St. William of Saint-Brieuc, also known as William Pinchon, was born in Brittany, France. He was ordained early in the 13th century, and served as secretary to three bishops of Saint-Brieuc and became bishop himself in 1220. William was a great friend of the poor and was noted for his charity. He staunchly defended the rights of the Church and its bishops against Peter Mauclerc, duke of Brittany (d. 1250), who in revenge expelled William from Saint-Brieuc. For two years he took refuge at Poitiers, where he assisted its ailing bishop. In 1230 Peter Mauclerc submitted himself to the Holy See, and William was able to return to his diocese, where he continued the construction of the cathedral. When he died, he left behind a great reputation for sanctity.
One of our homes in Edmonton, in the Community Outreach and Disabilit Service ministry, adopted St. William as their patron Saint because of his staunch defense of the poor and of ecclesiastical rights.