May 19

Saint Crispin of Viterbo

Religious, 1668

Crispin was born Pietro Fioretti on November 13, 1668, in Viterbo, Italy. He joined the Capuchin order on July 11, 1693 and took the name Crispin. For more than forty years he served his province as questor, begging for food not only on behalf of his Capuchin brothers, but also to provide for all the needy of his "big Orvietan family." Before serving as questor, he spent twelve years in various communities as cook, gardener, orchard keeper and nurse.

Crispin accomplished a remarkable amount of good in the area of social and spiritual assistance, energetically ministering among the sick, the imprisoned, sinners, unwed mothers, families experiencing hardship and those on the brink of despair. He was a skilled peacemaker both within his own Capuchin community and with others. He was convinced that much of human misery, both material and spiritual, was due to injustice. He therefore set about to confront social injustice by admonishing merchants, reminding people of workers' rights, and asking forgiveness of debts whenever possible. He worked with an incredible spirit of sacrifice and serenity in both the religious and social areas.

He was beautified by Pope Pius VII on September 7, 1806 and canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 20, 1982.


Lord, you led your faithful servant Crispin through a life of perfect joy to the heights of evangelical perfection; grant that through his intercession and example we may always practice true virtue and come to share the joys of heaven which it promises. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.