In the August 1977 READERS DIGEST, there was an article about St. Expedite,
whose statue is in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, N. Conti and
Rampart Streets, New Orleans, LA. The article said a crate was delivered to
the church; the only indication of the contents was the Italian writing,
"spedito" (meaning "rush"). On seeing a saint inside, the Church officials
took this to be the name of the saint, and put him behind the altar rail
with the other statues. It was claimed that this is the only statue of St.
Expedite in the Western world. I was in New Orleans and visited the church,
saw the statue, and bought a prayer card about St. Expedite in the book
room. The attendant there said they knew very little about this saint.
Frank Scorza, a converted priest from Italy, now a missionary, in his
unpublished manuscsript about the Roman Catholic saints, states, "The
worship of St. Expedite originated at the beginning of the 20th century,
and spread quickly throughout Italy, particularly in the province of
Naples. His name originated from a play on words which meant rapid or
dispatch; believing he could grant favors as fast as an express train.
I wrote to tyhe archdiocese of Baton Rouge, LA, and received this reply
from Rev. Lawrence Taufoldo, 7/31/80. "Now to St. Expedite. We dont know
very much about the life of this saint, but the devotion has survived for
centuries. St. Expedite is very much venerated among the Sicilians."
From Butler's LIVES OF THE SAINTS, "It is more than doubtful whether the
saint ever existed. . . there is much to suggest that the introduction of
the saint's name is merely a copyists's mistake.
"A packing case, containing a corpo sancto from the catacombs was sent
to a community of nuns in Paris. They used the word `spedito' on the case
and the recipients mistook this for the name of a martyr and set to work
with great energy to propagate his cult."
He is the saint to be invoked against procrastination.
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