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How Can St. Isidore Guide Us?

By Susan Ciancio

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer—a simple Spanish farmer who worked his entire life for the same man. From the time Isidore was young, he had a deep devotion to God and great compassion for the poor. He was immensely loved by everyone in his town. Isidore’s life is a beautiful example of caring for those as Christ would.

As we ponder his life today, let us think about how we can use his example in our own lives and build a culture that respects all people while strengthening our relationship with God.  

Isidore was often seen praying as he plowed the fields, and he spent much time in church praying. Building a relationship with God means taking the time to talk to Him. Isidore understood this and prayed unceasingly. His example should help us get in the habit of welcoming God into our days and talking to Him throughout the day. God is always with us, but are we always with Him?

Isidore married a woman who also became a saint, and they had one son, who died as a small child. Despite this heartache, Isidore never lost his faith. It can be difficult to understand why bad things happen to good people. Isidore understood that the death of his son did not come because he was being punished, nor did it happen because God was absent in his life. Isidore knew that sometimes things happen that we have no control over and that, if we let Him, God will always help us create good from something bad or devastating. He trusted in God and allowed God to walk with him through the difficult times.

Isidore also had immense compassion for the poor, and he and his wife would frequently take them food and pray with them. It is said that he had the ability to make food multiply. We may not have the ability to perform a miracle to make food multiply, but we can indeed make food multiply of our own volition. We too should have great compassion for the poor, and we must let that compassion guide us to care for them. We can buy extra groceries for food banks, donate food to shelters or homes for single moms, or buy a meal for a homeless person on a street corner. This Corporal Work of Mercy shines the light of Christ to those living in the darkness.

Our world today seems to thrive on creating angst, on the provocation of anger, and on the perpetuation of past wrongs. This is not how God wants us to live, and it’s not how He wants us to treat others. We can’t overcome the stressors and difficulties of life alone; we must turn to God. And as we do this, we cannot forget that we have the saints to guide us and to teach us how to live a life full of grace and of peace. The saints should be our role models. They should be the beacons we use as we wade through the shadows and the murkiness of life, as they all lead us to God.

Isidore was known for his holiness, his compassion, and for his love for God and others. What will we be known for?