The Patron Saints of Gardeners

compiled by Shonnie Scarola

There are gardening enthusiasts everywhere, even in Heaven:

Adelard (or Adalhard) Jan. 2
Dorothy Feb. 6
Fiacre Sept. 1
Gertrude of Nivelles Mar. 17
Phocas Sept. 22

Adelard: When he became a monk at Corbie in Picardy, his first assignment was gardener of the monastery. He did his job humbly and piously, praying throughout the day. His great virtues eventually helped him to become abbott.

Fiacre: Was a hermit from Kilfiachra, Ireland. He eventually migrated to France, where he took up quarters on land given to him by Saint Faro. Saint Faro offered him as much land as he could dig up with his staff in a day. Fiacre miraculously pointed his staff to the ground and sufficient land was cleared of brush and trees without any digging. Fiacre also built a cell in the garden of his property in order to live a life of prayer and contemplation; as well as an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many miracles were claimed through his working the land and interceding for others. He is also Patron Saint of Cabdrivers in Paris where the cab cars are called fiacres.

Phocas: Was a gardener from Sinope, on the Black Sea; suffered martyrdom for being a Christian and before the soldiers beheaded him he dug his own grave.

Dorothy: When she refused to sacrifice to the gods, she was ordered to be executed. On the way to the place of execution, she met a young lawyer, Theophilus, who mockingly asked her to send him fruits from the "garden" she had joyously announced she would soon be in. When she knelt for her execution, she prayed, and an angel appeared with a basket of three roses and three apples, which she sent to Theophilus, telling him she would meet him in the garden.

Gertrude: Is also considered the Patroness of Travelers because of her hospitality to travelers.

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