While there is not much known about Saint Giles, he was a popular saint during the Middle Ages. Born in the seventh century somewhere in southeastern France he is said to have longed for solitude. He sought this solitude in the woods where according to some stories his sole companion was a deer.
Discovered out as a holy man and while not giving up his solitude allowed for several companions to join him in a monastery he founded. Many pilgrims stopped there en route to Compostela in Spain as well as the Holy Land.
Throughout England, various hospitals and churches were dedicated to St. Giles. There is also a section of Brussels that is named after him. He was one of the 14 Holy Helpers in Germany, who were a group of saints that prayed for people, including those who were overcoming disease as well as who needed strength at the hour of their death. His devotion was widespread and this led him to becoming the patron for those who were in need.
St. Giles is known as the patron saint of beggars, the disabled, depression, cancer and madness. He is commonly depicted with a deer (hind) or an arrow.