Fiacre, Saint

Fiacre, Saint an Irish hermit, who died at Breuil (Brie), in France, about 670. He was originally called in France Fefre and, according to some writers, the name Fiacre was given to him about five or six hundred years after his death. Little is known about his life. According to some writers, he descended from an illustrious Irish family; according to others, he was the son of a king of Scotland. He came to France with some companions while still very young, cultivated a tract of land, and built cells for himself and his companions, and an asylum for foreigners. An Irish or Scotch nobleman, by the name of Chillen, induced him to preach in the neighboring provinces, and his sermons are said to have had great results. He was buried in his oratory at Breuil, and subsequently an oratory was erected on the spot. His relics became quite celebrated, as a number of miracles were ascribed to them; as, for instance, by queen Ann, wife of Louis XIII. In the former province of Artois, where he is the object of a particular veneration, he is commemorated on the 13th of November. He is also the patron of the gardeners, who commemorate him on the 30th of August. A class of four- wheeled French carriages, which became common in the 17th century, are said by some to have been named after him, as the inventor had on his sign the words A Saint Fiacre; but others explain the origin of the word differently. Some writers make mention of a letter written by Fiacre to his sister Syra, and containing some exhortations. Hoefer, Nouvelle Biographie Generale, 17:614.

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