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A Farmer’s Story

Updated on May 15, 2020

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.“ ~ C.S. Lewis


That is the number of miracles attributed to Saint Isidore the Farmer, whose Feast Day we celebrate on May 15th.

Isidore was a Spanish Farmworker from Madrid who was particularly known for his compassion and kindness towards the poor and his love of animals. With regard to the latter, he was something of a trailblazer, tirelessly advocating for the fair and humane treatment of all animals.

Born in the year 1070, Isidore grew up in a very poor household but his parents were extremely devout, naming their son after Saint Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. He immediately went to work for a wealthy landowner on a farm just outside the city limits where he was known to share everything he had, including his meals, with those who were even poorer than him. The landowner took a liking to Isidore and gave him authority over a large portion of his estate. He would go on to marry Maria Torribia of Spain, who is currently under consideration for canonization by Pope Francis.

As mentioned earlier, many incredible miracles have been attributed to St. Isidore. On one 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 field workers. In addition to this and many other amazing miracles attributed to him, Isidore’s body was found to be in an incorruptible state when it was exhumed in the year 1212, 82 years after his passing.

Declared a saint in the year 1622 with Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri, together this extraordinary quintet of beloved and renowned servants of God became known as “The Five Saints of Spain.” There are many festivals and celebrations associated with Saint Isidore’s Feast Day, most notably the procession that is held in his native Milan every May 15th.

The fact that a humble laborer can achieve the greatest of all accomplishments ~ sainthood ~ reminds us that labor does indeed have value and dignity, a lesson we reflected on earlier this month on the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker Simplicity, we come to learn, is conducive to holiness and happiness. When one’s spiritual life is in order, earthly commitments seemingly fall into place as well. Saint Therese of Lisieux once said “Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence or talents. He cherishes simplicity.” Jesus himself said “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33).

“God, through the intercession of St. Isidore the Holy Farmer, grathat we may overcome all feelings of pride. May we always serve You with a humility which pleases You, through his merits and example.”


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