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St. William of Rochester
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St. William of Rochester


About Saint William of Rochester 

Saint William of Rochester is also known as William of Perth.  He lived in twelfth century Scotland.  Saint William was a rambunctious, wild youth but dedicated his life to God as an adult.

Saint William tended to needy children.  He worked in a bakery and gave one in ten loaves of bread to the poor.  Saint William attended daily Mass.  While on his way to church one day, he found an abandoned baby on the doorstep of the church.  Saint William adopted the infant, naming him, David.

Tomb of St. William
St William of Rochester Tomb

Saint William of Rochester Martyred

Saint William and his son, David took a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  While staying over in Rochester, England, David murdered his father.  He beat Saint William with a club and cut his throat.  David then robbed his father and ran away.  Saint William was considered a martyr because he died on the way to the Holy Land and miracles are associated with his burial place. He was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1256 and named the patron saint of adopted children.

 Feast of Saint William of Rochester

The feast of Saint William of Rochester is celebrated on May 23.  On this day, many Catholics wear a Saint William medal or a Saint William pendant in reverence to this saint.  It is also traditional to give a Saint William necklace to adopted children or parents of adopted children since Saint William is their patron saint.

 St William of Rochester Pendant

Woman Cared for Saint William’s Body

A Rochester woman found the body of Saint William and made a garland of honeysuckle flowers to place on him.  The woman was considered insane by the townspeople.  When she put the garland on Saint William, she was cured of her insanity.  The monks of the area, who considered this miracle a message from God, buried Saint William in the cathedral.  Remains of the original chapel still stand at Saint William’s Hospital in Rochester.





St. William of Rochester






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