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William of Saint-Brieuc, St.


Bishop; b. St. Alban, in Brittany, France, c. 1175; d. Saint-Brieuc, July 29, 1234. He was ordained early in the 13th century, and served as secretary to three bishops of Saint-Brieuc and became bishop himself in 1220. William was a great friend of the poor and was noted for his charity. He staunchly defended the rights of the Church and its bishops against Peter Mauclerc, duke of Brittany (d. 1250), who in revenge expelled William from Saint-Brieuc. For two years he took refuge at Poitiers, where he assisted its ailing bishop. In 1230 Peter Mauclerc submitted himself to the Holy See, and William was able to return to his diocese, where he continued the construction of the cathedral. When he died, he left behind a great reputation for sanctity. Numerous miracles were performed at his tomb in the cathedral, and he was canonized by Pope innocent iv in 1247.

Feast: July 29.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) 7:131138. j. templÉ, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 5:386387. "Wilhelm v. St-Brieuc," Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (Freiburg 195765). j. arnault, S. Guillaume: Évêque de Saint-Brieuc (Saint-Brieuc 1934). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 3:212.

[f. d. lazenby]

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