(? eighth century)
   Little is known of the life of St Giles. He is said to have been a native of Athens who lived as a hermit on the banks of the Rhône in France. He survived on a diet of herbs and the milk of a hind. When King Flavius Wamba of the Visigoths hunted the hind and met Giles, he was so impressed by his sanctity that he had a monastery built for him. Later the town of St Giles grew up near his grave and this became an important place of pilgrimage. He is regarded as the patron saint of beggars and the lame; he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages and is regarded as one of the fourteen Auxiliary Saints.
   F. Brittain, Saint Giles (1928);
   D.H. Farmer (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 3rd edn (1992).

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