Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Walter, Abbot of Saint Martin’s, Near Pontoise

Article

He was a native of Picardy, and took the habit of Saint Bennet at Rebais in the diocess of Meaux. The counts of Amiens and Pontoise having lately founded the rich abbey of Saint German, now called Saint Martin’s, adjoining to the walls of Pontoise, King Philip I., after a diligent search for a person equal to so important a charge, obliged Walter to take upon him the government of that house, and he was appointed the first abbot in 1060. He was always highly honoured by the king, and by other great personages; but this was what his humility could not bear. To escape from the dangers of vain-glory, he often fled secretly from his monastery, but was always found and brought back again; and, to prevent his escaping, the pope sent him a strict order not to leave his abbey. There he lived in a retired, small cell in great austerity, and in assiduous prayer and contemplation, never stirring out but to duties of charity or regularity, or to perform some of the meanest offices of the house. His zeal, in opposing the practice of simony, drew on him grievous persecutions: all which he bore not only with patience, but even with joy. His death happened on the 8th of April, in 1099. The bishops of Rouen, Paris, and Seniis, after a diligent scrutiny, declared several miracles wrought at his tomb authentic; and performed the translation of his relics on the 4th of May. The abbot Walter Montague made a second translation in 1655, and richly decorated his chapel. Saint Walter, from the first day of his conversion to his death, made it a rule every day to add some new practice of penance to his former austerities; thus to remind himself of the obligation of continually advancing in spirit towards God. His life, written by a disciple, may be read in the Bollandists, with the remarks of Henschenius.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Walter, Abbot of Saint Martin’s, Near Pontoise”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 9 April 2013. Web. 2 September 2014. <>