St. Isidore was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1070. His family was poor, and he worked as a farmer on land owned by a rich man named John de Vergas. Because Isidore was such a good worker, de Vergas allowed him to worship every day in the chapel on his property, but Isidore was often accused of neglecting his work by his fellow workers. Prayer was his highest priority.
Isidore married a woman named Mary, and they had a son. But after their son died while he was very young, they realized that God did not have plans for them to have children, so they lived chastely for the rest of their lives.
Isidore and Mary were poor, but they gave whatever they could to those who were in more need. According to one story, Isidore walked to the mill one day with a sack of corn. On his way, he gave half the corn to hungry birds. By the time Isidore reached the mill, the sack had miraculously been filled again.
St. Isidore died in 1130 of natural causes. Many miracles and cures have been reported at his grave, and his body remains incorrupt. His wife was canonized as well, as St. Mary de la Cabeza.
St. Isidore is the patron saint of agricultural workers and the United States Rural Life Conference.
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