Aside from being Invoked Against Procrastination,
St. Expeditus also is Patron Saint of: Emergencies . Financial Success .
Prompt Solutions . Computer Programmers . Merchants . E-Commerce
A popular tale regarding St. Expeditus (Expedite in French) relates how a shipping crate containing relics from Roman catacombs was sent to a community of French-speaking nuns. Their only clue to the identity of the contents was the inscription e spedito and the date. Assuming that was the name of the saint whose remains were inside, the sisters translated it to French–Expedite (Expeditus in Latin) and consequently dedicated a chapel to him. Not speaking Italian, the nuns hadn’t realized that the writing on the package actually referred to the shipping date.
While there are many devotées of Saint Expeditus, there is no creditable evidence that he ever walked this earth. The name Expeditus occurs among a list of saints martyred on the 18th and 19th of April, one in Rome and in the other in Armenia; but there is no tradition around either, and the name was quite possibly a scribe’s spelling error. (The list in question was found to contain so many mistakes that virtually anything on it was suspect.)
St. Expeditus is patron of the town of Acireale in Sicily, and 18th-century paintings of him have been found in Germany, depicting him as a saint to be invoked against procrastination. (He bears the word “hodie”–Latin for “today”–while stepping on a crow which is crying “cras”–”tomorrow.”)
There is only one famous statue of him in North America. It is in New Orleans, where he enjoys a great reputation for “expediting” spiritual favors. He is also believed to “expedite” payment and shipments and thus is the patron of merchants.
Recently he has been adopted exofficio as patron of computer programmers, e-commerce and those who use the internet.
As is the case with several other popular saints, Expeditus appears to have achieved his patronage through a pun. The fact that he most likely owes his existence to errors–and errors are often made in haste–adds an ironic poignancy to the tales.
Interesting External Links
♦ Wikipedia article
For Fun, Help, Inspiration (or just an excuse not to get back to work):
♦ Procrastination Research Group
Access to information and research related to procrastination. Originating from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, it is a compilation of information and research on procrastination from all over the world.
♦ Procrastinators club so far seems dedicated to providing ways to avoid getting back to work, under the guise of “news.” Will offer more as soon as they get around to it. (And the last update appears to be 2002.)
The image at left is of a classic St. Expeditus pose — foot on crow, pointing to a sundial. Click on it to see the engraving in more detail.(Courtesy of Lee Davis, member of the NAWCC, the world’s largest organization devoted to timekeeping and timepieces.)
Send us your links...we’ll be happy to publish them...as soon as we get around to it!