Sunday, August 21, 2016

Who is St. Expedite?~~~~~

“Dear Ms. Q,

I read in your reply’s to different people that you tell them to do novena’s to different Saints or to Holy Mother Mary.

Have you ever heard of or worked with a Saint called St. Expeditus?  And what does this Saint do?”

Oh My! (as George Takai {Sulu from Star Treck} would say)  good old St. Expeditus or St. Expedit  the name translation into English as expedite or to get done quickly.

I have not worked with this Saint although Mrs. Washington, who was one of the ladies in my Granny’s group did since she was from Louisiana. 

There are two different stories going around about this little known saint (that is his biography is not really known).   But traditionally Expeditus is said to have been a Roman centurion in Armenia who was beheaded during the Diocletian Persecution in 303 A.D. in what is now Turkey, for converting to Christianity. According to tradition, the day he decided to become a Christian, the Devil took the form of a crow (a snake in some versions of the legend) and told him to defer his conversion until the next day. Expeditus stamped on the bird(or snake) and killed it, declaring, "I'll be a Christian today!"

Given that "Expeditus" is Latin for a soldier without a marching pack, i.e. a soldier with light equipment, this saint may be an anonymous individual known by his "profession". His cult was already developed in Turin, Italy in the Middle Ages and he was included  in martyrologies (a book or list of martyred saints) in Italy before 1781. There was a tradition back then that Saint Expeditus could be called upon to help settle overly long legal cases.  So over time he has become the saint of rapidity. At first, he was invoked for urgent causes; he has since become the patron of dealers, sailors, students, and examinees; he is still implored upon for success in lawsuits.

However his acts, life or miracles have not been reviewed by the Roman Catholic Church and is considered by the church to be a pseudo saint, like St. Christopher or Santa Murte, even in the early part of the 20th century certain bishops tried but failed to abolish the cult of Saint Expeditus.

His alleged feast day is April 19th, is not widely celebrated. However Saint Expedite is venerated in Europe and very strongly in Latin America. Brazil has ceremonies in São Paulo and crowds attending ceremonies to mark his April 19 feast day can reach into the hundreds of thousands.

Many stories circulated about the saint's origin say that the cultus of Expeditus began when a package marked expedite (meaning 'be ready' or alternately 'loosen') arrived with unidentified relics or statues. The recipients assumed that the statuary or relics belonged to a Saint Expeditus, and so veneration began.

One such an account is set in France in 1781. A case containing the relics of a saint, who was formerly buried in the Denfert-Rochereau catacombs of Paris, was delivered at a convent in the city. The senders had written expédit on the case, to ensure fast delivery of the remains. The nuns assumed that "Expédit" was the name of a martyr, and prayed for his intercession. When their prayers were answered, veneration spread rapidly through France and on to other Roman Catholic countries.

The second account occurs in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was strongly influenced by French Catholic culture through the colonial period. This account (at the time of the French Revolution) says that Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel (New Orleans) received a large shipment of statues of various saints, and that one case lacked an identifying label. It was labeled "Expedite" (Expédit in French), so the Ursuline nuns assumed that must be the saint's name, and placed this very nice looking Statue in the corridor of their school, but because it was not clear who the saint was the nuns asked the local Bishop if he could identify it.   He couldn’t.  They wrote to the people in France who sent the statue to them for more information, but never received a reply.  It was believed that since the French Revolution was in full swing at the time that those in France never got the nuns’ letter.  

But what started was that the students (girls mostly) started doing 9 hour novena’s to this Saint and it appears that for many it was successful and the nuns had a somewhat sense of humor did not discourage it as it was prayers, so the practice spread over the years to the point where Saint Expédit still figures prominently in Louisiana Creole folklore and is revered through amulets, flowers, candles, and intercessory prayers.

Traditionally a novena is done for 9 Days, not hours, and there are some variations with other saints.   But since St. Expedit is supposed to get things done quickly 9 hours makes sense.  His statues or pictures show him as a young Roman centurion squashing a crow beneath his right foot and originally bearing a clock in early images. Later depictions have Expeditus holding a cross, inscribed with the Latin word hodie ("today"). A banderole with the word cras ("tomorrow" in Latin) emerges from the crow's mouth, the saint holds a palm branch in his other hand indicating he was martyred and the centurions helmet next to his left foot on the ground to hint that is his past existence, there is no sword near him indicating that he gave up his war-like profession.

Denise Alvarado mentions St. Expeditus as he relates to New Orleans Voudou:

“…is also petitioned for prompt solutions to business problems, winning court cases and getting a job, among other things. He has recently been coined the Patron Saint of Nerds due to his association with computer programmers and hackers. He is believed to grant any request within his power provided the petitioner recommends his invocation to others.  St. Expedite has become increasingly popular among conjure doctors and the growing practice of Catholic Conjure; but, he has been a fixture in the tradition of folk Catholicism for many years in Louisiana.

In New Orleans Voudou, St. Expedite is closely associated with the lwa Baron Samedi, the spirit of death,  guardian of the cemeteries and head of the family of ancestral spirits called the Guede. In Haitian Vodou, the lwa Baron La Croix is often represented by St. Expedite. This association with Baron Samedi makes St. Expedite a favorite among sorcerers, conjure doctors and those who enjoy the saint as a powerful magician. Little is mentioned about this aspect of him anywhere in the literature and scant reference to him exists in the context of Hoodoo with the exception of the Hyatt texts, where he is referred to as the "Saint of Many Colors" and the "Minute Saint."….”

Personally I really like the fact that he’s become a Patron Saint of Nerds, just like St. Jerome is the patron saint of Librarians.  He’s (St. Jerome) even mentioned in the opening scenes in the original “Ghost Busters”.

Although I have never worked with St. Expedite, Mrs. Washington did and so do some of my friends who are practitioners and they say he has worked for them.   And he wouldn’t be around if he didn’t do something.

I have not posted the novena ritual to this saint as it is a little long for one post, but if there is enough interest, I’ll post it in another posting.

Bright Blessings,
Ms. Q


  1. Dear Ms Q.

    Thank you a lot for this interesting post. A few years ago,I was searching information on internet about magical matters and I have found information about Saint Expedite on an italian blog. I never had heard about him before this. So, I become curios and I tried to have more information about him. Also this was the reason I started to learn about hoodoo. During my research about St Expedite, I discovered that here in France there are a few church where there are statues or pictures of him. One of these churches is located a few metres from my home....Sometimes I go to see him and bring red flowers and candles. Last time it has helped me, and of course I have brought flowers, candles and a cake.
    Blessings from France

    1. Dear Flavia,

      I am glad that you found my post interesting.

      Yes, as I understand it he is fond of red flowers, and here in the US Sarah Lee Pound cake, but any kind of simple cake would do.

      Also, traditionally if he has been successful the petitioner is suppose to let others know of his help.

      Much like how folks post a notice in the newspapers thanking St. Jude for his help.

      Thank you for letting me know that his image is in some churches in France.

      Bright Blessings to you,
      Ms. Q

  2. First, I want to say I'm fascinated with your blog and all the hours you have spent on it. I am in my 50's and just divorced after a 30 year fiasco. My only salvation has been helping other older women escape domestic violence situations safely. I'm in a terrible financial situation. I chose to be a stay at home mom which puts me at a big disadvantage now. My ex chooses to live in hiding rather than "man up" to his responsibilities. My question is: can you do work for blessings with St. Expedite while doing a Peaceful Home spell? We are all still very angry... Thank you so much!

  3. Dear Sarina,

    St. Expedite is a solider who prefers to work independently, the only other saint he will work with is Holy Mother Mary.

    If you are asking him for help with having a Peaceful Home, maybe, but he prefers I think to make your ex "man-up" so do that as a separate ritual.

    And Peaceful Home work with Mother Mary, so you'd be doing two different workings.

    But I think you can do it at the same time, Just make sure that St. Expedite knows that once your ex "man's up" it will help to create a peaceful home.

    But what I'm concerned about is you splitting your energies. So although you could do both spells at the same time I think it would really be better to do one at a time. But be sure to "Thank" him with cake, red flowers and post a notice thanking him, once it becomes effective.

    Bright Blessings,
    Ms. Q

  4. Thank you Ms Q. I am grateful to God that I got out with my children alive but, it would have been nice to have our clothes and my pocketbook. It takes a very dark soul to steal from your own disabled child! I just never realized how dark his actually is. So, I am going to make an alter for Saint Expidite in a Conjured Cardea style and do my prayers for him to help. I'll let you know the results. Thank you again for your time.

    1. Dear Sarina,

      I is my pleasure to help. I do hope you got a good lawyer as well.

      Conjured Cardea is an excellent shop.

      Please let me know the results.

      Good Luck and Bright Blessings to you,
      Ms. Q

  5. I Hope that you do not mind that I use this space to publicly thank St Expedite. I hope that it would encourage your readers to call on his help! I have asked for his help on two occasions now, concerning work, financial and government administration problems. His help came through very quickly and I paid him his flowers, cake and pennies as promised.
    He truly is a wonderful Saint. I was very humble when I asked him for help and he has helped me tremendously!!!