Isidore was born to very poor yet very pious Catholic parents
in Madrid, Spain. His parents were unable to support him when
he was a youth and sent him to work for a wealthy landowner, John
de Vergas (He ended up working for him for the rest of his life).
He married a very religious woman named Maria Torribia (also
known as Maria de la Cabeza). She, like Isidore became a saint.
They had one son who died unexpectedly as a child. Their grief
inclined them to believe their son's death to be a sign from God
and consequently vowed to live a life of perfect continence.
Isidore frequented Holy Mass every morning but often reported
to work late. Late, though he was, his plowing was nevertheless
accomplished by angels that resulted in three times more productivity.
His coworkers and his boss witnessed such miraculous events and
accorded Isidore with great respect.
St. Isidore loved the poor and loved the animals. The miracle
of the multiplication of food occurred when Isidore fed a flock
of starving birds and on another time when Isidore shared his
food with a large group of beggars.
Isidore died on May 15, 1120 at 60 years of age and was canonized
in 1622 along with four very notable Spanish saints. The group,
known as "the five saints", included St. Ignatius of
Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier, St. Phillip Neri,
and St. Isidore. His body has been found incorrupt. His memorial
is celebrated on May 15th on the Roman Calendar.
St. Isidore is known as the patron of Madrid, Spain as well as
Leon, Saragosa, and Seville. He is also considered the patron
of farmers, peasants, day laborers, and rural communities. Lastly,
he is the patron of the United States National Rural Life Conference.
Summarized and adapted from:
1.Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Editor "Saint of the Day: Lives
and Lessons for Saints and Feasts of the New Missal"
2.Joan Carroll Cruz, "Secular Saints: 250 Canonized and Beatified
Lay Men, Women, and Children.