Feast of St. Fiacre (September 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Gaul in 628

SAINT FIACRE (DIED CIRCA 670)

Roman Catholic Hermit

St. Fiacre, orginally a hermit at Kilfiachra, Ireland, moved to Breuil, Francia, where St. Burdendofaro/Faro, Bishop of Meaux (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/feast-of-st-burgendofara-st-sadalberga-and-their-relatives-april-3/), gave him land.  There St. Fiacre lived in a hut and build a chapel dedicated to St. Mary, Mother of God (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/feast-of-st-mary-of-nazareth-mother-of-god-august-15/).  He also build a guesthouse for travelers.  The busy saint also maintained a garden, the products of which he shared with the poor, the hungry, and the sick.  On the other hand, he refused to allow women to enter his chapel.  Legends offer possible explanations for this fact, but I think of Mount Athos, Greece, a monastic island where women are forbidden.  Perhaps St. Fiacre preferred to avoid temptation and thought of women as distractions from his holy vocation.

St. Fiacre is the patron of, among others, gardeners, taxi drivers in Paris, and those who suffer from venereal diseases.  The gardening patronage makes immediate sense, and the reason for the patronage of sufferers from venereal diseases pertains to sexual continence.  But Paris taxi drivers?  Hotel Saint-Fiacre, Paris, kept a fleet of carriages for its customers’ convenience in the sixteenth century.

I disagree with St. Fiacre with regard to women.  Both my parish priest and my denominational Presiding Bishop are female.  As a tee-shirt says of we Episcopalians, we both baptize and ordain women.  To recognize a person as a saint does not indicate that one agrees with him or her on every point.  For that matter, I disagree with everybody on at least one point, but this fact does not preclude me from standing on common ground with as many others as possible.

The old political mantra,

Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps

is a lie.  It also constitutes heresy when it enters theology.  That mantra ignores reality, which is that one’s own initiative and self-discipline are crucial yet insufficient.  The rest of the equation is access to opportunity.  And we depend on God for everything and on each other for a great deal.  So total dependence on God and interdependence on each other is our actual state.  St. Burgendofaro/Faro, an agent of God, gave St. Fiacre access to opportunity.  St. Fiacre, with God’s help, made the most of it for divine glory and human benefit.  But what might have happened had St. Burdendofaro/Faro not given St. Fiacre a little land?

So I ask you, O reader, to ponder a few questions:

  • Whom is God calling you to help?
  • From whom do you receive help?
  • From whom have you received help?
  • And what obligations does this help place upon you?

Grace is free, not cheap.  The example of St. Fiacre’s life indicates that he understood this spiritual reality.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 13, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUGENIUS OF CARTHAGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS SOLANO, “THE APOSTLE OF AMERICA”

THE FEAST OF ORANGE SCOTT, U.S. ABOLITIONIST AND FOUNDER OF THE WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, by whose grace your servant Saint Fiacre,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became a burning and a shining flame in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), Page 723

Advertisements

Posted July 13, 2012 by neatnik2009 in Saints of the 600s, September

Tagged with , ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: