Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Giles (650–710)

Saint Giles (650–710)

Patron saint of beggars and the disabled

Feast day: September 1

Saint Giles was born in France during the seventh century. He spent many years as a hermit. While in France, he built a monastery that became a popular halfway destination for pilgrims traveling from Spain to the Holy Land. Giles also became well known in England, where many churches and hospitals are dedicated to him. He also gained popularity in Germany, where he was among a well-known group of saints (the Fourteen Holy Helpers) to whom people prayed for recovery from illness or for strength at the time of death.

Saint Giles is often pictured with a wounded doe. During his years of solitude, Saint Giles had a red deer as his only companion. When hunters discovered the deer and followed her, the arrow they shot at the deer wounded the saint instead. This is why Saint Giles has been given the patronage of the physically disabled.

(Image in public domain-70)