7th century. He was born in Ireland about the year 590. A hermitage and holy well near Kilkenny are called after him, and were frequented as late as the beginning of this century by pilgrims who wished to pay him honour. After labouring as a missionary in Scotland, Saint Fiacre ended his days at Breuil, near Meaux, in France, where he became famous for miracles both before and after his death; he was invoked as the patron saint of the province of Brie, and his shrine became a famous place of pilgrimage.
Saint Fiacre’s day was kept with devotion in Scotland. The Breviary of Aberdeen contains the office for the saint’s feast. Several Scottish churches bore his name. Among these may be mentioned the ancient church and burial ground of Saint Fiacre, or, as he is often styled, Saint Fittack, at Nigg, Kincardineshire, on the opposite bank of the Dee from Aberdeen. The bay in the vicinity is known as Saint Picker’s Bay, and Saint Fittack’s Well, a clear spring near the roofless ruins of the old church, still recalls his memory. Its existence is a strong proof of the saint’s residence in the neighbourhood at some time in his life. The fame of this well for healing powers survived the downfall of religion, and it became necessary to prevent recourse to it by severe penalties. Thus in the records of the Kirk Session of Aberdeen for 1630 we read:—”Margrat Davidson, spous to Andro Adam, fined L5 for sending her child to be washed at Saint Fiackre’s Well and leaving an offering.”
The large numbers of pilgrims conveyed in hackney coaches to the French shrine of this saint at Breuil, caused those vehicles to be known as fiacres, a designation they still bear.