As we have already discovered, God wants each of us to be saints. No matter what our vocation in life….whether we are called to be mothers…or fathers….or lawyers or nurses…or doctors…or farmers….or teachers… or religious…whatever our vocation. God is calling each of us to reside with Him in Heaven. We already know that our time upon this earth is to help us…We must always remember that this earth…this world is not our home. Our home is in the stars…up in the heavens with Our Lord.
When we follow the example of Saint Isidore, a Spanish farm worker, we find a man who kept his heart and his mind focused on Heaven…we see that he was a man devoted to prayer…his hands folded direct our attention to the Heavens…to the Lord. Saint Isidore sought God in all things…offering to Him all his thoughts, his words, and his deeds.
Saint Isidore was a farmer. His work was hard and he toiled everyday. We must remember that God has placed this work before us… we are called to labor, and bear the burden of hard work…the sweat on our brow should be offered to the Lord. Many saints have made their journey to heaven while working tirelessly for the Lord. We must be willing to walk this same path…it will not be glorious…in fact, if we find that we make our living in comfort and rest…with the praise of men constantly in our ear… it would be wise to reevaluate those things which fill our hearts and our minds….no saint ever had an easy path to Heaven…if you find your path too easy…it would be wise to see exactly where you are headed….ask God for His guidance … He will help you find your way…He always does…
But along these lines…regardless of how hard the task… or the lack of respect we may receive for doing menial duties…we must keep our hearts full of joy, knowing that we are working for the glory of God. “Whatsoever you do, do it from the heart, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that you shall receive of the Lord the reward of inheritance.” (Col. 3: 23)
Saint Isidore was a man who lived for the Lord, as such, he made it a duty of his to attend daily Mass every morning…this upset some of his fellow workers, and they complained to their boss. Since the boss’ house had a vantage view of the fields that Isidore was to be working, he watched him, trying to catch him slacking, instead what he saw astonished him and changed his heart toward Isidore forever. When he peered out over the fields, he not only saw Isidore working, but he saw several angels tilling the fields side by side with the future saint. So instead of firing Isidore, the boss and those who heard of the saint’s miraculous working companions, held him in high esteem…never complaining about him again.
He cared so much for the poor, that he often would give his earnings to the poor, and share with them his food, which by some miracle of God, always seemed to provide enough for all the poor who had gathered to be fed. His wife, aware of his generous nature, always kept a pot of stew cooking on the stove. One day, Isidore returned home with more hungry people than usual, and when his wife had served the last of the stew from the pot, she told him there was no more. He insisted that she check the pot again, only to discover that it held precisely the right amount of stew to feed everyone. On another occasion, his employer was out in the field, and was suffering due to extreme thirst, St. Isidore came and struck the ground with his wooden staff, immediately, there sprang forth a gush of water, which to this day still provides water for the area.
There are many miracles surrounding this holy saint. It seems that he and his wife had but one child who died in infancy. After much prayer, they were convinced that the good Lord wished for them to remain childless, and thus lived the remainder of their days in a chaste bond, doing good works for the Lord. His wife, Mary de la Cabeza is also recognized as a saint in the Holy Mother Church.
Saint Isidore lived to a ripe old age, and he was renowned for his holiness. When he fell asleep in the Lord, on May 15th, 1130, he was buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew, where his body remained until the citizens were admonished by God during a torrential downpour of rain, to provide a more honorable resting place for his body. It seems, that during this rain, several coffins were exposed and upon inspecting Isidore’s coffin, the people found his body to be intact and in-corrupt. His body emitted the most fragrant odor which is said to be noticeable even in our time. His body was transferred to the church and enshrined in a place of honor. Many miracles have happened through the intercession of this humble saint.
He is the patron saint of farmers, field hands, for rain, against the death of children, livestock and ranchers. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. Throughout the world and even in the United States, there are rural communities which honor this saint with a special feast day celebrations, one such celebration is held in Corrales New Mexico on May 15th of each year.
Grant unto us, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that through the intercession of Thy Confessor, holy Isidore, the Farmer, we may take no pride in knowledge but rather by his merits and example, we may always serve thee with a humility that is pleasing to Thee. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.