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St. William of Rochester

William of Rochester was born at Perth, Scotland in the twelfth century. Most of what is known about him comes from the "Nova legenda Anglie". William was a baker and in his youth was a little wild. When he became a man he devoted himself to God's service. He would set aside every tenth loaf that he baked for the poor, rather than selling it. He attended daily Mass. One morning he found an abandoned child by the door of the church. He adopted the baby and named him David. Around 1201, on a pilgrimage to some shrines with David, the boy turned on him. After staying for three days in Rochester, David killed William, slashing his throat as they were setting out for Canterbury. The motive seems to have been robbery. An insane woman discovered William's body. She put a crown of flowers on the corpse's head and then on her own. She recovered from her insanity when the flowers which had touched William's head touched her head. The monks of Rochester buried the body in their cathedral and in 1256, Pope Alexander IV allowed his cult. William of Rochester's feast is May 23.

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