Miniature Lives of the Saints – Saint Isidore of Madrid

Saint Isidore the FarmerArticle

Isidore was born of poor parents, at Madrid, in the twelfth century, and gained his livelihood as a ploughman. He never learned to read or write, but sanctified himself by his daily toil, according to the law God gave Adam at the falL Most of his nights were spent in prayer, and his first act in the morning was to attend Mass. His fellow servants accused him of neglecting his work for this purpose. When his master went to the field to see the truth, he found two angels working by the side of Isidore, to compensate for the time he had given to God. He had no fear but of sin, and committed all his cares to God with marvellous simplicity. Hearing in church that his ass was in danger from a wolf, he answered, “God’s will be done,” and with perfect composure continued his prayers to the end. When he reached the spot, his ass was feeding in safety, and the wolf lay dead by its side. He constantly divided his food with the poor. Once, when all had been given away, another poor man appeared. Isidore begged his wife for God’s sake to find him some soup; and on looking into the vessel she found it miraculously refilled. Isidore never had but the one master, who learned by long experience his real worth, and made him steward of his whole property. He died a.d. 1170, and is honoured as tie patron Saint of Madrid.

Saint Isidore became a Saint because he preferred prayer with God to conversation with men, and because he trusted rather the Divine power and goodness than any human aid.

“The stability of our faith comes not from the acuteness of our understanding, but from the simplicity of our adhesion to the promises of God.” — Saint Augustine

One hot summer’s day, when the whole country was parched and the rivers were dry, Isidore’s master came up to him in the field where he was ploughing, and asked him where he could find some water to drink. The Saint pointed to a neighbouring hill. His master went to the spot, but soon returned, disappointed and enraged. Then Isidore took him to the same place, which indeed showed no sign of a spring ; but the Saint made the sign of the Cross on the dry ground, and, piercing the surface with his goad, there gushed forth a miraculous fountain, which flows to this day, and is blessed with healing virtue.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good, and inhabit the land, and thou shalt be fed with its riches.” – Psalm 36:3

MLA Citation

  • Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Saint Isidore of Madrid”. Miniature Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 February 2015. Web. 24 February 2017. <>