Sunday, 19 April 2020

saint expeditus

The Calendar of the Saints venerates on this day a Roman centurion stationed in Armenia-Minor called Expeditus on the occasion of his martyrdom for converting to Christianity (†303 AD) and despite some disagreement on the authenticity of his name—it may have been a misreading or an anonymous victim as it is also Latin for a soldier marching without heavy equipment, tradition has nonetheless accorded this legion commander with the patronage of law professionals pushing for an expedient trial, car dealers, shipping companies and other traders seeking an expeditious solution and students and auditors praying for a quick turn-around and delivery of results—and invoked against delay and procrastination. Expeditus’ iconography, bearing a cross with the word hodie (Latin for today) and trampling on a crow with the onomatopoeic speech balloon Cras! (tomorrow, see above) is from a story told about his contemplating conversion and how Satan, in the form of a beguiling bird, tried to convince him to delay his decision until another time with the soldier resisting the temptation and resolving to affirm his faith right away.  Though not universally observed, there is some precedent for settling long outstanding legal cases on this day,  especially in place where the cult of the saint has a strong following.