St. Crispin is most well-remembered in a speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V, in which the king inspires his army on this feast day.
Legend has it that Crispin and Crispinian, brothers from a noble family in ancient Rome, went to Gaul with St. Quintinus to preach the Gospel. They settled there as shoemakers, and worked to convert people to Christianity during the day.
They spent their nights making and repairing shoes, which they did at no cost because it allowed them to speak about Christ to their customers.
By order of the emperor, they were apprehended and tortured. When they miraculously survived, the emperor had the brothers beheaded. The brothers are patron saints of shoemakers and leatherworkers, and St. Crispin is depicted in stained glass in the Basilica.
St. Crispin, the shoemaker who gave people new souls, pray for us!