Aegidius of Assisi

Aegidius Of Assisi

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Aegidius of Assisi

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Blessed Aegidius of Assisi (died 1262), also known as Giles of Assisi, was one of the original companions of St. Francis of Assisi and holds the foremost place among the companions of St. Francis. St. Francis called him "The Knight of our Round Table".

Of his antecedents and early life nothing certain is known. In April, 1209, moved by the example of two leading fellow-Assisians, who became the first followers of St. Francis, he begged permission to join the little band. and on the feast of St. George was invested in a poor habit St. Francis had begged for him. Almost immediately afterwards he set out with St. Francis to preach in the Marches of Ancona. He accompanied the saint to Rome when the first Rule was approved orally by Pope Innocent III, and appears to have then received the clerical tonsure. About 1212 Aegidius made a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James at Compostella, in Spain. Shortly after his return to Assisi he started for Jerusalem, to venerate the Holy Places, visiting on his way home the Italian shrines of St. Michael, at Monte Gargano, and St. Nicholas, at Bari. He was next found in Rome and still later at Tunis. In these journeys Aegidius was always at pains to procure by manual labour what food and shelter he needed. At Ancona he made reed baskets; at Brindisi he carried water and helped to bury the dead; at Rome he cut wood, trod the wine-press, and gathered nuts; while the guest of a cardinal at Rieti he insisted on sweeping the house and...
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