Saint Elmo’s Fire:
St. Elmo’s fire is a bright, flickering light that sometimes appears during thunderstorms. The phenomenon is named after St. Erasmus of Formia (Saint Elmo), the patron saint of sailors. St. Elmo’s fire is caused by electrical charges in the atmosphere and can be a warning sign of an impending lightning strike. some sailors have considered the light as a good omen showing that their patron saint (Elmo) was with them.
Saint Erasmus, who was known as Elmo, preached to sailors at sea. One time while out to sea, a storm came up, and he was almost struck by lightning but continued preaching. The sailors said that his prayers protected them from the danger they were in from the lightning storm. The fiery glow on the ship’s masts was a sign of his faith, and the sailors began calling it Saint Elmo’s fire.
Sailors have been fascinated by the phenomenon known as St. Elmo’s fire. This eerie glow, which often appears during thunderstorms, is a form of plasma – electrically charged gas. The cause of St. Elmo’s fire is not completely understood, but it is thought to be caused by electrical activity in the atmosphere.
Some sailors have considered St. Elmo’s fire as bad luck, and it was sometimes thought to be a sign of an oncoming storm. This is because electricity in the air can cause havoc with compass the readings, which can make it difficult to navigate safely.
Saint Anthony’s Fire:
Saint Anthony’s Fire is a disease from the Middle Ages that is caused by a fungus that contaminates rye grain called Ergot. It was named after the Christian saint that the afflicted appealed to for its healing. The symptoms of St. Anthony’s Fire include burning and tingling sensations in the limbs, severe headaches, muscle cramps, and gangrene. The burning sensation associated with it is sometimes called holy fire.
A story from long ago says that a man named Gaston of Valloire had a son that was afflicted with the ailment. It is said that a nearby church had acquired relics of St. Anthony. It has been told that when Gaston’s son touched one of the relics in the church, it miraculously cured him. Gaston was so grateful for his son being cured that he decided to build a monastery in St. Anthony’s honor.
St. Anthony did not have any relation with ergotism, but his name and story were linked to it, and he was embraced by the Order of Hospitallers, who had many cures for this.
Take-away: Learn about the saints and what they did to bring themselves closer to God. Use the information that you obtain to do so yourself. Also, to keep “St. Elmo’s Fire Burning In You.”
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