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Saint of the Day for 01 September: St Aegidius

Saint Aegidius, the saint who inspired a community of peace and solidarity


St Aegidius




640 circa, Athens, Greece


circa 720, Languedoc, France


01 September


2004 edition


O glorious Saint Aegidius, who, impelled by love of suffering, tacitly fled the company of Bishop Caesarius, to escape the esteem and glory of men, however well deserved, and then underwent the severest penance, living on grass roots and water alone, and to whom God, wishing to give a token of his providential hand, sent you a wild doe to temper your fasting with her milk, implore that we too may be given strength by Christian mortification, by which we may one fine day come to sing the hymn of gratitude with the saints of Paradise.

Patron Saint of

Gambettola, Sant’Egidio alla Vibrata, Orte, Monte San Savino, Cavezzo, Altavilla Silentina, Caprarola, Linguaglossa, Tolfa, Latronico

Protector of

Nursing, horses, disabled, epileptics, hermits, blacksmiths, forests, lepers, sheep, poor, sterile

Roman Martyrology

In the territory of Nîmes in Narbonne Gaul, now in southern France, Saint Aegidius, after whom the flourishing town in the Camargue region was named, is said to have built a monastery and ended his mortal life.


The Saint and Mission

Saint Aegidius, also known as Aegidius of Ath, is a figure venerated in the Christian tradition for his profound sense of humility and his dedication to the service of others. Born into a noble family, Aegidius chose to dedicate his life to prayer and assistance to the most needy, becoming one of the most beloved saints of the Middle Ages.

His mission was not limited to personal spirituality, but was intrinsically linked to the well-being of the community. Aegidius was known for his ability to speak to people from all walks of life, from peasants to kings, and for his commitment to providing practical assistance to those in need. He is also said to have founded a monastery that became a centre for the care of the poor and the sick, embodying a model of Christian charity that has left a lasting impact.

His life is a shining example of how spiritual mission and social action can go hand in hand. Aegidius shows us that spirituality is not a path of isolation from the world, but an active engagement to improve it. His dedication to the values of mercy, charity and community has left a legacy that continues to inspire people and organisations to this day, including, for example, the Community of Sant’Egidio, which is named after this saint and seeks to embody his ideals in the modern world.

At a time when individualism is often exalted, the figure of St. Aegidius is a reminder of collective responsibility and the need for a shared mission to alleviate human suffering. Through his life and work, we are given a model of how faith can translate into concrete actions that make a difference in people’s lives.

The Saint and Mercy

Saint Aegidius deeply embodies the value of mercy. His life is a testament to the power of a compassionate heart and a radical commitment to the welfare of others. Coming from a noble family, Aegidius voluntarily chose a life of simplicity and service, renouncing material privileges to devote himself to helping those most in need.

Aegidius represents mercy in action; not just through words or intentions, but through concrete acts that improved the lives of those around him. His mercy was not an abstract concept, but a daily commitment that translated into medical care for the sick, support for the poor and spiritual guidance for those seeking inner peace.

Besides being a hermit and a man of prayer, tradition tells us that Aegidius founded a monastery that became a refuge for the marginalised and suffering. In this way, his mercy extended far beyond his person, creating an institution that would continue to practise charity and care for centuries.

The lesson we can draw from the life of Saint Aegidius is that mercy is a vocation that everyone can follow. It is not reserved for saints or exceptional individuals, but is an imperative for anyone who wants to live a life enriched by meaning and compassion.

In a world that is often indifferent to the suffering of others, the figure of St. Aegidius reminds us of the importance of looking beyond ourselves and actively engaging in soothing the pain of others. His life is a model of how mercy can become a daily mission, enriching not only the lives of others, but also our own.

The Community of Sant’Egidio

The Community of Sant’Egidio is an extraordinary example of how social action and spiritual commitment can come together to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. Founded in 1968 in Rome, the Community has prayer as a fundamental pillar, but also an active commitment to the poor, the marginalised and all those on the margins of society.

Their work with the homeless, the elderly, migrants and refugees embodies the essence of Christian mercy. It is not just about providing food, shelter or medical assistance, but about restoring dignity to people whom society often tends to overlook or ignore. In this way, Sant’Egidio not only alleviates material suffering, but also combats the barriers of indifference and prejudice that isolate the most vulnerable among us.

Besides direct assistance, the Community of Sant’Egidio has been an influential actor in inter-religious dialogue and conflict mediation. They have played a role in several peace processes, showing that faith can be a powerful force for reconciliation and social cohesion.

In a world marked by growing inequalities, divisions and conflicts, the Community of Sant’Egidio represents a beacon of hope. It reminds us that every individual is of inestimable value and that the true measure of a society is seen in the way it treats its weakest members. With their works and constant commitment, they show us that mercy is not an abstract idea, but a daily action that can transform the world.


Born of a noble family in Athens, this saint spent the first years of his life in his native country. Of profound intellect, cultured, and a lover of piety, he soon won the favour of the people and the princes, and with it the honours of the world. But scornful of everything, Aegidius fled from Athens, and…


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