Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Erasmus, Bishop and Martyr

detail from the painting 'The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus', by Nicolas Poussin, 1628, oil on canvas, Musei Vaticani, VaticanArticle

He suffered torments and a cruel death in the persecution of Dioclesian at FormiƦ, in the year 303. Saint Gregory the Great testifies that his body remained in that city in the sixth age. Formiae being destroyed by the Saracens in the ninth century, the sacred treasure was translated with the episcopal see to Cajeta, in 842. This saint is corruptly called Saint Elmo for Ermo, the abbreviation for Erasmus; and he was usually invocated by sailors in the Mediterranean. Saint Erasmus is commemorated in the new Paris Breviary, and a portion of his relics is possessed by a nunnery near Gournay, in that diocess, much frequented by pilgrims.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Erasmus, Bishop and Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 May 2016. Web. 19 September 2019. <>