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unpublished manuscsript about the Roman Catholic saints, states, "The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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