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Friday, November 7, 2008

Sarum Calendar: Oct. 25/Nov. 7, Sts. Crispin & Crispinian

Today we keep the memory of the holy brothers and martyrs Crispin and Crispinian, who suffered at Soissons in Gaul. All efforts to discover some sacred icon of these martyrs have failed over the years, but here is an engraving:

The Sarum Book of Readings for Matins includes three lessons today for the brother-martyrs. These are translated into English for the first time now by Hieromonk Aidan of the Russian Orthodox Church, (c) 2008 St. John Cassian Press.

Lesson 1: Crispin and Crispinian chose the city of Soissons to host their earthly pilgrimage. In this city, because the error of the Gentiles had so much prevailed, lack of decency kept them from obtaining lodgings, for the reason that they were Christians. Having ascertained the Gentiles' cruelty, they learnt the craft of shoemaking, being followers of that instruction of the Teacher of the Gentiles, that folk should provide themselves this life’s necessities by the labour of their hands. And they practised this craft as unobtrusively as they could. But Thou…

Lesson 2: But, hearing of these things, the ungodly Maximian in short order directed Rictiovarus, the assistant to his ungodliness, to search for them. And, being sought by him, they were found in the aforesaid city, cobbling shoes for the poor. When he was unable to call them away from the faith of Christ, he commanded the famed martyrs, once stretched out with pulleys, to be beaten with clubs. Again Rictiovarus, insane with fury, commanded millstones to be hanged about the neck of each, and that they be submerged in wintertime, in the river which is called the Aisne, beneath the ice. And last of all he commanded pitch, lard, and oil to be boiled together, and gave fresh orders that the holy martyrs be thrown into it, to be devoured in the torment. But Thou…

Lesson 3: That same night, it was shown them in a revelation that when day had dawned they would receive the reward of their labours and confession, and be greeted by the Lord as shining victors. The vision was fulfilled without delay, by the manifest accomplishment of the act. For Maximian, soon as he heard of the failure of his henchman Rictiovarus, commanded both Crispin and Crispinian to be punished with the sword. Now, their bodies were left by the tormentors to be devoured by wild animals, dogs, and the worst kind of birds. But they remained inviolate from the bite of these beasts, Christ preserving them. But Thou…

Holy Martyrs Crispin and Crispinian, pray to God for us!
Sancti Martyres Crispine et Crispiniane, ora pro nobis Deum!


Aaron Joshua Oliver said...

Fr. Aidan,

It's great to see another Western Rite blog. I hope your work in this area continues. I am also glad you posted of St. Crispin, who I first heard of in the famous and inspirational speech in Shakespeare's 'Henry V.'


Aaron Joshua Oliver said...

Fr. Aidan,

I also forgot to ask where the picture is from at the heading of your blog? It is beautiful.


Fr. Aidan said...

The picture is of the former abbey of Mont S.-Michel, off the northern coast of Brittany, near Avranches. It was built by mandate of the archangel Michael, in the 8th century.

Joyful Catholics said...

Yes, that picture on your header is stunning! Where is it?