Fiacre

Fiacre

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Fiacre
birth_date=7th Century
death_date=August 18 670(?)
feast_day=September 1 in Ireland, August 18 everywhere else. Many are still in debate showing dates of August 1 as well as August 30. More and more, people are accepting August 11 as the official compromise.
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imagesize=200px
caption=Mural depicting Saint Fiacre, in Seville, Andalusia
birth_place=Ireland
death_place=
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attributes=spade; man carrying a spade and a basket of vegetables beside him surrounded by pilgrims and blessing the sickCatholic Forum Patron Saints Index, [http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintf13.htm Saint Fiacre] . Accessed 2007-12-06.]
patronage= Gardeners; taxi cab drivers; venereal disease sufferers; barrenness; box makers; fistula; florists; haemorrhoids; hosiers; pewterers; tile makers; ploughboys.
major_shrine=
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Saint Fiacre ( _ga. Fiachra; _la. Fiachrius; _it. Fiacrio, _fr. Fiacre, Fèfre, Fèvre, _de. Fiakrius) was born in Ireland in the seventh century. _ga. "Fiachra" is an ancient pre-Christian name from Ireland. The meaning is uncertain, but the name may mean "battle king", [cite book| title=Gaelic Personal Names| last=Ó Corráin| first=Donnchadh| coauthors=Fidelma Maguire| publisher=The Academy Press| location=Dublin| year=1981| id=ISBN 0-906187-39-7] or it may be a derivative of the word _ga. "fiach" "raven". [cite book| title=A Dictionary of First Names| last=Hanks| first=Patrick| coauthors=Flavia Hodges| publisher=Oxford University Press| year=1990| id=ISBN 0-19-211651-7] The name can be found in ancient Irish folklore and stories such as the "Children of Lir".

He was better known in France, where he built a hospice for travellers in what is now Saint-Fiacre, Seine-et-Marne.

Fiacre lived in a hermitage in County Kilkenny.Catholic Encyclopedia, [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06067a.htm St. Fiacre] . Accessed 2007-12-06.] His unwanted fame as one skilled with herbs, a healer and holy man, caused disciples to flock to him. Seeking greater solitude, he left his native land and sought refuge in France, at Meaux.

At Meaux he was warmly received by St Faro. Initially Faro granted him out of his own patrimony a site at Brogillum (Breuil) surrounded by forests. [ [http://pagesperso-orange.fr/damien.jullemier/sts/st-fiacre.htm Saint Fiacre ] ] Here Fiacre built an oratory in honour of the Virgin Mary, a hospice in which he received strangers, and a cell in which he himself lived apart. He lived a life of great mortification, in prayer, fast, vigil, and the manual labour of the garden.

He approached St Faro, the Bishop of Meaux, to whom he made known his desire to live a life of solitude in the forest. St Faro assigned him a spot called Prodilus (Brodoluim), the modern Breuil, in the province of Brie.

Legends

The legend of Fiacre goes that St Faro allowed him as much land as he might entrench in one day with a furrow; Fiacre turned up the earth with the point of his staff, toppling trees and uprooting briers and weeds. A suspicious woman hastened to tell Faro that he was being beguiled and that this was witchcraft. Faro, however, recognized that this was the work of God. From this point on it is said St Fiacre barred women, on pain of severe bodily infirmity, from the precincts of his monastery. [ [http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=276 St. Fiacre - Catholic Online ] ]

Veneration

His relics are installed in Meaux Cathedral. His feast day is under debate; in Ireland it is 1 September; elsewhere it is variously 18 August, August 1, or August 30, with August 11 growing in acceptance as an official compromise.

St Fiacre is most renowned as the patron saint of growing food and medicinal plants, sometimes more broadly referred to as simply gardening.

His reputed aversion to women is believed to be the reason he is known as the patron saint of venereal disease sufferers.

Saint Fiacre is also sometimes invoked to help heal people of ills. This is not his patronage (as bestowed by the Vatican), but rather a common invocation based on his reputed skill with medicinal plants.

Fiacre (carriage)

Saint Fiacre is also the patron saint of taxi drivers. The connection arose from the fact that the Hotel de Saint Fiacre in Paris, France, rented carriages. People who had no idea who Fiacre was referred to the small hackney coaches as "Fiacre cabs", and eventually as "fiacres". Similarly, Viennese horse-drawn buggies are referred to as _de. "Fiaker".

References

*"Sacred Origins of Profound Things", by Charles Panati. ISBN 0-14-019544-0

External links

* [http://saintspreserved.com/fiacre.htm Fiacre]
*it icon [http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/68200 San Fiacrio (Fiacre)]


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