Abbot: d. ca. 710
+ Giles was born in Greece but spent most of his life living as a hermit in France.
+ As his reputation for holiness grew, he attracted a group of disciples and established a monastery at what is now known as Saint-Gilles.
+ After Giles’ death (sometime around the year 710), his shrine became a popular destination for pilgrims. Many legends grew up around him, making him one of the most popular saints in Europe.
+ Saint Giles is honored as the patron saint of those with physical disabilities.
The Saint in Art
Saint Giles is often represented with a deer. According to legend, a nobleman was hunting near Saint Giles’ hermitage and wounded a stag with an arrow. The wounded animal, sensing Giles’ gentle spirit, approached the hermit for protection. Giles saved the animal and nursed it back to health.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.”—Psalm 62:5
Grant us, O Lord, that amid the uncertainties of this world we may cling with all our heart to the things of heaven, for through the Abbot blessed Giles you have given us a model of evangelical perfection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For an Abbot)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here