St. Expeditus Don’t Get No Respect

Yes, I’ve heard the crate story. In enough versions that I don’t believe it anymore. So it wasn’t too surprising to find out that St. Expeditus appeared in a 5th century martyrology (though one notorious for having enough misspellings to drive Nihil Obstat around the bend); he was one of a group of martyrs killed in Melitene, on April 19th in the year 303. Devotion to St. Expeditus seems to have begun in the Middle Ages thanks to his punning name (“Expeditus” means a kind of Roman footsoldier marching unimpeded by baggage, as well as “fast”). The usual iconography shows a Roman soldier holding a cross marked “Hodie” (Today) stepping on a raven crawing “Cras!” (Tomorrow). Devotion originally centered in Sicily and Italy and seems to have spread out from there, especially in seafaring towns.

Devotion to saints can sometimes be a scandal to non-Catholics, and things like the crate story don’t help. It also doesn’t help that childlike faith can sometimes sound a lot like belief in magic. (And if you’re not careful, it can go that way literally, as with all that voodoo syncretism.) So it’s easy to point and laugh and not look farther — much easier than trying to understand a tradition that is helpful to many people around the world.

But I’ll stick my neck out. There is something nice about people in urgent need being able to turn to a brother from the early Church. History may not even have gotten his name right, but God can turn even a typo into a help and encouragement for his people. I’m sure Expeditus doesn’t mind being known as God’s footsoldier. I’m not ashamed to know him, either.

As the Wall Street Journal noted in this week heading up to his festival, St. Expeditus seems to be getting very popular in Brazil.

The interesting thing to notice here is that the usual urban legend about the crates resurfaces, but this time it’s supposed to be in Paris instead of Sao Paulo, New Orleans, or Haiti. Usually everybody seems to be convinced that the crate stamped “Expedite” showed up _in their city_, which is a sure sign that it prolly ain’t true.

A nice webpage full of good info, taking St. Expeditus’ popularity back into medieval times. Additional info in Italian, if you want to use the Fish. Also, an archive of iconography — in the form of Word documents, for some bizarre reason! Anyway, the Italian site not only quotes the actual martyrology lists, but also theorizes that the iconography comes from an artistic representation of how the soul should not put off following Christ, but instead do it “hodie”.In this interp, the raven is either a devil or the soul’s own annoying procrastination. This makes good sense to me.

This Argentinean site has a lot of nice things, including a list of churches.

San Expedito’s Church in Renaca, Chile includes some very nice pictures and a local hymn to St. Expeditus. If you stay on long enough, you can hear it!

A rough translation:

Patron Saint Expedito,
You clear up the fog on the sea
So that in the firmament
The sunlight will shine more brightly
And so your contented village
Can sing to Love and Peace: (ie, God)

“Long live our protector,
St. Expedito.
Warrior martyr of Christ,
We thank your Lord.
Long live our protector,
St. Expedito,
Loyal and blessed shield,
You call on the Lord “today”!”

Strong and straightforward patron,
With Our Mother you are
United to all your children
Before this temple of peace.
And so Renaca is witness
Like the sun, it shines brighter.


The site also includes the cutest folk prayer yet: “San Expedito, San Expedito, concedemelo altirito!”

A page full of images courtesy of the “Republic of Molossia”, which is some guy out in Nevada. Nice page, even though it’s a joke.

Catholic Forum’s page is short and sweet.

Saints Preserved claims St. Expedite’s patronage for computer programmers. Heh. Also note yet _another_ version of the urban legend.

A nice explanation of the Sicily connection.

Check out Dr Bob’s rather cute image of St. Expeditus bookin’ it! He replaces the raven with a gator…. 😉 OTOH, I’m not impressed with the domain rates. There’s also an express package company in the UK named Expeditus after the saint.

St. Expeditus in the Philippines.

Czech church with a St. Expeditus painting from 1760 (not shown).

An overview of New Orleans voodoo tours, which mentions the Church of Our Lady of Guadelupe and its famous statue of St. Expedite. What isn’t said here, but I read on a Catholic blog, is that there’s also a statue of St. Jude on the other side of church. So SOP is to tell St. Jude about your impossible problem, then go over to the other side and ask St. Expedite to see about getting it done fast. No wonder the police and fire departments use this parish as their own, having lots of emergencies and hopeless cases to deal with….

A novena to St. Expeditus.

Google has a cached entertainment column from Malaya – The National Newspaper
, which includes a prayer to St. Expeditus as “the bearer of money”. In order to thank the saint, you’re supposed to give alms to the elderly or a pregnant woman. This is the kind of devotion that sounds kinda iffy…but I guess it’s no worse than the Jabez prayer.

Another folk prayer to St. Expeditus.

This Argentinean site includes more folk prayers: “San Expedito, San Expedito, dame lo que necesito” and “Confio en ti, San Expedito, que cubras con tu mano bienhechora todo lo que necesito”. (“St. Expedito, St. Expedito, give me what is needed” and “I trust in you, St. Expedito, that you will cover with your benefactory hand all that is needed”. (“Good-doing” just doesn’t work in English, does it?) There’s also another hymn to St. Expeditus:

“A thousand hymns to glorious Expedito
Who shed his blood in Armenia
Your name is written in heaven
And you won the martyr’s laurel.”

(The skywritten name on the other Argentinean site is probably a reference to this hymn.)

This Argentinean site even includes a litany of St. Expeditus, as well as pictures of a procession through the website’s hometown and a prayer card to print out.

The Detroit Free Press suggests celebrating St. Expeditus’ Day by sending checks to all those charities you’ve been meaning to get around to.

Happy St. Expeditus’ Day, fellow procrastinators! May St. Expeditus pray for us, that like him, we may find at our deaths that we have traveled to heaven most expeditiously!


Filed under Church

34 responses to “St. Expeditus Don’t Get No Respect

  1. Amber

    I definitely believe in the power of St. Expedite! He helped my husband get a job after 6 months of being laid off. He has a place of honor in our home.

  2. Ann

    I would like to thank Saint Expedite for the things he has helped me with, too… and incredibly quickly 🙂 I was taken aback a little by how fast things started.

  3. I only know that having a near death experince with Gall Bladder Surgery I have made a remarakable recovery(and continue to heal quickly) since my lovely wife shared her fears with some local shop keepers, who in desperation reached out to her with a prayer directed to this Saint. Something worked! I should have been wormfood but instead I live to praise God another day! Thank You Expeditus!

  4. diana olivas

    anyone have a picture of this saint expeditus that i can buye or see on my e-mail. please mail me prayer and picture of st. expeditus, urget!!!

  5. Diana – I just sent you a jpg picture. I will pray for your intentions.

  6. a

    Thank you St Expedito for my phone call I got within a day or so.

  7. natalie

    Thank you St. Expedito for helping me move.

  8. Charmaine Villacorta

    Thank you very much St Expeditus for all the help you gave me. I made a promise to you and I will soon fulfill it with your help. Thank you and I love you very much

  9. Jen

    Thank you St. Expedite for bringing my test results in the mail 20 minutes after I prayed to you, and for helping me pass!! Bless You Saint Expeditus, you are a true Saint and Intercessor for those in need!!!

  10. Deb

    i asked to be protected from a vicious person, got immediate result, now on to the money i desperately need, the ball has started rolling. grazzi st ex.


    Thank you so much Saint Expeditus that I have come to know you. I have very high respect for you and I just started my novena today. I promised to give you red roses when my petition is granted. Thank you.

  12. MARGIE


  13. MARGIE

    saint expedite thank you… thank you so much for your help … once again thank you…

    [Edited by Suburbanbanshee to keep people from posting judgmental comments on the commenter’s special intention. And to avoid spam. :)]

  14. MARGIE

    saint expedite thank you for helping me with my husband, thanks…

  15. scorpio chicka

    dear st. expedite, thank you so much for the help you provided on my job search. things seem 2b moving along, in my favor. glory to st. expedite! -scorpio chicka

  16. misty

    Glory to Saint Expedite. My fiance really needed money to pay his bills and Saint Expedite answered my petition.

    Thank you Saint Expedite for your assistance.

  17. Mary

    Could someone email me a photo of Saint Expedite,and if it’s not asking for not much a prayer of petition. I would appreicate it. Thank you in advance.


  18. Margaret

    St. Expeditus thank you so much for your guidence and now please help me obtain financial help to continue with our goals. PLease come to my aid quickly its urgent. In Jesus name i Pray . AMEN

  19. robert j

    O Heavenly angel St. Expedito, please help us (my brothers and relatives) to regain our lost financial stability. We don’t need much money but just as enough to carry on living a decent life. We ask this to the Father through your gracious intercession, Amen.

  20. Thank you saint expedite for everything you have done for me and continue to do thank you so much.

  21. MARGIE

    thank you once again saint expidite, you have come through once again. thank you..

  22. Guibert Arnst

    Saint Expedite i knowyou big, i know your power. I am in the process to ask for your help. I will give you everything i promess. Thank you in adanvce Saint Epedite, Thank you

  23. Pina

    I want to thank you Saint Expedito for the recent favour obtained and for the many favours obtained in the past (money, jobs, etc). Thank You Saint Expedite for your help.

  24. MARGIE

    thank you saint expedite once again for your help…

  25. Claudia

    Thank you, Saint Expedite.
    I praise your generosity and your swift action.
    I called on you and you kindly heeded my prayers.
    You cared not that I wavered, but you still assisted me.
    I will spread your name and word of your good works.
    Thank you, Saint Expedite.
    I am truly blessed and I recommend anyone who is need of immediate assistance to call on Saint Expedite for his delivery is true and his promise is complete.

  26. CMV

    Happy Feast Day, Saint Expedite! I think of you and glorify your name on this special day!

    Thank you, Saint Expedite, for your immediate assistance and intercession- I am in complete awe over your rapid response and aide. I am humbled by your exactness and timeliness to meet my goals.

  27. Claudia

    I want to propagate the name of the most beautiful St Expedite. I prayed to him, and swiftly, he came through for me. I will continue to praise him and lavish beautiful things upon him so that all my requests and desires are satisfied. I praise the name of the glorious martyr who answers prayers with haste!
    Thank you, Saint Expedite, for your immediate assistance and intercession- I am in complete awe over your rapid response and aide. I am humbled by your exactness and timeliness to meet my goals. You did not fail me and you did not leave my side during this time.

  28. Kmom94

    Most Glorious St. Expedite, God Bless You. blessed San Expedite, thank you with all my heart for granting phase one of my prayer . I will wait in the knowledge that ALL my wished will be granted at the very soon for I wish no one harm or evil: only justice and please continue to pray for me.
    . I spread your name with love and thanks as soon as the rest of my prayer is answered. I will always praise you. Please continue to work on my requests I need so much. Thank you St. Expedite.

  29. Thank you St.Expeditus for helping me pray to GOD about my urgent financial needs. thank you for those miracles. Please grant my request of ending this financial difficulties me and my family are having now. Please help us us recover our loss blessings,houses, cars, jewelries and money. Help me in my financial need so that I can move on serving God peacefully and comfortably without fear and delay.I promise to donate your statue all over Philippines as much as I can. So help me have the financial means to do it.
    Please help us pray to God Almighty to sell the house of my brother ALDEN in Tondo to be able to buy a better one in a better place if God permits. I want to buy a new and beautiful car also to be used as source of income (taxi or ban ) whatever God’s choice for us.

  30. Henry Hans

    Thank you so so much St-Expedit, once again you have shown me your power right here in ATL. I believe in you and you are my true patron from now on. Thank you for answering me so quick….”HODIE”… Today, I am mailing your reward to you and please make it possible for me to visit you where you are in this church in New Orleans…Thank you so much..

  31. Good day..Thank you for this site.Anyway,I just wanna share.I was in desperate need of money 4 days ago.I was very stressed.I closed the door and prayed to st.expedite sincerely with the “You lay in rest prayer “,I cried and asked his help hoping he would grant my request.It ended there and before that day ends,My aunt who was in other country called me and solved my financial problem.I was very very happy and so I promised that I would thank st.expedite to many networking sites. I will post and share to the people that he is indeed helping me,not only to me but to a lot of people.St.expedite is really helping people who are in desperate need.It doesn’t matter if what religion you are in as long as you believe in him and you are sincere with your prayers.St.expedite has been helping me in a lot of ways and every time I prayed to him,he always answered my prayers.If someone out here is in need,don’t hesitate to pray to st.expedite because he is so powerful that he grant your wishes BUT be sure to give him a thank you afterwards once your prayers is granted.But please don’t ask for anything that could hurt someone because it is not good.have faith and trust ST.EXPEDITE because I know he will HELP you.

  32. puppysamilby

    hello…Thank you dear st.expedite for helping me…..You are so grateful and very understanding….Thank you very very much…..

  33. A very big Thank You to St. Expedite for his great intercession before God, in answering my petition of request. May his name be honored and remembered now and forever more for truly coming to the urgent need of those who seek him.

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