Sts. Crispin and Crispinian were twins and martyrs in Rome in the third century. Together, they worked to bring the Word of God to Gaul, preaching in the streets of Soissons during the day, and making shoes at night. The brothers were known for their charity and piety, and many were converted through their example and their renunciation of worldly possessions.
In 286, Crispin and Crispinian were arrested under the rule of Emperor Maximian Herculeus. They were tortured, and eventually beheaded for their faith.
In the 6th century, a great church was erected in Soissons and dedicated to the brothers.
Their feast day is a crucial plot point in Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” The king gives an impassioned speech, “Saint Crispin’s Day,” before the battle of Agincourt, fought in 1415. The outnumbered English army went on to defeat the French.
Crispin and Crispinian are the patron saints of cobblers, lace makers, glove makers, leather workers, and saddle makers.