St. William of Gellone
Regarded as the exemplar of Christian knighthood, St. William was a
relative and courtier of Charlemagne and fought with distinction against
the Moors in France and Spain. The legends that sprang from these
campaigns call him William of Orange, after a place where he defeated the
Saracens. Charlemagne named him Duke of Aquitaine to repay him for his
service. In 806, he left his family to become a Benedictine at Gellone,
where he had earlier endowed a monastery and a convent. The monastery was
subject of Aniane, as were most monasteries in Charlemagne's kingdom after
the king had asked Benedict of Aniane to reform monastic life. William
remained a lay brother until his death in 812.
Karen Rae Keck
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