Thursday, 25 November 2010

Saint Expedite

Saint Expedite is the patron saint of rapid solutions. He is prayed to when a situation needs to be turned around, hurried along or changed. He is revered In Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Latin America but most highly regarded in New Orleans, where he is considered to be a patron of the city. 

He is the unofficial Saint of Emergencies, Businesses, shop keepers, examinees and basically anyone who needs a rapid solution! Saint Expedite is a favourite of root workers.

The legend that tells of Saint Expedites arrival in New Orleans says that when the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe was being fitted, the priests sent off to Spain for a large and beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary. Time passed and eventually a ship arrived containing two crates. On opening the first crate they found the beautiful, commissioned statue of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” in turn they opened the second to find a statue of a handsome Roman soldier. In innocence they mistook the shipping instruction “EXPEDITE” for the name of the saint image within.

Saint Expedite appears as a handsome roman soldier wearing traditional uniform, armour and a red cloak. In his right hand he holds a cross upon which are written the word HODIE, the Latin word for ‘Today’ under foot he crushes a crow, from whose mouth spouts a ribbon on which the words “CRAS CRAS CRAS” can be seen , Cras being Latin for tomorrow. This is symbolic of Saint Expedite destroying Tomorrow in favour of Today.

There’s a funny story about Saint Expedite in which a woman in Louisiana has been hypnotized on here own doorstep by a man who requests she retrieves all the money in the house and brings it to him. Being under his spell she does just that and the man begins to walk away with all
of her cash. The woman, now aware of what has happened shouts out after him and he starts to run. Knowing she won’t catch him up she calls out for Saint Expedite. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a wooden plank flies through the air and knocks the thief square in the head, rendering him unconscious, allowing the woman to retrieve her cash and probably some of his!

Working with Saint Expedite

A shrine for Saint Expedite is quite simple to set up. Figures of him are scarce in Britain but can be found on markets in Spain and Italy and can of course be purchased in most Southern Botanica’s in the United States. I use a framed picture of him and have bottle lamps, bearing his image, burning for him at the Shrine. His colours are red and gold and candles of these colours should be burned in his honour. Next to his picture or statue keep a glass of fresh water for him and change it daily.  

As a soldier Saint he expects to be paid for his work and it is important to only ask for one thing at a time. The usual method of payment is with pound cake. On completion of a favour granted by Saint Expedite offer him a pound cake and ALWAYS make sure to give him fresh flowers. Many people will stress the importance of this! Red carnations are his favourite floral offering; legend has it that if Saint Expedite grants you a boon and he is not offered flowers, along with his cake, a member of your household will pass over!
Expedite can also be made offerings of red wine, roman coins and bread. Always keep up your end of the bargain or things WILL go wrong!

A final note on Saint Expedite is that he loves attention, so spreading his name about always wins his favour. Public thanks and altars in shops always go down well! 

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