Expeditus, a Roman soldier who was for centuries simply a name on a list of early Christian martyrs, took on new life in the late eighteenth century in a Catholic cult that expanded greatly in the late nineteenth century and has continued to spread since then. His name linked him with time and the answering of prayers for urgent causes in particularly modern ways, despite growing scholarly scepticism about him. His unforgettable image — a Roman soldier crushing a crow or raven underfoot — has been adopted by Italian fascists and practitioners of Haitian vodou, among many others. Expeditus‧s popularity on the internet is only the latest version of this unusual devotion.
Journal of Religious History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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