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St. William the Confessor

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Saint William of Bourges

Bishop & Confessor

William of Donjean was born in France around 1140, to the ancient noble family of the Counts of Nevers. With the guidance of his maternal uncle, Archdeacon Pierre of Soissons, William discerned an early vocation to the priesthood. Desiring greater solitude, he then became a monk in the austere Order of Grandmont, but when discord arose he left and joined the Cistercians, soon becoming an abbot. In the year of Our Lord 1200, the clergy of Bourges voted to make William their new archbishop. The humble abbot refused, until he was ordered to accept by the pope himself. Though he mourned the loss of his solitude, William was consecrated archbishop, and immediately increased his penances on behalf of his new flock. He was a blessing to the poor and a friend to all repentant sinners, as well as a firm defender of the rights of the Church and of his episcopal authority. Just before embarking on a personal mission to convert the Cathars, William died while praying Matins, just after midnight on January 10th, 1209, and was buried in his penitential hair-shirt, by his request. His tomb in the cathedral, like his life on earth, was graced with many miracles.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 10th

IN Cyprus, blessed Nicanor, one of the first seven deacons, a man of admirable faith and virtue, who was most gloriously crowned.

At Rome, pope St. Agatho, who terminated a life remarkable for sanctity and learning by a holy death.

At Bourges, in Aquitaine, St. William, archbishop and confessor, renowned for miracles and virtues. He was canonized by Honorius III.

At Milan, St. John the Good, bishop and confessor.

In Thebais, the birthday of St. Paul, the first hermit, who lived alone in the desert from the sixteenth to the one hundred and thirteenth year of his age. His soul was seen by St. Anthony carried by angels among the choirs of apostles and prophets. His feast is celebrated on the 15th of this month.

At Constantinople, St. Marcian, priest.

In the monastery of Cusani, the birthday of St. Peter Urseolus (Orsini), confessor, previously Doge of Venice, and afterwards monk of the Order of St. Benedict, renowned for piety and miracles. His festival is kept on the 14th of this month.

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

℟. Thanks be to God.

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