See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blessed Giles of Assisi


Humility and simplicity.
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Blessed Giles, one of the first companions of St. Francis, was received into the order on the feast of St. George, April 23, 1208.  Francis called him his Knight of the Round Table.  The spiritual teachings of Blessed Giles are similar to those of the early Desert Fathers and can be found in the book "The Golden Sayings".  Giles made many notable pilgrimages which are recorded in the Little Flowers of St. Francis.  Wherever he stayed, Giles insisted upon earning his keep by manual labor.   Brother Giles was eventually assigned by St. Francis to the hermitage of Fabriano, where he died in 1262.
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"Once when St. Bonaventure came to Perugia, Giles asked him if an ignorant person could love God as much as a scholar. Bonaventure, one of the leading theologians from the University of Paris and at the time minister general of the friars, responded, 'A little old woman can love God even more than a master of theology.' Giles immediately ran out, met an old woman and told her, 'O poor little old woman, though you are simple and uneducated, just love the Lord God and you can be greater than Brother Bonaventure.'" - Source
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Giles before the Pope.
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"Pope Gregory IX, the former Cardinal Hugolino and a great admirer of St. Francis, once brought Giles to Viterbo in order to experience his holiness firsthand. They began speaking of heaven, and Giles twice went into ecstasy for long periods of time. The pope was convinced. Another time the pope asked Giles for some advice about fulfilling his duties as pope. Giles told him that he should have two eyes in his soul: one to contemplate heavenly things and the other to direct earthly things. As the pope and Bonaventure agreed, Giles was a master of the spiritual life." - Source
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Art: Murillo, Blessed Giles of Assisi levitating in ecstasy before Pope Gregory IX.  Source

2 comments:

  1. Our Br. Joseph Francis is another Br. Giles.
    He is "immersed in God" and will tell you, without a blink of the eye, when you're being bad.
    He is a very saintly brother; how, dear Lord, how, did I ever deserve such a faithful, holy man of God to live here?
    Thank you for this reminder, Terry.
    The saintly are everywhere; we just have to have the "eye" to see them.

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  2. The life and sayings of Blessed Giles of Assisi ought to be on the tongue and in the heart of every Follower of Saint Francis, every christian soul, and on every best seller list. The wisdom of this good man and his despising of all vanity is a guidepost for the modern catholic. A great deal of present day spirituality is empty and void of the intense romance of Giles' chosen words.

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