Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

June 2

Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Erasmus or Saint Elmo (patron saint with authority over abdominal pains, ammunition workers, appendicitis, birth pains, boatmen, childbirth, childhood intestinal disease, colic, danger at sea, explosives workers, intestinal disorders, mariners, navigators, ordnance workers, sailors, seasickness, stomach diseases, storms, watermen, and women in labor--he's one busy guy), Saint Marcellinus and Saint Peter, Saint Pothinus and Companions, Saint Eugenius I, Saint Stephen of Sweden, Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim, and Saint Blandina.

The above picture is a reenactment of the crew of the Mayflower pulling a line, or rope, using a captstan, which is a nautical winch. The picture to the left below is of the torture that finally did in Saint Elmo...his intestines were wound out of his body onto a spool while he was still alive. Since the winding apparatus of the day was the nautical capstan, that is how he became the patron saint of sailors. He is, for obvious reasons, the saint to invoke against abdominal pains.

Saint Elmo's fire is a nautical phenomenon wherein a ship's mast, after an electrical storm, discharges energy that appears as a light at the top of the mast.

Another site (which mentioned that the glow of of St. Elmo's fire is very faint and difficult to photograph) has an interesting observation. The sailors who named the corona glow on the masts after their patron saint saw the glow as evidence of the saint's presence and protection. The fact is, the glow is visible to ALL sailors who are in an electrical storm, whether or not their ship survives.

 

 

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Marilyn Jones 2000-2008