The following story is told by my old high school teacher regarding some of the superstitions he observed while living in the midwest:
“When I inherited a box of stuff from my grandfather, in the box I found a well-worn St. Christopher medal on a chain. In the same bag in that box was a Nazi Iron Cross medal and some other Nazi stuff. Since I am not Catholic, I had to ask about the medallion and why it was in the Nazi bag, and found out that literally millions of troops on both sides of WWII wore the medallion for protection. Many millions still wear them today. In Catholic hospitals in the Midwest, it is common practice to let patients wear St. Christopher during surgery. Otherwise, many people would die – they will not have surgery without their medal.”
Analysis: My teacher, an atheists, is very skeptical of if this omen actually works but acknowledges the cultural significance the medals have in the midwest. In living in Indiana for a brief period, he heard stories from his peers about the lucky powers of the St. Christopher medal which he shared with me in an interview. This is a classic story of a lucky omen worn by many to ward of bad spirits and bring good luck. It is not uncommon that people seek comfort in a lucky omen when they fear for their life, like many people do when they undergo major surgery, or are in a major war.