It’s All Saints Day today and my mind is drifting to all the saints honored in Voodoo and Santeria, also known as Lukumi. The one that jumped out first was St. Expedite. For those who have never heard of him before, he is a godsend/goddessend to Voodoo and Santeria practitioners, folk magicians, and other devotees worldwide. This time of year is traditionally one for honoring the ancestors and it is important to note this Saint is given tribute not only in New Orleans,but Haiti, Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Chile, Germany, and Sicily to start the list.
In New Orleans some people believe this to be the patron Saint of the city, and uphold him as a purely home grown creation. He gets things done quickly, effectively, and in a no nonsense way, kind of like the city of New Orleans itself. My favorite statue of St. Expedite, reported to be the only one of it’s kind in North America, is in the Our Lady of Guadalupe International Shrine of St. Jude in New Orleans. The church is located at 411 N. Rampart St, across from St. Louis Cemetery Number One, where the grave of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau is supposedly located. The place of worship was constructed in 1826 and was originally called the Mortuary Chapel. It is the oldest surviving church in the area, and although it is said that Marie Laveau frequently patronized St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, it is very likely that she utilized this sacred space as well. Oddly enough the first funeral to take place there was exactly 186 years ago today. Urban legend has it that the famous Expedite statue arrived in a mysterious box stamped Expedite and has been housed there ever since.
People turn to St. Expedite with problems of money, getting paid,curing procrastination, removing persecution, and speedy deliveries. People light novena candles to him and ask for his divine aid. The following is my recipe for St. Expedite Blessings Water.
St. Expedite Blessings Water
1 bottle Holy Water from a Catholic Church (Be sure to leave an offering in return)
3 drops spring water
3 drops Sandalwood oil
4 corners torn off from a picture of St. Expedite
During the night of the full moon, mix together all ingredients inside the holy water bottle. Take the bottle in both hands and move it up, down, left, and right making the shape of a cross. When you reach where the invisible center of the cross would be throw the bottle gently into the air and then catch it. This is to represent the mixture going into the hands of the spirits. Use as a blessing water wherever you may need to bring about a speedy transformation.
For more information on the magic and history of this interesting Saint please check out the Lucky Mojo website which tells and interesting linguistic story about why this saint is shown with the Latin words “Hodie,” meaning today, and “Cras,” meaning tomorrow. In addition, Milagra Roots’ article on Saint Expedite is also very detailed and helpful.