St. Giles | Saint of the Day | September 1

Prayer to St. Giles

Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that the revered intercession of St Giles

may bring us heavenly aid,

just as his wonderful life

is an example of humility for all.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


Novena to St. Giles


Almighty and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshipping Your Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before You and invoke with filial trust Your supreme generosity and mercy. Illuminate the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Your Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Your Divine Love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following their example imitate, as they did, the life of Your Divine Son.

Moreover, I beseech You to graciously grant me, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through them I humbly place before You, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it is to Your greater glory and the salvation of my soul. Amen.


O God, we beseech You to grant us through the merits and intercession of St. Giles to flee from the vanity and praise of this world, to carefully avoid all occasions of sin, to cleanse our hearts from all wickedness by a sincere confession, to leave this world in Your love and rich in good works, and to find You gracious on the day of judgment. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Zealous follower of Christ, St. Giles, you took to heart from your early youth the words of our Savior: "Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart." Because of this, you fled from the praise and honors of the world, and were rewarded with the grace of preserving your heart from all sin and persevering in a holy life until old age. On my part, I have through pride, self-confidence, and negligence, yielded to my evil inclinations, and through this sinned grievously and often, offending my God and Lord, my Creator and Redeemer, my most loving Father. Therefore I implore you to help me through your mighty intercession to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, that I may know the malice, grievousness, and multitude of my sins. Grant that I may confess them humbly, fully, and contritely, and receive pardon, tranquillity of heart, and peace of conscience from God. Amen.


My Lord and my God! I offer up to You my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Your Son, together with the merits of His Immaculate and Blessed Mother, Mary ever Virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the Holy Helper, St. Giles, in whose honor I make this novena. Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Your Grace and Your Love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.

Saint Giles, whose name has been held in great veneration for many centuries in France and England, was born in the year 640 in Athens, and was of noble extraction. Certain remarkable works of medicine and poetry are attributed to him, but his knowledge was primarily that of the Saints.

When as a young man he met a poor beggar who was sick and half-naked, he was moved with compassion and gave him his splendid tunic; the moment the beggar put it on, he found himself in perfect health. By this miracle, Giles understood how pleasing almsgiving is to God, and shortly afterwards, he distributed all his goods to the poor and entered upon a life of poverty, suffering and humility. But Jesus Christ did not let Himself be outdone in generosity, and soon miracles multiplied so greatly in his wake, that the admiration of the world surrounded him. It became impossible for him to profit in his own country from obscurity and retirement, which he desired above all else. He therefore went to France and chose for his hermitage the open spaces of the south, near the mouth of the Rhone.

Soon he was known there, too, by the miracles his kindness brought down from heaven. He moved again, and this time Providence brought him near Saint Veredemus, a hermit of Greek origin like himself; then the two rejoiced in a common life of the love of God. For two years they remained together, until the invasion of their solitude caused Giles to migrate to a deep forest of southeastern France, in the diocese of Nimes.

He passed many years in this intense solitude, living on wild herbs or roots and clear water, and conversing only with God. He was nourished there by a doe of the forest. One day, being pursued by Visigoths hunting in the forests, she fled for refuge to the Saint and lay down at his feet. Moved to tears, he prayed God to spare the life of the innocent animal. An arrow the hunters had sent in her direction came and lodged in his hand, making a wound which would never heal. When the hunters found the animal there and saw the bleeding wound of the gentle hermit, they begged his pardon on their knees, and the chase was ended. The Visigoth king, hearing of this, came to visit this holy hermit, accompanied by the bishop, who afterwards ordained Giles a priest.

The reputation of the sanctity of Saint Giles increased constantly by his many miracles, which rendered his name famous throughout France. He was highly esteemed by the pious king, but could not be prevailed upon to leave his solitude. He accepted several disciples, however, and established excellent discipline in the monastery which the king built for them. Destroyed during the invasions of the Moslems who had entered Spain, it was rebuilt during the lifetime of the founder and his disciples, when they returned after the torment. In succeeding ages, it became a flourishing abbey of the Benedictine Order, which bore his name.