St. Isidore the Farmer
St. Isidore was born at Madrid, Spain, in the latter half of the twelfth century. His parents were pious Catholics, but were very poor. Consequently, Isidore was sent to work for a wealthy landowner, John de Vergas. (whom he remained with for the rest of his life.)
He married a holy woman named Maria Torribia (also known as Maria de la Cabeza) who, like Isidore, became a saint. They had one son who died as a child. They believed their son’s death to be a sign from God and consequently vowed to live a life of perfect continence.
Isidore attended Holy Mass every morning which caused him to come to work late. Late, though he was, his plowing was nevertheless accomplished by angels that resulted in three times more productivity. His co-workers and his boss witnessed such miraculous events and showed him great respect. He often spent holidays on pilgrimage to local shrines.
Isidore was caring toward animals and generous to the poor. 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. His body has been found incorrupt. 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. In 1947, he was proclaimed the patron of the National Rural Life Conference in the United States.