Martyrs of the Early Church who were beheaded during the reign of Diocletian; the date of the execution of Saints Crispin and Crispinian is given as 25 October, 285 or 286. It is stated that they were brothers, but the fact has not been positively proved. The legend relates that they were Romans of distinguished descent who went as missionaries of the Christian Faith to Gaul and chose Soissons as their field of labour. 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.

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 should’st 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. Under the order of Rictiovarus 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 Rictiovarus, in despair, committed suicide himself. Afterwards the two saints were beheaded at the command of Maximianus.

In the sixth century a stately basilica was erected at Soissons over the graves of these saints, and St. Eligius, a famous goldsmith, made a costly shrine for the head of St. Crispinian. Some of the relics of Crispin and Crispinian were carried to Rome and placed in the church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna. Other relics of the saints were given by Charlemagne to the cathedral, dedicated to Crispin and Crispinian, which he founded at Osnabrück. Crispin and Crispinian are the patron saints of shoemakers, saddlers, and tanners.

Get our inspiring content delivered to your inbox every morning - FREE!



  1. Awesome! It’s amazing how some people would die for their faith. Makes me more “into my faith” too. I want to be like them. Saints Crispin & Crispinian. And their names are cool.

  2. what about the 50,000 plus cathars in southern france…….slaughtered on orders of the pope
    1000 years ago? and the 11 million ” heretics?”. murdered by the roman catholic church during
    the spanish inquisition..? then countless amerindian millions who were murdered in the name
    of “Christ”. during the catholic conquest of the americas..? and the millions of sexual abuse
    victims over the centuries of despicable abuse by pedophile priests, nuns,bishops and cardinals?
    who are the real martyrs??????????

  3. St Crispin and St Crispinian, may all shoemakers provide shoes for those who cannot afford them and keep their feet ever protected so that they may walk a good purpose. Pray for us, dear Saints, to obtain for us a lively faith, constancy in good works, and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death.

  4. Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!
    Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us. For Italy.
    Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us. For Rome.
    Saints Crispin and Crispinian, pray for us. For a fervent conversion of all consecrated men and women who have lost their Faith, or never had an intense intimacy with Christ Crucified. Blood of Christ, wash away their iniquity. Make their hearts like unto Thine. Amen.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here