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Saint of the Day for 25 June: St. William of Vercelli

St. William of Vercelli: Life, Miracles and Foundation of the Abbey of Montevergine


St. William of Vercelli




1085, Vercelli


25 June 1142, Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, Campania


June 25


2004 edition



O glorious St. William, you who in life sanctified Montevergine with your virtues and with the miracles that the Lord worked through your hands, and, after death, you made the Sanctuary of Montevergine precious with the deposit of your sacred body: listen with compassion to our prayers and make us stable and persevering in the profession of an authentic Christian life. Continue to announce to our minds and hearts the evangelical message with the same prodigious effectiveness that characterized you in life, so that, having become fervent apostles of the glory of the Lord and of the cult of the Virgin Mary, we can one day, in heaven, participate with you the ripe fruit of our redemption. Amen.

Roman Martyrology

In Goleto near Nusco in Campania, Saint William, abbot, who, a pilgrim from the city of Vercelli, having become poor for the love of Christ, founded at the invitation of Saint John of Matera the monastery of Montevergine, in which he welcomed companions whom he instructed in his profound spiritual doctrine, and opened many other monasteries of both monks and nuns in the regions of southern Italy.

The Saint and Mission

Saint William of Vercelli dedicated his life to a mission of prayer, penance and monastic reform. Born in 1085 in Vercelli, Italy, William felt an early calling to the hermit life. After a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, he decided to live in solitude to deepen his relationship with God. However, his holiness and example attracted many followers, eager to share his ascetic lifestyle. Guglielmo’s mission took concrete form with the foundation of the Montevergine Abbey, located in the mountains near Avellino. Here, he established a monastic community dedicated to a rigorous observance of prayer and work. His rule combined elements of the Benedictine tradition with a strong emphasis on hermit life, creating a model of monastic life that attracted many disciples. William not only led his monks with wisdom and humility, but also dedicated himself to the construction of other monasteries and the reform of existing ones, spreading his ideal of religious life. His mission was fueled by a deep devotion to the Madonna, and the Montevergine sanctuary became a place of pilgrimage and Marian devotion. St. William of Vercelli demonstrated that the Christian mission can be lived through a combination of contemplative life and active service. His legacy continues to inspire monks and faithful, reminding them that true holiness is found in the balance between intense prayer and charitable action. His life is an example of how total dedication to God can transform not only one’s heart, but also the community and the surrounding world.

The Saint and Mercy

Saint William of Vercelli embodied mercy through his life of prayer, penance and service to others. His decision to live as a hermit was not a retreat from the world, but a way to deepen his communion with God and to continually intercede for humanity. This deep spiritual connection translated into concrete acts of love and compassion. The founding of Montevergine Abbey was an act of mercy, creating a place where monks could live in community, supporting each other in prayer and work. William was concerned with the spiritual and material well-being of his monks, guiding them with wisdom and humility. His example inspired others to live a life of service and dedication, always ready to help anyone in need. His devotion to the Madonna and the construction of the Montevergine sanctuary as a place of pilgrimage reflected his desire to offer a spiritual refuge to all the faithful. This shrine became a symbol of hope and mercy, attracting people seeking consolation and healing. Saint William saw every person as a precious soul to be brought closer to God. His life of austerity and prayer was for the good of others, showing that true mercy comes from a heart totally dedicated to God and open to the needs of others. His legacy of mercy continues to live on through the monastic communities that follow his example, testifying that holiness is expressed through unconditional love and service to others.

The Congregation of Hermits of Montevergine

The Congregation of hermits of Montevergine, founded by Saint William da Vercelli, represents one of the most fascinating expressions of medieval monastic life. Located in the mountains near Avellino, this monastic community stands out for its unique combination of hermit and community life. The monks of Montevergine live a life of intense prayer, austerity and manual work, inspired by the figure of Saint William who wanted to create a place of profound communion with God. The spirituality of the Congregation is characterized by a strong sense of discipline and penance, but also by a human warmth that manifests itself in the welcome of pilgrims and in the care of the poor. The monks follow a rule that encourages a balance between hermitic solitude and community life, allowing them to nourish their inner lives while supporting and supporting each other. Devotion to the Madonna of Montevergine is a central element of the life of the monks, who consider the sanctuary a sacred place of intercession and healing. This Marian devotion strengthens the sense of mission of the monks, who pray incessantly for the spiritual and material needs of the faithful. Over the centuries, the Congregation has kept the monastic tradition alive through historical challenges and changes, remaining a beacon of spirituality and regeneration. Their presence continues to be a source of inspiration for anyone seeking a deeper experience of faith, demonstrating that monastic life can be a powerful and timely way to achieve a more intimate union with God.


In the 11th century, a child destined by the Lord to found a large religious order was born in Vercelli to noble parents. At the baptismal font he received the name Guglielmo. While still a child he loved solitude and began to practice every practice of piety. At the age of 14, driven by fervor, he began a pilgrimage. On foot, dressed in a single tunic and…


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