Monday, September 4, 2006
St. Giles

Simple (1955 Calendar): September 1

St. Giles is said to have been born in Athens, Greece, and as a youth, he cured a sick beggar by giving him his own cloak. Following the death of his parents, he was frequently showered with the applause of men, which he dreaded. He hated both applause and temporal prosperity. He took a ship and landed in Marseilles, France. After two years of journeying with St. Caesarius at Arles, he made a hermitage in the woods.

During his time of solitude and prayer, he was, according to tradition, nourished by the milk of a hind. The hind took refuge in the cave of St. Giles. The hounds of Favius, king of the Goths, were hunting the hind. On the third day, Favius and the bishop approached the area, and Favius fired an arrow into the bushes. The arrow wounded St. Giles. When the two men found the wounded St. Giles with the hind with him, they ordered him to account for himself. After St. Giles told his story, Favius and the bishop asked for his forgiveness and offered him medical help and gifts. St. Giles refused all gifts.

King Flavius continued to visit St. Giles, who eventually asked the King to found a monastery. The King agreed but only if St. Giles would serve as the abbot. The monastery was built near the cave where St. Giles lived. Soon Charles, the King of France, heard of St. Giles. They talked on spiritual matters, but the King Charles was too ashamed to admit one particular sin to the saint during their discourse.

"On the following Sunday, when the holy man was celebrating Mass according to custom and praying to God for the king during the canon, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and laid on the altar a scroll on which was written the sin which the king had committed, and which further said that he would be forgiven at Giles's intercession, provided he did penance and desisted from that sin in the future...When Mass was ended Giles gave the scroll to the king to read, who fell at the saint's feet, begging him to intercede with the Lord for him. And so the man of the Lord commended him to God in prayer and gently admonished him to refrain from that sin in the future."

St. Giles returned to his monastery and then, soon afterward, went to Rome to commend his monks to the Holy See. The pope granted them many privileges and gave him a present - two carved doors of cedar. St. Giles threw the doors in the Tiber River trusting in God's guidance, that they would arrive in France before him. And, behold, they did just that.

After being warned in a dream, St. Giles died on Sunday, September 1 in c. 710 AD. He is remembered on September 1st every year.

Source: Butler's Lives of the Saints (457 - 458)


May the intercession of blessed Giles the Abbot commend us unto Thee, we beseech Thee, O Lord: so that what we cannot acquire by any merits of ours, we may obtain by his patronage. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

2 comment(s):

del_button September 5, 2006 at 11:04 PM
Anonymous said...

The lives of Saints are so interesting! Thank you!

del_button January 25, 2010 at 1:49 PM
Anonymous said...

I am having trouble with nightmares. I started to wear a miraculous medal of blessed virgin mary and it has helped them to stop almost completely. While dreaming I had a vision of a medal encrusted with diamonds but couldnt see it clearly. Hard to read. I finally made out the letters St. Giles. Had never heard of this saint before. Looked him up today and see he is one of 14 helper saints, particulary for night fears. Praise the lord. Joseph.

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