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Spiritual Resources > Isidore and Maria, Patron Saints of Farmers

Isidore and Maria, Patron Saints of Farmers

Isidore was born in 1070 to a peasant family near Madrid, Spain. He was baptized "Isidore" in honor of the famous archbishop of Seville.

 
Isidore the farmer was actually a day laborer, working on the farm of the wealthy John de Vergas at Torrelaguna, just outside Madrid. He married a poor girl, Maria Torribia. Their only child, a son, died in infancy.
 
The couple took a vow of continence to serve God. Isidore's life is a model of simple Christian charity and faith. He prayed while at work. He shared what he had with the poor, even his meals. He often gave them more than he had for himself.
 
A story told about St. Isidore (feast day, May 15) is that he often came later to work in the fields than other laborers because he would first attend Mass in the morning. Yet his work never suffered and he always met the chores required of him. It was said two angels, one on either side of Isidore, appeared and joined their pious companion in plowing the fields.
 
St. Maria (feast day, September 9) always kept a pot of stew on the fireplace in their humble rural dwelling. She knew that her husband Isidore would often bring home anyone who was hungry. One day he brought home more hungry people than usual. After she served many of them, Maria told him that there simply was no more stew in the pot. He insisted that she check the pot again, and she was able to spoon out enough stew to feed them all.
 
In representations, St. Isidore is portrayed as a peasant with a sickle or staff, and sometimes with an angel or white oxen near him. He died in 1130 and was canonized in 1622.
 
After Isidore's death, Maria became a hermit, but she too performed miracles and merited after her death the name of "Santa Maria de la Cabeza", meaning Head, because her head (conserved in a reliquary and carried in procession) has often brought rain from heaven for an afflicted dry countryside. Her remains are honored by all of Spain by pilgrimages and processions at Torrelaguna, where they were transferred in 1615. She was beatified in 1697.
 
The virtues found in the lives of Isidore and Maria – commitment to family, love for the land, service to the poor and a deep spirituality  – are qualities that still can be found in rural America. "We thank God for our rural lives, formed still by the rhythms of nature and church. With you, help us to rejoice in the relationships with God and each  other. Isidore and Maria, pray for us." Amen.
 
Visit the CRL Bookstore for prayer cards and other Isidore & Maria gift items. Also check out the Novena to St. Isidore.
 

Litany in honor of St. Isidore the Farmer, patron of farmers & workers
 
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us.
 
Christ, hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us.
 
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. 
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
 
Holy Mary, pray for us.
 
St. Isidore, pray for us.
St. Isidore, patron of farmers, pray for us.
St. Isidore, illustrious tiller of the soul, pray for us.
St. Isidore, model of laborers, pray for us.
St. Isidore, devoted to duty, pray for us.
St. Isidore, loaded down with the labors of the field, pray for us.
St. Isidore, model of filial piety, pray for us.
St. Isidore, support of family life, pray for us.
St. Isidore, confessor of the faith, pray for us.
St. Isidore, example of mortification, pray for us.
St. Isidore, assisted by angels, pray for us.
St. Isidore, possessor of the gift of miracles, pray for us.
St. Isidore, burning with lively faith, pray for us.
St. Isidore, zealous in prayer, pray for us.
St. Isidore, ardent lover of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
St. Isidore, lover of God's earth, pray for us.
St. Isidore, lover of poverty, pray for us.
St. Isidore, lover of fellowmen, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most patient, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most humble, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most pure, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most just, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most obedient, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most faithful, pray for us.
St. Isidore, most grateful, pray for us.
 
Jesus, Our Lord: we beseech You, hear us.
That You would vouchsafe to protect all tillers of the soil: we beseech You, hear us.
That You would vouchsafe to bring to all a true knowledge of the stewardship of the land... 
That You would vouchsafe to preserve and increase our fields and flocks... 
That You would vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth... 
That You would vouchsafe to bless our fields... 
That You would vouchsafe to preserve all rural pastors... 
That You would vouchsafe to grant peace and harmony in our homes... 
That You would vouchsafe to lift up our hearts to You...
 
Be merciful, spare us, O Lord. 
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.
 
From lightning and tempest: deliver us, O Lord.
From pestilence and floods... 
From winds and drouth... 
From hail and storm... 
From the scourge of insects... 
From the spirit of selfishness...
 
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world: spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world: graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
 
Christ, hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us.
 
Let Us Pray:
 
Grant, O Lord, that through the intercession of Blessed Isidore, the husbandman, we may follow his example of patience and humility, and so walk faithfully in his footsteps that in the evening of life we may be able to present to You an abundant harvest of merit and good works, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
 

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