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Patron Saint of the Nerds ;-)

GOOGLED "patron saint technology" on a whim. Truly amused to find this Wired magazine report, Patron Saint of the Nerds by Michelle Delio and timestamped "02:00 AM Nov. 10, 2004 PT":

"NEW ORLEANS -- Here in the oldest church building in New Orleans, tucked into a dark corner by the door as far away from the main altar as possible, stands the statue of St. Expedite [!] -- the unofficial patron saint of hackers.

"Unofficial because the Roman Catholic Church doesn't know what to do about St. Expedite. He's too pagan to be a proper saint, and too popular for his statues to be simply tossed out the door. Statues of St. Expedite seem to appear at some churches, a puzzling phenomenon. Where do the statues come from? Who sends them? No one really seems to know who St. Expedite was in life or even if he ever existed.

"But whatever St. Expedite may or may not be, geeks, hackers, repentant slackers, folks who run e-commerce sites and those who rely on brains and sheer luck to survive have all claimed the saint as their own."


Extract from an off-beat Wired magazine report (continued):

IN 2002, the Catholic Church offered up St. Isidore of Seville as the saint of computer programmers. Isidore seemed to be a fine choice -- in the 7th century, he produced one of the world's first databases, a 20-volume encyclopedia called The Etymologies, intended to be a summation of everything that was known about the world he lived in.

But Isidore somehow seems a bit too plodding for hackers, plus his life story includes none of the weird wordplay that makes so many hackers happy.

St. Expedite's name obviously relates to his attested ability to deliver favors quickly to the faithful... Italians were asking St. Expedite to grant their wishes well before 1781 ... a little research turned up the obscure St. Expeditus, whose status as a possible Armenian martyr gave the Expedite myth legitimacy.

St. Expedite is typically depicted as a young Roman centurion squashing a crow beneath his right foot and hoisting a clock or, in later versions, a cross inscribed with the word hodie ("today" in Latin). A ribbon with the word cras ("tomorrow" in Latin) emerges from the squished crow's mouth. The idea is that St. Expedite destroys people's proclivity to procrastinate and vanquishes vague promises of joyous tomorrows in favor of making things happen right now... In Italian folk tales, crows and ravens are forever yapping on about tomorrow.

St. Expedite is also widely considered, among people who consider such things, to provide real-time assistance on problems -- he's the saint of the fast solution. He is also is the patron saint of people who have to deliver work or products on a tight schedule.

While visiting St. Expedite in New Orleans, we saw half a dozen people come in and tuck notes and flowers by the saint's statue, ignoring the official saints in the front of the church.

"St. Expedite got me a job fast after my company closed down last month," said Letish Jackson of New Orleans, who'd come to the church to thank the saint. "If you knew how hard it is to get jobs here you'd know that me being employed is a very big miracle."

... Patron saints in general are broadband connections to the Almighty, passing along messages from the desperate or faithful. And the Catholic Church seems to have a patron saint for every possible need...

"I'm not a big believer in the saints, but St. Expedite is another whole story -- he's so good he's scary," said freelance computer support consultant Kathy Dupon, a resident of New Orleans. "My clients were forever paying me late until I taped a card with the saint's picture behind my mailbox as a joke last year. Now my checks almost always arrive on time."


by tree#138680 on Sat Nov 26 05 7:52 am | profile

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