Working with the cool saint of quick results.
Growing up in Mexico, I’ve met all the santos and virgins in their various apparitions as quickly rendered images on paper cards and devotional candles. In my old house I had quite a few of the classic veladora candles, red, white, multi-colored and sprinkled or decorated with all sorts of curious things.
Road openers, sweeteners and assorted enchantments like these are on daily offer in most every market in Latin America. I had noticed St. Expedite hanging around with all the other cool deities but never paid much attention. That is until I needed something fast.
Aside from the Mexican market cred, I was aware of St. Expedite’s popularity in catholic prayer card circles, like St. Anthony who recovers lost things but petitioned for anything that is required pronto! Not officially considered in the Roman Catholic Saint canon, he is more closely related to St. Valentine than say St. Peter, which I think makes him even cooler. He has become quite popular in cyber-witch land, he pops-up on Twitter now and again, but it was this article from Sphere & Sundry, which made me take the plunge.
Research will lead you to a mixed bag of origin stories and appearances ranging from official processions, temples, and even featured cameos alongside popular syncretized saints in Hoodoo, where he serves a similar role as with the ‘ole prayer-circle lasses, albeit with a more lively ritual practice than the standard hushed prayer. Feel free to adapt any practices which are close to your own. For the purposes of simple witchcraft, St. Expedite represents a force of speed, like St. Michael does protection. Important matters of urgency are what St. Expedite adventures are made of.
My own? Well I offer this post as testimony. Once Expedite delivers it is common to spread praise. I share general and personal rituals below, but before that, let’s do what we do best, and have a look at his image
Commonly represented as a Roman soldier (one of his origin stories) for our purposes, well-dressed speed warrior will do. You’ll notice he holds a cross with the Latin inscription Hodie. Hoy in Spanish, which of course means TODAY. Some images will also show his foot over a crow/raven that holds or spits a banner with the word Cras, Latin for tomorrow. Pretty self-explanatory.
Caveat: St. Expedite is petitioned for urgent NEEDS, not wants although the urgency is implied, do reserve the work for a matter which actually requires it. If you have three wishes, a letter for Santa or a long list of urgentes, expect efficacy to dwindle.
A simple ritual would goe something like this. First procure an image or figure of the Saint, in a pinch a printed veladora will do. I have also selected a few of my favorite images at the end of the post, do scroll.
Proceed with formulating your petition, as always be mindful of clarity, you’ll want to be diligent with the well-wording and lay it out in terms of the intended result. Work on it until you are satisfied, then proceed.
As a witch you may already be acquainted with one difference between working with a spirit, demon, saint or power and kneeling down on your knees to pray to Jesus: um bargaining. Weave an offering into your petition in exchange for service, and go the extra, slightly high-magique mile, offer a little something extra upon completion. This now, that later.
St. Expedite likes red, gold, shiny and sweet things. You may choose a simple initial offering of fire (candle) and then payment with water and flowers, or get a bit more creative. Cake seems to be a popular option, Pound Cake in particular. I found that golden raisins, French madeleines and fancy cookies work just as well. To whatever payment you choose add to your petition spreading the word / glorifying his name as a traditional cherry on top.
Set up a shrine, use an available space in your altar or start a dedicated one. Add the image and your first offerings, call on St. Expedite, proceed with petition, light, fill or place your initial offerings, rinse and repeat. Wednesday is his traditional day and a good day for this. Also IMHO short and sweet seem to be of his spirit, take it or leave it.
In my personal experience St. Expedite delivers if not today, within the week, I would advise keeping up your work for at least a week if not 8 (my magic number), 9 (like a novena prayer) or 12 days regardless of delivery speed.
Upon delivery fulfill your end of the bargain and keep fresh offerings for the recommended time. Then feel free to thank him more than once and don’t forget to spread that word.
My Two Cents
I encourage you craft your own ritual, but here is one of my personal creation for reference. Shrine set-up: Image on the center, candle on one side, water container on the other. I also place a a small golden plate at the end. Preferably on a Wednesday, call on St. Expedite with three knocks. Follow with a short prayer, I previously mentioned short and sweet to be relevant plus I figure he likes fast so why ramble.
Hail St. Expedite! Mighty warrior of urgent causes.
I call on you and humbly request your assistance
in the matter of: (petition) Hodie, Hoy, Today!
I offer water (add water), fire (light the candle),
and upon delivery (place gold plate, wink).
I will also spread your name and glory.
Godspeed my mighty ally. Make it so.
Hodie, Hoy, Today! Amen.
For eight days keep candle and water going, replace as necessary. Repeat prayer or knock if you like. I also like to share any sweet treat I happen to eat myself, half it and place on the small golden plate. Upon delivery place the final offering of cake there (if you bake, even better, go for it) and red, yellow or orange flowers in the water. Then spread the good word.
P.S. Here are some rad images of St. Expedite to get you started. Hodie!
Credit: Cover art (pre-modifications) by Ariel Olivetti.