Saint of the Day ~ June 25

SAINT WILLIAM OF VERCELLI (1085-1142), abbot and founder

Today, the Church honors Saint William of Vercelli, also known as William of Monte Vergine, taken from the name of the hermitic community he founded.

William was born in the year 1085 in Vercelli, Italy to noble parents, both of whom died while William was an infant. As a consequence, he was raised and educated by relatives. At the age of fifteen, he made up his mind to renounce the world and lead a life of penance.

He made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and resolved to devote his life to God as a hermit. William built himself a hut on Monte Vergine in the province of Naples, Italy, wishing to live in prayerful solitude, but it was not long before many people flocked to him to put themselves under his guidance, being attracted by the sanctity of his life and the many miracles that were attributed to his prayerful intercessions.

Soon, a monastery was built, and, by 1119, the Hermitic Congregation of Monte Vergine was founded, based on the Benedictine Rule, of which William became abbot. When some of the hermits began to grumble later that Abbot William’s austerities were too hard to live in one’s own spiritual and physical life, he and a small handful of brothers left in order not to become a cause of dissension.

He founded several other monasteries for both men and women in Italy. Knowing that his end was near, Abbot William retired to his monastery in Gugieto, Italy, where he died of natural causes on June 25, 1142, and his remains were interred in the church at the monastery.

We commemorate his feastday on June 25.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, catholicfire.blogspot.com, ewtn.com/saintsholy and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Religious ~ abbot)

“Lord, in Your abbot, Saint William, You give an example of the Gospel lived to perfection. Help us to follow him by keeping before us the things of Heaven amid all the changes of this world.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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