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St. William of Rochester is patron of adopted children. Also known as St. William of Perth, he was born in Scotland. Little is known of his youth except that he was wild. A baker, he dedicated himself to God and was sure to leave aside every 10th loaf of bread for the poor. Attending daily Mass, he found an abandoned child at the church one day.
William adopted the boy, David the Foundling, and taught him baking. William also made a practice of visiting Holy Places. On a journey to Canterbury, David was part of a robbery plot knocking William on the head while slitting his throat. A mad woman found William’s body and put a honeysuckle garland on his head.
The monks of Rochester retrieved the body burying it at their cathedral. Considered a martyr because he was felled during a sacred pilgrimage, William’s feast day is May 23.