Tag Archives: patron saint of sailors

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

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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ST. ELMO’S FIRE


St. Elmo’s Fire

St. Elmo’s fire is a weather phenomenon that causes luminous plasma to appear at the ends of tall, pointed objects such as spires, airplane wings, and ships’ masts when the atmosphere is electrically charged. It is sometimes accompanied by a hissing sound. Named for St. Erasmus, the patron saint of sailors, the glowing display has been known to mariners since ancient times and has been interpreted as an omen, usually for good. What were some notable historical appearances of the phenomenon? More…Discuss