Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saint Giles

'Never did hours pass so heavily. Butler shifted his place and enlarged his circle to while away the time, and heard the huge bell of St. Giles's toll each successive hour in swelling tones, which were instantly attested by those of the other steeples in succession. He had heard seven struck in this manner, when he began to think he might venture to approach nearer to St. Leonard's, from which he was still a mile distant. Accordingly he descended from his lofty station as low as the bottom of the valley, which divides Salisbury Crags from those small rocks which take their name from Saint Leonard. It is, as many of my readers may know, a deep, wild, grassy valley, scattered with huge rocks and fragments which have descended from the cliffs and steep ascent to the east.'

Saint Giles is the patron saint of Edinburgh, and was a well known part of Walter Scott's life.  The text above, which employs St. Giles Cathedral, is from the "The Heart of Midlothian".
Giles, or Aegidius, an Athenian, migrated to Gaul, ultimately founding a Benedictine abbey, St. Gilles-du-Gard.  He is known for having lived a simple contemplative life, having at one point been nourished only by the milk of a red deer.  Giles is especially important for crippled people, died on September 1, 714AD.

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