A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Statue in the Garden

This year I am going to make some changes to my plantings around my statues. This was the first day that I placed St Fiacre in the garden. I want to have more foliage around the statue and the others. He was supposed to be such a worker in the garden and here he is standing amongst weeds and bare earth...I have to remedy that.
My hubby bought me the statue of St. Fiacre. He is the patron Saint of gardeners. I didn't hear about him at Church...just in reading on the internet, when I was going to order a Saint Francis statue.On the day when we will toast Ireland and its patron saint, Patrick, raise a glass to a lesser known Irish holy man who haunts our shrubberies, Saint Fiacre.
Fiacre, who is the patron of gardeners, needs a bit more recognition, after all. There will never be a Saint Fiacre's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue. He is unlikely to get a cathedral named after him.

Fiacre has a couple of things against him. The first is his name. No one seems to know quite how to pronounce it, even members of his fan club. (The closest to a consensus is fee-ACK-ree). The second difficulty is that as a healer, his ailment specialties are somewhat unmentionable and include hemorrhoids. By contrast, Saint Patrick seems much more a swashbuckler, casting out demonic serpents and spreading the word throughout the land by confronting the tribal chieftains in Ireland's ancient provinces.
Fiacre was a monk who fled Ireland in the seventh century in search of solitude and ended up in France, where the bishop of Meaux gave him a forested site at Breuil and said he could have as much land as he could encircle with a trench in one day, or so the story goes. His crook turned out to be a saintly version of a gas-powered mini-tiller, and turned the soil wherever it was placed. This was the start of a long career in the garden. Fiacre, like a lot of medieval monks, raised herbs for healing. He also established a shrine for pilgrims. His affinity for cultivation led to his patronage of gardeners, but he has been upstaged in recent centuries by Saint Francis. Better known and with love of wildlife, the Italian saint is now the preferred benefactor to place among the rosemary and rue.

I read the story of his life...solitary, raising herbs to heal, establishing a shrine and it interested me. I like to think of him as a caring, sweet, and a hard worker. My statues in the woods make me peaceful when I garden. I am there in nature...surrounded by beauty and it's a wonderful place to just be calm and enjoy.



Roses and Lilacs said...

What an wonderful story, I'm so glad you told it. Isn't it interesting learning about someone who lived so long ago and still feeling a connection. Over all that time and distance there is something about them that pulls at you.

Balisha said...

Hi Marnie,
I agree with your comment.
Just a note to say that my amaryliss is getting ready to bloom. So far there are 3 flower stalks. I believe you told me how to bring it back....thanks

OhioMom said...

I really enjoyed this post, you have such interesting tidbits to share .. and here I thought that was St. Francis in your garden :)

Balisha said...

Hi Ohiomom,
I do have a St. Francis, so you are right.

Meadowview Thymes said...

That is such an interesting story! I am not Catholic, but I do love the Saints. (my sister who IS Catholic tells me that is ok) I have a St Francis by my goldfish pond. St Francis and I have many good talks about the fish. Thanks for such a great post!

Elenka said...

Nature is truly wonderful. Adding some 'art' to it, makes it even better. So peaceful, wonderful scents and visually unbeatable. Nothing like it.

Balisha said...

I loved statues of the saints before I was ever Catholic. I lived in a small town...the Catholic Church was in the next block. They knew that I was a painter...so they brought me a big statue of the Virgin Mary..that needed painting. She stood in my workroom for several weeks.It was a job that I enjoyed.I too love art in the garden.It just goes together.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about this saint. And growing up Catholic, I should have. Looks good there.

Balisha said...

Hi Gardenpath,
I haven't heard of a Catholic who has heard of him. My Priest did...

coolwaterworks said...

Hi Balisha,

Like the others, this is the first time I have ever heard of this saint, and I am a Catholic... Thank you for this post... :)

I guess there are many many saints who are not anymore known to us in these times but that doesn't make their sainthood and lives not relevant in present times, like Saint Fiacre... His life story is still relevant as it was before he was obscured by Saint Francis... :)

Anonymous said...

Another lovely story Balisha. I didn't realize there was a patron saint of gardeners. How interesting, thanks for sharing.

Balisha said...

Hi Racquel...I haven't heard of anyone yet...who has heard about St. Fiacre.