Countless miracles made his name famous in France, where gardeners often honour him as their patron saint. By praying in his oratory and working in his garden, Saint Fiacre earned a throne in heaven.
Newsroom (30/08/2023 11:01, Gaudium Press) Saint Fiacre was born at the beginning of the seventh century to an illustrious Irish family. The Scots claim that he was the son of one of their kings and that he was educated with his brothers by the Bishop of Connan. Fiacre made good use of this education, as he left his parents and family at a young age to serve God in a foreign land and in solitude.
He went to France and asked the Bishop of Meaux to give him a secluded place in his diocese. The Bishop of Meaux, who was also a saint, was filled with joy and said to Fiacre: “I have, not far from here, a forest on my estate, which the inhabitants call Breuil, and I believe it is suitable for solitary life.”
The two saints went to visit the place and the bishop gave the Irish emigre what he needed. St. Fiacre, with the prelate’s blessing, cleared the woods, built a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin, with a house next door where he lived, and received guests whom he fed with the produce from his garden.
Later, he built a kind of hospital, where he himself served the poor and often cured them through his prayers. But he never allowed women to enter his hermitage. In fact, the article that prevents women from entering men’s monasteries is an inviolable rule among Irish monks.
St. Fiacre didn’t break this rule while he was alive, and even today, out of respect for his memory, we can see that women don’t enter the place where he lived in Breuil, nor the chapel where he was buried.
Anne of Austria, Queen of France, went on a pilgrimage to this place and was content to pray at the door of his oratory. The Scots tell us that during this time, when the throne of Scotland was vacant, the deputies of that country came to beg St. Fiacre to come to power, but he humbly but firmly refused. The anchorite saint died on August 30, 670, and was buried in his oratory.
Countless miracles made his name famous in France, where gardeners often honour him as their patron saint. By praying in his oratory and working in his garden, Saint Fiacre earned a throne in heaven. Indeed, a garden, like an oratory, can become a place of meditation and prayer.
“In fact, few things are more beautiful than imagining a saint, the son of a king, who goes to a distant place and spends his whole life there, renouncing the honours of royalty. Contemplating his life, we see the wonder of a grace that evaporates and perfumes the whole story. This rests our souls and brings us face to face with the prospect that Heaven and Earth are united and reconciled.”
Text taken from Father Rohrbacher’s Lives of the Saints.
 Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
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