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The story goes that Giles lived, in the seventh century, deep in a forest (in what is now southern France), where he spent many years in solitude, his sole companion being his beloved red deer, who in some stories sustained him with her milk.
This retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had chased the red deer to her home. An arrow shot at the deer wounded the saint instead, who afterwards became a patron of the physically disabled.
The king admired the hermit, for his humility in rejecting all honours except for having some disciples.
The king built him a monastery in his valley, Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, which Giles placed under the Benedictine rule. Giles died there in the early part of the eighth century, well known for his holiness and miracles.
Saint Giles is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.