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"San Isidro Labrador" redirects here. For the city in El Salvador, see San Isidro Labrador, Chalatenango.
Saint Isidore
Saint Isidore the Farmer
Born c. 1070, Madrid, Kingdom of Castile
Died May 15, 1130 (aged 59), Madrid, Kingdom of Castile
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified May 2, 1619, Rome by Pope Paul V
Canonized March 12, 1622, Rome by Pope Gregory XV
Feast May 15[1]; October 25; March 22
Patronage farmers; day laborers; Argentina San Isidro

Chile Cuz Cuz
Peru Carampa and Lima
The Philippines Angono,Cuenca, Digos, Brgy. San Isidro, San Pablo City Lucban, Morong, Nabas, Pulilan, Pulupandan, Moises Padilla, Sariaya, Tavalera, Tayabas, and Mogpog
Puerto Rico Sabana Grande
Spain Castalla, Estepona, Madrid, Orotava
Honduras La Ceiba

Isidore the Laborer, also known as Isidore the Farmer, (Spanish: San Isidro Labrador), (c. 1070 – 15 May 1130) was a Spanish day laborer known for his goodness toward the poor and animals. He is the Catholic patron saint of farmers and of Madrid and of La Ceiba, Honduras.



Isidore was born to very poor parents near Madrid, about the year 1070. He was in the service of the wealthy Madrid landowner Juan de Vargas on a farm in the vicinity of Madrid. Juan de Vargas would later make him bailiff of his entire estate of Lower Caramanca.

Every morning before going to work, Isidore was accustomed to hearing a Mass at one of the churches in Madrid. One day his fellow-laborers complained to their master that Isidore was always late for work in the morning. Upon investigation, so runs the legend, the master found Isidore at prayer while an angel was doing the plowing for him.

On another occasion, his master saw an angel plowing on either side of him, so that Isidore's work was equal to that of three of his fellow-labourers. Isidore is also said to have brought back to life his master's deceased daughter, and to have caused a fountain of fresh water to burst from the dry earth in order to quench his master's thirst.

St Isidore married Maria Torribia, a canonized saint, who is known as Santa María de la Cabeza in Spain because her head (cabeza in Spanish) is often carried in procession, especially during droughts. Isidore and Maria had one son, who died in his youth. On one occasion their son fell into a deep well and, at the prayers of his parents, the water of the well is said to have risen miraculously to the level of the ground, bringing the child with it, alive and well. Isidore and Maria then vowed continence and lived in separate houses.

Isidore died on May 15, 1130, at his birthplace close to Madrid. When King Philip III of Spain was cured of a deadly disease by touching the relics of the saint, the king replaced the old reliquary with a costly silver one.

Isidore was beatified in Rome on May 2, 1619 by Pope Paul V. He was canonized nearly three years later by Pope Gregory XV, along with Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri, on March 12, 1622.

San Ysidro, California and San Ysidro, New Mexico were named after him.

His master Iván de Vargas's house in Madrid is now a museum with temporary exhibitions on Madrilenian subjects, as well as on the life of the saint.

Feast day, Celebrations and festivals

St Isidore is widely venerated as the patron saint of peasants and day laborers, as he had been one himself. In 1947, at the request of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, he was officially named patron of farmers, with a feast day on March 22 in all dioceses of the United States, with a proper Mass and Office.

Baroque statue of St. Isidore in Madrid

The traditional date of his liturgical feast, which, though not included in the General Roman Calendar has been celebrated for centuries in several countries and dioceses, is May 15. When St Isidore's feast was first inserted into the calendar for the United States in the year 1947, the feast day of Saint John Baptist de La Salle was then celebrated on May 15, with the result that the celebration of his feast was assigned to March 22. With the reform of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969, St Isidore's feast was restored to the May 15 date and celebrated as an Optional Memorial. In some places within the United States and Canada, his feast is celebrated on October 25, and in other locations and among Traditional Roman Catholics the March 22 date is retained.[2]

Many towns venerate St Isidore and his wife Saint Maria Torribia with processions in which the fields are blessed.

Corrales, New Mexico USA

In Corrales the town celebrates San Ysidro Fest day on May 15. Matachina's dance through the street and fiesta is a big part in the city.


In La Orotava (Canary Islands), the greatest celebrations honor Isidore and Maria. The "Dance of Magos" (mago being Spanish for "magician", but also used for "farmer" in Guanche), the "Blessing of the cattle", and finally the Romería, or pilgrimage, are all celebrated to honor both patrons of this important city of the Canaries.

Celebrations honoring both saints are also held elsewhere on the islands. For years, the Alicantine locality of Castalla has been celebrating the Fair of San Isidro, where numerous companies display their products in a playful and festive atmosphere. A medieval swap meet and mechanical attractions are especially popular.

A large celebration is held in Estepona, (near Marbella) in Andalucia, where local celebrate the day by drinking a mix of brandy and a popular energy drink - which is named in his honour. This has led to St Isidore often being termed as the patron saint of krunk (because of the name of this combination drink in the US).


May 15 is San Isidro Day in Cuz-Cuz, about 5 kilometers from the city of Illapel, Choapa province, in the Coquimbo region of Chile. If the day falls on a Monday, the following Sunday is celebrated. Celebrations begin at noon with a Mass, followed by a procession and Chilean dances.


First Group of Shippers of San Isidro Labrador in Lima, Peru.

The residents of San Isidro de Carampá of Ayacucho in the city of Lima celebrate a San Isidro festival. The First Society of San Isidro de Carampá organizes the festival, along with the Butler and the Adornante festivals. In the evening, after the celebration of the Mass, a procession moves to the house of the Adornante. On the next day, Central Day, another Mass is said, this time celebrated by the Butler. Another procession is held, followed by a festival.


Throughout the Philippine archipelago, several feast are celebrated and offered to St. Isidore. Among of them are:

  • The Sabugan ng Biyaya Festival (also known as simply Sabugan Festival) of the town of Agdangan, a small town in Quezon, is a thanksgiving event for the blessings that the town received, and to honor St. Isidore The Laborer.
  • The Nabas Bariw Festival is celebrated to commemorate the feast day of St. Isidore the Farmer, the patron saint of Nabas, a municipality of Aklan province in the Visayas.It is celebrated annually from 12 – 15 May. This celebration showcase the town's hat, mat and other bariw products as well as the town's unique tourism sites and natural attractions.
  • Also, May 15 celebrates the fiesta of San Isidro de Labrador in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Talavera is a 1st class municipality in the province of Nueva Ecija, one of the top producers of agricultural goods in the country. Its principal crops are rice, corn, and onions. The province is often referred to as the “Rice Granary of the Philippines". The feast begins a few days before the feast day and is celebrated with a week of festivities, including daily novenas, Masses, processions, entertainment events and a fair (or perya). The fiesta is held on the actual day.
  • The colorful Lucban San Isidro Pahiyas Festival is also held in honor of Saints Isidore and Maria dela Cabeza every May 15 in Lucban, Quezon. It is in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.
  • Carabaos kneel before the church of San Isidro Labrador during the Town Fiesta of Pulilan, Bulacan.
  • San Isidro Labrador is also the parish saint of the town of Mogpog, Marinduque. During his feast day, the town people celebrates the Kangga Festival, which highlights Filipino farmer's customs and traditions, as well as a thanksgiving ritual for a bountiful harvest and the prosperity the town has achieved throughout the years.

External links


  1. ^ Roman Martyrology 2001 for 21st-century date; Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) for (same) early 20th-century date
  2. ^ See the General Roman Calendar as in 1954, the General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII, and the General Roman Calendar of 1962.

This article incorporates text from the entry St. Isidore the Labourer in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.



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