Shrine of St. Frideswide, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer, May 15

Iglesia San Isidro el Real en Madrid

St. Isidore was born in Madrid in around 1070. Known for his piety, he was constantly attending masses at his local parish church in Madrid and late to work in the fields because of his deep and persistent prayer. It was often said that as he ploughed there were angels accompanying him on either side so that his work equaled that of three men. Upon the ground where he farmed the crops grew with ease and water welled up from the ground upon his command. His wife, St. Maria Torriba, was also known for miracles involving water, which would have been especially precious in the semi-arid landscape that surrounds Madrid. St. Isidore is a patron saint of farmers and of the city of Madrid as his relics are enshrined within the Church of San Isidro el Real. Both he and his wife were invoked in times of famine or drought.


  1. In Spain is known as San Isidro Labrador (Labrador means farmer) and it was a tradition in Madrid that if you were born on May 15th you had to be named Isidro (or Isidra as my sister in law!)

  2. Thanks for your comment. I am glad that this tradition survived as long as it did. Many of us are named after saints, although we do not know who they were. When I was in Madrid I had the pleasure of visiting the Iglesia de San Isidro el Real, and the pleasant surprise of seeing his relics there. I found that Madrid is a city full of many impressive and ancient treasures.