Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Christopher, martyr of universal fame
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Christopher, martyr of universal fame
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Christopher, St. (Χριστοφόρος), a martyr of universal fame, baptized by St. Babylas, the martyr-bp. of Antioch, who suffered (c. 250) under Decius in Lycia. From early times the untrustworthy character of some of the popular stories of him has been acknowledged. Usuard (a.d. 876) thus commemorated him (July 25) after St. James, according to the common Western use, in his Martyrologium: "At Samos in Licia. After he had been scourged with iron rods, and then delivered from the broiling flames by the virtue of Christ, his head was at last severed from his body, which had fallen full of arrow-wounds, and the martyr's witness was complete."
For the legends respecting him (including the very familiar, but quite unauthentic, one of his bearing the Christ-child), see D. C. B. (4-vol. ed., s.v.), and two simple works written respectively by the late Archd. Allen and W. G. Pearse (S.P.C.K.).