Peace be with you, my friends! I’ve just come back from a trip to the country to celebrate Orthodox Easter with a Romanian family, as I am currently in Romania for work and school. It was an absolutely beautiful experience. We had dinner in a rural farmhouse that was over 100 years old and I met a 95 year old woman who told me interesting stories about local romanian folklore and belief in the supernatural.
A Romanian Folk Story
One story occurred when she was a young girl in the late 1920’s. One summer, many of the cows in a village stopped giving milk and the villagers though it was the work of a local woman everybody knew was a witch. One evening, a local villager saw a cat enter a barn and start to drink milk directly from the cow and threw a rock at the cat which scurried away in pain. The following day the old witch woman was walking around the village with an injury in her lower back. As she finished telling me the story, the old lady laughed it off and said it was just old time village superstition, but I could tell by her tone and expression that she believed to some extent the old legends. I have heard many stories from various cultures regarding the supposed ability of magical workers to morph into animal form. Curiously, I heard of many cases from the southern US, especially the Ozarks, quite similar to the story told to me yesterday by this elderly Romanian village woman.
Aside from Orthodox Easter, I have been busy this week preparing for Saint Expedite’s day, which falls on this coming Thursday, April 19th. Expedite is an extremely important saint in New Orleans Voodoo and I am planning to make a service to him with many offerings and petitions for myself and others. If you are interested in having a service preformed this Thursday or anytime, please get in touch! Since Expedite’s day is coming up, I am reposting an article I wrote a few years ago on this miraculous saint:
I wish to share with you a few words about Saint Expedite, an extremely powerful and fast acting folk saint popular in New Orleans among Voodooists and mainstream Catholics alike. His image is housed at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church across from Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1, both very important sites of Voodoo pilgrimage. Lately, in my consultations with clients, Saint Expedite has been showing up more and more and I have been using him in my work. So, I’ve decided to share a little about him and teach you how to invoke him properly to bring about a speedy resolution to whatever issue might be at hand.
First of all, let me say that the origins of this popular religious figure are at best obscure. In any case, there is no doubt that there is a saint in Heaven named Expedite who rushes to help those of us here below that love and venerate him. There is an urban legend regarding this saint that many New Orleanians swear by. When Louisiana was under Spanish rule, a statue of a strange and unidentifiable saint arrived at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. He was a beautiful Roman soldier dressed in red and on the shipping crate was stamped the word “Expedito,” so for lack of a name they began calling him Saint Expedite and when invoked, people were amazed at how fast their prayers were answered and they began to flock to the chapel to venerate his image. Anthropologists and folklorists alike agree that this story is most likely an urban legend, as similar stories exist in France and Sicily where Saint Expedite has a huge following, but whatever the case, there is no doubt that he answers the prayers of those who invoke him.
The Roman Catholic martyrology does make mention of a Roman centurion named Expeditus who lived in the 4th century AD and suffered martyrdom under the emperor Diocletian, a ruthless persecutor of Christians who was responsible for the martyrdom of other famous saints such as Saint Barbara and Saint Philomena. Expeditus was the commander of a Roman legion and faithfully served the empire. One day, while on the battlefield, Expeditus received a divine revelation and was compelled to convert to the Christian faith, the very same heretical sect he had sworn to eradicate. Upon hearing his profession of faith, a demon in the form of a crow appeared to him and chirped repeatedly the word “cras,” which in vulgar Latin meant “tomorrow.” Not wanting to put off his conversion another day, Expeditus squashed the bird with his foot and proclaimed “Hodie!” meaning “Today.” He immediately found a group of Christians who welcomed him into their community and baptized him into the faith. When the emperor Diocletian learned that Expeditus had defected from the army and embraced Christianity, he ordered his execution, and the saint received the crown of martyrdom on April 19th 301 in what is today Armenia. In popular iconography Expedite is often depicted stomping a crow and brandishing a cross with the word “Hodie” written across it. Due to his desire to serve Christ immediately, Expedite became known as the patron of prompt solutions.
I will say again that whatever the origins of this saint, there is no doubt that he is powerful and answers prayers quickly. If there is a favor of which you are in urgent need, making a service to Saint Expedite may help to manifest it quickly. Saint Expedite is not a typical Voodoo spirit and he is not of African origin, so his service is a bit different and less complicated. In New Orleans, Voodooists go directly to the church and invoke his intercession, but he may be invoked just as effectively from home. Saint Expedite’s day is Wednesday and a service to him is most effective if done on this day. You take an image of the saint and light a red glass encased seven day candle in front of it. Leave the candle burning until it goes out and then fill the glass with water and place a bouquet of red flowers in front of the saint as a thank you. Also, when your favor is granted, it is customary to offer Saint Expedite a piece of Sara Lee pound cake in return for his help. You can invoke his help in any matter, but he is especially helpful when it comes to money and finance. Once your favor is granted, I would advise you to thank him with a proper offering, as the luck he brings can dissipate just as quickly. His feast day is April 19th and it will bring you many blessings to offer him service on that date.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about St. Expedite and hearing about my experience in rural Romania. Until next time, I wish you peace, love and happiness!