By Barb Mendralla
Photo Bill Archer
When our parish was founded back in the 1920’s in the small farming community of Cloverdale, it made perfect sense to choose St. Isidore the Farmer as the titular saint of the parish. While the land surrounding St. Isidore Parish has vastly changed during the last century, we need to take time to remember this holy saint.
Isidore was born around 1070 near Madrid, Spain to a very poor family. Because his parents were unable to support him when he was a youth, he was sent to work for a wealthy landowner, Juan de Vergas. Isidore married a very religious woman named Maria de la Cabeza, who was also cannonized. They were blessed with one son, who unfortunately died as a child.
His fellow laborers complained that Isidore was sometimes late because he attended Mass before work. Isidore would pray and commune with God, while working the land.
Although poor themselves, Isidore and Maria had a love of the poor and often shared their humble portions with them. There are some accounts of Isidore miraculously providing people with food. He also believed in the proper treatment of animals.
There is much we can learn from this seemingly simple man; you can find dignity and meaning in physical labor, we can share our bounty with others, even though it may not be much and a simple life can allow us to be close with God. May St. Isidore’s holy example continue to guide us.