Who is Saint Isidore?
Feast Day May 15th
St. Isidore the Farmer (1070-1130) is considered the patron saint of farmers and rural communities. (He is not to be confused with another Spanish saint, St. Isidore of Seville [April 4]. Isidore was born in Madrid; as a young boy, he went to work on the estate of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from the nearby town of Torrelaguanna.
Isidore labored on John’s farm for the remainder of his life. He was a model worker, a simple and caring person, and a very devout Christian. Every day he rose early in the morning to attend Mass at a nearby church, sometimes, according to fellow workers, showing up late for work because he spent too much time in prayer.
Isidore married Maria de la Cabeza, a simple and devout woman who herself became a canonized saint. The couple had one child, who died at an early age. They were both known for their piety and concern for the poor; legends exist about Isidore miraculously supplying them with food on occasion, and the saint had a great concern that animals be treated properly. Isidore would pray while plowing in the fields, and it’s even said that angels would sometimes help him with his work.
St. Isidore the Farmer died in 1130. Along with Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri, he is known in Spain as one of the “Five Saints.”