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Life of S. William.

S. William was drawn out of noble lineage. In his childhood he was made canon of Paris and of Soissons, and when he came to perfect age and was a man ripe and attempered, he might no more suffer the pestilences and the perils of this deceivable world, but brake all the bonds of the world and went into a desert named Granmonte, and lived there a great while in pure conscience and in holy contemplation, but, as he led this life, there grew on him a great tribulation that he had great fear that the tranquillity of his contemplation might be troubled, and went into an abbey of Citeaux and there he was professed, and profited much in virtues from then forthon, and after, he was there made prior. Afterward he was translated from thence into another abbey that is called Karolosence, and there by election he was chosen abbot. And there in all humility he treated debonairly his disciples and subjects, in showing to them examples of good virtues and good manners. After, he was chosen to be archbishop of Bourges, and how well it was against his will, he accepted it, nevertheless when he had accepted and taken it, yet therefore changed he not the habit of the order which he had tofore taken, ne the observance also. And how well that he had meats delicious enough, as to such a prelate be ordained and arrayed, nevertheless he left not the soberness that he had maintained tofore, in humility, in holy meditation, and in devout prayers, in which gladly always he occupied his time. And he was much busy for the health of the souls that were committed to him and charged to keep; gladly and diligently be heard their confessions, he nourished them sweetly, oft and diligently he preached to them or did do preach. He deserved so much grace of our Lord that by his devout prayers and merits in his living life God showed many miracles.

On a day it happed that a priest named Gerald had lost the health of one of his hands, that he might sing no mass, which came to S. William, and S. William bade him that he should confess him and without doubt he should be whole, and so he did, and at the end of three days he sang mass whole and sound. Another time there was a young child that had his brain sore troubled, in such wise that his eyes turned in his head; his friends brought him tofore this holy man, on whom he had great pity and began humbly to handle him and laid his hand on his head, and anon the pain ceased and he was anon all whole. He was always glad and joyous, and that displeased much to some that were of hard and rude living. Above all things the sin of detraction displeased him much, and he loved no detractors, and to his power, with great diligence, he made them to eschew this sin, and where they would not he withdrew him from their company. Finally he took the cross for to go over sea against heretics and heathen men, and as he made his purveyance for to make the said voyage, he rendered and gave up his soul to Almighty God, the fifth ides of the month of January, and was buried in the church of Bourges, the which anon after, began to do miracles. When the pope Honorius the third heard his life, and how God showed miracles for him, after that he by great diligence had made inquisition, he canonised him to the honour and praising of God, which by the prayers of the said S. William bring us to his everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

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