SaintIsidoreFarmerIsidore was born in 1070 in Madrid, Spain.  He was named after St. Isidore of Seville.  His parents were poor, but very devout.  When Isidore was old enough to work, he hired himself out to wealthy land owner, where he worked for the rest of his life.  He married a young lady as humble and pious as himself, who also became a saint, Maria de la Cabeza.

On his holidays, Isidore was know to visit various churches around Madrid, making mini pilgrimages as he was able.  On work days, he would get up early and go to Mass every day before work.  Once, the other hands on the farm complained that he was spending too much time going to Mass and taking breaks for prayers.  When his master headed out to the chapel to reprimand Isidore for not working, he saw an angel in the field pushing Isidore’s plow.  At other times, when he was plowing, there would be an angel on either side of him plowing too, so that in the time he spent plowing, he got three times as much work done.  Even though he always put God first, his regular duties on the farm never went neglected.

Isidore was well known for his simple hearted kindness towards men and beasts.  Once when he was hauling a sack of corn to the mill to be ground up, he saw a flock of hungry birds pecking at the barren ground.  Moved with pity for them, he emptied half his sack of corn for them.  The other workers laughed at him, but when he got to the mill, his corn produced twice as much flour as expected!

Isidore also took great pity on those even less fortunate than himself.  He shared his meals with any poor man he met, and often brought hungry people back to his house.  There is a story that on one occasion he brought back an unusually large number of people.  The stew his wife made was not enough for everyone.    Isidore urged her to check again.  Maria scraped out the pot, and enough stew came out to fill the rest of the bowls.

St. Isidore teaches us that holiness is not only for those with exceptional careers, but also for those who lead ordinary lives.  He shows us how to love God by his piety, by tending to his duties with simplicity and straightforwardness, by the kindness he showed to his fellow men, and by his care for animals and all of God’s creation.

The feast of St. Isidore the Farmer is on May 15th.  He is the Patron saint of farmers, laborers, Madrid Spain, and the United States Bishop’s National Rural Conference among other things.


More on Catholic Online

Catholic Encyclopedia

Patron Saint Index