Pictorial Lives of the Saints – Saint Fiaker, Anchorite

[Saint Fiaker, Anchorite]Saint Fiaker was nobly born in Ireland, and had his education under the care of a bishop of eminent sanctity, who was according to some, Conan, Bishop of Soder, or the Western Islands. Looking upon all worldly advantages as dross, he left his country and friends in the flower of his age, and with certain pious companions sailed over to France, in quest of some solitude in which he might devote himself to God, unknown to the rest of the world. Divine Providence conducted him to Saint Faro, who was the Bishop of Meaux, and eminent for sanctity. When Saint Fiaker addressed himself to him, the prelate, charmed with the marks of extraordinary virtue and abilities which he discovered in this stranger, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest called Breuil, which was his own patrimony, two leagues from Meaux. In this place the holy anchorite cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell, with a small garden, and built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, in which he spent great part of the days and nights in devout prayer. He tilled his garden, and labored with his own hands for his subsistence. The life he led was most austere, and only necessity or charity ever interrupted his exercises of prayer and heavenly contemplation. Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor for relief. But, following an inviolable rule among the Irish monks, he never suffered any woman to enter the inclosure of his hermitage. Saint Chillen, or Kilian, an Irishman of high birth, on his return from Rome, visited Saint Fiaker, who was his kinsman, and having passed some time under his discipline, was directed by his advice, with the authority of the bishops, to preach in that and the neighboring dioceses. This commission he executed with admirable sanctity and fruit. Saint Fiaker died about the year 670, on the 30th of August.

Reflection – Ye who love indolence, ponder well these words of Saint Paul: “If any man will not work, neither let him eat.”