Crispin was born Pietro Fioretti in Viterbo. When he was five years old, his mother took him to a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, a short distance from Viterbo, where she consecrated him to the Mother of God and placed him under her special protection. The child was known for his piety and knowledge of the saints; so that the townsfolk of Viterbo were wont to call him el Santarello, the little saint.
As Crispin one day saw the Capuchin novices walking in procession, he was inspired with the desire to embrace the religious life. He was shortly afterwards received into the Capuchin Franciscan Order as a simple lay brother. Having been employed for some time as cook in the convent at Viterbo, he was sent to Tolfa, a town not far distant from Civitavecchia, to fulfil the same office. From there he was sent to Rome and finally to Albano. Here Crispin was visited by the men of the world, by bishops and cardinals, and even by the pope himself, who always took delight in conversing with the humble lay brother. It was Crispin's constant endeavour to imitate the virtues of his patron, St. Felix of Cantalice, whom he had chosen as his model of perfection at the beginning of his religious life.
Like St Felix, Crispin used to call himself the ass or beast of burden of the Capuchins, and, having on one occasion been asked by a stranger why he went bare-headed, Crispin answered, that "an ass does not wear a hat." Enfeebled by old age and by his numerous austerities, he was sent from Albano to Rome by his superiors, there to end his holy life. His body, which even at the present time is still in a remarkable state of preservation, rests under one of the side altars in the Capuchin church of the Immaculate Conception in Rome.
Saint Crispin was beatified by Pope Pius VII on September 7, 1806 and was the first saint canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 20, 1982