Crispin, St.

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Crispin, St.

Crispin and his brother Crispinian are saints in the Roman Catholic Church. They are said to have died around a.d. 285 as martyrs to their faith.

According to legend, the brothers were Romans who traveled to Gaul (present-day France) and earned their keep as shoemakers, while teaching about Christianity. At that time, the religion was illegal in Gaul and the rest of the Roman empire. When questioned by the authorities, the brothers admitted they were Christians. Their punishment was torture and execution.

martyr person who suffers or is put to death for a belief

pagan term used by early Christians to describe non-Christians and non-Christian beliefs

Over the years, Catholics have honored the brothers with processions and festivities on October 25, which came to be called St. Crispin's Day. One modern theory claims that St. Crispin originated as the pagan Roman god of shoemakers and that a Christian myth later transformed him into a saint. Shakespeare includes the two brothers as a single character, Crispin Crispían, in his play Henry V.