[St. Pachomius Library]

Sts. Crispin and Crispinian

III Century
Soissons and Faversham were the centers of the cult of these shoemakers martyred c. 256. Legend says that they were nobly born Roman brothers who became missionaries to Gaul. Some say they chose to make shoes so that the faithful need not support them, while others say that the two were unmercenary cobblers. Reputed to have founded Noviodunum (now Soissons), the brothers were martyred when local pagans complained of them to Maximian, who was visiting the town. The shoemakers were beheaded. Some English legends report that the duo lived in Faversham, in a house that was a tourist attraction into the XVII Century. Other English legends record that the headless bodies were tossed into the sea and floated to the Romney Marsh. St. Eligius restored the French shrine to Crispin and Crispinian in the VII Century, after which it was a popular pilgrim's destination. The brothers are now remembered as the saints King Henry V invoked before Agincourt in Shakespeare's play.

--- Karen Rae Keck


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