|Stained glass from Rochester Cathedral depicting St. William as a Pilgrim.|
What is important to remember about St. William of Rochester is that he was a laymen. Most saints are ecclesiastics: bishops, monks and nuns, and the few saints who were laypeople are often monarchs who established great churches. St. William is a lay-saint, and it is not his death which did not make him one, but his charitable life, abruptly ended on a devotional and humble journey. He may, for many, by a more approachable saint because of this. Though there is little known about him and his cult was never very large in England, he may remain with other saintly laypeople an enduring example of how anyone, not just bishops or religious, can attain such holiness.
|Rochester Cathedral west window. The gothic additions to the originally Norman Church were probably funded by donations from pilgrims who stopped at the shrine of St. William.|