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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  August 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION August 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (August 30): St. Fiacre

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 06:45:24 +0000

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Fiacre (d. 7th cent.?) is a popular saint of northern France, Belgium, and (formerly, at least) the Rheinland.  We first hear of him in seemingly already legendary anecdotes in ninth- and tenth-century Vitae of Sts. Faro of Meaux (where Fiacre's name is given as Fefrus) and Kilian of Würzburg (also a saint of northern Francia), where he is said to have been a hermit with an oratory at a place called Brogillum (vel sim.; in French, le Breuil).  Fiacre also appears in a tenth-century addition to the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology in a manuscript from Sens, where he is said to have been a bishop, to have died in the territory of Meaux, and to be celebrated today (30. August).  As the Vita of St. Faro makes Fiacre an Irish monk who had come to Francia and as his name is most frequently given in Latin as Fiacrius, thus corresponding to the Irish name Fiachra, he is widely believed to have been of Irish origin.

In his developed legend (Vita: BHL 2915t, etc.) Fiacre is both the founder of the former monastery at today's Saint-Fiacre (Seine-et-Marne) in Brie and the creator there of an hospice with an extensive garden for vegetables and for medicinal plants.  As an healing saint, he was/is invoked especially for goiters and for skin cancers.  His association with hired carts and carriages (later, with taxis) is early modern and derives from the proximity of a firm of this nature to a church in Paris dedicated to him.  In Brittany, dedications to the local saint Briac (also said to be of Irish origin) have been re-named as those of Fiacre.  Most of Fiacre's putative relics at Saint-Fiacre were translated to the cathedral of Meaux in the sixteenth century.  These are said still to be there, apart from some placed in Saint-Fiacre's originally seventeenth-century église Saint-Fiacre in the seventeenth century and others placed there in 1791.


Some period-pertinent images of St. Fiacre:

a) as portrayed in a seemingly late thirteenth-century silver-on-wood reliquary statuette (? ca. 1290) in the église Saint-Nicholas in Namur:
http://balat.kikirpa.be/object/10036723
http://balat.kikirpa.be/image/thumbnail/M097862.jpg

b) as depicted (at left; at right, his accuser Houpdée) in the mid- to later fourteenth-century Breviary of Charles V (betw. 1347 and 1380; Use of Paris; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 1052, fol. 486v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84525491/f982.image.zoom

c)as depicted in a fifteenth-century glass window (w. 19) in the église Notre-Dame in Caudebec-en-Caux (Seine-Maritime):
http://www.therosewindow.com/pilot/Caudebec/w19-A1.htm

d) as portrayed in a fifteenth-century statue in the église Saint-Taurin in Évreux:
http://tinyurl.com/nnqfh3

e) as portrayed in a fifteenth-century statue at the abbey church of Saint-Germain d'Auxerre in Auxerre, formerly in the church of Sacy (Yonne):
http://tinyurl.com/md3t8x

f) as portrayed in a fifteenth-century stone statue in the église Sainte-Aulde in Sainte-Aulde (Seine-et Marne):
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/Wave/image/memoire/2008/sap83_77w01754_p.jpg
Detail view:
http://www.france-voyage.com/visuals/communes/sainte-aulde-31128-4_w500.jpg

g) as portrayed in a fifteenth-century English alabaster statue in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O70608/st-fiacre-statuette-unknown/

h) as portrayed (at center; at left St. Margaret; at right, the BVM and Christ Child) in a fifteenth-century polychromed wooden statue in the Musée départemental Breton in Quimper:
http://tinyurl.com/pr5tvuu
A closer view:
http://tinyurl.com/opwmgm4

i) as portrayed (at right; at center, St. Faro of Meaux; at left, Fiacre's accuser Houpdée) on a fifteenth-century pilgrim's badge from his major cult site at Saint-Fiacre-en-Brie, now in the Musée national du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny), Paris:
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/Wave/image/joconde/0372/m500303_97-011874_p.jpg
The museum's record for this item in the database Joconde:
http://tinyurl.com/nsbcyu8

j) as depicted in the earlier fifteenth-century Hours of Joseph Bonaparte (so-called; ca. 1401-1425; Use of Paris; Paris, Bnf, ms. Latin 10538, fol. 225r):
http://tinyurl.com/owfb4ha

k) as depicted (right-hand column; left-hand column: the decollation of John the Baptist) in the early fifteenth-century Hours of René of Anjou (ca. 1410; London, BL, MS Egerton 1070, fol. 100v):
http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=48378

l) as depicted in the early fifteenth-century Châteauroux Breviary (ca. 1414; Use of Paris; Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 313v):
http://tinyurl.com/mubm9d
http://tinyurl.com/ll2jjp

m) as depicted (two scenes, the first with St. Faro of Meaux and Fiacre's accuser Houpdée) in the earlier fifteenth-century Hours of Tritan Du Perier and Isabeau de Montauban (ca. 1430-1440; Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, ms. 1834, fol. 106r; image greatly expandable):
http://tinyurl.com/q5vsbby

n) as depicted in the Suffrages of the earlier to mid-fifteenth-century Hours of Françoise de Dinan (ca. 1435-1450; a.k.a. Hours of Catherine de Rohan and of Françoise de Dinan; Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, ms. 34bis [pt. 2 of ms. 15942], fol. 89r):
http://www.bildindex.de/document/obj15000014?medium=fu34b-89&part=96
A closer view:
http://tinyurl.com/p8jjhyo

o) as depicted in a mid-fifteenth-century alabaster statue from Nottingham or from Meaux in the Cloisters Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/25.120.227/

p) as depicted in grisaille by Jean le Tavernier in the mid-fifteenth-century Hours of Philip of Burgundy (ca. 1451-1460; Use of Paris; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 2, fol. 272r):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_76f2%3A272r_min

q) as depicted in the mid-fifteenth-century Hours of Simon de Varie (ca. 1455; from Paris; Use of Paris; Den Haag, KB, Ms. 74 G 37, fol. 85r):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_74g37%3A085r_min

r) as depicted in the later fifteenth-century Prayer Book of Lorette d'Herbeville (ca. 1460-1466; from Metz; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 13279, fol. 62v):
http://www.photo.rmn.fr/archive/12-578199-2C6NU021NK62.html
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10509406b/f126.item.r=.zoom

s) as depicted (at left with Houpdée; at right, with bp. St. Faro of Meaux) as depicted in a later fifteenth-century copy from Bruges of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay followed by the _Festes nouvelles_ attributed to Jean Golein (ca. 1460-1470; Mâcon, Médiathèque municipale, ms. 3, fol. 193r):
http://tinyurl.com/nllke8

t) as depicted (foreground; behind, his accuser Houpdée) by Lieven van Lathem in the later fifteenth-century Prayer Book of Charles the Bold (1469; Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and Library, Ms. 37, fol. 38r):
http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=1935

u) as depicted in a later fifteenth-century book of hours (ca. 1470; Use of Paris; Chambéry, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 1, fol. 188r):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht1/IRHT_035189-p.jpg

v) as depicted (at center) in the late fifteenth- or very early sixteenth-century frescoes in the église Saint-Martin at Sillegny (Moselle):
http://claude.hinsinger.free.fr/lorraine/sillegny/legny14.htm

w) as depicted in a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century book of hours (Use of Amiens; Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 201, fol. 140r):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht3/IRHT_061674-p.jpg

x) as depicted in the Suffrages of an early sixteenth-century book of hours from the southern Netherlands (ca. 1500-1510; Use of Rome; Den Haag, KB, Ms. 76 F 20, fol. 177v):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_76f20%3A177v

y) as depicted in an earlier sixteenth-century glass window panel from Lorraine (ca. 1510-1515) in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles:
http://tinyurl.com/ntxm8p6

z) as depicted in a panel of an earlier sixteenth-century window (w. 19; ca. 1520-1530) in the église Saint-Remi in Ceffonds (Haute-Marne):
http://www.therosewindow.com/pilot/Ceffonds/w19-a2.htm

Best,
John Dillon
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