July 25th - St. Christopher, Martyr

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Jul 25, 2022, 2:58:55 AMJul 25
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July 25th - St. Christopher, Martyr
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

The Roman Martyrology, today, honors also St. Christopher, who
received the crown of martyrdom about the middle of the third century.
He was born and educated in idolatry, but no sooner had he embraced
Christianity, than he zealously strove to convert others to the true
faith, and labored especially for this end in the district of Lycia.
When, on this account, he was arraigned before the heathen judges, he
fearlessly confessed Christ. Making him prisoner, they sent two wicked
heathen women to him, who by tempting him to evil deeds, should open
the way for him to forsake Christianity. But the Saint not only
induced them by his exhortations to change their conduct, but also
converted them to the Christian faith; which so enraged the judge,
that he ordered the Saint to be tormented most cruelly.

Perceiving, however, that the Saint remained constant under all kinds
of martyrdom, and by his example converted a great many heathens, the
tyrant at length ordered him to be beheaded. This Saint is generally
represented as of a gigantic stature, with a budding staff in his
hand, carrying Christ, in the form of a lovely child, across a river.
The cause of this is, that St. Christopher possessed a very tall
figure, and one day, while expounding the truth of the Gospel to the
heathens, he fixed a withered stick into the ground, which, to testify
to the truth of his teachings, immediately began to bud. It is also
told of him that his desire to assist his neighbor induced him to make
his dwelling for some time by a river, and to carry travelers across
to the opposite shore, as there was no bridge. While employed in these
deeds of kindness, Christ Himself appeared one day to him, in the form
of a lovely child, desiring to be carried over the river. The Saint
took Him upon his shoulder, and carried him to the opposite shore,
where the Saviour, making Himself known, filled the heart of His
faithful servant with inexpressible joy.

There have been in the last few centuries, some who, wickedly desiring
to tarnish the glory of the Saints, dared to assert that St.
Christopher never existed. Several learned men, however, have, by
their powerful arguments, silenced this erroneous statement. It is an
established fact, that this holy Martyr was already honored by the
whole Christian world, more than a thousand years before Luther. There
are several convents and churches which were founded in his honor. It
must here also be remarked that the Catholic Church by no means
approves of the superstition practiced by some weak-minded persons;
as, for instance, to say the so-called Prayer of St. Christopher, in
order to find hidden treasures or to receive money from the Saint. It
is known that, in our time, some who practised this superstition were
punished by a just judgment of the Almighty in a terrible manner, by a
sudden death.


PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS.

The heathen tyrant endeavored to incite St. Christopher to the vice of
unchastity, through two wicked women, because he thought that this
would be the best way to lead him from Christianity. The same means
were tried by other tyrants, with others of the faithful. Christopher,
however, who desired to remain true to his faith, was not to be
seduced. Heed it well. Unchastity is the way which leads to the loss
of the true faith, hence to hell. Those who become addicted to this
terrible vice, begin slowly to doubt several points of faith, until
they have persuaded themselves that the sin they commit is not so
great as is preached from the pulpit, but only a human weakness which
God could not and would not punish with hell. Whoever reasons in this
manner, has ceased to be a Catholic, as he does not believe everything
God teaches us by His holy Church. The true faith of the heart is
already lost, although apparently he may still belong to the Church of
Christ. With faith, heaven is lost, but hell remains. "He that
believes not shall be condemned," says Christ. (John, hi.; Mark, xvi.)
Ponder well these words, and if you are free from this vice, give
thanks to the Almighty, and, following the example of Christopher, let
nothing seduce you. But if you are a slave to it, tear yourself away
from it, if you will truly deserve the name of Catholic, and escape
everlasting fire. " No man is more ready to despise God, more
audacious in criminal deeds, more hardened in sin, more inflexible to
repentance, and nearer to hell, than he who lives an unchaste life,"
writes St. Thomas of Villanova.


Saint Quote:
The love of worldly possessions is a sort of bird line,
which entangles the soul, and prevents it flying to God.
--Saint Augustine

Bible Quote
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of
charity, if any society of the spirit, if any bowels of commiseration:
2. Fulfil ye my joy, that you may be of one mind, having the same
charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment. 3. Let nothing be
done through contention, neither by vainglory: but in humility, let
each esteem others better than themselves: 4. Each one not considering
the things that are his own, but those that are other men's. 5. For
let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians
2:1-5) DRB

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IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR MERCY

Rejoice Virgin Mary, full of grace.
O Theotokos, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the Fruit of your womb.
For you have given birth to
the Saviour of our souls.

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