by American Catholic | Source: www.americancatholic.org
Despite the fact that much
about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the
Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France.
That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making
their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land. In England, many
ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels
is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular
group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the
hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was
the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of
Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked
as the patron of the poor and the disabled. The pilgrimage
center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles'
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.