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Statuary St. Fiacre

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St. Fiacre

St Fiacre was born in Ireland at the end of the 6th century. Also known as Fiachra – it is an ancient pre-Christian name from Ireland. He was better known in France, where he built a hospice for travelers in what is now Saint-Fiacre, Seine-et-Marne. St Fiacre is the patron for gardeners, cab drivers, box makers and florists.

Life

Fiacre lived in a hermitage in County Kilkenny. 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.

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. 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 labor of the garden. He died on 18 August 670.

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.

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, 1 August, or 30 August, with 11 August growing in acceptance as an official compromise. Meaux continued to be a great centre of devotion to Fiacre, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries. Visitors to his shrine included Anne of Austria, Bousset, and Vincent de Paul.

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. He was known to heal hemorrhoids, which were called "Saint Fiacre's illness" in the Middle Ages - maybe due to the story where he sat sorrowfully on a stone and that stone softened.

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.

To celebrate the Millennium, St. Fiachra's Garden was opened in 1999 at the Irish National Stud, Tully, County Kildare, Ireland.

Fiacre (carriage)

Saint Fiacre is also the patron saint of taxi drivers. The connection arose because the Hotel de Saint Fiacre in Paris, France, rented carriages, usually to travel to the hospice at Saint-Fiacre, Seine-et-Marne. 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 Fiaker. Open horse-drawn cabs in Egypt are also called "fiacres".

The text in this box was generated from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the CC-BY-SA.

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Title: St. Fiacre Statue
Item Number: KROR-365
Description:
KROR-365: Statue of St. Fiacre. Statue of St. Fiacre made of fiberglass resin with weather finish suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Other finishes available. Call for ...