Thursday, October 25, 2012

Celebrating St. Crispin's Day

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
Even though the feast of Saints Crispinus and Crispianus was removed from post Vatican II calendars due to the dubious veracity of the twin martyrs' deaths, it is still worth commemorating St. Crispin's Day. The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 was a major English victory against a numerically superior French army during the Hundred Year War.  While the King Henry V triumphed by employing numerous English and Welsh longbow archers.  The battle was made famous by William Shakespeare's drama in 1599, in which King Henry  heroically urges his troops to be a "band of brothers" to stand together in the forthcoming fight. The St. Crispin's speech has been cinematically portrayed several times, including in the 1994 Danny DeVito comedy Renaissance Man.


 If that stirring speech extolling valor and fraternal loyalty can give class to a screwball comedy, then we ought to still commemorate St.  Crispin's Day.

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