From the Archives of the Manolo: Patron Saints and the Gentle Craft

Manolo says, here, from two years ago, is the blog posting that is appropriate to today’s holiday.

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend Charlotte has reminded the Manolo that today is St. Crispin’s Day, the feast day for the twin saints Crispin and Crispian, two of the most important of the patron saints of the cobbler.

What many of the Manolo’s friends may not know is that few occupations have as many patron saints as that of the shoemakers. Indeed, the distinction of patron may be applied to several dozen holy figures of the past ( the partial list of which may be seen at this website), including such luminaries as Catherine of Alexandria, Mary Magdalene, Homobonus, and Gangolfo.

Also not well known, is that most of these tutelary saints began life as aristocrats who later humbled themselves in the service of God, producing through the honest labor of their hands beautiful shoes for the those who had none. This is why shoemaking has historically been called the “Noble or Gentle Craft“, because its patrons saints were usually nobility.

But none of this is news to those few who have read the Manolo’s Consolation of the Shoes, which describes in detail the period in the young Manolo’s life when he was ardently devoted to the cults of many of these noble saints.

And now, in secular celebration of this holy day, the Manolo gives you that most appropriate of poems, The Shoemakers, by John Greenleaf Whittier.

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