The Wound of St. Giles, Part 2

Circa 1100
Fresco
South wall, Church of St. Rupert, Weisspriach, Austria

The wall is badly damaged, but the vignette on the left appears to be about the wounding of St. Giles, which would continue the story begun on the north wall. The next episode in the story is in the central vignette. Giles raises his right hand in blessing as King Flavius arrives to apologize for the wounding and to offer medical assistance.

In the third vignette Flavius stands behind the saint, gesturing as if in supplication. In the Latin vita he begs the saint to accept the help of the royal surgeons, even offering gifts if Giles will accept. But the saint looks up to an angel who is pointing heavenward:

Detail: The angel in the upper right corner of the fresco gestures heavenward to St. Giles.

By what one can tell from the damaged fresco Giles appears to be kneeling. This would correspond to the next part of the story: Refusing medication, Giles kneels down and asks God that the wound never heal in his lifetime, remembering God's words to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity."1

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.











































1 2 Corinthians 12:9, Acta Sanctorum, September vol. 1, 301. Golden Legend #130 has simply, "he prayed our Lord that he might never be whole thereof in his life, for he knew well that virtue should profit to him in infirmity." The figure addressing Giles has wings and his halo does not include a cross, so it has to be an angel bringing God's message rather than God himself as in 2 Corinthians.