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William of Bourges, St.


Archbishop of Bourges; b. Arthel, France, 1150; d. Bourges, Jan. 10, 1209. William de Donjeon, member of a noble family of Nevers, became a canon of Soissons and then of Paris. He soon retired into the monastery of grandmont, which he subsequently left as a result of serious disagreements between the choir monks and lay brothers. He entered the cistercians at pontigny in 1167. In 1184 he became abbot of Fontaine Saint-Jean, then of Châlis in 1187. On Nov. 23, 1200, he was named archbishop of Bourges, but he accepted only on the insistence of his religious superiors. In his bishopric he lived with strictest regularity and austerity. He incurred the wrath of philip ii augustus for carrying out the interdict of Pope innocent iii against Philip for having divorced Queen Ingeburg. William died while preparing to participate in a crusade against the albigenses and was buried in his cathedral. His body was enshrined in 1217, and many miracles have been attributed to his intercession. Pope honorius iii canonized him on May 17, 1218.

Feast: Jan. 10.

Bibliography: "Wilhelm v. Bourges," Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, v.10 (Freiburg 195765). Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) 1:627639. Histoire littéraire de la France (Paris), ed. Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (18141941) 21:575576. m. b. brard, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 5:377. Gallia Christiana (Paris 171585) 2:6063. Analecta Bollandiana (Brussels 1882) 3:271361. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:6566.

[f. d. lazenby]

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