Patron of Gardeners and Cabdrivers
St. Fiacre was born in Ireland around the beginning of the 7th century and traveled to Europe in the wake of St. Columban. He was accorded a kind reception by St. Faro, Bishop of Meaux, France, who provided him with a plot of land for a hermitage, and Fiacre began to lead the religious life he had led in Ireland.
Soon, the people of the surrounding regions began coming in droves to learn about Christian faith from this man of God. Seeing their plight far from their homes and without shelter, Fiacre had compassion on them and determined to help them. With the aid of another grant of land from St. Faro, the saintly hermit himself chopped down trees to build a hospice to shelter them and cleared the soil in order to grow corn and vegetables to feed them.
The Saint’s dedication and self-sacrifice brought about the conversion of the whole surrounding discrict and he was held in high esteem for his work with the spade. After his holy death about 670, St. Fiacre’s cult grew steadily and reached its height in 17th century, a thousand years later, when his shrine was famous for miraculous cures.
The name Fiacre was given to the four-wheeled cab because when it first came into use (in Paris, 1640) its stand was close to the St. Fiacre Hotel so that it might take the pilgrims on the first stage of the journey to St. Fiacre’s shrine.
PRAYER: Lord God, You alone are holy and no one is good without You. Through the intercession of St. Fiacre help us to live in such a way that we may not be deprived of a share in Your glory. Amen.