christophorusplakette

Saint Christopher – The guardian angel rides along

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There aren’t many things more fun to ride than a sleek Vespa! Whether in big city traffic or along a winding panoramic road. Yes, maybe even with the romantic view of Capri and the blue of the Gulf of Naples. On a dream road like the Amalfitana, in the lemon-scented south of Italy! A charming region where the protection of higher powers is often and gladly invoked. Especially with amulets. Anyone who has ever taken a taxi or bus in Italy knows that there are a large number of amulets and symbols promising protection dangling from the rear-view mirror. Very popular are the forked hand (also known as the fry fork in hard rock circles). This hand helps against the evil eye. Then there is the horn, called cornuto, which is supposed to protect against possible adultery and, of course, the Christian cross. The whole dashboard blessing is often rounded off with pictures of Saint Padre Pio and the not-so-saintly Diego Maradona.
And then there are the patron saints.

St. Christopher

St. Christopher is one of the most popular and famous patron saints. There is hardly a car, lorry, ship or fishing boat without the Christophorus badge. Christophorus, the patron saint of travellers, is one of the Fourteen Helpers in Time of Need. (Incidentally, the Basilica of Vierzehnheiligen is located near Bamberg – a great destination for a trip with the Vespa!) The Fourteen Helpers in Need are three female and eleven male saints of early medieval origin. They are regarded as patrons and role models. The most famous among them is probably St. Christopher. He is also the patron saint with the most duties. He is not only the patron saint of travellers, but also the patron saint of car drivers, sailors, raftsmen, lorry, bus and taxi drivers, even bookbinders, porters and fruit and vegetable sellers. And, last but not least, the patron saint of Vespa drivers!

A versatile saint

According to legend, he is the bearer of the Christ child through the floods of a raging river. And this is how he is usually depicted in pictures and on the Christophorus medals. His responsibility as a helper against unprepared death, against storms, thunderstorms and hailstorms makes him the ideal patron saint for Vespa riders. In addition to all these important protective functions, the blessing emanating from an image or medallion of St. Christopher is also said to help against epilepsy, famine, plague, toothache and bad dreams. Of course, St. Christopher is no substitute for a helmet or a prudent driving style. But anyone who whizzes through the traffic of big cities on two wheels is glad of any help when it comes to avoiding an accident. What helps Neapolitan taxi drivers through the traffic chaos can only be good for Vespa drivers between Flensburg and Oberstdorf! The saint is classically depicted as a huge, strong man carrying a child on his shoulder through the waves of a river. Quite contemporary and especially for Vespa drivers, St. Christopher has taken out a driving licence. On the St Christopher badges from SIP Scootershop, the saint rides a Vespa! The magnetically adhesive badges are available in antique silver and antique gold in the SIP online shop. A really nice accessory for the Vespa. And who knows – we can all use a little help from on high.

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