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St. William of Perth

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Saint William of Perth


William was born in Perth, Scotland, in the 12th century. His was a wild and misspent youth, but as he matured he had a conversion of heart and devoted himself to God. He was a baker, and for love of God he gave to the poor every tenth loaf he baked. One morning, at the church he attended daily, William discovered an abandoned infant left on the doorstep. He adopted the boy, naming him David, and raised him as his own. Several years later, probably in the year of Our Lord 1201, William and David set off on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His foster son, however, turned out to be truly ungrateful and greedy, and near the English city of Rochester, David struck his adoptive father over the head, cut his throat, and disappeared with their money. William’s body was discovered by a local madwoman, who made a crown of flowers and placed it first on William’s head, then on her own. She was immediately cured of her madness, and thanks to this miracle, William’s body was interred in the local cathedral in Rochester, where many miracles continue to take place at what became his shrine. William of Rochester, as he is also known, is considered a martyr for having died while on pilgrimage, as well as a patron of adopted children.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 23rd

AT Langres, in France, the martyrdom of the holy bishop Desiderius, who visited the king as a suppliant in behalf of his people who were maltreated by the Vandal army. Being forthwith condemned to decapitation, he readily presented his neck, and being struck with the sword, died for the sheep committed to his charge and departed for heaven. With him suffered many of his flock, who are buried in the same city.

In Spain, the holy martyrs Epitacius, bishop, and Basileus.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Quintian, Lucius, and Julian, who merited eternal crowns by their sufferings, during the persecution of the Vandals.

In Cappadocia, the commemoration of the holy martyrs who died by having their legs crushed, in the persecution of Maximian Galerius. Also, in Mesopotamia, those martyrs who, at the same time, were suspended in the air with their heads downward. Being suffocated with smoke, and consumed with a slow fire, they consummated their martyrdom.

In the territory of Lyons, St. Desiderius, bishop of Vienne, who was crowned with martyrdom by being overwhelmed with stones by order of king Theodoric.

At Synnada, in Phrygia, St. Michael, bishop.

The same day, St. Mercurialis, bishop.

At Naples, in Campania, St. Euphebius, bishop.

At Norcia, the Saints Eutychius and Florentius, monks, mentioned by the blessed pope Gregory.

At Rome, the birthday of St. John Baptist de Rossi, confessor, a man illustrious for his patience and his zeal in preaching the Gospel to the poor.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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