Saint Expeditus of Melitene, Martyr

April 19

Today is the feast day of Saint Expeditus.  Ora pro nobis.

Saint Expeditus (Elpidus, Expedite) little is known. Expeditus was possibly born in Armenia, at an unknown date. He was a Christian martyr, but not much else is known about him. (2) 

Some would claim that Saint Expedite really did not exist.  He is indeed found in the Roman Martyrology, his feast day celebrated on April 19. He died very early in the fourth century during the persecution of Diocletian, along with several others, in what is now Malatya, Turkey. The long-held belief is that these martyrs were Armenians who were slain because they had become Christians. Saint Expedite himself was a Roman Centurion. Sadly, he was one of the saints purged from the calendar after Vatican II, along with Saint Christopher and Saint Philomena, two who are precious to many Catholics. However, those who hold him dear don’t seem to care about that and remain devoted to him. (3)

For more than a millennium, Saint Expedite remained obscure, so little was known about him. During the Middle Ages, he was venerated in the area of Turin, Italy.  As well as being the patron saint of the Republic of Molossia, St. Expeditus is also the patron of emergencies and solutions. He is traditionally depicted as a Roman soldier, holding a palm leaf in his left hand, and raising a cross with the word “Hodie” (today) on it. His right foot is stepping on a raven, which is speaking the word “Cras” (tomorrow). (2)

Image: The statue of St. Expeditus from the Holy Saviour Church in Warsaw (4)

Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff


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