Saint William Firmatus

Also known as

  • William Firmatus of Tours



Canon and physician at Saint-Venance. Because of a divine warning against avarice, William gave all his possessions to the poor and spent the rest of his life on pilgrimages and as a hermit at Savigny and Mantilly. Known for his closeness to nature, his love of wildlife, and the unusual communication he seemed to have with animals. Legend says that at Dardenay during a drought, he saved the people by striking the ground with his pilgrim‘s staff, causing a spring of water to appear.


  • 1103 of natural causes



  • man thrusting his arm into a fire
  • man with a raven that showing him the way to the Promised Land
Additional Information


It is said of him that even the wildest birds would approach him without fear, and come and eat out of his hand, and take refuge under his clothes from the cold. When he sat by a pond near his cell, the fish would swim to his feet and readily allow themselves to be taken up by the servant of God, who put them back into the water without hurting them.

One day his clerk came running to him, and told him that a wild boar was ravaging the garden, and destroying nearly all the vegetables. William went to the fierce animal, and took it gently by the ear. The wild boar, as tame as a lamb, let itself be led by the saint into his cell; there it passed the night, and was only liberated early the next morning, after a kindly warning not again to destroy gardens belonging to its clergyman. It should be added that Saint William made the wild boar fast all night in his cell. – from “The Little Bollandists” by Monsignor Paul Guérin, 1882

MLA Citation

  • “Saint William Firmatus“. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 June 2020. Web. 22 June 2021. <>