striped of saint hood...nude saint?

My freind said that Saint Christopher was striped of his saint hood. Is this true? If so why?

He wasn’t stripped of his sainthood, he was judged never to exist. About thirty years ago the Vatican decided to discourage veneration of several saints, like Christopher, because they were either Christian adaptations of heathen legend or made up from whole cloth. The Vatican might not care if you have a St. Christopher medal, but he doesn’t have a feast day.


It would probably be more natural English to say this as: “he was judged to have never existed.”


He took off his striped hood and then was nude. Am I getting that right?

I’ve got a big carton of Mr. Christopher medals, if anyone is interested.

I wouldnt mind having a saint christopher medal… or alot of them… they would be fun.

I wouldnt mind having a saint christopher medal… or alot of them… they would be fun.

Well… no.

It is not the case that Christopher was judged as never having existed. The problem was that there was no true historical evidence (from a modern, scientific standard of history) that Christopher existed. He could have existed, he could have been pure legend.

In the reforms of Vatican Council II, the theological status of saints was to see them as our brother and sisters who ‘made it’ ahead of us. And for those publically canonized and officially listed as saints, certain criteria were laid down:

  1. There lives were truly exemplary and they demonstrated heroic virtue.

  2. Thus, their lives are worthy of imitation.

  3. Legendary stories of actual saints need to be suppressed. As models of human life, one can not try to attain to the impossible acts found in these legends.

  4. Saints whose existence itself may be legendary need to be, for lack of a better word, retired.

  5. While there are thousands of canonical saints named through history, only those most noteworthy for the world wide church and who fit the higher standards listed above will be put on the official church calendar of celebrated feast days of saints (which the world wide church is obligated to observe).

  6. Those saints found to not to live up to the standards above will be removed from the calendar.
    And so, St. Christopher was sort of ‘demoted’ by being removed from the calendar, because his existence is doubtful. However, devotion to Christopher has not been officially suppressed. As a pious devotion, Catholics may continue to venerate Christopher and try to emulate the Christian virtues he represents.
    All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Remember the song “Davy Crockett” from the 1950s, the one about how he “whupped him a bear when he was only three?” Suppose that someday this song is the only record left of Crockett. Will people be sure that he was a real person?

L. Sprague De Camp once observed that if historians in the distance future have no information about the 1930s aside from Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t happen Here, they might conclude that the U. S. once had a president named Buzz Windrip, and that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a minor character in a novel about him.

So it is with St. Christopher. The Roman Catholic Church never said he didn’t exist. Rather, it was acknowledged that the issue could not be resolved based on the evidence available. All that is known about him is a lovely fairy tale about how he went searching for the devil and then found him, and then went searching for Chirst and found him in the form of a little boy.

He was said to be “decalendarized”; that is, his feast day was taken off of the official calendar.

There was a discussion of this point in a recent thread about Jews in Egypt, where it was used as an example of the frequent ambiguity of historical evidence. I think it’s fairly good, but then, I wrote it.

i just joined this forum and was happy to discover your post, although it’s pretty old. do you still post here and do you have the medals you mentioned? i’d be interested in hearing back from you if you do…

The Buddha was canonized, more or less accidentally, as St. Josephat. Later church scholars recognized Josephat as the Buddha and de-canonized him. He’s done alright for himself.

zombie or no

not only has Mr. Christopher been demoted, quiltguy154 hasn’t been around for 4.5 years.

Humor. It is a difficult concept.

Given that this thread is old and has been raised pointlessly, I’m closing it.

General Questions Moderator