“The Vatican said recently he doesn’t exist,” our guide informed us as we visited Cologne Cathedral in Germany a week or so ago and looked up at the imposing statue of St. Christopher near one of its entrances. Then, we passed quickly on.
Afterwards, I told him the Vatican didn’t say Christopher never existed, but as of now there is no historical evidence for the popular saint who carries the little child on his shoulders. For one reason or another, no historical evidence exists for a good number of our early saints.
But does that mean there is no Christopher? Actually, If you look at what he’s doing, there have been–and still are– many Christophers. (Bearers of the Christ Child) His type of holiness is mostly unrecognized, but very real. He’s there in the men (and women) who day after day carry children on their shoulders, getting them where they must go and keeping them from the dangers little children face.
Not much glamor in that job, but children need carrying, especially today.
I was going out for supper with a couple the other evening, and they told me to take my own car because the back seat of their car was taken by safety seats for their two grandchildren. Modern Christophers.
On the flight back from Europe a number of Dutch teenagers were watching a video of big bare-chested Vikings flailing each other with their swords in non-stop violence. Was the Christopher in the Cologne Cathedral a sign to generations past that masculine strength is more than swinging a sword? You’re strong when you serve the weak.
We need you today, St. Christopher.