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St Crispin and St Crispinian









Saint Crispin and Saint Crispinian were Martyrs of the Early Church who were beheaded during the reign of Diocletian, a Roman emperor and persecutor of Christians. The date of their execution is given as 25th October, 285 or 286 and it is thought that they were twin brothers, although the facts supporting this assumption are unreliable. The legend relates that they were Romans of distinguished descent who went as Christian missionaries to the Gauls in Soissons. Soissons is a commune in Picardy, located on the River Aisne, about 60 miles northeast of Paris.. It is one of the most ancient towns of France, and is the administrative head of an ancient Roman Catholic diocese, whose establishment dates from about 300.

Following the example of Saint Paul they worked with their hands, making shoes, and earned enough to not only support themselves but also to aid the poor. During the Diocletian persecution they were brought before Maximianus Herculis whom Dioceltian 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, Rictius Varus, a most cruel persecutor of the Christians. Under his orders they were stretched on the rack, thongs were cut from their flesh, and awls were driven under their finger-nails. A millstone was then fastened about the neck of each, and they were thrown into the Aisne, but they were able to swim to the opposite bank of the river. In the same manner they suffered no harm from a great fire in which Rictius Varus, commited suicide. Afterwards the two saints were beheaded at the command of Maximianus.

They are the patrons of shoemakers, cobblers, and leatherworkers. Their feast day is October 25th.

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