jeudi 10 mai 2012

Saint ISIDORE le LABOUREUR, confesseur


Statue de saint Isidore le laboureur, Scaër, chapelle de Plaskaer

SAINT ISIDORE le LABOUREUR

confesseur

(+ 1170)

Saint Isidore naquit à Madrid, en Espagne, de parents très pauvres qui ne purent le faire étudier, mais lui apprirent à aimer Dieu et à détester le péché. L'enfant devint bientôt très habile dans cette science, la meilleure de toutes. Quand il fut en âge de travailler, il se plaça comme laboureur chez un riche habitant de la ville, nommé Jean de Vargas.

Plus tard, il épousa une femme aussi pauvre et aussi vertueuse que lui, et il eut un enfant auquel il enseigna le service de Dieu. Un jour, cet enfant tomba dans un puits; ses parents, désolés, adressèrent au Ciel de si ferventes prières, que l'eau du puits s'élevant jusqu'en haut, y apporta cet enfant plein de vie et de santé. En reconnaissance, les deux époux se séparèrent et vouèrent à Dieu une continence perpétuelle.

Quoique occupé du grossier travail de mener la charrue, saint Isidore n'en avait pas moins des heures fixes et réglées pour ses exercices de piété. Les jours ordinaires, après avoir passé une partie de la nuit en oraison, il se levait de grand matin et s'en allait visiter les principales églises de Madrid; les jours de fête étaient entièrement consacrés à suivre les offices et à prier.

Jamais il ne négligeait en rien son travail; malgré cela, ses compagnons l'accusèrent auprès du maître, qui voulut s'assurer par lui-même de la vérité; il regarda Isidore travailler, et vit deux Anges aider le Saint. Dès lors, Jean de Vargas conçut la plus grande estime pour son serviteur, et les bénédictions du Ciel se répandirent sur sa maison. Saint Isidore opéra des miracles en sa faveur; il rendit la vie à un cheval dont on avait grand besoin; la fille de Jean de Vargas étant morte à la suite d'une maladie douloureuse, il la ressuscita. Un jour, en frappant du pied la terre, il fit jaillir, afin d'étancher la soif de son maître, une fontaine qui coule encore. À la suite de ces miracles, Jean de Vargas se déchargea sur saint Isidore du soin de sa maison.

Saint Isidore était pauvre, et cependant il trouvait le moyen de se montrer libéral envers les indigents; il partageait avec eux son dîner, et un jour qu'il avait tout donné, il pria sa femme d'aller voir s'il ne restait pas quelque chose: celle-ci trouva le plat qui venait d'être vidé, aussi plein que si personne n'y eût touché. Une autre fois, il avait été invité à un dîner de confrérie, et ses dévotions le retinrent si longtemps, qu'il arriva quand tout était fini.

Une multitude de pauvres le suivaient comptant sur ses restes. Les confrères lui dirent, d'assez mauvaise humeur, qu'on lui avait gardé sa part, mais qu'il n'y avait rien pour les mendiants. "C'est assez, répondit-il, cela suffira pour moi et pour les pauvres de Jésus-Christ." En effet, on trouva un repas entier là où on n'avait mis de côté que quelques morceaux.

La femme de saint Isidore, de son côté, donnait des marques d'une sainteté aussi grande que celle de son mari. Elle aussi faisait des miracles. Retirée dans un petit héritage, près de l'ermitage de Caraquiz, elle avait à traverser une rivière pour se rendre à une église de la Sainte Vierge qu'elle fréquentait assidûment. Un jour, elle trouva cette rivière débordée, et, avec une entière confiance dans la puissance de Dieu, elle détacha son tablier, l'étendit sur les eaux, et, à l'aide de cette barque d'un nouveau genre, passa tranquillement à l'autre bord.

Saint Isidore mourut avant sa femme, en 1170, et on l'enterra sous une gouttière, dans le cimetière de Saint-André, où il fut oublié quarante ans. Alors le Saint apparut à une dame vertueuse pour la presser de procurer l'élévation et la translation de son corps. Quand on l'eut retiré de terre, il fut trouvé aussi frais et aussi sain que s'il venait de mourir; un parfum de délicieuse odeur embauma les airs, et toutes les cloches sonnèrent d'elles-mêmes. L'église de Saint-André fut choisie pour recevoir ses saintes reliques; on y vit un grand concours de peuple; de nombreux miracles s'opérèrent et firent croître et grandir la dévotion à saint Isidore.


L'histoire de l'Église et la vie des Saints démontrent que la sainteté a fleuri, au cours des siècles, dans toutes les classes de la société et dans les milieux les plus divers, chez de tout jeunes enfants comme chez des adultes ou des vieillards. La sainteté est une carrière ouverte à tous, selon la parole de Jésus Lui-même: Soyez parfaits comme votre Père céleste est parfait. (Mt. 5, 48) Avec la grâce de Dieu, tout chrétien est donc destiné à la sainteté, car la volonté de Dieu est que vous soyez saints, (I Thess. 4, 3) enseigne saint Paul. Toutefois, il est bien évident que personne ne peut devenir saint malgré lui! "Un saint, a écrit saint Thomas d'Aquin, est une âme dans laquelle le Saint-Esprit a carte blanche," c'est-à-dire pleine liberté d'action. C'est une âme fidèle aux inspirations de la grâce, attentive à réaliser le bon plaisir de Dieu, à bien porter la croix à la suite du divin Maître.

Tel a été saint Isidore, à la suite de bien d'autres Saints, nos modèles. Patron des Laboureurs et patron de la ville de Madrid, en Espagne, il mena une vie toute simple et tout extraordinaire à la fois. Simple extérieurement, parce que semblable à la vie de tant d'ouvriers et de travailleurs des champs; extraordinaire, parce que vivifiée par un intense esprit de prière, de renoncement évangélique, et d'amour pour Dieu et le prochain.

Saint Isidore le Laboureur

Paysan (✝ 1130)

Lui et sa femme, Maria Toribia furent toute leur vie domestiques de ferme chez le seigneur Vergas dans la région de Madrid. Chaque dimanche, après la grand-messe dont il chantait la liturgie au lutrin, il passait sa journée en prière. Chaque jour il prenait sur son sommeil le temps d'aller à la messe avant de se rendre à son travail. Son maître voulut se rendre compte qu'il ne perdait pas ainsi des heures précieuses. Il vint un matin et, tandis qu'Isidore était en extase, il vit les bœufs continuant leur travail, comme s'ils étaient conduits par deux anges. C'est au roi Philippe III d'Espagne que l'on doit d'avoir un laboureur authentique dans le calendrier, car il avait été guéri par son intercession.

Le 12 mars 1622, le pape Grégoire XV canonisait simultanément saints Ignace de Loyola, sainte Thérèse d'Avila, saint François Xavier, saint Philippe Néri et... saint Isidore!

Il fait partie des Saints patrons des JMJ de Madrid.

À Madrid, vers 1130, saint Isidore, le laboureur. Avec son épouse, la bienheureuse Turibia, il travailla la terre avec ardeur et recueillit avec patience davantage les fruits du ciel que ceux de la terre, offrant le modèle d’un paysan chrétien très pieux.

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/1129/Isidore-le-Laboureur.html

St. Isidore the Labourer

A Spanish daylabourer; b. near Madrid, about the year 1070; d. 15 May, 1130, at the same place. He was in the service of a certain Juan de Vargas on a farm in the vicinity of Madrid. Every morning before going to work he was accustomed to hear a Mass at one of the churches in Madrid. One day his fellow-labourers complained to their master that Isidore was always late for work in the morning. Upon investigation, so runs the legend, the master found Isidore at prayer, while an angel was doing the ploughing for him. On another occasion his master saw an angel ploughing on either side of him, so that Isidore's work was equal to that of three of his fellow-labourers. Isidore is also said to have brought back to life the deceased daughter of his master and to havecaused a fountain of fresh water to burst from the dry earth in order to quench the thirst of his master. He wasmarried to Maria Torribia, a canonized saint, who is venerated in Spain as Maria della Cabeza, from the fact that her head (Spanish, cabeza) is often carried in procession especially in time of drought. They had one son, who died in his youth. On one occasion this son fell into a deep well and at the prayers of his parents the water of the well is said to have risen miraculously to the level of the ground, bringing the child with it, alive and well. Hereupon the parents made a vow of continence and lived in separate houses. Forty years after Isidore's death, his body was transferred from the cemetery to the church of St. Andrew. He is said to have appeared to Alfonsoof Castile, and to have shown him the hidden path by which he surprised the Moors and gained the victory of Las Nevas de Tolosa, in 1212. When King Philip III of Spain was cured of a deadly disease by touching the relics of the saint, the king replaced the old reliquary by a costly silver one. He was canonized by Gregory XV, along with Sts. Ignatius, Francis Xavier, Teresa, and Philip Neri, on 12 March, 1622. St. Isidore is widely venerated as thepatron of peasants and day-labourers. The cities of Madrid, Leon, Saragossa, and Seville also, honour him as their patron. His feast is celebrated on 15 May.
Sources

His Life, as first written in 1265 by John, a deacon of the church of St. Andrew, at Madrid, and supplemented by him in 1275, is printed in Acta S.S., May, III, 515-23. It served as the basis for LOPE DE VEGA's religious poem San Isidro (1599). Acta SS., loc. cit., 512-559; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 10 May; BARING-GOUID, Lives of the saints, 10 May; TAMAYO Martyrologium Hispanicum, III (Lyons, 1655), 191-98; QUARTINO, Vita di, S. Isidoro agricola (Turin, 1882).

Ott, Michael. "St. Isidore the Labourer." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 11 May 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08189a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Tom Burgoyne. In memory of Father Baker, founder of Our Lady of Victory Homes.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08189a.htm

Isidore the Farmer (RM)
(also known as Isidoro, Isidro)


Born in Madrid, Spain, 1070; died there in 1130; canonized in 1622; feast day formerly on May 10 and March 22, and October 25 in the U.S.A. Saint Isidore's feast is celebrated in Madrid, Spain, with ringing church bells and streets decorated for a procession in his honor. The saint was poor into a peasant family and baptized Isidore in honor of the famous archbishop of Seville. His unreliable biography was written about 150 years after his death and many concern the miracles associated with his name.


Isidore was a day laborer, working on the farm of the wealthy John de Vergas at Torrelaguna just outside Madrid. He married a poor girl, Maria de la Cabeza (Torriba), and had a son who died while still a baby. Thereafter, the couple took a vow of continence to serve God. Isidore's life is a model of simple Christian charity and faith. He prayed while at work, and he visited many churches in Madrid and the area while on holidays. He shared what he had--even his meals--with the poor, often giving them the more liberal portions.

He was steady and hard-working, but a complaint was made against him to his employer that he arrived late to work because he attended early morning Mass each day. When charged with his offense, he did not deny it and explained to his employer: "Sir, it may be true that I am later at my work than some of the other laborers, but I do my utmost to make up for the few minutes snatched for prayer; I pray you compare my work with theirs, and if you find I have defrauded you in the least, gladly will I make amends by paying you out of my private store."

His employer said nothing, but remained suspicious, and, being determined to find out the truth, rose one morning at daybreak and concealed himself outside the church. In due course, Isidore appeared and entered the building, and afterwards, when the service was over, went to his work. Still following him, his employer saw him take the plough into a field, and was about to confront him when, in the pale, misty light of dawn, he saw, as he thought, a second plough drawn by white oxen moving up and down the furrows. Greatly astonished, he ran towards it, but even as he ran it disappeared and he saw only Isidore and his single-plough.

When he spoke to Isidore and enquired about the second plough he had seen, Isidore replied in surprise: "Sir, I work alone and know of none save God to whom I look for strength." Thus the story grew that so great was his sanctity that the angels helped him even in his plowing. It was characteristic of Isidore's whole life. He was a simple ploughman, his speech clear and direct, his conduct honest as the day, his faith pure and steadfast. He was a poor man, but gave away what he could, with a good and generous heart, and with such sympathy and goodwill that his gifts seemed doubly blessed. Indeed, he could never neglect doing a kindness to man or beast.

One snowy day, when going to the mill with corn to be ground which his wife had gleaned, he passed a flock of wood-pigeons scratching vainly for food on the hard surface of the frosty ground. Taking pity on the poor animals, he poured half of his sack of precious corn upon the ground for the birds, despite the mocking of witnesses. When he reached the mill, however, the bag was full, and the corn, when it was ground, produced double the expected amount of flour.

In such simple tales we find reflected the spirit of Saint Isidore, who never ruled a diocese or was martyred for his faith, but who as truly served God in the fields and on the farm as those in higher places and who bore more famous names.

His saintly wife survived Isidore for several years. Forty years after his death, his body was transferred to a shrine, and his cultus grew as a result of miracles attributed to his intercession. He is said to have appeared in a vision to King Alphonsus of Castile in 1211, and to have shown him an unknown path, which he used to surprise and defeat the Moors. His canonization occurred at the insistence of King Philip III, who attributed his recovery from a serious illness to Isidore's intercession (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Gill, Tabor, White).

In art, Saint Isidore is portrayed as a peasant holding a sickle and a sheaf of corn. He might also be shown (1) with a sickle and staff, (2) as an angel ploughs for him, (3) giving a rosary to children by a well, mattock on his feet, water springing from the well, (4) striking water from dry earth with an angel plowing in the background (Roeder), (5) before a cross, or (6) with an angel and white oxen near him (White).

In Spanish art his emblems are a spade or a plough (Tabor). He is the patron of Madrid, Spain (Roeder), farmers and farm laborers, and the U.S. National Catholic Rural Conference (White).


SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0515.shtml

St. Isidore the Farmer

When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, St. Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint—Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child.

Isidore frequented Holy Mass every morning but often reported to work late. Late, though he was, his plowing was nevertheless accomplished by angels that resulted in three times more productivity. His coworkers and his boss witnessed such miraculous events and accorded Isidore with great respect.

All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. Many marvelous happenings accompanied his lifelong work in the fields and continued long after his holy death. He was favored with celestial visions and, it is said, the angels sometimes helped him in his work in the fields.

He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore’s supplying them miraculously with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals.

He died May 15, 1130, and was declared a saint in 1622 with Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as “the five saints.” St. Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. In particular he is the patron of Madrid, Spain, and of the United States National Rural Life Conference.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-isidore-the-farmer/


St. Isidore, Patron of Madrid, Labourer

IT is a misfortune which deserves to be lamented with floods of tears, that ignorance, obstinacy, and vice should so often taint a country life, the state which of all others is most necessary and important to the world; the most conformable to human condition and to nature; the state which was sanctified by the example of the primitive holy patriarchs, and which affords the most favourable opportunities for the perfect practice of every virtue and Christian duty. What advantageous helps to piety did the ancient hermits seek in the deserts, which the circumstances of a country labourer do not offer? The life of St. Isidore is a most sensible proof of this assertion. He was born at Madrid, of poor but very devout parents, and was christened Isidore from the name of their patron, St. Isidore of Seville.—They had not the means to procure him learning or a polite education; but, both by word and example, they infused into his tender soul the utmost horror and dread of all sin, and the most vehement ardour for every virtue, and especially for prayer. Good books are a great help to holy meditation; but not indispensably requisite. St. Irenæus mentions whole nations which believed in Christ, and abounded in exemplary livers, without knowing the use of ink or paper. Many illustrious anchorets knew no other alphabet than that of humility and divine charity. The great St. Antony himself could not so much as read the Greek or Latin languages: nay, from the words of St. Austin, some doubt whether he could read even his own barbarous Egyptian dialect. Yet in the science of the saints, what philosopher or orator ever attained to the A B C of that great man? Learning, if it puff up the mind, or inspire any secret self-sufficiency, is an impediment to the communications of the Holy Ghost; simplicity and sincere humility being the dispositions which invite him into the soul. By these was Isidore prepared to find him an interior instructor and comforter. His earnestness in seeking lessons and instructions of piety made him neglect no opportunity of hearing them; and so much the more tender and the deeper were the impressions which they left in his soul, was his desire the stronger and the more pure. His patience in bearing all injuries, and in overcoming the envy of fellow-servants by cordial kindnesses; his readiness to obey his masters, and in indifferent things to comply with the inclinations of others, and humbly to serve every one, gave him the most complete victory over himself and his passions. Labour he considered as enjoined him by God in punishment of sin, and for a remedy against it. And he performed his work in a spirit of compunction and penance. Many object that their labours and fatigues leave them little time for the exercises of religion. But Isidore, by directing his attention according to the most holy motives of faith, made his work a most perfect act of religion. He considered it as a duty to God. Therefore he applied himself to it with great diligence and care, in imitation of the angels in heaven, who in all things fulfil the will of God with the greatest readiness and alacrity of devotion. The more humbling and the more painful the labour was, the dearer it was to the saint, being a means the more suitable to tame his flesh, and a more noble part of his penance. With the same spirit that the saints subdued their bodies by toils in their deserts, Isidore embraced his task. He moreover sanctified it by continual prayer. Whilst his hand held the plough, he in his heart conversed with God, with his angel guardian, and the other blessed spirits; sometimes deploring the sins of the world, and his own spiritual miseries, at other times, in the melting words of the royal prophet, raising his desires to the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem. It was chiefly by this perfect spirit of prayer, joined with, or rather engrafted upon a most profound humility and spirit of mortification, that St. Isidore arrived at so eminent a degree of sanctity as rendered him the admiration of all Spain. In his youth he was retained servant by a gentleman named John de Vargas of Madrid, to till his land and do his husbandry work. The saint afterwards took a most virtuous woman to wife, named Mary Toribia. Those who call her de la Cabeza were deceived by a chapel to which that name is given, because her head is kept in it. After the birth of one child, which died young, the parents, by mutual consent, served God in perfect continency.

St. Isidore continued always in the service of the same master. On account of his fidelity, he could say to him as Jacob did to Laban, 1 that, to guard and improve his stock, he had often watched the nights, and had suffered the scorching heats of summer, and the cold of winter; and that the stock, which he found small, had been exceedingly increased in his hands.—Don John de Vargas, after long experience of the treasure he possessed in this faithful ploughman, treated him as a brother, according to the advice of Ecclesiasticus, 2 Let a wise servant be dear to thee as thy own soul. He allowed him the liberty of assisting daily at the public office of the church. On the other side, Isidore was careful by rising very early, to make his devotions no impediment to his business, nor any encroachment upon what he owed to his master. This being a duty of justice, it would have been a false devotion to have pretended to please God by a neglect of such an obligation; much less did the good servant indulge his compassionate charity to the poor, by relieving them otherwise than out of his own salary. The saint was sensible that in his fidelity, diligence, and assiduous labour consisted, in great part, the sanctification of his soul; and that his duty to his master was his duty to God. He also inspired his wife with the same confidence in God, the same love of the poor, and the same disengagement from the things of this world: he made her the faithful imitatrix of his virtues, and a partner in his good works. She died in 1175, and is honoured in Spain among the saints. Her immemorial veneration was approved by Pope Innocent XII. in 1697. See Benedict XIV. de Canoniz. l. 2, c. 24, p. 246.

St. Isidore being seized with the sickness of which he died, foretold his last hour, and prepared himself for it with redoubled fervour, and with the most tender devotion, patience, and cheerfulness. The piety with which he received the last sacraments drew tears from all who were present. Repeating inflamed acts of divine love, he expired on the 15th of May, 1170, being near sixty years of age. His death was glorified by miracles. After forty years, his body was removed out of the churchyard into the church of St. Andrew. It has been since placed in the bishop’s chapel, and during these five hundred years remains entire and fresh, being honoured by a succession of frequent miracles down to this time. The following, among others, is very well attested. Philip III. in his return from Lisbon, was taken so ill at Casarubious del Monte, that his life was despaired of by his physicians. Whereupon the shrine of St. Isidore was ordered to be carried in a solemn procession of the clergy, court, and people from Madrid to the chamber of the sick king. The joint prayers of many prevailed. At the same time the shrine was taken out of the church, the fever left the king; and upon its being brought into his chamber, he was perfectly cured. The year following the body of the saint was put into a new rich shrine, which cost one thousand six hundred ducats of gold.—St. Isidore had been beatified a little before by Paul V. in 1619, at the solicitation of the same king. His solemn canonization was performed at the request of the King Philip IV. on the 12th of March, 1622; though the bull was only made public by Benedict XIII. See the life of St. Isidore, written by John of Madrid, one hundred and forty years after his death; and Card. Lambertini, de Canoniz. SS. t. 3

Note 1. Gen. xxxi. 40; xxx. 30. [back]

Note 2. Eccles. vii. 28. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/5/103.html

Sant' Isidoro l'agricoltore Laico


Madrid (Spagna), ca. 1080 - 15 maggio 1130

Nacque a Madrid intorno al 1070 e lasciò giovanissimo la casa paterna per essere impiegato come contadino. Grazie al suo impegno i campi, che fino allora rendevano poco, diedero molto frutto. Nonostante lavorasse duramente la terra, partecipava ogni giorno all'Eucaristia e dedicava molto spazio alla preghiera, tanto che alcuni colleghi invidiosi lo accusarono, peraltro ingiustamente, di togliere ore al lavoro. Quando Madrid fu conquistata dagli Almoravidi si rifugiò a Torrelaguna dove sposò la giovane Maria. Un matrimonio che fu sempre contraddistinto dalla grande attenzione verso i più poveri, con cui condividevano il poco che possedevano. Nessuno si allontanava da Isidoro senza aver ricevuto qualcosa. Morì il 15 maggio 1130. Venne canonizzato il 12 marzo 1622 da Papa Gregorio XV. Le sue spoglie sono conservate nella chiesa madrilena di Sant'Andrea. (Avvenire)

Patronato: Madrid

Etimologia: Isidoro = dono di Iside, dal greco

Martirologio Romano: A Madrid nella Castiglia in Spagna, sant’Isidoro, contadino, che insieme con sua moglie la beata Maria de la Cabeza attese con impegno alle fatiche dei campi, cogliendo con pazienza la ricompensa celeste più ancora dei frutti terreni, e fu vero modello di contadino cristiano.

Forse è stato messo poco in risalto l’ambizioso traguardo di “santità di coppia” che due semplici contadini di Madrid sono riusciti a raggiungere nel XII secolo: probabilmente perché la pratica devozionale ha fatto prevalere, nel marito, l’aspetto prodigioso e miracolistico, e la popolarità che lui si è guadagnato praticamente in tutto il mondo come patrono dei raccolti e dei contadini ha finito per oscurare un po’ quella di lei, che pure si è fatta santa condividendo gli stessi ideali di generosità e laboriosità del marito, raggiungendo la perfezione tra casseruole, bucati e lavori nei campi. Parliamo di San Isidoro di Madrid e della beata Maria Toribia, la cui festa si celebra nel mese di maggio (il 10 o il 15, dipende dai calendari), anche se lui, per il fatto di essere patrono dei campi, viene invocato e festeggiato praticamente in ogni stagione dell’anno, al tempo della semina come al tempo dei raccolti. Isidoro nasce a Madrid intorno al 1070 da una poverissima famiglia di contadini, contadino egli stesso tutta la vita, per necessità. Non sa né leggere né scrivere, ma sa parlare con Dio. Anzi, a Dio dedica molto tempo, sacrificando il riposo, ma non il lavoro, al quale si dedica appassionatamente. E quando l’urgenza di parlare con Dio arriva anche durante il lavoro, sono gli angeli a venirgli in aiuto e a guidare l’aratro al posto suo: un modo poetico e significativo per dire come Isidoro abbia imparato a dare a Dio il primo posto, senza venir mai meno ai suoi doveri terreni. Per i colleghi invidiosi è facile così accusarlo di “assenteismo”, ma è il padrone stesso a verificare che Isidoro ha tutte le carte in regola, con Dio e con gli uomini. L’invidia, che è davvero vecchia quanto il mondo, gli procura anche un’accusa di malversazione e di furto ai danni dell’azienda, perché ha il “brutto vizio” di aiutare con generosità i poveri, attingendo abbondantemente da un sacco, il cui livello tuttavia non si abbassa mai. E pensare che la generosità di Isidoro non si limita alle persone, ma si estende anche agli animali della campagna, ai quali d’inverno non fa mancare il necessario sostentamento. In questo continuo esercizio di carità e preghiera è seguito passo passo dalla moglie Maria, che una certa agiografia ha dipinto dapprima avara e poi “conquistata” dall’esempio del marito. Certo è comunque che sulla strada della perfezione avanzano entrambi, sostenendosi a vicenda e aiutandosi anche a sopportare i dolori della vita, come quello cocente della morte in tenerissima età del loro unico figlio. Isidoro muore nel 1130 e lo seppelliscono senza particolari onori nel cimitero di Sant’Andrea, ma anche da quel campo egli continua a “fare la carità”, dispensando grazie e favori a chi lo invoca, al punto che quarant’anni dopo devono a furor di popolo esumare il suo corpo incorrotto e portarlo in chiesa. A canonizzarlo, però, nessuno ci pensa. Ci vuole un grosso miracolo, cinque secoli dopo, in favore del re Filippo II a sbloccare la situazione. E il 12 marzo 1622 papa Gregorio XV gli concede la gloria degli altari insieme a quattro “grossi” santi (Filippo Neri, Teresa d’Avila, Ignazio di Loyola e Francesco Saverio) in mezzo ai quali, qui in terra, l’illetterato contadino si sarebbe sentito un po’ a disagio. E da allora, come recita l’enciclopedia dei santi, diventa il “patrono degli affittuari agricoli, dei birocciai, di Centallo e di Verzuolo”.

Autore: Gianpiero Pettiti
 


Nasce in una Spagna che per buona parte è in mano araba, e nell’infanzia sente raccontare le gesta di tre grandi condottieri. Ecco Alfonso VI il Bravo, re di Castiglia e di León, che ha conquistato tante città. E poi Yusuf ibn Tashufin, capo della dinastia musulmana degli Almorávidi, che ha sconfitto Alfonso nel 1081 e ha incorporato i domìni arabi di Spagna nel suo impero nordafricano. Infine, c’è il condottiero dei condottieri, l’eroe nazionale Ruiz Díaz de Bivar detto il Cid, el que en buena çinxo espada (colui che in buon’ora cinse la spada).

Isidoro non ha spada né cavallo. Orfano del padre fin da piccolo, va poi a lavorare la terra sotto padrone, nelle campagne intorno a Madrid. A causa della guerra, cerca rifugio e lavoro più verso nord, a Torrelaguna. E vi trova anche moglie: Maria Toribia, contadina come lui. 

Isidoro è un credente schietto. Partecipa ogni giorno alla Messa mattutina, e durante la giornata lo si vede spesso appartato in preghiera. Questo gli tira addosso le accuse di altri salariati: ha poca voglia di lavorare, perde tempo, sfrutta le nostre fatiche. È già accaduto agli inizi, nelle campagne di Madrid; poi continua a Torrelaguna, e più tardi a Madrid ancora, quando lui vi ritorna alla fine dei combattimenti. A queste accuse Isidoro non si ribella, ma neppure si piega. Il padrone è preoccupato, non si fida di lui? E allora sorvegli, controlli, verifichi i risultati del suo lavoro... E questo fa appunto il padrone, scoprendo che Isidoro ha sì perso tempo inginocchiandosi ogni tanto a pregare, ma che alla sera aveva mietuto la stessa quantità di grano degli altri. E così al tempo dell’aratura: tanta orazione pure lì, ma a fine giornata tutta la sua parte di terra era dissodata. 

Juan de Vargas si chiama questo proprietario, che dapprima tiene d’occhio Isidoro con diffidenza; ma alla fine, toccata con mano la sua onestà, arriva a dire che quei risultati non si spiegano solo con la capacità di lavoro; ci sono anche degli interventi soprannaturali: avvengono miracoli, insomma, sulle sue terre. 

E altri diffondono via via la voce: in tempo di mietitura, il grano raccolto da Isidoro veniva prodigiosamente moltiplicato. Durante l’aratura, mentre lui pregava in ginocchio, gli angeli lavoravano al posto suo con l’aratro e con i buoi. Così il bracciante malvisto diventa l’uomo di fiducia del padrone, porta a casa più soldi e li divide tra i poveri. Né lui né sua moglie cambiano vita: è intorno a loro e grazie a loro che la povera gente incomincia a vivere un po’meglio. Nel tempo delle epiche gesta di tanti conquistatori, le imprese di Isidoro sono queste, fino alla morte. 

A volte certi suoi atti fanno pensare a Francesco d’Assisi. Per esempio, quando d’inverno si preoccupa per gli uccelli affamati: e per loro, andando al mulino con un sacco di grano, ne sparge i chicchi a grandi manciate sulla neve; ma quando arriva al mulino, il sacco è di nuovo prodigiosamente pieno. 

Lavorare, pregare, donare: le sue gesta sono tutte qui, e dopo la morte lo rendono famoso come Alfonso il Bravo e come il Cid. Nel 1170 il suo corpo viene deposto nella chiesa madrilena di Sant’Andrea, e col tempo la sua fama si divulga in Spagna, nelle colonie spagnole d’America e in alcune regioni del Nord europa.
Nel 1622, Isidoro l’Agricoltore viene canonizzato da Gregorio XV (con Ignazio di Loyola e Francesco Saverio). Nel 1697 papa Innocenzo XII proclama beata sua moglie Maria Toribia. Le reliquie di sant’Isidoro si trovano ora nella cattedrale di Madrid.

Autore:
Domenico Agasso