Isidore was born in 1070 in Madrid, Spain. His family was poor, and he labored as a farmer on the land owned by a rich man named John de Vergas. He was very pious and such a good worker that de Vergas allowed him to worship daily in the chapel on his property, and because of this he was often accused by his fellow workers of neglecting his duties because he made prayer a higher priority.
Isidore eventually married a woman named Mary, and together they had a son. However their son died while still very young, and through this they realized that it was the will of God for them not have children, so they lived together chastely the rest of their lives, doing good works.
Although he remained poor, he gave whatever he could spare to the poor. One tale says that as he walked to the mill one day, he stopped and gave half of the corn in his sack to the hungry birds. By the time he got to the mill, his sack had miraculously filled up again. He died in 1130 of natural causes.
Many miracles and cures have been reported at his grave, in which his body remains incorruptible. His wife, too, was canonized—Saint Mary de la Cabeza.
St. Isidore is the patron saint of agricultural workers and the United States National Rural Life Conference.
Catholic News Agency