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William of Maleval, St.


Founder of the Hermits of St. William (Gulielmites); d. Maleval (Malavalla), near Siena, Italy, Feb. 10, 1157. After making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, he began to live as a hermit in 1153, first in a forest near Pisa, then on Mt. Pruno, where some disciples joined him. In 1155 he moved alone to the desert valley of Maleval (Stabulum Rodis ), near Siena. After some time a companion, Albert, joined him, and, shortly before his death, a doctor named Renaldo. Thus was formed a religious community, called the Hermits of St. William (see williamites; augustinians), who eventually established themselves throughout Europe. A life of William was written by his companion, Albert, but it has survived only in an expanded form edited by a certain Theobald [Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) 2:450473]; the first part of this biography is unreliable. William was canonized by Innocent III in 1202.

Feast: Feb. 10.

Bibliography: Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 2:892223. s. de la haye, De veritate vitae et ordinis s. Guillelmi (Paris 1587). m. heimbucher, Die Orden und Kongregationen der katholischen Kirche (Paderborn 193234) 1:539. r. gazeau, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 5:379380. k. elm, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Wilhelmitenordens (Cologne 1962).

[m. a. habig]

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