This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8 -- Feast of Saint Walter of Pontoise

Help us to love our work.
How are you feeling about your job?  Ever feel like calling in, forever?  Permanent disability?  Or just quitting and finding something else to do?  Have I got a patron saint for you. 

Walter was an eleventh century French philosophy prof before joining the Benedictines.  He had a merciful streak that's praiseworthy.  When he arrived at the abbey of Rebais-en-Brie, he found a poor wretch in the abbot's gaol.  He let the man out, fed him, and sent him on his way.  When he informed Father Abbot what he had done, the man took it no better than you might expect.  He also took it out on Walter. 

It might be an inauspicious start to his monastic career, but Walter was soon appointed by Philip I to be the abbot of a new monastery at Pontoise.  He tried to decline but was ordered to take the job.  Then he tried to run away but was caught and brought back. He ran away again and disguised himself as a pilgrim.  Busted again.  He went to the Pope, begging to be allowed to quit.  The Pope denied the request and ordered him to get back to Pontoise and stay there. 

Settling in, he raised a protest against the brutality with which Benedictines were punished.  For this he was beaten and thrown into a prison.  After a time they let him out and allowed him to resume the old job that he hated so much. 

Walter, also known as Gaultier, was canonized by Hugh de Boves, Archbishop of Rouen, in 1153.  He is the last saint to be canonized by an archbishop as a decree in 1170 declared that only the Pope can award recognition of sainthood. 

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