Saint Walter of Pontoise was born in 1030 in Andainville, France. He as a professor of philosophy and rhetoric before becoming a Benedictine monk. A story told of him is that while a novice, Walter took pity on an inmate at the monastery prison, and helped the prisoner to escape.
Philip I appointed him abbot of a new monastery even though Walter didn’t want the job. The discipline at this monastery was weak. Walter fled the house several times to avoid this responsibility.
Walter left his abbot position to become a monk at Cluny under Hugh but he was forced to return to as abbot. There is a story of him that he once took A story told of him was that he once took the road to Touraine and hid himself on an island before being led back to the abbey. He also escaped to an oratory near Tours dedicated to Cosmas and Damian before being recognized by a pilgrim there.
After being forced to return again, this time Walter decided to go to Rome to appeal directly to the pope. Walter gave Pope Gregory VII his written resignation, but Gregory ordered him to assume his responsibilities as abbot and never leave again.
After seeing the pope he campaigned against the abuses and corruptions of his fellow Benedictines. He was beaten and imprisoned. He returned to his work after being released. He founded a monastery for women in 1094. He died in 1099.