Our Parish community seeks to provide a welcoming environment of Catholic worship, evangelization, and fellowship, growing in God’s love and grace.
We seek to share this loving grace to those most in need and to use our various gifts and talents, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, to build up the body of Christ.
Born into a noble family in Vercelli, Italy in 1085, William decided to give up all that he knew and embark on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Walking barefoot and wearing a tattered habit along the way, William’s journey took five years. Along the way he spoke intimately with God and proclaimed the Gospel to those he met.
After his visit to Spain, William intended to journey to the Holy Land. As he made his way, William was badly beaten by a gang of criminals outside of Brindisi. After recovering from his injuries, William began to see his attack as a sign from God and dedicated the rest of his life to proclaiming the Gospel in Italy.
In 1118, William settled at the base of Monte Partenio in the Irpinia region of Italy. As William’s reputation as a holy man grew, people began flock to him and his life of quiet prayer, penance, and charity to the poor. Despite his original intention to lead a hermit lifestyle, he soon found himself the Abbot of a small community recognized in 1126 as the Order of Monte Vergine, commonly known as the Williamites.
In 1128 William returned to the road and began to travel throughout southern Italy. William settled in Goleto, between Campania and Basilicata, where he founded a new double monastery, built mostly by women. He went on to found several other monasteries in the area under the rule of Roger II of Sicily.
Known as the “Wonder Worker” for his miraculous works, including restoring sight to the blind, William’s most famous act is the “Miracle of the Wolf”, where he instantaneously tamed a wild wolf who killed William’s donkey. For this reason, he is often depicted with a wolf at his side.
William died in Goleto in 1142 and his remains were transferred to Montevergine in 1807, where his relics can still be seen today.
St. William the Abbot was canonized in 1224 by Pope Pius XII and is the patron saint of Irpinia. We celebrate his Feast Day on the day of his death, June 25th.
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