Saint William of Gellone

detail of a portrait of Saint William of Aquitaine, c.1630, by Antonio de PeredaAlso known as

  • William in the Desert
  • William of Aquitaine
  • William of Orange
  • William of Toulouse
  • Willliam Fierabrace
  • Guillaume….
  • Marquis au court nez



Born to the nobility, the son of Aldana and Count Thierry of Toulouse. Career soldier. Member of the court of Blessed Charlemagne. Duke of Aquitaine. Led forces against the Saracens in southern France. In retirement he built a monastery at Gellone, France, and became a Benedictine monk there; the house was later named Saint-Guilhem-du-Desert in his honour. His reputation for chivalry, bravery and piety led to medieval romances being written about him including the Chançun de Guillaume (Song of William).



  • 812 of natural causes in the monastery that was later re-named Saint William in the Desert in his honour


Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint William of Gellone“. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 June 2017. Web. 18 September 2021. <>