Christopher | Christophoros | Probus | the “Christ bearer” | the “dog-headed”

● Orthodox Remembrance Day: May 9, November 9
● Name means: the Christ bearer (from Greek)
● Martyr, Holy Helper
● Attributes: Giant with staff, child on his shoulders, walking through water
● Patron: sailors, soldiers, pilgrims, travelers, drivers, chauffeurs, goldsmiths, treasure
diggers, fruit merchants, gardeners, athletes, doctors and against disease, mountain
roads, children, against plague, epidemics, epilepsy, unexpected death, hail, eye
ailments, blindness, toothache, wounds, against fire and water hazards, drought, storm,
● Born in Canaan or in Lycia, Turkey
● Died around 250 in Lycia, Turkey
The life of Christopher is steeped in legends, although historical records confirm his existence. A
church in Chalcedon was consecrated in his name in 454, confirming his veneration.
Christopher’s journey began as a soldier, but he later became a missionary spreading the word
of God throughout Lycia. His fate was martyrdom, which remains a focal point of many of the
legends concerning him.
One such legend details Christopher’s miraculous baptism, setting him on a path to teach and
preach throughout the lands. His depiction in Western Church iconography is as a giant, carrying
the Baby Jesus on his shoulders across a river. This representation portrays him as one of the
fourteen emergency helpers, and he has become a prominent patron saint of travelers.
The Eastern Church, on the other hand, depicts Christopher in a more literal interpretation, as
Kynokephalen, or “dog-headed.” Christopher’s appearance as a dog-headed figure is subject to
interpretation, with some believing it may have been a symbol of his steadfastness and loyalty
to his faith. Regardless of the interpretation, Christopher’s life and legend have undoubtedly left
an indelible mark on Christian tradition, making him an enduring and beloved figure to this day.