Saint Christopher 2022: Patron saint of drivers

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07/10/2022

On 10 July we celebrate St. Christopher's Day, also known as the patron saint of drivers, although this was not always the case. The tradition began with Saint Christopher as the patron saint of muleteers and, later, of lorrydrivers, until he became established as the host of hauliers. Likewise, and not many people are aware of this, St. Christopher is also the patron saint of giants and, therefore, the patron saint of the bearers of giants.


His name means "Christ-bearer"; his beginnings date back to the 3rd century A.D. and his death occurred at the hands of the Emperor of Rome, Decius. He was a porter, i.e., his job was to carry people from one side of a river to the other. 


Legend has it that one day he carried a boy whom he did not know, but who, during the crossing, began to grow into a very heavy young man who made his task much more complicated than it should have been. When he arrived, he said to him: "You have not only had the weight of the world on your shoulders, but the man who created it. I am Christ, your king, whom you have served in this office".  This, together with the meaning of his name, made him very popular among the carriers until he became Saint Christopher, and even some poets such as García Lorca and Machado have dedicated some of their verses to him.


He is also known as the "guardian angel" on the road because he represents the prudence of a driver at the wheel, and many hauliers keep him in mind in their vehicles with figures, holy cards, or bracelets. Hundreds of professionals dedicate 10 July to their patron saint with lorry parades in different parts of the country, such as Segovia, Valencia and Banyoles. 


Parishes in Barcelona, for their part, pay homage to him with vehicle blessing ceremonies. In fact, the patron saint of motorists has a 500-year-old chapel dedicated to him in Carrer de Regomir, which commemorates a celebration in his honour. During the day, all kinds of drivers, from lorry drivers to bicycle riders, pass by seeking blessing through the sprinkling of their transport with holy water by the priest, who hands them a holy card and a sprig of lavender.


At Transport Porqueres we celebrate this day in style, as we have been doing for many years, with our families and friends; we get together to spend the day, decorate our lorries, and take part in the parade to commemorate the patron saint of drivers.

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