William Firmatus, St.

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Nobleman, priest, hermit, and possibly bishop; b. Tours; d. Mantilly, Normandy, April 24, c. 1095. He was educated at Tours, became a canon there, and acquired fame and wealth as a virtuous scholar, soldier, and physician. He then gave up all his possessions and withdrew to the wilderness with his widowed mother. After her death, he lived in several places in France and visited the Holy Land. Shortly after his death, his body was moved from Mantilly to the church of saint-evroult-d'ouche in nearby Mortain. Among the miracles credited to him was the freeing from prison of Count baldwin of Boulogne, later king of Jerusalem. William's life was written by Stephen of Fougères (d. 1178), bishop of Rennes [Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) 3:334342].

Feast: April 24.

Bibliography: a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 2:158159. g. morin, "Un Traité inédit de Guillaume Firmat sur l'amour du cloître et les saintes lectures," Revue Bénédictine 31 (Maredsous 191419) 244249. j. leclercq, "L'Exhortation de Guillaume Firmat," Analecta Monastica ser. 2 [Studia anselmiana, 31 (Rome 1953) 2844].

[j. c. moore]