[St. Pachomius Library]

St. William of Gellone

VIII/IX Centuries
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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