A bit of history... "Fiacres", the French word for "carriage", comes from Friar Fiacre, a monk who told the French queen, Anne (of Austria!), what he saw in a vision of the Virgin Mary describing the actions she (the Queen) needed to take to have a child (after 23 years of childless marriage). The Queen did as he instructed and gave birth to Henry XIV, the longest reigning monarch in European history. At the celebration of his birth, so many carriages bore the image of Brother Fiacre that the carriages themselves became known as "Fiacres"!
Thank you for this story. I heard it for the first time last year in Paris from Thierry of Pep´s Parapluies (http://www.peps-paris.com/reparateur.html) when I told him that I was from Austria.