A patron saint of procrastination?

Louise Attenborough, Chocolate Collective

So who knew? A patron saint of procrastination? St. Expeditus.


Legend has is that on the day Expeditus resolved to become a Christian, the devil appeared before him in the form of a raven and tried to persuade him to wait until tomorrow to convert, to which Expeditus declared ‘No! I will be Christian today!”


The classic image shows him dressed as a Roman soldier raising a cross above his head with inscribed with the word ‘Hodie’ (Latin for Today) and stamping on a raven labelled ‘Cras’ (Latin for Tomorrow). Thanks to philosopher Jack Fuller on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, I have gone on to learn all about this saintly patriarch of all things procrastintory and here are a few facts about our unsung hero:


  • Its suggested his name came from a case of mistaken identity; a community of French-speaking nuns were sent a package of relics from Roman catacombs and mistook the label ‘e spedito’ as being the name of the saint that was inside, expedit being the French translation

  • No surprises then that he was originally invoked for urgent cases, implored for success in lawsuits, and speed, becoming the patron saint of merchants looking to expedite payments

  • His picture is therefore often thought to drive business success

  • Even though there is no real evidence to say he ever existed and was more likely a scribe’s spelling error; his name being listed in a document containing so many errors that most of it is suspect.

  • And I like saintspreserved.com take on this; the fact he most likely exists due to error and errors are often made in haste adds a delightfully ironic poignancy to his tales!


Either way, often depicted pointing at a clock; a reminder not to waste time or procrastinate, St. Expeditus sounds like our kind of guy.