Our Patron Saint

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    OUR PATRON SAINT CORNER

    Saint William, Archbishop of Bourges

    What do you know about our St. William de Bourges? Also known as St. William the confessor and St. William of Donjeon.

    On June 10, 1209, he was kneeling at midnight prayers. He made the sign of the cross, said two words, and died. St. William was educated under his maternal uncle, Peter the Hermit. At an early age, he avoided the vanities of the world and acquired a great love of learning. He later abandoned the world completely and entered the religious order of Grandmont, which practiced severe austerity. As a monk, St. William exercised piety with ardor. He wore the same habit year round, never adding a coat in winter. Later he joined the newly formed Cistercian Order because it was more austere. He also began to wear a hair shirt and stopped eating meat. St. William had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He loved spending hours at the foot of the altar on his knees. In 1200 he was appointed Archbishop. The news overwhelmed him with grief. Only a stern command from Pope Innocent moved him to accept.  St. William was involved with the ongoing construction of the Gothic Cathedral. By 1208, the choir was partially completed and he celebrated the Christmas liturgy. He died the next year at age 53. His will requested that he be buried in his hair shirt and his body laid in ashes. During his wake, a young boy, carried by his mother, touched his body and was cured of many infirmities. He ran excitedly around the church, praising God. St. William was credited with 18 miracles during his life and countless more after death. He was canonized on May 17, 1218 by Pope Honorius III and his major shrine is the Bourges Cathedral in France. His feast day is January 10th.