Fête de la Saint-Fiacre—and a prayer too

This past weekend our gardening friends and counterparts in Ireland and France celebrated the Feast Day of St. Fiacre—the Patron Saint of gardening. Although celebrated by other Catholics in other countries, St. Fiacre was born in Ireland and lived his life in France so these two countries venerate him more than others.
I was quite tickled (to be completely honest) when a long drawn out conversation about the Saint appeared in my Facebook feed early on August 31st. Started by a French plant breeder, talk almost immediately centered on how everyone celebrated the feast (with food of course), and why the date of this feast has been shifting. Although the official day is now set on August 11th, those in Ireland and France still apparently celebrate it either on August 30 (France) or September 1 (Ireland).
St Fiacre with his shovel.
Yes, I have a statue of the Saint in my garden. I am rather fond of this guy.

I think he’s appeared here on the blog before, but I thought I’d write a little ode to him again now that it looks like I’ll be staying here for several more years. I didn’t pray to him to help me, but I guess I can quietly thank him. Time in the garden can be so lonely. It’s good to have friends.

No, I am not an active Catholic, but I am very much Catholic by culture. I enjoy having a few statues of Saints around me when I’m in the garden. When they are not there, it honestly doesn’t feel quite right to me.

St. Fiacre was a healer and worked with herbs. As I’m considering building my first herb garden, he’s a good friend to meditate upon. I also like to believe that he was a good and gentle soul determined to help others. We need people like that in our lives. I am all for healing and think about it often.

In his right hand he holds a rose.

In his left hand, he holds a shovel.

Heirloom Costoluto Genovese tomatoes from my future mother-in-law’s garden.

St. Fiacre is also the Patron Saint of Vegetable Gardeners, but that’s of course not what this prayer is about:

Prayer to St. Fiacre
O good St. Fiacre to whom God has given the power to heal
the bodies of men affected by ugly evils of all kinds,
deign to intercede for us with the Almighty Creator,
so that our body restored to health,
can attain eternal glory.
As a good Catholic-educated woman I think that 12 years in their educational network allows me to finally write a prayer of my own. Let’s leave it as ann-onymous though since we all know that woman were not yet created as equals according to “the Church”.
Prayer to St Fiacre 
By Ann-onymous aka Amateur Bot-ann-ist
St Fiacre, I know you were good,
and you gardened, and grew herbs.
Today we celebrate you and your abilities to heal,
but I celebrate your blessings and I pray for my organic solutions.
I pray to an end to man messing with my foods.
I pray for the bees and the birds
—and that’s not just because I’m a naughty Catholic school girl and it is fun to write that now.
I pray that we can live in a world where the female is as respected as the male—because infertility can come from either side, and you’re the Patron Saint of that too.
Next year please bless our tomatoes, keep powdery mildew at bay, and try to protect our gardens from deep freezes and a Snowpocalypse.
Lastly, God bless the florists too and thank you for protecting them.
Stay fabulous St. Fiacre—eternally.
Thank you and God bless.

14 thoughts on “Fête de la Saint-Fiacre—and a prayer too

  1. I am the type of person that cannot grow a single plant. I do not know why but I can't seem to keep that green growing. Maybe there are really just those people who are gifted with these things like my husband. We have moved into a new home and we are trying to fill the gray areas with our greens in their pots. This prayer will definitely help us with this endeavor. Thank you!


  2. Hope the prayer helps! If not, check back with me and send me pics and we can discuss some options. Congratulations on moving into your new home too. May the grey turn to green in the coming months and years!


  3. Love this post! I also have a statue of St. Fiacre although yours is cooler! He and St. Francis totally rock my world. St. Fiacre is also patron of fistula. His reputed aversion to women is believed to be the reason he is known as the patron saint of venereal disease sufferers. He was known for healing hemorrhoids, which were called “Saint Fiacre's illness” in the Middle Ages. What a guy. Your prayer is wonderful!


  4. Yes, I wanted to add all of those other wonderful tidbits but I didn't. So glad you chimed in because he really was quite a saint. He's seriously one of my all-time favorites and next year I'll host a real party for him. Seems like the right thing to do! Yes, oh!, that accused aversion to women! Funny how many male saints appear to have had that problem 😉 Countdown to St Fiacre's Feast Day at my house next year!!!


  5. band_wife

    My mom was a loner in her own way and an unbelievable gardner! She could plant a “dead” stick and it would bloom in a matter of weeks! As a result, I felt St. Fiacre was the perfect saint to sit beside her grave!
    Thanks for your sharings! They are truly a comfort!


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