May 19 - Saint Crispin of Viterbo

Quick Facts
  • Son of Ubald and Marsha.
  • His father died when Pietro was very young, and his mother consecrated the boy to the Blessed Virgin Mary when he was five years old.
  • Pietro developed an early devotion to Our Lady, calling her his other mother, and displayed such a simple and honest piety that led his neighbors to call him il Santorello (the little saint).
  • He worked as a shoemaker for the uncle who provided for his education.
  • The sight of a procession of Friars Minor Capuchin woke within Pietro the realization that he was called to religious life.
  • He became a Franciscan lay brother on 22 July 1693, taking the name Crispin because of his craft.
  • Cook at the Viterbo Capuchin monastery.
  • Transferred to, and worked tirelessly at, Capuchin houses in Tolfa, Rome, and Albano.He developed a devotion to, and modelled himself after, Saint Felix of Cantalice.
  • Crispin's simple, humble holiness brought many local lay people to him for spiritual guidance.
  • As word of his wisdom spread, his visitors became priests, bishops, then cardinals, and even a pope.
  • Crispin was noted for paying little attention to the rank or status of a visitor, either high or low, but concentrating on talking to them all as equal children of the same God.
  • Reputed to work miracles, heal by touch, and prophesy.
  • The cause for his canonization began in 1923.
  • He was the first saint canonized by Pope John Paul II.