Blessed Guillaume Repin
- When they lived: 1709 – 1759
- Where they lived: Saint-Sauveur-en-Rue, Forez, France
- Notable world events during the time of their life:
- Seven Years’ War (1756-1763)
- Age of Enlightenment (17th to 18th century)
- 1755 Lisbon Earthquake
- Mozart’s Early Career (1761-1766)
- Founding of the British Museum (1753)
- Patronage: Bl. Guillaume Repin is the patron saint of rural communities, shepherds, and agricultural workers. He is also venerated as a protector of animals, especially sheep.
Guillaume Repin was born on August 26th, 1709. He was born in Thouarcé, Maine-et-Loire, France.
He was the second child of Renato Repin and Renata Gourdon. There isn’t a lot of information about what this pious man did in childhood.
There are no known records of where he received his primary education or what type of upbringing he went through. However, when Saint Guillaume Repin was 19 years old, which was circa 1728, he joined the seminary.
He chose to join a Church in Angers, where he was appointed a priest, even at a young age.
Dedication and Devotion
Saint Guillaume was a devout young man. He was also selfless and generous. He not only spent his time praying, preaching, and meditating,but he also participated in activities that aimed at alleviating the problems of the poor and sick.
From 1734 to 1749, Saint Guillaume was appointed coadjutor. He was made a bishop whose main job was to assist the diocesan bishop of the Church of Giuliano di Angers.
Saint Guillaume Repin remained pious even under authority. He served for some time, and then he was unanimously voted as the parish priest of San Sempliciano.
While he was still a parish priest, Guillaume was named a canon.
He continued to rule the ministry for what seemed like a long time. He was loved and revered by all who knew him.
While in authority, he made sure that the Church was always welcoming. Some records show that he had the parishes renovated several times. He believed in keeping what he considered the abode of God beautiful and clean.
It was while he was in power that the French Revolution broke out. The new government that had assumed authority had sworn to persecute Christians.
In order to be free, Christians who were arrested were required to denounce or swear off their faith. If they refused, these Christians were tortured, stolen from, exiled, or killed.
The authorities even required ministers and priests to take an oath that went against their religion and God. It required them to pledge allegiance to what was called the “Civil Constitution of the Clergy.”
Many Christians could not withstand the heat and so crossed to the other side of their religions. These people joined the mob and persecuted their former brothers and sisters.
Saint Guillaume Repin was one of the few Christians who refused to incriminate their brothers or give up their faith. He staunchly refused to be a partaker of the oath and so was impeached on February 10, 1791.
Afraid of the backlash, Saint Guillaume Repin fled back to Angers. He stayed in hiding for a few weeks until the 17th of June, 1792, when he was caught.
He was imprisoned with other presbyters who refused to take the oath. At this time, Guillaume Repin was around 82 years old and was the older priest to be held in the large holding cell.
While imprisoned, he continued to lead the mass.
On the 14th of August in the same year, taking the oath was not optional for every French citizen. Refusal to take the oath was not to be forgiven or lenient.
Still, Saint Guillaume Repin refused to change his mind. He was not going to take the oath.
On the 30th of November, Guillaume and other aged and feeble priests were taken to one of the Christian institutions called the School of the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine. They were held prisoner there.
On June 17, 1793, all the priests were set free by the insurgents. However, unable to follow his Samaritan due to his rapidly failing health, Saint Guillaume Repin hid in the Magues until he was once again captured.
After a series of interrogations, Saint Guillaume was found guilty and condemned to death.
Death and Canonization
Saint Guillaume died by beheading using a guillotine. He died for his belief in God.
He was killed on January 2, 1794. Saint Guillaume Repin was beatified by Pope John Paul II on the 19th of February, 1984.