William of Montevergine

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Saint William of Montevergine OSB
Saint William of Montevergine's statue at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican
Born 1085
Vercelli, Italy
Died June 25, 1142
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast June 25
Attributes wolf; crosier
Patronage Irpinia

William of Montevergine, or William of Vercelli, (Italian Guglielmo) (Latin Gulielmus) (1085 – 25 June 1142) was a Catholic hermit and the founder of the Congregation of Monte Vergine, or "Williamites".


He was born into a noble family of Vercelli in northwest Italy and brought up by a relation after the death of his parents. He undertook a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Catholic tradition states that on his pilgrimage to Compostela, William encircled his body with iron bands to increase his suffering.[1]

He then lived as a hermit on the summit of Monte Vergine (then known as Monte Vergiliana) between Nola and Benevento. Here he attracted a number of followers and founded the Monastery of Montevergine.

While at Montevergine, William of Vercelli is stated as having performed miracles.[1] Roger I of Sicily served as a patron to William, who founded many monasteries for men and women in Sicily. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that Roger built a monastery opposite his palace at Salerno in order to have William always near him.[1]

He died at Goleto, a daughter house of Montevergine near Nusco, province of Avellino. Catholic tradition states that William foresaw his own imminent death “by special revelation”.[1]

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