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In his youth, William Tempier entered the Augustinian canons' monastery of Saint-Hilaire-de-la-Celle in his native city of Poitiers, France, later becoming the canons' abbot. His religious life was characterized by exceptional piety, self-denial, and integrity. In 1184, he was unanimously chosen to become bishop of Poitiers. In the episcopal office, William showed himself to be a determined opponent of secular interference in the governance of the Church and a firm defender of the Church's rights. He also combated ecclesiastical abuses, and especially the vice of simony (the buying and selling of ecclesiastical appointments). For championing the cause of the Church, William was subjected to persecution and calumny, which he endured with steadfast courage. Following his death, many miracles of physical healing were reported among those coming to pray at his tomb. William's intercession came to be invoked by those suffering from hemorrhaging.
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
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