“This day is called the feast of Crispian.”

From a reader:

A little trivia for you. Today commemorates the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

“He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’ ” Henry V, Act 4

I heard Mass this morning in the Dominican rite at Leicester: same feast – SS Crispian and Crispianus – (they still keep it), same older roman rite, same propers as in 1415, as the king and his soldiers waiting for battle would have heard it 594 years ago, with tiny exceptions like prayers for Russia. Wonderful.

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10 Responses to “This day is called the feast of Crispian.”

  1. Mariana says:

    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

  2. Scitoviasdomini says:

    O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend / The brightest heaven of invention, / A kingdom for a state, princes to act / And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

    This is, of course, one of the biggest problems with the “new” calendar, from which the Feast of Ss. Crispin and Crispinian has been purged. Most dates of any historical note throughout the Middle Ages and early modern era were recorded with reference to the feasts and fasts of the Church calendar. Imagine how impoverished our understanding of Henry’s speech will be one day when sadly October 25 is no more remembered as Saint Crispin’s day.

    See my thoughts at Fides Quaerens Intellectum.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    In the Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck here in Valletta, there is a painting each of SS. Crispin and Crispinian. However, I did not go there for Mass today, but to the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel in Floriana. Happy Feast, anyway. Love the Laurence Olivier version. Here it is. Wow! And I know it was made as a cheer us up film during World War II, but who can beat it? Happy Name Day to Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth Diocese, as well, if he reads this blog.


  4. albinus1 says:

    Oct. 25 is also the anniversary of the canonization, in 1970, of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, including St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Edmund Campion, and St. Robert Southwell.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    I should add that the reason why these saints are honored here is that all the old guilds have chapels in above mentioned church. All the butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, boot makers, saddlers, etc. honored their patrons with altars, paintings, statues and even icons. As seen in the above print from Fr. Z, SS. Crispin and Crispina are patrons of shoe and boot makers. That guild would have donated their likenesses and processed down the streets of Valletta on this day. Sad all this has ended. There was a fight in the street on Sunday here, a huge one with about thirty men involved, and I was told it was because one group of men from one Catholic Church insulted another group from another parish. Three police cars came to break up this internecine strife. I wonder if this type of thing goes back to guild pride?

  6. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Speaking of ‘internecine strife’, I’ve just been watching a filmed production of Henry VI, Part 1 (with Shakespeare’s lively but far from reverent depiction of St. Joan) and got wondering if there has been any recommendation-worthy work done on both ‘the Hundred Years War’ and ‘the War of Roses’ – as Shakespeare portrays them and otherwise – as ‘fighting within the Church’ (with what, if any, relations to ‘the Western schism’)?

  7. Tantum Ergo says:

    Wasn’t he a prince of Narnia? Oh… never mind.

  8. Mark R says:

    Henry V was not a good king overall. He had his French prisoners of war killed and allowed French women and children to die of exposure during one of his campaigns. Though I am no great friend of the French, this is no way for a king to treat his putative subjects (he was styled King of France), let alone one’s enemies.

    in re. “fighting within the Church”: We cannot imagine the Church in Shakespeare’s times or a century before in terms of more recent history. Until the later Plantagenet monarchs reigns, churchmen made up what would now be the civil service of the country, monasteries owned large tracts of land. Holding lots of property was a just recompense for the service of churchmen and monks to the country. As the laity were becoming more educated and more involved in the governance of the country, their was some resentment to the Church maintaining such enormous wealth in property, as their service to the king was diminishing. (At this time the Church’s attitude to her property was practically an article of faith). And then there was the Lollard problem to deal with as well, some of whom were priests and friars.

  9. Dr. Eric says:

    My son watched the clip from Branagh’s version of Henry V and he said “Wait, Dad, is that the speech that Ferb gave?” (From the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb.”)

  10. irishgirl says:

    I like Olivier’s version of the ‘St. Crispin’s Day’ speech, but I love Branaugh’s version better!
    Combined with Patrick Doyle’s music, it gives me the chills!
    [Besides that, I love ‘Non Nobis, Domine’…even though it is sung in the aftermath of the Battle of Agincourt]