St Erasmus healing oil 2 (Patron for Sailers)
The St Erasmus healing oil is dedicated to Erasmus who was also known as Elmo.
Erasmus was Bishop of Formia, Italy. During the persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian Hercules (286-305), he left his diocese and went to Mount Libanus, where he hid for seven years. However, an angel is said to have appeared to him, and counseled him to return to his city.
On the way, he encountered some soldiers who questioned him. Erasmus admitted that he was a Christian and they brought him to trial at Antioch before the emperor Diocletian. After suffering terrible tortures, he was bound with chains and thrown into prison, but an angel appeared and helped him escape.
Raised from the dead
He passed through Lycia, where he raised up the son of an illustrious citizen. This resulted in a number of baptisms, which drew the attention of the Western Roman Emperor Maximian who, according to Voragine, was “much worse than was Diocletian.” Maximian ordered his arrest and Erasmus continued to confess his faith. They forced him to go to a temple of the idol, but along Erasmus’s route all the idols fell and were destroyed, and from the temple there came fire which fell upon many of the pagans.
These actions angered the emperor, who had Erasmus enclosed in a barrel full of protruding spikes and rolled down a hill. An angel healed him from these wounds.
When he was recaptured, he was brought before the emperor and beaten and whipped, then coated with pitch and set alight (as Christians had been in Nero’s games), and still he survived. Thrown into prison with the intention of letting him die of starvation, Erasmus managed to escape.
He was recaptured and tortured in the Roman province of Illyricum, after boldly preaching and converting numerous pagans to Christianity. Finally, according to this version of his death, his abdomen was slit open and his intestines wound around a windlass. This version may have developed from interpreting an icon that showed him with a windlass, signifying his patronage of sailors.
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.
The Irish Blessings oils are dedicated to the Holy Spirit, Our Lady, and the saints. The oils come through prayer. They are placed on their designated altars for a period of prayer before being sent out. The oils are of therapeutic grade.
The bottles of oils going out are accompanied with a prayer card. In addition, they are personalized for the saint to whom the oil is dedicated to.