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Martyrdom of St Erasmus, Poussin

Feast of Saint Elmo

(d. 303 A.D.)

St. Elmo, also known as St. Erasmus of Formia, was an Italian bishop during the reign of Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. During their brutal persecution against Christians, St. Elmo left his diocese and fled to Mount Lebanon where he lived for seven years. An angel advised him to return to his diocese in order to vanquish his enemies. As he traveled there he was stopped and questioned by Roman soldiers. After declaring himself to be a Christian, he was brought to stand trial before Diocletian himself. St. Elmo confessed his faith in Christ and denounced the emperor for his impiety. For this rebuke he was tortured and thrown into prison, but an angel miraculously freed him so that he could continue on his journey and save many souls along the way. Two more times St. Elmo would endure the cycle of working miracles, baptizing thousands of people, getting arrested and mercilessly tortured, and being miraculously freed before arriving back in his own diocese. During his travels he suffered many horrible tortures at the hands of his enemies, but according to the oldest tradition he died at peace in Formia, though later accounts have him being martyred there by disembowelment. St. Elmo is the patron of mariners and sailors, abdominal pain, intestinal cramps, and women in labor. The electrical discharge on ships at sea, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” is named for him.

His feast day is June 2nd.

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The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus by Dieric Bouts

The devil fears hearts on fire with love of God.”

Saint Catherine of Siena

Each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most.”

G.K. Chesterton
St. Elmo by the Master of Meßkirch, c. 1530

Saint Elmo, martyr, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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