Friday, June 10, 2011

St. William of Gellone

Joyous feast! St. William of Gellone, also known after his homeland as St. William of Languedoc, was a count in the southern reaches of the empire of Charlemagne and led the forces that defeated the invading armies of the Emir of Cordoba at the Battle of Orange. The Saint later founded a monastery in Gellone (near Montpellier) that strictly followed the Rule of St. Benedict and eventually retired there as a monk, falling asleep in 812.

After St. William's glorification his relics were exhumed and enshrined in the Gellone Monastery's main church alongside a fragment of the Cross that the Saint had given the Monastery at its founding. Thanks to St. William's popularity his monastery became a major stopover for pilgrims from across Western Europe who were making their way to Compostela.

More on St. William's life can be found here. May his blessing and prayers be with us all!

Pictured is the Gellone Monastery, now known as the Abbey of St. William 'of the Desert.'

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