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Crispin of Viterbo, St.


Also known as Il Santorello in Viterbo; Capuchin lay brother, questor, and apostle of the poor; b. Nov. 13, 1668, Viterbo, Italy; d. May 19, 1750, at Rome. After receiving his early education from the Jesuits, Pietro Fioretti followed the trade of shoemaker until he joined the Roman province of the Capuchins on July 22, 1693, and became Brother Crispin. He was cook, gardener, and infirmarian. For 46 years he acted as questor, the chief financial officer. From his early days as a Capuchin until

his death, he was blessed with the gift of miracles and an infectious joy and cheerfulness. Both laity and ecclesiastics sought him for encouragement. In his many years of questing in Orvieto, he not only became the provider for his Capuchin family, but begged for all the poor. Throughout his life Crispin's spirituality was based on his trust in Mary Immaculate. In 1748, because of ill health, Crispin was sent to the infirmary in Rome, where he died of pneumonia two years later. The incorrupt body of St. Crispin, who was beatified in 1806, now rests under a side altar in the Capuchin church at Rome. His was the first canonization presided over by Pope John Paul II on June 20, 1982.

Feast: May 21 (Capuchins).

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 75 (1983): 789795. Analecta Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Cappucinorum, v. 170, see general index. "Epistola exhortativa nunc primum edita," Analecta Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Cappucinorum, 27 (1911): 19. Bibliotheca Sanctorum IV (Rome 1964) 312 f. Bullarium Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum (Innsbruck 188384) v. 10. r. branca, Un frate allegro (Cagliari 1971). c. hammer, "Our Lady's Favorite," Round Table of Franciscan Research, 23 (1958): 1721. L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. ed., no. 26 (1982): 12. giorgio da riano, ed., Massime e preghiere, 3d ed. (Rome 1950).

[t. o'rourke]

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