William of Vercelli
AKA William of Montevergine
Died: 25 Jun 1142
Feast: 25 Jun
William was born into an Italian noble family in 1085 in the city of Vercelli but was orphaned as an infant and raised by his relatives. When he was 14 years old he made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain where he decided to devote his life to God and live as a hermit. A tradition says that, while he was on this pilgrimage, he wore iron bands around his waist to increase his suffering.
He returned to Italy where he lived as a hermit for two years at Monte Vergiliano. While he was there he had a reputation for performing miracles including the healing of a blind man. His reputation for holiness attracted many disciples, and, in 1119, with the patronage of Roger I of Sicily, he founded a monastery based on the Rule of St. Benedict, known as the Congregation of Monte Vergine, or "Williamites." During his lifetime five other houses were formed, but only the original survives today.
He died on 25 Jun 1142 at a daughter house in Goleto of natural causes. It is said that he was given a revelation of his impending death.
© 2016 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.