Patron saint of gardens

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Gardening Saints.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Horticulture and Soil Science Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Licence.

Christian Saints cover many areas and gardening is included. There are several different gardening saints who are patrons to different aspects of gardening and plants.

  • St. Valentine
  • St. Anthony of Padua
  • Pope Saint Urban I
  • Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Saint Isadore the Laborer
  • Saint Dorothy
  • Saint Fiacre

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St. DorothyEdit

Saint Dorothy (died ca. 311) was a 4th century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. She is the patron saint of horticulture, brewers, brides, florists, and gardeners.

St. IsadoreEdit

Isidore the Farmer, (c. 1070 – 15 May 1130) was a Spanish day laborer known for his goodness toward the poor and animals. He is the Catholic patron saint of farmers and of the city of Madrid.

St. Francis of AssisiEdit

Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

St. UrbanEdit

Saint Urban was was Pope from 14 October 222 to 230. He is the patron saint of vineyards and grape growers.

St. Anthony of PaduaEdit

Anthony of Padua O.F.M., (born Fernando Martins de Bulhões; 15 August 1195 – 13 June 1231) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar. He is the patron saint of harvests and lost animals.

St. FiacreEdit

Saint Fiacre (died c. 670) is the Irish patron saint of herb gardens and men who like to garden.

St. PhocasEdit

Saint Phocas is the patron saint of gardeners, agricultural workers, farm workers, farmers, and fieldhands.

St. ValentineEdit

Saint Valentine was a third century Christian martyr who is the patron saint of lovers and small intimate gardens.

St. PatrickEdit

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and organic gardening.

A Patron Saint for Gardeners

On April 20, 1586, Maria del Oliva, a woman of mixed Spanish and Incan descent, gave birth to a daughter whom she and her husband, Gaspar de Flores, named Isabel. As one of the family’s Incan housemaids admired the newborn, she commented that the infant Isabel was lovely “as a rose.” The compliment stuck; the family began to call their beautiful child Rose.

Years later Isabel took as her confirmation name Rosa de Santa Maria (incidentally, the archbishop who confirmed her was the great St. Turibius de Mogrovejo).

Given their own position in Lima society and Rose’s beauty her parents expected her to marry well, but Rose refused; she wanted to enter a convent. Gaspar and Maria pleaded with Rose to marry; Rose responded by pleading with her parents to let her enter a cloister. The family impasse lasted 10 years until at last they arrived at compromise: Gaspar and Maria abandoned all hope of marriage for their daughter and Rose gave up her dream of becoming a nun. Instead, she joined the Dominican Third Order which permitted her to take religious vows and wear the religious habit, but live in the world rather than in a convent.

With the help of one of her brothers, Rose built a small cottage for herself in the family garden. Not long afterward the Flores family fell on hard times. Gaspar had invested heavily in a mining operation; when the mine failed, the Floreses were virtually bankrupt. To help support her family Rose did lacework and embroidery and she became a professional gardener, selling the flowers she raised in the market of Lima. Ever since, gardeners have revered St. Rose as their patron, the saint who helps them produce glorious blooms and keep insects at bay.

Her family’s distress made Rose more sensitive to the misfortunes of others. With her parents’ permission, Rose made one room of their house an informal clinic where she tended sick and needy children and elderly people. This combination of charity, piety, and physical beauty led the people of Lima to regard Rose as their own home-grown saint. Stories of the miracles wrought by Rose began to circulate through the city. It was said that through her prayers, Lima had been spared an attack by pirates. Patients at her infirmary said Rose had a healing touch, and claimed that even greater cures were granted to her because she had set up in the sickroom a statue of Christ dressed as a physician (this wonder-working image was venerated as El Mediquito, The Little Doctor).

Tragically, this beloved young woman died of an unknown illness when she was only 31 years old.

So many people in Peru asserted that she was a saint that the bishops of the country began the process to investigate Rose’s life and virtues immediately. In 1668 Pope Clement IX beatified Rose, and three years later Pope Clement X canonized her, making Rose of Lima the first saint of the New World. Her feast day is August 23rd.

As the summer wanes, a pious gardener might give thanks for the bounty of tomatoes, basil and blooms to St. Fiacre.

Saint who?

Many don’t know there is a patron saint of gardeners. Or they assume it is St. Francis of Assisi, of whom statues, beckoning birds and animals, are often seen in gardens. But officially, the chief Roman Catholic saint of gardeners (and, folklore says, of cabdrivers and hemorrhoid sufferers) was a 7th Century Irishman whose horticultural and healing prowess at his adopted home in France earned him a feast day of Aug. 30. Churches named for him can be found in Ireland and France.

Patricia Banker had never heard of him when, in 1994, she decided she needed a patron saint for her Detroit-area garden. She knew from the tales of the saints that had been read to her as a child that there had to be one.

When she looked him up, “I didn’t know how to pronounce his name,” she said. But he inspired her to return to her first love, art, after a 20-year career in design and publishing. Sculpted in clay and then cast in composite stone, St. Fiacre became the first saint in what is now an extensive line of handcrafted relief sculptures, plaques, scrolls and other artwork based on saints’ lives that she sells through her Web site, “It’s my way of connecting to my spirituality,” she said.

Information about St. Fiacre (fee-AH-cruh) is scant and, as with many early saints, the tales told of him vary. But he seems to have been born into a noble Irish family and, raised in a monastery, became a monk. In about 628, as a young man seeking a place to retire in prayer and meditation, he traveled to France. St. Faro, the bishop of Meaux, granted him a plot where he lived in a small hermitage, planted a garden and founded a church in honor of the Virgin Mary. Over time, he acquired a reputation as a powerful healer, at a time when medical treatment involved mainly plants and prayer.

The legendary event that distinguishes him as the patron saint of gardeners occurred when Fiacre realized he needed more room to grow food and healing herbs for those who came to seek his help. St. Faro told him he could have as much land as he could dig in a day. Fiacre took his staff (or, in some versions, his spade or an ivory rod) and dragged it behind him.

“Now may ye understand thing much marvellous and of great miracle,” wrote Jacobus de Voragine, a 13th Century Archbishop of Genoa, in “The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints,” “for, by the will of our Lord, wheresoever the holy hermit Fiacre drew his staff, the trees fell down both on one side and on other, and round about where he drew his staff was a ditch suddenly made.”

With the garden thus dug–don’t we wish we had St. Fiacre and his staff, when it’s time to dig the compost in?–his hermitage became a place of pilgrimage for people suffering from many ailments, long after the monk died on Aug. 18, 670. A stone where legend says he once sat for relief from his hemorrhoids became a destination for other such sufferers.

In later years, his relics were much fought over and scattered throughout Europe. Eventually, his name became the French term for a taxicab, after carriages for hire lined up outside the Hotel de St. Fiacre in Paris.

The feast of St. Fiacre was once celebrated in some parts of France with processions through flower-strewn streets. But St. Fiacre is little known in the U.S. these days. Still, statues and other artwork can be found to decorate gardens. And some might find it a comfort, when stooping and weeding or stretching and lopping, to have St. Fiacre there.

Banker and her husband, Randal Peart, are moving soon to a new home near St. Joseph, Mich., where she will have a studio in a 1949 Airstream trailer and 3 acres on which to start a new garden. She knows that, like St. Fiacre’s, it will include many herbs; she grows 12 kinds of mint. And she knows it will include her image of St. Fiacre.

– – –

See for yourself

The feast day of St. Fiacre, the chief Catholic saint of gardeners, is Aug. 30. Here are some samples of artwork depicting the saint:

Garden stake: An 8-inch-long garden stake of patinated copper depicting the saint (center), is $12.95 plus shipping and handling from the museum store of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Call 800-319-7073 or see

Statue: This 12-inch-high cast stone statue from Campania International (above, right), can be bought or special-ordered in several finishes at more than 20 garden centers in the Chicago area. For stores, e-mail from the Web site at

— Beth Botts

Walking through gardens, you’ll often find a sculpture of St. Francis, a pious-looking man wearing a cloak. Still, I always dismissed St. Francis out of hand as the patron saint of gardening: Tradition, I figured, would demand that any saint accorded that honor would have to have been buried alive, mauled by a pair of oxen while tilling bottomland—or, at the very least, a tiller of the soil.

illustration by Peter Loewer

Turns out I was right. The man who devoted most of his monkish life to plants was St. Fiacre—not a quiet man of God but a wild man of the garden, a miracle worker who bargained with the church and is the patron saint of both gardeners and cab drivers. If St. Francis were seen walking down Haywood Street today, he would elicit nary a glance. But if St. Fiacre did the same, even downtown’s more rebellious denizens would stop and stare.

Back in seventh-century Ireland, in a continuing effort to spread the word of God, they sent various monks to Europe, among them Fiacre. Armed with a pilgrim’s staff, reed pens and true belief, these holy men journeyed from country to country spreading the message of God through illuminated manuscripts—an art in which the Irish of that time surpassed all others.

Fiacre soon made a name for himself as a pious monk, but he longed to become a hermit. So the bishop of Paris gave him a place of his own, away from the monastery and deep in the forest, where Fiacre retired to pursue his life’s great work. Clearing a space in the woods, he built an oratory to Our Lady and a small hut for himself. Then he started a garden. And, as is the wont of both gardens and gardeners, it soon grew larger.

Roaming hunters chanced upon the garden and were welcomed with open arms. Marveling at finding such a horn of plenty way out in the gloomy woods, they heard Fiacre preach and watched him heal, using medicines obtained from wildflowers and herbs.

The news spread far and wide, and Fiacre was forced to build another hut for the visitors who came for consultations. Eventually, of course, he ran out of land. So off he went to the bishop to ask for more.

The bishop, knowing a good thing when he saw it, said, “Fiacre, I will give you as much land as you can enclose with your spade in one day.”

Back to his garden went Fiacre. Taking some sticks, he marked off the boundaries of the amount of land he needed—a far greater area than one man could hope to enclose in a single day using only a simple shovel. Then he went into the oratory, prayed for help, and promptly fell asleep.

When Fiacre walked out to the garden the next morning, all the land he’d marked was now encircled by spadework. And when the bishop heard what had happened, he pronounced it a miracle and made Fiacre a saint.

A great Benedictine priory was eventually built where the saint had made his solitary garden, and many healing wonders were credited to his saintly remains. Then, sometime in the 1600s—probably as a result of urban sprawl and population pressures—his bones were moved to the cathedral at Meaux.

So where do the taxicabs come in? It seems that in 1648, a gentleman by the same of Sauvage started a business renting carriages. It was in a building on the Rue St. Martin called the Hotel de St. Fiacre, which had a figure of the saint over the doorway.

Monsieur Sauvage was renting small, four-wheeled carriages with double springs, and pretty soon all Paris coaches came to be known as “fiacres.” The drivers placed images of the saint on their dashboards, naming him their patron.

The English, however, called them “miserable vehicles.” And though Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities that the victims of the French Revolution were taken to the guillotine in tumbrels or carts, I like to think the aristocracy were really driven in fiacres, so that their backs were already in disrepair even before they lost their heads.

But wait—there’s more! In a centuries-old nod to thrift, the Catholic Church often charges its saints with multiple duties, and St. Fiacre is no exception. Whatever the connection (it probably has to do with the ramifications of being a coach or cab driver), our hero not only holds high the hoe—he’s also the patron saint of hemorrhoids.

What Is A Saint Garden – Learn How To Design A Garden Of Saints

If you’re fascinated by other people’s gardens as I am, it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that many people incorporate items of religious symbolism into their landscapes. Gardens do have a natural serenity to them and are ideal places to pause and reflect, pray and gain strength. Creating a saint garden takes this philosophy a bit further. So exactly what is a saint garden?

What is a Saint Garden?

A garden of saints is an area for reflection and prayer that has inspirational items in it that are related to one or more saints. Religious garden statues are often centerpieces of a saint garden. Often, this statuary is of the Virgin Mary or of a particular saint, or even an entire garden of saints. Each saint is a patron of something, and many of them are patrons of things related to nature, which make excellent choices for inclusion in the saint garden.

A saint garden might also incorporate inspirational bible quotes etched into stones or wood. A bench or natural seating area should also be included in the garden where the worshipper can sit and be one with their maker.

Flowers of the Saints

Saints are often associated with particular flowers. Flowers of the saints would then make a doubly worthy addition when creating a saint’s garden. The bloom time of certain flowers was often used by friars and monks as a natural calendar announcing the arrival of a particular time of worship. For example, the arrival of white snowdrops heralded Candelmass, the blooming of Madonna lily and Our Ladies smock announced the Annunciation, Greek anemone blossoms recalled the Passion and virgin’s bower the Assumption.

The Virgin Mary is associated with the iris, a symbol of her sorrow. The blue color of iris also symbolizes truth, clarity and heaven.

Liliesrepresent virginity and, as such, are associated with the Virgin Mary. St. Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers, is commonly seen in paintings holding a lily symbolizing chastity. All of the virgin saints, including St. Catherine of Siena, have a lily as their emblem. St. Anthony is associated with lilies because it is said that cut lilies placed near a shrine or statue of him will stay fresh for months or even years. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint, is known as the Lily of the Mohawks.

Palmsare common fixtures in ancient paintings of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Later Christians adopted the palm as representative of martyrdom. St. Agnes, St Thecla and St. Sebastian are all martyred saints whose images are often represented holding a palm frond.

Rosesare significant in Christian iconography. The Virgin Mary is known as the “mystic rose’ or the “rose without thorns.” St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, is often shown alongside roses. Along with the aforementioned palm, the rose is a symbol of martyrdom. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is associated with a miracle of roses. St. Rose of Lima is aptly associated with roses and, in fact, her skull is crowned with the blooms where it is on display in Lima.

Garden Statues of Saints

As mentioned, many saints are patrons of the natural world and statuary of them or related to their patronage is apropos to a saint garden. St. Dorthy is the patron of fruit tree growers and orchards, St. Isidore is the patron or farmers, and St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of garden birds and animals.

St. Bernardo Abad, patron saint of beekeeping, St. Urban the patron saint of vineyards and grape growers, St. Fiacre is the patron of herb and vegetable gardens, St. Elizabeth of Hungary is patron saint of roses, and St. Phocas is the patron of flower and ornamental gardening. If you wish to include an aquatic garden into the saint’s garden, you might include a visage of St. Andreas, the patron saint of fishing.

Digging up facts about the patron saint of all gardeners

Saturday, December 23, 2000

By Susan Banks, Post-Gazette Garden Editor

While the kids wait for St. Nicholas, let’s take a few minutes to discuss another saint, St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners.

I know, you all thought it was St. Francis, but it’s not. Fiacre is the official patron saint of gardeners, the one we should be sending our prayers to when we need some special help with our gardens. Nowadays, it’s not too hard to find a likeness of Fiacre in concrete, stone or just about any other medium, ready to go on display in the garden. Just look for the monk with the shovel.

But who was this guy?

According to information supplied by Mare Barr of Topiary, written by Leona Woodring Smith and posted on the Boerner Botanical Gardens home page, Fiacre was born in Ireland and raised in a monastery. His days at the monastery taught him the joys of planting and harvesting crops and an appreciation of nature.

When Fiacre decided he wanted to serve God in solitude, he established a hermitage for worship along the Nore River, using a cave for meditation, a well for drinking water and the river for bathing. Soon, people were flocking to him for prayers, food and healing, ruining his peace. So once again, he picked up and moved, this time to France, where the Bishop of Meaux granted him a wooded area near the Marne River. There he built a hut and cleared some space for a garden.

It’s here that the saint worked his first miracle. When he asked the local bishop for additional ground for a garden, he was told he could have as much land as he could entrench in one day. According to legend, the saint merely dragged his spade across the ground, causing trees to topple and bushes to be uprooted and leaving him with a serious chunk of property. Of course, word of this miracle spread, and soon people were flocking to him for food, spiritual guidance and healing. The man just couldn’t catch a break.

It was at this location that his monastery was established. Even after his death in 670 A.D. people still flocked there in hopes of physical and spiritual healing.

Aug. 30 is the feast day of St. Fiacre. Europeans celebrate this day with special masses, floral processions and pilgrimages. In France, floats of elaborate floral arrangements make their way down the flower petal-covered streets. In Ireland, hymns written in Fiacre’s honor are sung.

The Patron Saints Index informs us he is also known as

Fiacrius, Fiaker and Fevre, and besides being special to gardeners, he is also the patron saint of cab drivers, florists, tile makers and box makers. And just in case you suffer from hemorrhoids, you might want to send up a prayer to Fiacre, too, since he’s the one who covers that ailment.

Oh, and one more thing, the good saint didn’t like women much. According to an article by Peter Loewer published in GreenPrints magazine, the saint had a falling-out with a local woman who accused him of witchcraft after his first miracle. Loewer says he was so angered by the accusation that he called her a witch and denied his oratory to all women, for all time. Over the years, this misogyny has been forgotten. But it was still known in 1641, when Ann of Austria refused to set foot in his shrine, hearing the legend that any woman who entered would go blind or mad.

So the next time you see a statue of a monk carrying a spade with a basket of vegetables beside him, you’ll know who it is.

The new Pittsburgh Garden Place (formerly the Pittsburgh Civic Garden Center) class brochure is out for January and February 2001.

They are offering all types of courses, from certificate courses in horticulture, landscape and garden design and native plants in the garden, to non-certificate courses like “Gardening in the 21st Century,” and “Starting Seeds For Flowers and Vegetables.”

While many of the classes are held at the Garden Place, 1059 Shady Ave., other courses will be available at the Northland Public Library in McCandless, Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center and Hollow Oak Land Trust in Coraopolis.

Some special events to mark on your calendar sponsored by the Garden Place:

The 2001 Western Pennsylvania Gardening & Landscaping Symposium to be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Education Building at The Pittsburgh Zoo. This is co-sponsored by the Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Horticultural Society of Western Pennsylvania. Guest speakers include Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, author Jeff Cox, nursery owner and plant expert Martha Oliver and Scott Kunst, owner of Heirloom Bulbs. The fee for this is $85 if postmarked by Jan. 31 and $95 after.

A bus tour to the Philadelphia Flower Show on March 5 and 6. Participants will be treated to a stop at Longwood Gardens and, on Tuesday, an early-morning tour of the flower show, with entry two hours before the show is open to the public. The fee for this is $295 for members, $315 for non-members, and includes bus fare, overnight accommodations, continental breakfast, admission fees, baggage handling, tax and gratuities. (Rates are based on double occupancy.)

For information or a copy of the new brochure, call the Garden Place at 412-441-4442.


Also known as

  • Dora of Caesarea
  • Dorothea of Caesarea


  • 6 February


Apochryphal martyr whose story has been beautifully told, and was popular for many years. Having made a personal vow of virginity, she refused to marry, or to sacrifice to idols. She was tried, tortured, and sentenced to death for her faith by the prefect Sapricius. The pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery, “Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom’s garden.” Before she was executed, she sent him, by a six-year-old boy who is thought to have been an angel, her headress which had the fragrance of roses and fruits. Seeing this gift, and the miraculous messenger who brought them, Theophilus converted, and was martyred himself. This story has been variously enlarged through the years. In some places, trees are blessed on her feast day because of her connection with a blooming, fruitful miracle.


  • martyred 6 February 311 at Caesarea, Cappodocia during the persecution of Diocletian

Name Meaning

  • gift of God (greek)


  • Pre-Congregation


  • brewers
  • brides
  • florists
  • gardeners
  • midwives
  • newlyweds
  • Pescia, Italy


  • crown of flowers
  • crown of roses
  • crowned with flowers and surrounded by stars as she kneels before the executioner
  • crowned with palm and flower basket, surrounded by stars
  • crowned and carrying a flower basket
  • in an orchard
  • with the Christ-child in an apple tree
  • leading the Christ-child by the hand
  • maiden carrying a basket of fruit and flowers, especially roses
  • roses
  • veiled, with flowers in her lap
  • veiled, holding apples from heaven on a branch
  • with a basket of fruit and the Christ-child riding a hobby horse
  • with an angel and wreath of flowers
  • with an angel carrying a basket of flowers

Additional Information

  • A Garner of Saints, by Allen Banks Hinds, M.A.
  • Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
  • Catholic Encylopedia
  • Golden Legend
  • Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
  • New Catholic Dictionary
  • Pictorial Lives of the Saints
  • books
    • Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
  • other sites in english
    • 1001 Patron Saints and Their Feast Days, Australian Catholic Truth Society
    • Catholic Culture
    • Catholic Lane
    • Catholic Online
    • Christian Iconograpy
    • John Dillon
    • Katherine Rabenstein
    • Regina Magazine
    • Saint Nook
    • Saints for Sinners
    • Wikipedia
  • images
    • Wikimedia Commons
  • video
    • YouTube PlayList
  • sitios en español
  • fonti in italiano
    • Martirologio Romano, 2005 edition
    • Santi e Beati
  • nettsteder i norsk
    • Den katolske kirke

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Dorothy of Caesarea“. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 March 2019. Web. 1 February 2020. <>

Village festas have been with us for centuries. There is a very strong cultural influence in their rituals and celebration procedures. Band marches and fireworks, together with the religious procession, dominate most weekends in our villages during the summer months.

Notwithstanding the decline of various traditions in our culture, village festas seem to have survived the test of time. Youth and elderly alike flock to the village feast by the masses.

Most festas witness the convergence of members of Parliament, reputable people in society and distinguished visitors to villages and towns across Malta and Gozo.

Sponsorships abound, directed usually towards band clubs, fireworks’ clubs and the various organising committees (too many to mention).

If village festas serve the purpose to unite villagers, even if only momentarily, then, their sponsorship could be viewed positively.

Recently, I said to myself: What about initiating a custom that could both give homage to the patron saint and celebrate the village festa and at the same time help the environment?

In view of the recent spat of vandalism at the Mellieha sanctuary, I thought that one way to celebrate the village festa was to plant trees and dedicate them to the same village/town I represent in my constituency.

This is what I set out to do on June 9. Together with a few friends of mine we planted trees at the Ta’ Qali nursery. I dedicated one tree to the people of Rabat (that weekend happened to be the feast of Corpus Domini there) and another tree to the people of Zebbug, Malta (that week happening to be the feast of St Philip of Agirra).

Furthermore, together with my friends, we presented a small monetary gift for the reforestation project in Mellieha, Foresta 2000, which was launched in May 2007.

A total of Lm40,000 were needed to plant 6,000 trees, double the amount of those destroyed, and Environment Minister George Pullicino courageously increased the target to 9,000 trees.

On the morning of June 10, during the programme Forcina on NET TV, I spoke about the initiative taken and proposed that other MPs follow suit.

If each of the 65 MPs had to plant a tree for each village festa within his/her constituency, then, on average, each MP would plant 4-5 trees per annum, totalling circa 300 trees a year.

I surmised that this was definitely a new approach how to celebrate village festas.

One must remember that a tree usually outlives us and it is a memory that remains. Furthermore, this is a definite green and clean way that could set an example to our children on how to celebrate festas.

The Tree for you (34U) campaign is an afforestation campaign launched by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Mr Pullicino on January 14, 2005 to commemorate Arbor Day.

Five main areas were earmarked for tree planting: Delimara, Xrobb l-Ghagin, Kennedy Grove, Ta’ Qali National Park and Mellieha. One of the aims of 34U is to increase public awareness about the importance of the world’s lungs… trees.

Let us all embark on a project to make our world a healthier place to live in. What better way to celebrate our village patron saint than to dedicate a tree of life to the village we so love and respect?

Dr Cassar is a Nationalist member of Parliament.

Also known as

  • Fefvre
  • Fevre
  • Fiachrach
  • Fiacrius
  • Fiaker
  • Fiachra


  • 30 August


Brother of Saint Syra of Troyes. Raised in an Irish monastery, which in the 7th century were great repositories of learning, including the use of healing herbs, a skill studied by Fiacre. His knowledge and holiness caused followers to flock to him, which destroyed the holy isolation he sought.

Fleeing to France, he established a hermitage in a cave near a spring, and was given land for his hermitage by Saint Faro of Meaux, who was bishop at the time. Fiacre asked for land for a garden for food and healing herbs. The bishop said Fiacre could have as much land as he could entrench in one day. The next morning Fiacre walked around the perimeter of the land he wanted, dragged his spade behind him. Wherever the spade touched, trees were toppled, bushes uprooted, and the soil was entrenched. A local woman heard of this, and claimed sorcery was involved, but the bishop decided it was a miracle. This garden, miraculously obtained, became a place of pilgrimage for centuries for those seeking healing.

Fiacre had the gift of healing by laying on his hands; blindness, polypus, and fevers are mentioned by the old records as being cured by his touch; he was especially effective against a type of tumour or fistula later known as “le fic de S. Fiacre”.

Fiacre’s connection to cab drivers is because the Hotel de Saint Fiacre in Paris, France rented carriages. People who had no idea who Fiacre was referred to the cabs as Fiacre cabs, and eventually just as fiacres. Those who drove them assumed Fiacre as their patron.


  • 18 August 670 of natural causes
  • his relics have been distributed to several churches and cathedrals across Europe


  • Pre-Congregation


  • against barrenness
  • against fistula
  • against haemorrhoids
  • against piles
  • against sterility
  • against syphilis
  • against venereal disease
  • box makers
  • cab drivers
  • costermongers
  • florists
  • gardeners
  • hosiers
  • pewterers
  • taxi drivers
  • tile makers


  • man carrying a spade and a basket of vegetables beside him, surrounded by pilgrims and blessing the sick
  • shovel
  • spade

Additional Information

  • Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
  • Calendar of Scottish Saints
  • Catholic Encyclopedia
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Golden Legend
  • Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
  • New Catholic Dictionary
  • Pictorial Lives of the Saints
  • books
    • Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
  • other sites in english
    • 1001 Patron Saints and Their Feast Days, Australian Catholic Truth Society
    • Aleteia
    • Boerner Botanical Gardensby Leona Woodring Smith
    • Catholic Ireland
    • Catholic Online
    • Father Robert F McNamara
    • Harvard Magazine
    • Independent Catholic News
    • Wikipedia
  • images
    • Wikimedia Commons
  • sitios en español
  • sites en français
    • Fête des prénoms
    • Petite litanie des saints
    • Wikipedia
  • fonti in italiano
    • Santi e Beati
    • Wikipedia

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Fiacre“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 January 2020. Web. 1 February 2020. <>

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