St. Walter of Pontoise
April 8, Saint


Well educated in general, and a professor of philosophy and rhetoric. Joined the Benedictines at Rebais-en-Brie to escape the world and the temptations presented by success in his field. Against his will he was made abbot of Pontoise Abbey by King Philip I; Walter reminded the king that it was by God‘s will that he did such a thing, not the crown’s. He fled the house several time to escape the position, the last time to Rome, Italy where he gave Pope Gregory VII his written resignation; the pope told him to return to his house, assume his responsibilities as abbot, and never leave again. He obeyed. Worked against simony, lax discipline, and dissolute lives of some of his clergy. He was opposed by the corrupt and the corrupters that he fought, and they finally resorted to imprisoning and beating him. On his release, he resumed his work, often spending the whole night in chapel, praying for strength and wisdom.

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