today’s holiday: St. Elmo’s Day

St. Elmo’s Day

The day known as St. Elmo’s Day is actually St. Erasmus‘s Day, in honor of a third-century Italian bishop who is thought to have suffered martyrdom around the year 304. Erasmus was a patron saint of sailors and was especially popular in the 13th century. Sometimes at sea on stormy nights, sailors will see a pale, brushlike spray of electricity at the top of the mast. In the Middle Ages, they believed that these fires were the souls of the departed, rising to glory through the intercession of St. Elmo. Such an electrical display is still referred to as “St. Elmo’s Fire.” More… Discuss

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