Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fiacre's August Feast Day

The feast day of obscure St. Fiacre of Meaux (August 30 or September 1) is kept in only a very few places on the globe: maybe here and there in Ireland, in the French Diocese of Meaux, and in my garden-backyard. Can you imagine, the rugged monk could find no reclusion in 7th century Ireland (holy people are seldom left alone), so he sailed across and through the wind, wave and storm of the Celtic Sea to France where at Meaux he met Bishop Faro who offered him as much land as he could till in a day. Fiacre's wonder-working spade turned up enough ground for him to build a hermitage, a walled garden and an oratory which he dedicated to the Mother of God.

Once his garden was planted he became a kind of primitive pharmacist, his plants offering relief to the pilgrims who came out into the forest carrying their complaints and hopes. In time, he built a sort of hotel, where visitors could stay. Indeed, a Paris taxicab used to be called a fiacre, reminiscent of the carriages which took pilgrims out to see and pray with the generous monk. 

We might ask Fiacre to intercede for us in this country, where recent events reveal that more than a few flame-carrying Americans have serious problems with anyone who is "different" - which means different from them.

From your garden, holy Fiacre,
Barberry for rashes,
Rosehips for kidney stones,
Hollyhock for sore gums
and friendship for the lonely.

From your garden, holy Fiacre,
Chamomile for aching muscles,
Angelica for bad stomachs,
Lemon Balm for sleeplessness
and bread for the hungry.

From your garden, holy Fiacre,
Lavender for panic attacks,
Comfrey for pneumonia,
Jasmine for stress
and a pillow for the traveler.

O saint of seekers,

saint of good advice,
saint of greetings,
  and of the cheerful face,
saint of the overwhelmed -
  between the rock and the hard place,
  each to open the heart-gate
  to let the stranger in.

Stephen P. Morris


  1. This is a time when we need the intercession of all the saints. Thank you for bringing forth another holy saint that we many have never heard of. Great stories are found in these obscure men and woman whose faith journeys are a lesson for us.

  2. Saints are like good older brothers and sisters who go on ahead of us - they lead the way.