I was reading Devi's great post about her successful work with St. Expedite today. I particularly liked the deft conjure work using a "heated" commanding jar! She also gives fantastic, detailed advice for how to petition this mercurial saint. But something else struck me, (and this is something that happens with me too) - she was dialoguing with St. Expedite about what he wanted in return. I have found that when conjuring with the assistance of the saints they can and do make themselves understood quite clearly. In fact before I even considered working with St. Joseph I received a startling visitation as I lay drifting off in bed one evening.
And I mean a genuine, almost biblical vision - where I saw him standing before me smiling kindly enfolded in a gentle blue light. I sat bolt upright and then the image that was clear as day before me a moment before was gone. I have had these sorts of visions only a handful of times and I have never been able to figure out what triggers them or how to induce them. The first time was with an enigmatic being I came to think of as the Mysterious Lion-Headed Angel. But in the case of St. Joseph his visit was most surprising because even though I had been working with St. Martha and few other saints that are commonly petitioned in contemporary catholic influenced hoodoo; St. Joseph was not a saint I had ever considered petitioning.
After the vision I set up an altar for him and boy does he work miracles. Seriously, he is one of most incredible spiritual beings I have had the good fortune of knowing. I have no idea why he decided to knock on my door but I do know that by communing and working with the saints I have felt a tremendous grace and blessing. I come from catholic background and there was much pain around that issue for me until I started working with the saints magically. It opened up a new magical perspective - unmediated by theology or dogma.
Like Devi, I have found that when petitioned they sometimes talk back and say what they want. They have their likes and dislikes and they can get a little tricky too, it seems. Remember to pay them what you promise. Obviously that's the polite thing to do but in some cases they can be unpredictable - dont let the "saint" thing fool you, they really are the mighty dead with their own personalities and quirks. It also seems to me that some saints choose some people and work closely with them for whatever reason, others they ignore.
When composing impromptu petitions I highly recommend citing happenings in the saint's life story and transposing these events onto your petition. For instance with St. Joseph I might say something like; "Blessed St Joseph - as you protected and provided for Christ our Lord and the Virgin Mother of God, bless N. so he may swiftly find a good job that he too may able to protect and provide for his family... "
Similarly, stories from the bible can be incorporated and transposed onto a petition, making symbolic analogies between the narrative of the story and the goal of the spell. This is potent way to empower the work using strong mythic currents from the bible; currents that can powerfully propel your work, bringing it forth from the Divine unmanifest Potential into the manifest world by the grace of God.