St Isidore the Farmer’s real name was Isidro de Merlo y Quintanais.
He was also known as Isadore the Farmer, Bonden, Isidore of Madrid, Isidore the Laborer, Isidro Labrador or Isidore the Worker.
He was born in 1070 AD in Madrid, Spain, and died on May 15 1130 AD of natural causes. We celebrate his feast day on May 15 every year in the Catholic Church.
|St Isidore the Farmer Biography
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
|Spanish farm worker known for his piety toward the poor and animals
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|May 15, 1130 (aged 59)
|Place of Death
|By Pope Paul V on May 2, 1619 in Rome
|By Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622 in Rome
|Patron Saint of
|• Against the death of children
• Agricultural workers, farm workers, farmers, field hands, husbandmen, ranchers
• Day laborers
• For rain
• Rural communities
• United States National Rural Life Conference
• World Youth Day 2011
• Diocese of Digos, Philippines
• Diocese of Malaybalay, Philippines
• 24 cities
St Isidore the Farmer Life History
Saint Isidore the Farmer’s real name was Isidro de Merlo y Quintana. He was born in the year 1070 AD in Madrid. His parents were poor but very devout.
Isidore was a hired labourer of Juan de Vargas, a wealthy Madrilenian landowner on his farm near the city.
He was very generous and would share with the poor what he had, including his food. This made his boss, Juan de Vargas, to elevate him to the position of a bailiff of his entire estate of Lower Caramanca.
Isidore married Maria Torribia who is also known as Saint Mary de la Cabeza (Santa María de la Cabeza) in Spain.
At one time, their young son fell into a deep well and after they prayed to God the water of the well miraculously rose to ground level and brought the child with it.
Their son later died in his youth. Isidore and Maria saw as if God did not want them to have children and therefore vowed sexual abstinence, lived in separate houses but chastely for the rest of their lives, doing good works.
Miracles of Isidore the Farmer
The number of miracles attributed to Isidore has been counted as 438, but these below are the salient ones:
- At one time Isidore was accused by his fellow workers that he was always late for work while attending the daily Morning Mass at a Church nearby in Madrid. He stated that he had no other choice but to follow the ultimate Master. His boss went to investigate the allegation but instead of finding Isidore in the fields ploughing, he found Angels doing the work while he was praying in Church.
- Another miracle happened when his master saw angels ploughing on both of his sides. This meant that Isidore’s work was triple that of his fellow field workers.
- It is also said that Isidore brought back to life the daughter of his master who had died.
- He also caused, from the dry earth, a fountain of fresh water to burst thereby quenching his master’s thirst.
- There was a time when going to the mill to grind the wheat, he came across a flock of wood pigeons scratching on the hard surface of the snowy ground looking for food but in vain. He felt sorry for the hungry birds and poured them half of his precious sack of wheat. The onlookers mocked him but he did not mind but when he reached the mill his bag of wheat was full and when the wheat was ground, the flour produced was double what was expected.
- Maria, his wife, with the knowledge that her husband, Isidore, would bring home anyone who was hungry, would keep a pot of stew in their kitchen. One day Isidore brought a larger-than-usual number of hungry people home. Maria served several of them until she saw that the stew was no more. She went and told her husband that there was no more stew for everyone. Isidore insisted that she go and check again, and miraculously the pot was full enough for all the hungry people.
- There were heavy torrential rains on April 2 1212 in Madrid which exhumed cadavers from cemeteries. His body was found intact in a state of incorruptibility.
- It is also said that in 1212 AD, Isidore appeared to Alfonso VIII of Castile, and shown him the secret way by which he ambushed the Moors and took control of Las Navas de Tolosa.
- After touching the relics of the Isidore, it is said that King Philip III of Spain was cured of a deadly disease. Consequently, the king replaced the old reliquary (a container for holy relics) with a costly silver one. Thereafter, he mooted Isidore’s beatification This made other members of the royal family to seek curative powers from saint Isidore throughout history
Isidore was beatified by Pope Paul V on May 2 1619 in Rome.
On March 12 1622, St. Isidore was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. This was nearly three years later after his beatification.
St. Isidore is venerated in these Churches
- Roman Catholic Church
- Anglican Communion
- Aglipayan Church
The life of St. Isidore is a good example that when you do God’s work, then God will never leave you alone. He will always be on your side when trouble follows you. It also reminds of the dignity of work, and that when you live an ordinary life loving, serving, praising and glorifying God you are on the path to holiness.
The house of Juan de Vargas, Isidore’s boss in Madrid is now a museum called the “Casa de San Isidro”. It is the home of temporary exhibitions of the life of the Saint Isidore and also Madrid’s history.
St Isidore is the Patron Saint of
- Against the death of children
- Agricultural workers, farm workers, farmers, field hands, husbandmen, ranchers
- Day laborers
- For rain
- Rural communities
- United States National Rural Life Conference
- World Youth Day 2011
- Diocese of Digos, Philippines
- Diocese of Malaybalay, Philippines
- Madrid, Spain
- Leon, Spain
- Zaragoza, Spain
- Seville, Spain
- San Ysidro, California
- San Ysidro, New Mexico
- Argentina San Isidro
- Chile Cuz Cuz
- Peru Carampa and Lima
- The Philippines Angono, Rizal
- Malaybalay City
- Mantalongon, Cebu
- Cuenca, Batangas
- Digos City
St Isidore the Farmer Feast Day
The liturgical feast day is celebrated on May 15 every year in the Catholic Church.
St Isidore is usually portrayed as:
- A peasant holding a sickle and a sheaf of corn
- A sickle and staff
- An angel plows for him
- With an angel and white oxen near him.
- In Spanish art, his emblems are a spade or a plough.
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