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Death: 1097


The priest Hildemar, of Tournai, Belgium, migrated to England, where he served as a chaplain in the court of the Norman king William the Conqueror. Following the king’s death in 1087, Hildemar and a fellow priest of William’s court named Cuno embarked on a series of pilgrimages that nurtured in them a desire to withdraw from the world. The two priests returned to the continent to live as hermits in the forest of Arrouaise, in the region of Artois, France. Here they made the acquaintance of a hermit named Roger. As others came to join them in their eremitical life, the cluster of hermitages gradually became a religious community, and Hildemar was elected their abbot. But there was one religious who came to resent Hildemar’s admonitions and reprimands so bitterly that he turned violent, stabbing the hermit Roger and severely beating Hildemar. The abbot was so gravely wounded by the attack that several months later he died from his injuries.


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