25 Oct Saints Crispin and Crispinian, Martyrs
Today is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian. Orate pro nobis.
These two glorious martyrs were brothers. They were born of a distinguished Roman family; they came from Rome to preach the Faith in Gaul toward the middle of the third century, and took up residence in Soissons.
In imitation of St. Paul they worked with their hands, making shoes, and earned enough by their trade to support themselves and also to aid the poor.
The infidels who came to their workshop were charmed by their polite and affable manners, and enjoyed coming to ask their services and converse with them. The profound conviction which imbued all they said about Christianity made a strong impression on those who heard them. They remained about forty years in this occupation at Soissons without being troubled, even though they determined many to renounce the cult of false gods.
During the Diocletian persecution they were brought before Maximianus Herculius whom Diocletian had appointed co-emperor. At first Maximianus sought to turn them from their faith by alternate promises and threats. But they replied: “Thy threats do not terrify us, for Christ is our life, and death is our gain. Thy rank and possessions are nought to us, for we have long before this sacrificed the like for the sake of Christ and rejoice in what we have done. If thou shouldst acknowledge and love Christ thou wouldst give not only all the treasures of this life, but even the glory of thy crown itself in order through the exercise of compassion to win eternal life.” When Maximianus saw that his efforts were of no avail, he gave Crispin and Crispinian into the hands of the governor Rictiovarus (Rictius Varus), a most cruel persecutor of the Christians
They were suspended by pulleys and struck with clubs; they were tormented in their hands and mouth with wires, and strips of flesh were cut off their backs. They ceased not to pray; when certain instruments destined for them turned against their tormenters, they were regarded as magicians. They were attached to millstones and thrown in the river, but the stones detached themselves, and they swam to the far shore.
A hotbed of fire, molten lead and tar did not consume them, and they sang hymns to the Lord. A drop of this mixture seemed to leap from the fire into the eye of Rictiovarus. Out of his mind with fury, he threw himself onto the brazier and there met his end. The martyrs were patient and constant under these fearful torments and finished their course by the sword in the year 286. A Christian brother and sister buried their bodies on their own terrain, where later a public oratory was constructed. On its site, the parish priest of Mattaincourt, Saint Peter Fourier, long afterwards established the Congregation of teaching Sisters which he founded.
Saints Crispin and Crispinian are the patron saints of cobblers, curriers, tanners, and leather workers. The date of their execution is given as 25 October 285 or 286.
Image: Saints Crispino e Crispiniano printed by Remondini – Bassano – Italy (4)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff