The feast day of St. Giles the Abbot is celebrated on September 1.
St. Giles was born into a noble family in Athens, Greece in the seventh century. After the death of his parents, he distributed his inheritance to the poor. He also became known for the gift of miracles and healing he had received. Giles longed to live a life of solitude, serving God as a recluse, away from all the praise and fame of the world.
He left Greece, sailing for France. Everywhere he lived he became known for his gift of miracles and healing. He would have to flee once again to find a place to live in peace and solitude. He first lived near the mouth of the Rhone River. Later he lived near the river Gard and finally he lived in the diocese of Nimes. His final dwelling place was deep in the forest in a cavern in a rock. He occupied his time in prayer, praising God and meditating. He was a vegetarian, living on herbs and roots. His only companion was a red deer, which provided him with milk to drink.
After several years of living in complete solitude, the King of France instituted a great hunt near where Giles lived. The hunters chased the deer which led them to the cave where Giles lived. They shot an arrow into the cave, wounding the holy hermit. They found him covered with blood with the deer lying at his feet. When the king was told what had happened, he ordered him taken care of. He came to see him offering him gifts. St. Giles refused the gifts and the King’s request to leave his solitude. Before leaving the king asked if there was anything he could do for him, St. Giles said he would like a monastery built where they were standing.
St. Giles became the Abbot of the monastery which was soon built. Several disciples joined him. His fame continued to spread because of his gift of miracles. The conversion of the King was one of these miracles.
St. Giles made a pilgrimage to Rome to see the Pope. He requested a blessing for his community which embraced the Rule of St. Benedict. Not only did he receive a blessing but he received the gift of two beautifully carved doors of cedar wood for his church.
Many sinners were converted because of the prayers and miracles of St. Giles. St. Giles died on September 1, 725. The miracles which took place near his tomb were so many that soon after his death a town began to grown and was named Giles.
St. Giles is the patron saint of the mentally ill, the disabled, epileptics, childhood fears, and depression.
Your humility that consoles me
Your patience that shelters me
Your eternity that preserves me
and……Your truth that rewards me.
Quote of St. Thomas Aquinas; Feast day January 28
September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows