Born in Nevers, France, as William de Don Jeon, William was educated by his uncle Peter who was archdeacon of Soissons. William became a canon of Soissons and Paris and later became a monk at Grandmont Abbey.
At Pontigny, he became a Cistercian and served as Abbot at Fontaine-Jean in Sens. In the year 1187 he became Abbot at Chalis near Senlis. In 1200, on the order of Pope Innocent III and his Cistercian superior, he was named Archbishop of Bourges.
Because of his great piety and austerity, he was always in great demand as a confessor. He did very much to help the poor and was a great defender of the faith, even defending it against the king. He converted many Albigensians during his missions. He was canonized by Pope Honorius III in 1218.
Christ only asks us for our willingness to serve Him, not our abilities. When we step out in faith, He gives us the gifts and power to accomplish His will. All the saints, including St. William, were individuals like any other, with the only exception being their great faith and trust in God. Our intellect and abilities are gifts from God. He is the source of everything. To Him goes the glory. Like St. William, we should always remember the source and strive to remain humble.
St. William, we ask that you watch over us and pray that we may combat pride and remain aware that all we have and all we are is from God. Pray for us, dear St. William, that we serve Him in love and humility, praising Him always for His mercy and kindness. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Nicanor (76), Deacon
St. John Camillus Bonus, “the Good” (660), Bishop