Saint of the Day – 19 April – St Expeditus (Died 303) Martyr – Roman Centurion, Martyr – Patronages – emergencies, expeditious solution, against procrastination, merchants, navigators.
His position in the army was not compatible with conversion to Christianity, as this seemed to be an open challenge to the authority of the emperor. In the Roman Empire of the 3rd and early 4th century AD, any military commander who converted to Christianity and refused to worship and make sacrifices to their pagan gods, immediately was subjected to derision. The emperor did not tolerate a commander who challenged his laws.
Expeditus was quickly betrayed by a jealous rival. Upon learning these facts, the Caesar Galerius sent orders for an immediate end to what he considered a military revolt. The execution order came quickly. On 19 April in the year 303, during the reign of Diocletian, by order of emperor Caesar Galerius, son of a Pagan priestess, Expeditus was tortured and executed in Melitene, now a part of Turkey. Expeditus, who had fought and defeated many enemies in a hundred battles fought with honour and loyalty to a Caesar and culture that gave no mercy.
Expeditus perished in a most cruel manner, first scourged in view of his legion and then when given the opportunity to repent, he refused without hesitation and was beheaded.
St Expeditus is little known and given the fact, that very little is known about his life, it is absolutely astounding that an ever-growing number of people thank him for his help every day. They thank him because he has helped them. He seems to help everyone who asks for it, regardless of the fact that he is not really known – something like St Veronica.
St Expeditus, is the saint of “just and urgent causes.” He is our advocate and our mediator before God . Veneration of St Expeditus, is not recent. In Turin Italy St Expeditus was the patron saint of traders in the early Middle Ages. In Germany in the 1700’s St Expeditus was pictured as an old man with a white beard (symbolising wisdom) near a clock with the inscription “hodie” (“today” in Latin). In the rest of the world, he is depicted as a young Roman soldier with a palm frond in his left hand and tramples a black crow that shouts “cras” (“tomorrow” in Latin) and holding a crucifix in his right hand which has the word “hodie” on it.
Tradition has it that one day, while thinking about embracing the Lord the devil appeared to him in the form of a black crow, with the intention of delaying his conversion as long as possible. The bird squawked saying “cras, cras” but the devil failed, because Expeditus realising it, roared angrily and stomped on the bird while yelling “Hodie, hodie” ” Today, today!” I will not leave anything for tomorrow, starting now I will be Christian. I will become a Christian today, because tomorrow I could be dead and may forfeit my chance at salvation. He immediately found a group of Christians who welcomed him into their community and baptised him into the faith.
Prayer to St Expeditus in Urgent Need
Our dear martyr and protector, Saint Expeditus,
You who know what is necessary and what is urgently needed.
I beg you to intercede before the Holy Trinity,
that by your intercession,
my request will be granted.
(Clearly express what you want
and ask him to find a way to help you.)
May I receive your blessings and favours.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
If Saint Expeditus grants your request, place an ad in the newspaper thanking Saint Expeditus, so that his name and fame will grow.