St Erasmus healing oil
The St Erasmus healing oil is dedicated to Erasmus who was also known as Elmo. He was the bishop of Formiae, Campagna, Italy. He suffered martyrdom during Diocletian’s persecution of the Christians. Erasmus once fled to Mount Lebanon during the persecution. He lived a life of solitude there for some time, being fed by a raven. Ultimately, the emperor discovered his whereabouts, he was tortured and thrown in prison. Legend claims that an angel released him and he departed for Illyricum.
He eventually suffered a martyr’s death and was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Legend records that when a blue light appears at mastheads before and after a storm, the seamen took it as a sign of Erasmus’s protection. This was known as “St. Elmo’s fire”. Erasmus is also invoked against stomach cramps and colic. This came about because at one time he had hot iron hooks stuck into his intestines by persecutors under Emperor Diocletian. These wounds he miraculously endured. His feast day is June 2nd.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.