Saints and Theology of the Heart - St. Isidore and St. Maria

Feast: May 15

At the close of the eleventh century Saint Isidore was born in Madrid, and was baptized in the Parish of Saint Andrew.  He entered into marriage in Torrelaguna with Maria de la Cabeza, who is also a Saint. 

Saint Isidore worked as an agricultural day laborer.  Popular tradition remembers his spirit of prayer and generosity towards the needy.

He was outstanding in his love for the Eucharist, his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his heroic charity at the service of the people, especially children, invalids and those who suffered from the hunger for bread and spiritual nourishment.  

He died on November 30, 1172, at the age of 90, and is buried in the cemetery of Saint Andrew, his parish.  Forty years later, in 1212, it was discovered by divine revelation that his body was incorrupt. 

Many miracles, more than 400, were studied in his process of canonization. His son Illan fell into a well and died, but was raised by the intercession of his father.  On another occasion he also returned to life Maria de Vargas, daughter of his patron and his goddaughter. 

Saint Isidore was beatified by Paul V on June 14, 1619 and the celebration of his feast day was placed on May 15.  Gregory XV canonized Saint Isidro on March 12, 1622.  Nevertheless, the death of the Pontiff caused the Bull of Canonization of Saint Isidro, “Rationi Congruit”, to be delayed until June 4, 1724, when it was signed by Benedict XIII. 

Saint Isidore has been the patron of Madrid since 1212, and his feast has been celebrated as a holiday in the capital of Spain since 1621. In 1769, King Charles III ordered his incorrupt body to be moved to the Church of Saint Isidore of Madrid, the old Imperial College of the Jesuits.  His body remains incorrupt in the Cathedral of Madrid.

Pope John XXIII extended the patronage of Saint Isidore to Spanish farmers and field workers in the Bull “Agri Culturam” given in Rome on December 16, 1960. 

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