Saint Fiacre

French, 1510-15
Pot-metal and colorless glass, oxide paint, and silver stain; lead came (framing strips)
The Cloisters, New York City

St. Fiacre was born in Ireland in the late 6th century but removed to Meaux in France, where he lived as a hermit. His legend in the Acta Sanctorum says (August vol. 6, 606) that he asked the bishop to grant him some land so he could raise food for the poor. The bishop promised him as much land as he could surround with a ditch in one day. To maximize the grant, Fiacre simply used his walking-stick to scratch out a shallow "ditch." Another version reported in Butler (III, 460) has the saint using a shovel rather than a walking-stick, and the shovel is indeed his attribute, as in this image.

St. Fiacre's feast day is August 30.

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Photographed at the Cloisters by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.