969 the Catholic church reviewed and reorganized its liturgical calendar. Feast days of saints who were determined to have been largely based on myth and legend, like Christopher, were quietly removed from the calendar. Although Christopher is still considered to be a saint by Rome, he has been demoted to third-string and, except for a few traditionalist die-hards, his protective medal has become a memento of a bygone era.

The Catholic church likes to present itself as the unchanging foundation of spiritual truth but even a casual study of church history reveals the fallacy of that claim. What about the millions of Catholics who prayed to St. Christopher for safe travel prior to his demotion? Did wearing a “blessed” St. Christopher talisman actually protect people from being injured or killed in travel accidents? Did any Catholics die in travel accidents while wearing St. Christopher medals? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Friends, Catholicism’s veneration of “saints” and trust in sacramental rabbits’ feet are rooted in Roman paganism. Nowhere in the Bible does a follower of God pray to anyone other than God. Nowhere in the Bible does a believer wear a “good luck” talisman. In pandering to its heathen “converts,” Catholicism became a mixture of apostate Christianity and pagan superstition.

Praise the Lord for freeing me from the chains and superstition of Roman Catholicism and saving me by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone!

25 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Whatever happened to St. Christopher medals?

    1. Thanks for this article from the Jesuit magazine, “America.” It’s ironic how the Jesuits were once the defenders of Tridentine militancy but are now the main propagators of syncretism and social justice liberalism.

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      1. Ah, I love reading the works of my favorite Jesuits, Joseph Fitzmyer (teaches forensic justification, teaches Romans 3:28 means “faith alone”), Brendan Byrne (teaches that Rom 3:28 has the sense of “faith alone”), Klaus Schatz (no monarchical Bishop of Rome until mid to late 2nd century), and Francis Sullivan who casts doubts about the Romanist narrative of apostolic succession:

        Francis Sullivan S.J.: The New Testament offers no support for a theory of apostolic succession that supposes the apostles appointed or ordained a bishop for each of the churches they founded.

        Nor do we find support for such a theory in the earliest Christian writings that we have from the post—New Testament period. According to the Didache, a Christian community that lacked the leadership of a prophet should choose worthy men and appoint them as bishops and deacons. It contains no suggestion that they would derive their authority in any way from a founding apostle. The letter of the Romans to the Corinthians, known as I Clement, which dates to about the year 96, provides good evidence that about thirty years after the death of St. Paul the church of Corinth was being led by a group of presbyters, with no indication of the presence of a bishop with authority over the whole local church. However, I Clement does affirm that the founding apostles had appointed the first generation of local church leaders and had laid down the rule that when those men died, others should be appointed to succeed them. This letter, then, does attest to the principle of apostolic succession in ministry, but it gives no support to the idea that the apostles had appointed a bishop for each church they founded. For I Clement, the principle of apostolic succession was realized in the college of duly appointed presbyters. Most scholars are of the opinion that the church of Rome would most probably have also been led at that time by a group of presbyters. A Roman document of the early second century known as Shepherd of Hermas supports this opinion.
        …….
        There exists a broad consensus among scholars, including most Catholic ones, that such churches as those of Alexandria, Philippi, Corinth and Rome most probably continued to be led for some time by a college of presbyters, and that only during the course of the second Century did the threefold structure become generally the rule, with a bishop, assisted by presbyters, presiding over each local church. From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church, Paulist Press, 2001, Pg 14-15

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  1. Wow Christoper’s story about saving a child whose actually Christ is really unbiblical…and its crazy that it was taught that they would never die in a travel accident if they wore a St. Christopher medal.

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    1. Right, the Christopher-Jesus myth was so un-Biblical. I should add that the RCC didn’t proclaim as dogma that the medal would protect the wearer in all circumstances but those were kinds of empty promises we heard from our overzealous nun and lay teachers.

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