This blog post was scheduled to be written after a particular glass-encased candle finished burning, so I figured I had at least a week to get around to it. I’d been praying to St. Expedite, though, the patron of procrastinators, and as such, the candle — dressed with Attraction oil and Fast Luck powder — burned down in three days instead of seven.
Lesson learned, y’all.
Traditional offerings to St. Expedite include fresh flowers, pound cake, and praising his name in print. However, in lieu of taking out a newspaper ad, I thought I’d tell you the story of how we met.
There’s a Catholic bookstore not too far from my apartment, where I have spent many a lunch break leisurely browsing and avoiding eye contact with the very friendly, very Christian employees who would probably not be entirely thrilled to know what I end up doing with my purchases. I’d gone in one afternoon to look at patron saint statues — I’d recently gotten obsessed with the Fourteen Holy Helpers and was trying to, like, collect the whole set — when I noticed a foot-tall plaster statue of a Roman soldier stepping on a crow.
I was surprised to find St. Expedite nestled among the Apostles and Baby Jesuses (Jesi?), since he’s one of those not-quite-kosher saints that the Church would officially really prefer God-fearing people stop venerating. Curious, I lifted him off the shelf to see how much he cost: According to the price tag, he was both affordable and “S.O.”
S.O. Special Order.
I thought about that for a second, then rushed to the counter, waving my debit card aggressively.
See, according to legend, a church in New Orleans once commissioned an artist in Spain to produce a statue of the Virgin Mary. However, on the day of delivery, two crates arrived instead of one. The first contained the statue of the Mary; the second, stamped “Expedite,” held a statue of a Roman soldier, and it was decided that Expedite must be the soldier’s name.
And there I was, holding a statue of Expedite that had shown up unexpectedly in the mail, waiting for someone to come along and recognize him.
I’ve been giving him flowers and pound cake ever since, and I only miss deadlines when I forget to pray to him first. Granted, I usually don’t think to pray to him until the deadlines are ready to eat my soul, but I keep his statue clean, and I always come through on the offerings I promise him, so it evens out sooner than later.