Crispin and Crispinian

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Saints Crispin and Crispinian
Crépin et Crépinien (Kalkar).jpeg
SS. Crispin and Crispinian
Martyrs
Born3rd century AD
Died286
Rome
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Churches
Church of England
CanonizedPre-Congregation
Major shrineSoissons
FeastOctober 25
Attributesdepicted holding shoes
Patronagecobblers; curriers; glove makers; lace makers; lace workers; leather workers; saddle makers; saddlers; shoemakers; tanners; weavers.
San Crispin, San Pablo City, Philippines

Saints Crispin and Crispinian are the Christian patron saints of cobblers, curriers, tanners, and leather workers. They were beheaded during the reign of Diocletian; the date of their execution is given as 25 October 285 or 286.

History[edit]

Born to a noble Roman family in the 3rd century AD, Crispin and Crispinian fled persecution for their faith, ending up at Soissons, where they preached Christianity to the Gauls whilst making shoes by night. While it is stated that they were twin brothers, that has not been positively proved.[1]

They earned enough by their trade to support themselves and also to aid the poor. Their success attracted the ire of Rictus Varus, governor of Belgic Gaul,[2] who had them tortured and thrown into the river with millstones around their necks. Though they survived, they were beheaded by the Emperor c. 285–286.

An alternative account gives them to be sons of a noble Romano-Briton family who lived in Canterbury, following their father's murder for displeasing the Roman Emperor. As they were approaching maturity their mother sent them to London to seek apprenticeship and to avoid coming to the attention of their father's killer. Travelling there, the brothers came across a shoemaker's workshop at Faversham and decided to travel no further and stayed in Faversham. This account fails to explain how the brothers came to be venerated and martyred.

Veneration[edit]

The feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian is 25 October.[3] Although this feast was removed from the Roman Catholic Church's universal liturgical calendar following the Second Vatican Council, the two saints are still commemorated on that day in the most recent edition of the Roman Church's martyrology.

In the sixth century a stately basilica was erected at Soissons over the graves of these saints, and St. Eligius, a famous goldsmith, made a costly shrine for the head of St. Crispinian.[1]

They are the patron saints of cobblers, glove makers, lace makers, lace workers, leather workers, saddle makers, saddlers, shoemakers, tanners, and weavers.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

The Battle of Agincourt was fought on Saint Cristpin's feastday. It has been immortalised by Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day Speech from his play Henry V. Also, for the Midsummer's Day Festival in the third act of Die Meistersinger, Wagner has the shoemakers' guild enter singing a song of praise to St. Crispin.

A plaque at Faversham commemorates their association with the town. They are also commemorated in the name of the old pub "Crispin and Crispianus" at Strood.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Meier, Gabriel. "Sts. Crispin and Crispinian." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 14 Mar. 2015
  2. ^ See: Arnold Hugh Martin Jones; John Robert Martindale; J. Morris (1971). The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: V. 1 A.D. 260–395. I.. Cambridge University Press. p. 766. ISBN 978-0-521-07233-5. "He is most probably a fictitious character since there was no persecution of Christians in N. Gaul; this area was subject to the Caesar Constantius."
  3. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Crispin and Crispinian". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 468.
  4. ^ "Crispin and Crispinian", Catholic News Agency

External links[edit]