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St. Elmo is an abbreviation for the name Erasmus. During his life, he served as the bishop of Foremiae, Campagna, Italy. His life is one of the many sad tales of persecution that early Christians suffered at the hands of enemies. According to legend, he was once persecuted so badly that he had to live in utter isolation for years, getting his sustenance only from a raven that visited.
He was imprisoned and tortured mercilessly over the course of his life. suffering many wounds that enemies could not believe he survived at all. This included a bout of torture in which he had hot hooks inserted into his belly. In another account of torture, the saint was protected by lightning striking down those tormenting him. A patron of sailors, he is the Elmo in St. Emo’s fire, a glowing plasma seen on masts, aircraft wings and lightning rods.
While the suffering was terrible Elmo held that only the pain of living without faith is too painful to endure. He was eventually slain for his unwavering faith in Christ. St. Elmo is now remembered as a pillar of the Christian faith, someone that didn’t turn away from God no matter how many wounds his enemies inflicted upon him. He is the patron saint of stomach diseases, sailors and women in labor.