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St Christopher was a man of great stature and unusual strength. According to tradition, St Christopher was very handsome, but wishing to avoid temptation for himself and others, he asked the Lord to give him an unattractive face, which was done. Before Baptism he was named Reprebus [Reprobate] because his disfigured appearance. Even before Baptism, Reprebus confessed his faith in Christ and denounced those who persecuted Christians. Consequently, a certain Bacchus gave him a beating, which he endured with humility.
The Latin tradition developed along different lines, however, since early Latin translations did not always render a literal translation of the original Greek term "dog-headed" (kunokephalos), and some seem to have translated it as "dog-like" (canineus). This was amended to read "Canaanite" (Cananeus) as time progressed since it was obvious that he could not really have been "dog-like".
Christopher was a Canaanite 5 cubits (7.5 feet (2.3 m)) tall and with a fearsome face. While serving the king of Canaan, he took it into his head to go and serve "the greatest king there was". He went to the king who was reputed to be the greatest, but one day he saw the king cross himself at the mention of the devil. On thus learning that the king feared the devil, he departed to look for the devil. He came across a band of marauders, one of whom declared himself to be the devil, so Christopher decided to serve him. But when he saw his new master avoid a wayside cross and found out that the devil feared Christ, he left him and enquired from people where to find Christ. He met a hermit who instructed him in the Christian faith. Christopher asked him how he could serve Christ. When the hermit suggested fasting and prayer, Christopher replied that he was unable to perform that service. The hermit then suggested that because of his size and strength Christopher could serve Christ by assisting people to cross a dangerous river, where they were perishing in the attempt. The hermit promised that this service would be pleasing to Christ.
After Christopher had performed this service for some time, a little child asked him to take him across the river. During the crossing, the river became swollen and the child seemed as heavy as lead, so much that Christopher could scarcely carry him and found himself in great difficulty. When he finally reached the other side, he said to the child: "You have put me in the greatest danger. I do not think the whole world could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were." The child replied: "You had on your shoulders not only the whole world but Him who made it. I am Christ your king, whom you are serving by this work." The child then vanished.
the numerus Marmaritarum, to give a Latin translation, or "The Unit of the Marmaritae" in English. The Marmaritae were a north African people from the region of modern Libya which the ancients knew as Marmarica. This information is extremly important because there was only ever one military unit which included the name of this people among its titles. This was a unit whose name has been otherwise preserved only by a late Roman document composed , the Notititia Dignitatum. This mentions a Cohors Tertia Valeria Marmaritarum ("The Third Valerian Cohort of the Marmaritae") which served under the military commander of the late Roman provinces of both Syria and Syria Euphratensis.4 The title Valeria shows that it was the emperor Diocletian (284-305), whose full name was Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, who had recruited this unit. The fact that Christopher was martyred in Syria and that the Cohors Tertia Valeria Marmaritarum served in Syria confirms that this was the unit into which Christopher is alleged to have been conscripted. This proves that Christopher cannot have been martyred before 284.
Originally posted by theubermensch
I wonder if we can trace him back further to Babylon or Sumerian 'religion'.edit on 6-3-2012 by theubermensch because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Akragon
And im supprized no one has had any issues with this thread thus far...