St. William of Bourges

Feast Day : January 10 
Born : (around) 1155 
Died : 1209

St. William was born at Nevers in France and came from a wealthy French family of the Counts of Nevers. His father Baldwin wanted William to be a part of the French military. William was educated by his uncle Peter the Hermit who was archdeacon of Soissons.

Even as a boy, he did not waste time fooling around or being idle. He spent time praying every day. When he joined the Cistercian order, he tried to be a good monk. His fellow monks admired him, even though he was not trying to impress anybody.

St. William had a great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He practiced penance without showing how hard it was. He always seemed to be happy. When he was made abbot of the community, he remained humble.

When the archbishop of Bourges died, William was chosen to take his place. He was grateful to be consecrated a bishop, but unhappy because of all the attention he would receive. He stayed humble by doing penances for his own soul and for the conversion of sinners.

Although William loved to be alone with God in the Blessed Sacrament, he knew it was his duty as archbishop to travel all over his diocese willingly. He celebrated the Eucharist and preached the faith. He visited prisoners, the poor and sick, cared for them, consoled them and helped bring them to Jesus.

Archbishop William died on January 10, 1209. He was buried in the cathedral of Bourges and many miracles were reported by people who prayed at his tomb.

Reflection : How do I respond to the attention and praise that I receive? Do I take the credit or do I thank God for what he has done through me?

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