St William of Vercelli (1085–1142)
Died: June 25
Abbot, Founder of Hermits of Monte Vergine
Although he was of noble parentage, William was orphaned in infancy and cared for by a relative. As a youth he began a pilgrimage to Compostella in Spain. He later returned to Italy and spent several years as a hermit at Monte Solicoli. He was only 21 when he restored sight to a blind man. His name grew as a ‘wonder worker’, and he withdrew from the monastic settlement and joined his friend, St John Matera. His spiritual life and disciplines as a hermit drew many to that penitential life-style, and he formed a community in 1124. The Hermits of Monte Vergine were an austere foundation and Abbot William was criticised for the strict rules and lifestyle imposed on clergy and laity. William and John later started communities of hermits at Monte Laceno in Apulia, Monte Cognato, Conza, Guglietto and Saleras. St William of Vercelli later became the advisor of King Roger of Naples, who was also a benefactor of the numerous religious establishments in Italy.
God, who loves and cares for all, guide us this day so that we may grow in wisdom, respect and love. Please bless all of us here at St William’s, our family and friends and those who have gone before us. Especially, we pray for (here we would silently say our personal intentions). St William, pray for us. We ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.