Patron of prisoners of war, prisoners in general, and often invoked against job-related stress, St. Walter Of Pontnoise was born in 1030 at Picardy, France. He had a first-rate education, later becoming a philosophy and rhetoric professor. He was a member of the Rebais-en-Brie Benedictine abbey. King Philip I named him the initial abbot at the new Pontoise monastery.

Walter didn’t want the abbot’s post because it came from a king and not from God. He tried twice to leave the post, even asking Pope Gregory VII for release from the position, so he could live in solitude. The pope refused. Resigning himself to continuing as abbot, Zachary caused controversy by railing against secular clergy evil and simony, selling of church offices.

Thrown in prison twice, Walter persevered establishing a convent at Bertaucort to honor the Virgin Mary. He died on Good Friday, 1095. His feast day is April 8.

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