St. Giles was born in Assisi, Italy in 1190. He became one of the earliest followers of St. Francis of Assisi. He accompanied St. Francis on many missions. He visited the Tomb of the Apostle James in Spain and the holy city of Jerusalem. He also visited the sanctuary of the Holy Archangel Michael in Italy. During his travels, St. Giles earned his room and board by chopping firewood, sweeping rooms, washing dishes and other manual labor. He considered labor an opportunity for joy and purification. St. Giles encouraged penance and love of God.
St. Giles was known for his spiritual advice. His Franciscan spirituality is reflected in the many sayings that are collected in a book titled “The Golden Sayings”. St. Giles is referred to as one of the Little Flowers of St. Francis.
St. Francis also referred to him as his “Knight of the Round Table.” The life of St. Giles showed his spirituality. As St. Giles once said:
“The word of God does not belong to him who hears or speak it, but to him who puts it into practice.”
At the great chapter of 4,000 brothers, St. Francis sent Giles to Africa in 1219 with companions to preach the gospel. It never succeeded. As soon as they arrived in Africa, the Christians there led them to a different ship which returned them to Italy. After his return he lived in the convent in Perugia until his death by natural causes in 1262.
Whoever gives up prayer because of difficulties is like a man who runs away from battle.
Quote of St. Giles of Assisi
April is the Month of the Eucharist.