Saint Elmo?

I was stuck on a word in a crossword this morning. It was four letters, ended in an O and the clue was patron saint of sailors. I had to admit defeat and look up the answer which to my utter surprise turned out to be “Elmo”. Elmo? Rosie’s friend Elmo of whom I wrote recently (see “Elmo and Rose” ) was the patron saint of sailors? Surely not. Please forgive my ignorance and not being a religious person, I had to consult Dr Google to check this out.

Sure enough the patron saint of sailors is Erasmus of Formia, also known as St Elmo. The same gentleman who gave rise to the term “St Elmo’s Fire” caused by the electrical discharges at the mastheads of ships. If you want to check out his story see this link to Wikipedia.

It does of course beggar the question as to why this tv cartoon character came to be named after a saint. It is not like it is a commonly used name. More research on that is required perhaps, or maybe not. Maybe it is time to just leave it alone. Whatever the reason he remains a saint to our Miss Rosie anyway.

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