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Saint Crispoldus
Bishop and Martyr
Born traditionally Jerusalem
Died 1st century
Bettona, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Santa Maria Maggiore, Bettona
Feast May 12
Patronage Bettona

Saint Crispoldus (sometimes Cyspolitus, Crispoltus, Chrysopolitus, Italian: San Crispolto, Crispolito, Crispoldo) is venerated as a 1st-century Christian martyr.[1] He is the patron saint of Bettona, in Umbria, and said to have been the first bishop of that city, although the dioceses of Nocera and Foligno also include his name in episcopal lists.[2][3]

According to a legendary Passio of the 12th century, Crispoldus was a native of Jerusalem and one of the Seventy Disciples; in 58 AD Crispoldus was sent to Italy by Saint Peter to preach Christianity there.[1] Crispoldus traveled to Umbria and performed miracles at the town of Bettona.[1] He was consecrated bishop of Bettona by St. Brictius (Brizio), who was bishop of Massa Martana.[1] Britius is also named as a bishop of Spoleto and of Foligno.[1] According to Giuseppe Cappelletti, Britius may have been a regional bishop, rather than a bishop of a particular diocese, which explains his association with multiple dioceses.[3]

Crispoldus began to preach Christianity in his diocese, but was arrested by soldiers of the Roman Emperor Maximian (250-310).[1] He was tried before the prefect Asterius and invited to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Crispoldus refused, and was killed after being tortured.[1]

At the same time, a man named Barontius (Baronzio) was decapitated for being a Christian.[1] Crispoldus’ sister Tutela, along with twelve other women, attempted to bury Crispoldus and Barontius, but were arrested in the attempt.[1] They also refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and were put to death. Their martyrdom is said to have occurred on May 12.[1]

Crispoldus' Germanic name makes his connection to the Apostles unlikely and probably legendary.[2]


Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, where Crispoldus' relics rest.

At Bettona a church was built on the site of Crispoldus’ martyrdom.[1] Crispoldus is mentioned in a document dating from 1018, found in the archives of Assisi Cathedral.[1]

A new church, Santa Maria Maggiore, was built at Bettona in the 13th century, and was consecrated by Bishop Guido of Bettona in 1225.[1] In 1266, the church became a Benedictine foundation and then became a Franciscan church.[1] The church was restored in 1266 and also in 1797.[1] Crispoldus’ relics rest in an urn in a chapel at Santa Maria Maggiore.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Antonio Borelli (30 May 2002). "San Crispolto (Crispolito) e compagni Martiri di Bettona". Santi e Beati. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Nocera". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1913. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Giuseppe Cappelletti, Le chiese d'Italia della loro origine sino ai nostri giorni (Venice, 1846), 398.