Martyrs – (d. ca. 285)
+ Crispin and Crispinian were exceptionally popular saints in Northern Europe during the Middle Ages and, according to Shakespeare, King Henry V invoked Saint Crispin’s intercession before the Battle of Agincourt, which was fought on October 25.
+ According to legend, Crispin and Crispinian were Roman brothers who traveled to Gaul as missionaries. They settled in Soissons and they supported themselves by working as shoemakers, in order to avoid having to rely on alms.
+ After working and ministering successfully for several years, they were reported to the authorities and were arrested, tortured, and executed for their Christian faith.
+ In later years, Saint Eligius—who is now honored as the patron saint of jewelers and metalworkers—decorated their shrine in Soissons.
+ Theses holy martyrs are honored as the patron saints of shoemakers and, by extension, all leather workers.
On October 25, the Church also remembers 5 women martyred in 1936 as part of the religious persecutions of the Spanish Civil War. Honored as the “Martyrs of Cruz Cubierta,” the martyrs include Blessed Maria Teresa Ferragud Roig de Masiá and her four daughters, all of whom were religious sisters who had returned to their family home after their communities had been disbanded. The daughters are: Blessed Maria Joaquina Masiá Ferragud, Blessed Maria Vicenta Masiá Ferragud, and Blessed Maria Felicidad Masiá Ferragud (all Capuchin Poor Clare nuns), as well as Blessed Josefa Ramona Masiá Ferragud (a Discalced Augustinian nun). They were beatified together in 2001.
“For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, no did we eat food received from anyone. On the contrary in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you… we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us.”—2 Thessalonians 3:7-9b
Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saints Crispin and Crispinian the grace of suffering for Christ, come, in your divine mercy, we pray, to the help of our own weakness, that, as your Saints did not hesitate to die for your sake, we, too, may live bravely in confessing you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.