Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
Daily Prayer
And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint William of Eskill

Reformer of the Church in Denmark


© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro | CC BY-SA 4.0

Abbot (ca. 1125-1203)

His life

+ William was born in Saint-Germain-Crépy-en-Valois, France, and became a canon of the church of St. Genevieve in Paris.

+ In 1148, the canons of St. Genevieve’s were given a more austere rule of life by the Benedict abbot Sugar of St. Denis and William’s reputation for holiness and austerity began to spread.

+ In 1170, he was invited to the Danish diocese of Roskilde to help reform the monasteries there and he helped revive the monastic observance of a small community of canons in Eskill, making this the home base for a series of reforms that would help re-shape the church in Denmark.

+ In 1175, William moved the monastic community to Zeeland. As a leader of the Danish church, he became involved in various political conflicts and was imprisoned for a time for his opposition to the attempts of King Philip-Augustus of France to divorce his wife, a Danish princess.

+ Saint William of Eskill died on April 6, 1203, and was canonized in 1224. He remained a popular saint in Denmark until the time of the Protestant Reformation. His surviving writings—including treatises and letters—help provide important information about the life of the Church in Denmark in the late twelfth century.

For reflection

This man will receive blessings and compassion from the Lord God, his Savior, for this is the reward of those who seek the Lord.”—Magnificat Antiphon for Evening Prayer I, Common for Religious in the Liturgy of the Hours


Grant us, O Lord, that amid the uncertainties of this world we may cling with all our heart to the things of heaven, for through the Abbot blessed William you have given us a model of evangelical perfection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For an Abbot)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More