at prayer

St. Isidore the Farmer
St Isidore the Farmer
Feast Day 15 May: s'Horta
1070 - 1130

A farm labourer, he is a rare example of a married saint. His wife was St Mary de la Cabeza (died 1175: feast day 9 Sept.). Their only son died very young, convincing them it was the will of God they should have no children and they lived chastely together for the rest of their lives. Said by his fellow workers to be shirking his farm duties to attend church or pray, his master went to remonstrate with him and found angels ploughing for him.

St Isidore is one of the most well documented of the incorruptibles. As a very poor man, he was buried directly in the earth, with neither coffin nor gravestone. Forty years later when his body was exhumed to be moved to a more fitting tomb, an eyewitness said, it looked as if he had just died.

When it was exhumed on a second occasion in 1622 witnesses, including a minister of king, testified it was fresh and emitted a “heavenly odour” and signed a declaration to this effect. Patron saint of agricultural workers and death of children.

He is also the patron saint of Madrid where he was born, lived and died.