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St. William

Abbot

Feast Day - June 25

William, born of noble parents at Vercelli, had scarcely finished his fourteenth year when he made a pilgrimage to Compostela in a wonderful spirit of penitence and devotional zeal. Then, having vainly attempted another pilgrimage, to the tomb of Christ the Lord, he spent two years on a solitary mountain in constant prayer, in vigils and in fasting. Fleeing human renown after he had restored sight to a blind man, he built a monastery on Monte Virgiliano, which was thereafter called Monte Vergine, in a wild and inaccessible spot.

There companions joined him, and he formed them by fixed regulations taken largely from those of St. Benedict, by word, and by the example of a most holy life. Then he built other monasteries, and daily his fame as a holy man grew; so that many came to him from all parts, drawn by the report of his frequent miracles. Finally, having foretold the day of his death, he fell asleep in the Lord, in the year of salvation 1142.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1897-1898.