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Giles of Assisi

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Newly Translated and Edited Together With a Sketch of His Life

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He endeavored to earn his livelihood mainly through manual work; whatever he obtained over and above his immediate needs, he at once gave to the poor; if he lacked necessities, he begged them for God's sake. Once a poor woman who was dressed in the barest necessaries asked Brother Giles for an alms. As he had nothing to offer her, he compassionately took off his capuche and gave it to her.

Saint of the week: Giles of Assisi (April 23)

In the year , at the great chapter of 5, brothers, St. Francis commissioned Giles to go to Africa with several companions, to preach the gospel to the Mohammedans. But they did not achieve their purpose. As soon as they landed in Africa, the Christians there, who feared a general persecution, led them by force to another ship which brought them back to Italy. At this time Brother Giles was sent to the quiet convent of Perugia, which remained his abode until his death. He lived practically only for God. Even at his work, thoughts of the last judgment, of eternity, and of the glory of heaven constantly occupied his mind.

Once when two distinguished gentlemen asked him to pray for them, he said: "Oh you do not need my prayers. Blessed Giles of Assisi answered, "You live among all the comforts of the world and still believe that you will get to heaven; but I, a poor human being, spend my days in labor and penance, and yet I fear I will be damned. When he reflected on the joys of heaven, Blessed Giles of Assisi was beside himself with longing. Often when the children in the street called out to him the mere word "paradise," he was rapt in ecstasy.

Pope Gregory IX had heard of the contemplative gift of Brother Giles, and being just then in the neighborhood of Perugia, he sent for him. When the pope began to speak to Giles about divine and heavenly matters, Giles at once went into an ecstasy.

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When he came to again, he humbly begged the Holy Father's forgiveness -- it was his weakness, he said, that he was immediately beside himself. The pope required that he give him some good advice for the administration of his burdensome duties.


The “Prayer of St. Francis” | They didn't say it

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The Golden Sayings of the Blessed Brother Giles of Assisi

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