Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Saint Christopher The Great Martyr



Saint Christopher the Great Martyr, originally named as Reprovos* , was a giant cynocephalus ( Greek : κύων <dog> + κεφαλή <head> ) who was suffered, killed and became a Martyr during the reign of the cruel pagan Roman emperor Decius (249 – 251 AD).

*There are no clues about the etymology of the name Reprovos. After long research, the blog is in position to make a possible hypothesis and for the first time is revealed that the name’s etymology may be the following:
Ρέπροβος (Ancient Greek : ρέπω <tend to> + βοή <roar/scream> , the one who tends to roar/scream (because he wasn't able to talk since he didn't have a man’s head)

CONTROVERSY

Although many people believe that he was just a man with a…very ugly face, that ugly that he was being called dog-headed (!) as a metaphor, since such creatures don’t exist, ancient history, Holy Icons and traditions of many cultures around the world are coming to prove them wrong.

WEREWOLVES, LYCANTHROPES AND OTHERS

Dog-headed creatures exist in many ancient cultures' traditions, where in modern times the lycanthropes ( Greek: λύκος <wolf> + άνθρωπος <man> ) are more famous and appear in local stories and movies.

In ancient Greece, many historians, philosophers, writers, geographers and travelers such as Herodotus, Hesiod, Strabo, Aeschylus and others talked about dog-headed tribes that lived mainly in Central-East Asia, eating people and communicating with each other by the method of barking.

A famous werewolf in the ancient Greek world was the king of Arcadia, Lycaon.

Such information about these races made travelers being scared and they were trying to prevent a contact with them. The native human population of those areas, not being able to prevent the dog-headed creatures' attacks to their villages by their selves, asked for help from fearless ancient Greek heroes, and their fights against the wild, extremely dangerous, non-human races of many kinds (not only dog-headed creatures) inspired ancient writers who wrote about their great adventures at various books that nowadays are known as part of the Greek ''mythology'' (for example Hercules versus creatures).

One man, not only managed to ensure the safety of the local populations from such attacks, but also managed to domesticate some of the wild dog-headed tribes, teaching them the animal hunting so they would stop chasing people, the art of crafting so they would help the villagers, and later, the art of battling so he could use them at his glorious army at the historical battle against the Dirty Species, as Saint Andrew of Constantinople calls them ( = evil creatures who want to destroy humanity under the orders of the Devil ), where he killed them, and trapped their kings inside the (hollow) Earth by closing the Gates (until the time the Gates will be opened again just before the End of the World events – John the Apostle, Revelation).

That man was the leader of the Pan-Hellenic League, the king of all Hellenes, the founder of the Hellenistic period of History, the hero of heroes, the undefeated Alexander the Great.

Alexander the Great



Saint Andrew of Constantinople
One of those who talked about the Dirty Species




In ancient Egypt, there are many drawings of creatures with animal heads, creatures that played a vital role in Egyptian mythology, being named as Egyptian ''gods'', including a dog-headed one, Anubis.




Apart from those above, stories about werewolves and dog-headed creatures also exist in ancient Indian, ancient Chinese, Roman, Native American, Persian, African, Celtic, Balkan and other cultures' traditions.

MINOTAUR AND OTHERS

Minotaur, an evil creature with head of a bull and body of a man, alongside with centaurs, are also representative members of various zoomorphic races often appear in Greek art.


Theseus(left) kills Minotaur after an epic battle
   
A Greek warrior battles against centaurs

THE STORY OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER

Reprovos was coming from a barbarian tribe, probably somewhere in east Minor Asia. He was famous locally because of his enormous size, his strength and his…weird appearance.



Fascinated by some people's stories about Jesus, he tried to find a Christian who wouldn't be scared of him and teach him about Jesus' teachings. This was something quite difficult to happen since the emperor Decius had ordered his soldiers to execute anyone who would talk about Jesus, in addition to the fact that Reprovos wasn't able to talk. After some while, a priest approached him and told him that he was willing to help him. Reprovos, being depressed because of his speaking problem, thought that maybe Jesus could help him. The time he had this thought, an angel appeared and touched his lips. He was finally able to talk. When he realized it, he was delighted and asked the priest how he could thank Jesus. The priest answered that he could just fast. Reprovos said that it was difficult for his kind to fast.

So the priest said: 

''You can go at the river over there and when someone wants to cross it, you can carry him. With your help, people will not be drowned again at its deep water. A good act is something that would make God happy.''

He agreed and quickly went at the river waiting for people to come.

HEAVIER THAN THE WHOLE WORLD

Reprovos carried many people at the following days helping anyone who asked for him help. One day, extreme weather conditions appeared, the heavy rain made the river's flow really powerful and it was very dangerous for anyone to try and cross it. For the first time, he was worried that if he tries to cross the river he could be drowned.

Suddenly, a child appeared and asked Reprovos to carry him and help him cross the river. The child also told him that if he was scared he would go alone. Reprovos knew that without his help the child would be drowned for sure, so he took a huge piece of wood to use as a stick and put the child at his shoulders. The river’s flow was too powerful but he managed to do some steps.




As Reprovos was crossing the river, he was feeling the child was getting heavier and heavier, making it impossible to carry him for more.

So he said to the child :

''I am the strongest, I can lift anything i want, how can a child be so heavy? I can’t carry you anymore, I feel like I am carrying the whole world!''

And the child replied : 

''Right now, not only you are carrying the whole world but also the Maker of everything.''

That moment Reprovos realized that he was carrying Christ at his shoulders.
His head miraculously transformed to a human form.

The child continued: 

''For remembering what happened today, keep the dead wood you used as stick, plants and flowers will appear on it'' and that’s what immediately happened.


The river’s depth had to be at least 3 meters (10 feet) and since it doesn't even reaches the knees of Saint Christopher, we can come to the conclusion that Saint Christopher was about 5 meters tall (16 feet).



Jesus disappeared and the river’s flow calmed.

Reprovos ran and told anything that happened to the priest. He also asked him if he could baptize him. The priest agreed, and he baptized Reprovos by giving him the name Christopher (Greek : Χριστός <Christ> + φέρω <carry> , the one who carries Christ) after listening to the story.

Some days later, Decius decided to attack a Christian town close to Christopher's birthplace. Christopher went to help the Christians and with his power he managed to stop the attack. When the emperor learned this, he sent his 200 best soldiers to find and arrest Christopher.

Christopher was living at the top of a mountain, an area that the soldiers couldn't approach easily even if they were trying to for days. When they managed to reach the area, they were already exhausted because of the lack of food. Christopher prayed for them and bread appeared to the bag of every soldier. After this miracle, the 200 soldiers decided to become Christians. Christopher told them to go at the priest and be baptized and later to take him to Decius because he wanted to meet him and tell him to stop killing Christians.

THE SUFFERING

WARNING : the next paragraphs will contain violent information about tortures that some may not feel comfortable to read

When the soldiers brought Christopher in front of Decius, the Emperor fainted when he saw Christopher’s height. 
The next day, Decius thought of a plan to make Christopher refuse his faith in Jesus. Knowing that threats wouldn't work since Christopher was brave and powerful, he called the two most famous and beautiful prostitutes, Kalliniki and Akylini, to spend a night with him and convince him to become a pagan.

His plan didn't work. The whole night, Christopher was talking to the prostitutes about Christ and the women decided to become Christians and start a new life. The two women ran to Decius and told him their decision. The emperor ordered his 200 best soldiers to come and burn the women. The soldiers, that they were baptized Christians some days ago, refused and Decius ordered his royal generals to execute the soldiers and burn the women. 202 people became Martyrs that moment.

Angry with Christopher, Decius ordered his men to tie Christopher and burn him slowly until he refuses his faith. Christopher, could easily protect himself, but respecting the 202 people decision not to react but die for Christ, he decided to do the same no matter what the tortures would be.

When soldiers were putting the flames on him, they saw the flames weren't burning every time they were approaching Christopher's body. People and soldiers, who were watching this happening, were yelling that they believe in Jesus. Decius killed anyone who yelled that phrase with his sword and then ordered his men to push Christopher off a cliff.

When Christopher was falling, an angel appeared, caught Christopher and put him back at the top of the cliff.
The emperor who couldn't believe what he was watching, made Christopher wear an overheated armor that could cause very serious burns to anyone's body. Christopher wore the armor and humorously told Decius that he actually feels it a bit cold.

Decius, realizing that no torture will work, he decides to kill Saint Christopher the Great Martyr with the method of decapitation.

FEAST DAY

Saint Christopher is the protector of all drivers, travelers and pedestrians. He is also the Saint Protector of Agrinion, a city in Central West Greece.
His feast day for Christian Orthodoxes is at May 9th, a date that is also dedicated to the women Martyrs Kalliniki and Akylini.

HUMAN OR NOT ?

Saint Christopher’s story has a big trap that many don’t see and fall in. Unfortunately, some are focusing only on whether he was a giant cynocephalus or just a very tall ugly man, ignoring the most important message. Through centuries, he and many hundred of thousand Martyrs, decided to suffer for Christ instead of refusing their fate and have everything they could ask for. We should learn from them, and if at the (near) future we are at their position, let's become Martyrs also, let’s not betray Christ no matter what our tortures will be, let's honor the Martyrs’ blood, let's not accept the Antichrist's chip which is coming, let's not end up inside the dragon's mouth, and God will give us that great reward at the Real Life who comes after our death, at the Real World, at His Eternal Kingdom.

THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS - THE JUDGEMENT DAY
center/above: Jesus Christ
center/left: Panagia
center/right: John the Baptist
left: Six Apostles and various Saints
right: Six Apostles
center/below: All people who ever lived, all of us being judged
left/below: good people are going to heaven
right/bellow: evil people who never regretted inside dragon's mouth (Revelation of Saint John)