25 Oct – “Today is called the Feast of Crispian…”

Today is called the Feast of Crispian…

Some video versions … in order:

The 3rd c. martyrs Crispin and Crispinian were killed in Soissons.  They converted people as they plied their trade as cobblers and they were generous to the poor.  Eventually they were persecuted by the local governor and eventually beheaded around on 25 Oct 286 in the time of the Emperor Diocletian.  A different version has them in England, in Faversham, which is surely the version Shakespeare worked with.   St. Eligius made a reliquary for the head of Crispinian.

How could we go without some samples of the great speech?

Henry V (1944) directed by and starring Lawrence Olivier

Henry V (1989) directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh

Richard Burton’s version:

Tom Hiddleston from the Hollow Crown series. US HERE UK HERE

Renaissance Man with Lillo Brancato, Jr.

Happy Feast of Sts. Crispin and Crispinian.

And let the revival of our liturgical worship continue.

The numbers of Holy Masses in the Extraordinary Form are growing, though but slowly.    Also, I fear that the number of bishops, priests and laity who accept what the Church teaches about marriage is shrinking.

For now content us saying “the fewer men, the greater share of honour”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ave Crux says:

    Thank you for this, Father. It was quite an inspiration and shot in the arm, as discouragement and sorrow over such widespread public betrayals within the Church can certainly weigh heavily on the heart.

    After watching one of the videos I experienced a renewed surge of courage and joy amidst my tears….“We few, we happy few….. those men abed in England will think themselves accursed for having missed this day”

    Sain Thérèse also said she wished the trials of the Christians in the last days could be hers… This is surely an opportunity for faithful Catholics to manifest their love for God. May He be with us with His grace and strength!

  2. Guy Power says:

    Order of priority:
    1. Branagh (I’d follow him into battle based on this performance! – hoo-rah!)
    2. Burton
    3. Hiddleston
    4. Olivier
    5. Renaissance Man …. this just doesn’t do anything for me — too weak.

    I can’t say how much I love Branagh’s version of Henry V


  3. Ave Crux says:

    @Guy Power: Absoutely agree that Branagh was the most inspiring and powerful delivery….so much so that I am ordering a custom plaque with the following words on it so I can see it everyday (I had paraphrased it above but now have the precise text):

    We few, we happy few….
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here…

    Just thinking of these words over and over, and the courage and vigor with which Branagh was ready to lead his men into battle against all odds, gives me new courage and inspired tenacity as well, for this fight to the death we now find ourselves in against the powers of darkness.

    It helped me see that it is a very glorious thing indeed to stand with God at this dark hour in history, seemingly doomed to defeat by His enemies — so few against so many….and yet, that in itself is the glory in His sight!


  4. Suudy says:

    @Guy @Ave
    Amen on Branagh. I slogged through Shakespeare in high school, bored out of my skull reading him. When Branagh’s Henry V came out, our English teacher gave us extra credit if we went to see it. Watching that movie completely changed my perspective. I became a huge fan, soaking up his prose like a sponge. (Sadly, his Richard III almost changed my perspective.)

    Strangely for me, Chorus’ opening is my favorite:

    Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
    Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
    Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
    Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
    The flat unraised spirits that have dared
    On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
    So great an object: can this cockpit hold
    The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
    Within this wooden O the very casques
    That did affright the air at Agincourt?

    In class when we read this, I didn’t get it. After watching the movie and reading it again, I was hooked. So spectacularly well written. Amazing imagery.

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