Isidore the Farmer, St.

views updated


Patron of Madrid and of farmers; b. Madrid, 1070;d. there May 15, 1130. Isidore entered the service of the wealthy Juan de Vergas, in whose employ he spent the remainder of his life. Isidore's wife, a saint also, María de la Cabeza (Torribia) (d. c. 1175; feast: Sept. 9), bore him one son who died at an early age. Isidore won the respect and admiration of all, especially his employer, by reason of his unusually devout life. Miracles were associated with him even during his lifetime, e.g., angels doing his farmwork when he lingered overlong in the local church. After his death his reputation for sanctity grew, culminating in his canonization on March 12, 1622, by Pope gregory xv. His tomb is in the church of St. Andrew, Madrid. Isidore is also the patron of the U.S. National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

Feast: May 15.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum May 3:509546. z. garcÍavillada, "San Isidro Labrador en la historia y en la literatura," Razón y Fe 62 (1922) 3646, 167176, 323335, 454468. f. moreno chicarro, San Isidro Labrador (Madrid 1992), extensive bibliography. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 2:323324.

[a. o'malley]