Saint of the Day – 29 July – St William Pinchon of Saint Brieuc (1180-1234) Bishop of Saint Brieuc, Confessor Born as Guillaume Pinchon on 11 October 1180 in Saint-Alban, San-Brieuc, Brittany (in France) and died on 29 July 1234 of natural causes. William was a champion for the poor and defended the rights and privileges of the Church against secular intervention. This was a cause of his exile from his Diocese but he returned not long after his exile and set himself on the construction of a new Cathedral which was still in construction at the time of his death. Patronage – Diocese of Saint-Brieuc, France. Also known as – William Pinchon, William of San Brieuc, Guillaume Pinchon. His body is incorrupt.
William was born in 1175 in Saint-Alban to the peasants Oliver Pinchon and Jane Fortin. He was, from a young age,, by the innocence of his manners, his admirable meekness, humility, chastity, mortification, charity and devotion, an accomplished model of all virtues. He received the tonsure and some years later, the Holy Orders of Deacon and Priest, at the hands of Josselin, Bishop of Saint-Brieuc.
He served that Church and Diocese, under his two predecessors, Bishops Peter and Sylvester and succeeded the latter in the episcopal dignity about the year 1220.
The poor were his treasurers and not content to exhaust on them whatever he possessed, he often borrowed great stores of corn and other necessary provisions for their relief. The bare boards were usually his bed – for his domestic servants discovered that he never made use of the soft bed which they prepared for him. In 1225 he sold all his possessions in a famine to aid the poor and homeless.
The Duke Peter I forced him into a brief exile in 1228 and he spent that time living for a while in Poitiers before he returned to his Diocese in 1230 after the Duke reconciled with Pope Gregory IX. It was during his exile in Poitiers that he assisted the ill Bishop there and helped him in his ecclesial duties.
He died in 1234 and his body was deposited in his Cathedral and taken up incorrupt in 1284 . Pope Innocent IV Canonised Pinchon on 24 March 1247 a mere 13 years after his death.