New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Giles

detail of a painting of Saint Giles; by Hans Memling, 1491; oil on panel, altar triptych, Cathedral of Lübeck, Germany; now in the Sankt-Annen-Museum, Lübeck, Germany; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsDerivation

  • Latin: AEgidius


Confessor (7th century), abbot. Of a noble Athenian family, he went to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and then by the River Gard. Later he withdrew to a forest near Nimes, where he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. Here he built a monastery, which he placed under the Rule of Saint Benedict. The cult of Saint Giles spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, and numberless churches and monasteries have been dedicated to him. Among the most important are the church of Saint Giles, now Anglican, Cripplegate, London, and Saint Giles’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, now a Presbyterian church. Invoked as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers against epilepsy, insanity, and sterility of women. Emblems: hind, crosier, hermitage. Relics dispersed during Calvinistic disturbances and partly brought to Saint Sernin, Toulouse, France. Feast, Roman Calendar, 1 September.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Giles”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 May 2016. Web. 10 May 2021. <>