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St. Elmo

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Saint Elmo

Bishop & Martyr

Elmo, or Erasmus, was the Bishop of Formia, Italy, in the third century. He was taken prisoner during a persecution, and subjected to many horrible tortures, but he would not apostatize, and seemed almost unaffected by the pain. Cast into prison to die, Elmo was miraculously freed by an angel, and he went back to evangelizing. When taken prisoner again, Elmo was subjected to even worse tortures. The final cruelty involved his disembowelment while still alive, with his intestines wound round a windlass or winch. Some accounts say that he died that same day, while others assert that he was miraculously kept alive for another week, to further inspire his fellow Christians and convert more souls with his preaching. Either way, he died as a martyr around the year of Our Lord 303. He is invoked against abdominal problems as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and is also a patron of sailors, who bestowed the name “St. Elmo’s Fire” on the atmospheric electrical discharges sometimes seen on the masts of ships.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for June 2nd

AT Rome, the birthday of the holy martyr Marcellinus, priest, and Peter, exorcist, who instructed in the faith many persons detained in prison. Under Diocletian, they were loaded with chains, and, after enduring many torments, were beheaded by the judge Serenus, in a place which was then called the Black Forest, but which was in their honor afterwards known as the White Forest. Their bodies were buried in a crypt near St. Tiburtius, and pope St. Damasus composed for their tomb an epitaph in verse.

In Campania, during the reign of Decius, St. Erasmus, bishop and martyr, who was first scourged with leaded whips and then severely beaten with rods; he had also rosin, brimstone, lead, pitch, wax, and oil poured over him, without receiving any in- jury. Afterwards, under Maximian, he was again subjected to various most horrible tortures at Mola, but was still preserved from death by the power of God for the strengthening of others in the faith. Finally, celebrated for his sufferings, and called by God, he closed his life by a peaceful and holy end. His body was afterwards transferred to Gaeta.

At Lyons, many holy martyrs (Photinus, bishop, Sanctus, deacon, Vetius, Epagathus, Maturus, Ponticus, Biblis, Attalus, Alexander and Blandina, with many others), whose many valiant combats, in the time of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Verus, are recorded in a letter from the church at Lyons to the churches of Asia and Phrygia. St. Blandina, one of these martyrs, though weaker on account of her sex and frame, and of her lower condition in life, encountered longer and more terrible trials. But remaining unshaken, she was put to the sword, and followed those whom she had exhorted to win the palm of martyrdom.

At Rome, St. Eugenius, pope and confessor.

At Tarni, in Terra-di-Bari, St. Nicholas Peregrinus, confessor, whose miracles were related in the Roman Council, under Urban II.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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