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Giles, St

Giles, St (d. c.710), hermit, living in Provence, whose shrine became an important pilgrimage centre in the Middle Ages. According to his legend, a hind that was being hunted took refuge with him; Giles was wounded and lamed by the arrow shot at it.

Many churches, including St Giles at Cripplegate in London, were dedicated to him, and there were two annual medieval fairs, at Winchester and Oxford, of which St Giles' Fair Oxford survives as a funfair, set up for two days each year in the wide street of St Giles' in the city centre.

In Germany, he was regarded as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His feast day is 1 September.

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