Memorial of Saint Isidore (patron of farmers)
(Acts 16:22-34; John 16:5-11)
The way some people talk, farming in the United States is strictly big business. It is probably mostly so, but there are marvelous exceptions like Joel Salatin’s farm in Virginia. There crops are rotated, cows eat grass, and chickens feed on bugs. It is the kind of farming associated with St. Isidore, whose feast is celebrated today in rural areas around the world.
St. Isidore was a Spanish peasant of the twelfth century. He did not own his own land but diligently worked the manor of another. In his simplicity and devoutness he appears much like the jailer in the reading from Acts. The man is so bereaved by the thought of prisoners’ escaping on his watch that he wants to kill himself. Paul saves him from committing the terrible deed and introduces him to one worth dying for. The jailer, along with his family, embraces Jesus along.
We must remember that saints are not usually found among “world champions” or “the world’s richest.” Rather saints are people who live every moment of everyday trying to please the God who, they know, cherishes them as sons and daughters.