August 16, 2008

History Lesson: The Legend of St. Christopher

For years I've been wearing the retro & original St. Christopher medals in various colors on my travels. Whether it's an adventure in Thailand, roaming around Prague or a weekend trip to San Francisco with the girls. I’m often asked what it is I am wearing & why.

Usually I tell the short story of St. Christopher who is said to bring luck and good fortune to travelers.

According to there is the legend about St. Christopher where he was crossing a river when a child asked to be carried across. When Christopher put the child on his shoulders he found the child was unbelievably heavy. The child, according to the legend, was Christ carrying the weight of the whole world. This was what made Christopher patron saint of travelers. St. Christopher is often revered also by athletes, sailors and drivers (

More recently in the 1960's surfers wore St. Christopher medals as a good luck piece to protect them while surfing.

During those retro times a St. Christopher medal was synonymous with fleeting romance as “Moondoggies” and “Gidgets” exchanged them as a symbol of "going steady.”

My favorite story of giving a St. Christopher medal is that of Truman Capote’s novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s where the narrator gives Holly Golightly a St. Christopher medal for Christmas.

“ ‘I’m afraid it isn’t much,’ and it wasn’t: a St. Christopher’s medal. But at least it came from Tiffany’s. Holly was not a girl who could keep anything, and surley by now she has lost that medal, left it in a suitcase or some hotel drawer. “ (Capote, 59-60)

Holly Golightly may not have kept that medal close to her heart - she just might have with the vibrants colors of St. Christopher medals of today.

Our new fun colors at Retro Republik (from our partner Getbackdesigns) include:

When to Give a St. Christopher:

Travelers: St. Christopher jewelry is believed to bring safety and good wishes to travelers, and would make an ideal gift for someone leaving on a trip or who travels frequently.

Kids: A St. Christopher medal is a special gift for young children and babies as it reflects the start of their journey through life. This would make a lovely gift for a baby shower, baptism or 1st birthday.

Drivers: Many cars are seen sporting St. Christopher medals wishing them a safe return home. Great gift for that ‘road warrior’ or new driver.

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