Notes about saints

September 11, 2010 permalink

Saint Expeditus of the GTD

A photo in the recent Big Picture post about the men trapped in the Chilean mine features a small impromptu shrine to San Expedito, a saint I hadn’t heard of before (I’m not Catholic or even especially religious so I’m ignorant about a lot of these things). In English he’s known as Saint Expeditus, and the name’s a pretty big giveaway: with one foot he’s crushing a crow cawing the word ‘cras’ (the ancient Roman’s onomatopoeia for a crow call, but more importantly it’s also the Latin word for tomorrow  — wordplay!) and he bears aloft a cross with the inscription ‘hodie’ (today). So basically he’s the patron saint of Getting Things Done.

Other things I like about this guy: his very existence and origin story is a bit sketchy, maybe even attributable to human language error, he’s big in the realm of Haitian Vodou and African-American hoodoo (while looking this stuff up, I came across more than one source from New Orleans instructing that you should leave him offerings of Sara Lee pound cake! weirdly specific!), and according to a 2004 Wired article, he’s the patron saint of nerds and hackers.