Skip to comments.Saint Isidore the Farmer May 15th
Posted on 05/14/2009 9:30:26 PM PDT by Salvation
Saint Isidore the Farmer
Feast May 15th
|Born in Madrid, Spain, 1070; died there in 1130; canonized in 1622; feast day formerly on May 10 and March 22, and October 25 in the U.S.A.
Saint Isidore's feast is celebrated in Madrid, Spain, with ringing church bells and streets decorated for a procession in his honor. The saint was born .into a peasant family. He was baptized Isidore in honor of the famous archbishop of Seville. His unreliable biography was written about 150 years after his death. Much of it deals with miracles associated with his name.
Isidore was a day laborer, working on the farm of the wealthy John de Vergas at Torrelaguna just outside Madrid. He married a poor girl, Maria de la Cabeza. They had a son who died while still a baby. The couple took a vow of continence to serve God. Isidore's life is a model of simple Christian charity and faith. He prayed while at work, and he visited the many churches in Madrid and the area while on holidays. He shared what he had, even his meals, with the poor. He often gave them the more than he had for himself.
He was steady and hard-working, but a complaint was made against him to his employer that he arrived late to work because he attended early morning Mass each day. When charged with his offense, he did not deny it and explained to his employer: "Sir, it may be true that I am later at my work than some of the other laborers, but I do my utmost to make up for the few minutes snatched for prayer; I pray you compare my work with theirs, and if you find I have defrauded you in the least, gladly will I make amends by paying you out of my private store."
His employer said nothing, but remained suspicious, and, being determined to find out the truth, rose one morning at daybreak and concealed himself outside the church. In due course, Isidore appeared and entered the building, and afterwards, when the service was over, went to his work. Still following him, his employer saw him take the plough into a field, and was about to confront him when, in the pale, misty light of dawn, he saw, as he thought, a second plough drawn by white oxen moving up and down the furrows. Greatly astonished, he ran towards it, but even as he ran it disappeared and he saw only Isidore and his single-plow.
In such simple tales we find reflected the spirit of Saint Isidore, who never ruled a diocese or was martyred for his faith, but who as truly served God in the fields and on the farm as those in higher places and who bore more famous names.
When he spoke to Isidore and enquired about the second plough he had seen, Isidore replied in surprise: "Sir, I work alone and know of none save God to whom I look for strength." Thus the story grew that so great was his sanctity that the angels helped him even in his plowing. It was characteristic of Isidore's entire life. He was a simple plowman. His speech was clear and direct. His conduct was honest, and his faith pure and steadfast. He was a poor man, but gave away what he could, with a good and generous heart, and with such sympathy and good will that his gifts seemed doubly blessed. He could not neglect doing a kindness to man or beast.
One snowy day, when going to the mill with corn to be ground which his wife had gleaned, he passed a flock of wood-pigeons scratching vainly for food on the hard surface of the frosty ground. Taking pity on the poor animals, he poured half of his sack of precious corn upon the ground for the birds, despite the mocking of witnesses. When he reached the mill, however, the bag was full, and the corn, when it was ground, produced double the expected amount of flour.
His saintly wife survived Isidore for several years. Forty years after his death, his body was transferred to a shrine, and his cultus grew as a result of miracles attributed to his intercession. He is said to have appeared in a vision to King Alphonsus of Castile in 1211, and to have shown him an unknown path, which he used to surprise and defeat the Moors. His canonization occurred at the insistence of King Philip III, who attributed his recovery from a serious illness to Isidore's intercession.
In art, Saint Isidore is portrayed as a peasant holding a sickle and a sheaf of corn. He might also be shown (1) with a sickle and staff, (2) as an angel plows for him, (3) giving a rosary to children by a well, mattock on his feet, water springing from the well, (4) striking water from dry earth with an angel plowing in the background, (5) before a cross, or (6) with an angel and white oxen near him.
In Spanish art his emblems are a spade or a plough (Tabor). He is the patron of Madrid, Spain, farmers and farm laborers, and the U.S. National Catholic Rural Life Conference. Our former Bishop, now Archbishop Raymond Burke, is a past Chairman of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. The statue of Saint Isidore pictured is one Father Pat brought back on a visit to Madrid in the year 2000. Prayer to Saint Isidore (Farmer) and
Prayer to Saint Isidore (Farmer) and
Is he the one that is the patron saint of the internet?
I get my Spanish St. Isidores confused.
Definitely both from Spain! LOL!
Very interesting. Thanks. I shall ask him for prayerful aid to protect our family’s emergency food stores.
And we all need to be buying two of everything before the prices go much higher.
I live in a farming area and am even thinking of going out with the gleaners — and that can be hard work!
I was planting a couple of days ago and thought about who to ask as patron. St. Isadore came immediately to mind.
That certainly is providential! I was guessing.
Saint Isidore the Farmer
[In the diocese of the United States]
Also known as Saint Isidore the Laborer. A Spanish day laborer; born near Madrid, about the year 1070; died May 15, 1130, at the same place. He was in the service of a certain Juan de Vargas on a farm in the vicinity of Madrid. Every morning before going to work he went to Mass at one of the churches in Madrid. One day his fellow-laborers complained to their master that Isidore was always late for work in the morning. Upon investigation, so runs the legend, the master found Isidore at prayer, while an angel was doing the ploughing for him. On another occasion his master saw an angel ploughing on either side of him, so that Isidore's work was equal to that of three of his fellow-laborers.
He was married to Maria Torribia, a canonized saint, who is venerated in Spain as Maria della Cabeza, from the fact that her head (Spanish, cabeza) is often carried in procession especially in time of drought. They had one son, who died in his youth. On one occasion this son fell into a deep well and at the prayers of his parents the water of the well is said to have risen miraculously to the level of the ground, bringing the child with it, alive and well. Hereupon the parents made a vow of continence and lived in separate houses. Forty years after Isidore's death, his body was transferred from the cemetery to the church of Saint Andrew.
He is said to have appeared to Alfonso of Castile, and to have shown him the hidden path by which he surprised the Moors and gained the victory of Las Nevas de Tolosa, in 1212. When King Philip III of Spain was cured of a deadly disease by touching the relics of the saint, the king replaced the old reliquary by a costly silver one. He was canonized by Gregory XV, along with Saint Ignatius, Francis Xavier, Teresa, and Philip Neri, on March 12, 1622. Saint Isidore is widely venerated as the patron of peasants and day-laborers. The cities of Madrid, Leon, Saragossa, and Seville honor him as their patron.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
all creation is Yours, and You call us to serve You
by caring for the gifts that surround us.
May the example of Saint Isidore urge us
to share our food with the hungry
and to work for the salvation of mankind.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
Readings are taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women.
St. Isidore the Farmer
Isidore was born to very poor yet very pious Catholic parents in Madrid, Spain. His parents were unable to support him when he was a youth and sent him to work for a wealthy landowner, John de Vergas (He ended up working for him for the rest of his life).
He married a very religious woman named Maria Torribia (also known as Maria de la Cabeza). She, like Isidore became a saint. They had one son who died unexpectedly as a child. Their grief inclined them to believe their son's death to be a sign from God and consequently vowed to live a life of perfect continence.
Isidore frequented Holy Mass every morning but often reported to work late. Late, though he was, his plowing was nevertheless accomplished by angels that resulted in three times more productivity. His coworkers and his boss witnessed such miraculous events and accorded Isidore with great respect.
St. Isidore loved the poor and loved the animals. The miracle of the multiplication of food occurred when Isidore fed a flock of starving birds and on another time when Isidore shared his food with a large group of beggars.
Isidore died on May 15, 1120 at 60 years of age and was canonized in 1622 along with four very notable Spanish saints. The group, known as "the five saints", included St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier, St. Phillip Neri, and St. Isidore. His body has been found incorrupt. His memorial is celebrated on May 15th on the Roman Calendar.
St. Isidore is known as the patron of Madrid, Spain as well as Leon, Saragosa, and Seville. He is also considered the patron of farmers, peasants, day laborers, and rural communities. Lastly, he is the patron of the United States National Rural Life Conference.
Summarized and adapted from:
1.Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Editor "Saint of the Day: Lives and Lessons for Saints and Feasts of the New Missal"
2.Joan Carroll Cruz, "Secular Saints: 250 Canonized and Beatified Lay Men, Women, and Children
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