A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Isidore the Farmer (the Farm Labourer, San Isidro Labrador, Isidro de Merlo y Quintana) (c1070-1130). Feast Day commemorating the Madrilenian (Madrileño) farmworker known for his piety towards the poor and animals. In the morning before work, he would usually attend Mass and was always late for work. His master, Juan de Vargas, finding Isidore at prayer whilst an angel was doing the ploughing for him or flanked by 2 angels, noted that his work was equal to that of three workers. One day, Isidore took home more hungry people than usual and there soon was no more stew in the pot but he asked his peasant wife María to check again and she was able to spoon out enough to feed them all. Isidore died in Madrid on 15 May 1130 and he appeared to the King of Castile in 1212 to show him a hidden path by which he surprised the Moors and was victorious in the 16 July victory of Las Navas de Tolosa that year. Throughout history, members of the royal family would seek curative powers from the saint and he has four hundred and thirty-eight miracles attributed to him. In 1696, his relics were translated to the Royal Alcázar of Madrid to intervene on behalf of the health of the King of Spain. In 1769, the King had the remains of St Isidore and his saintly wife Blessed María Torribia translated to the San Isidro Church in Madrid, the King having the key to the sepulchre that can only be opened by the Archbishop of Madrid on the King’s authority. Many towns venerate Sts Isidore and María with processions in which the fields are blessed, their story being a reminder of the dignity of work and of ordinary life leading to holiness. Venerated in Roman Catholic, Philippine Independent, Aglipayan Churches, Anglican Communion. Alternative Feast Days for Isidore 22 March, 15 May. Feast Day for St Maria 9 September, she being with Isidore patron saint of farmers. Isidore is patron of Madrid, Leon, Zaragoza, Seville, Castalla, Estepona, Orotava, Valdepiélagos, San Isidro Argentina, Cuz Cuz Chile, Carampa and Lima Peru, Angono, Rizal The Philippines, Sabana Grande Puerto Rico, El Gobernador, Jalisco, La Ceiba Honduras, agriculture, peasants, day labourers, bricklayers. San Ysidro, California and San Ysidro, New Mexico were named after him. Image: pinterest.com.
Six Welsh Martyrs and their companions. In the Welsh calendar, this is still kept as a distinct Feast of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, including St Edmund Campion SJ. They were a group of Catholic lay and religious men and women executed for treason and related offences between 1535 and 1679, under various laws enacted by Parliament during the English Reformation. The first wave of executions came during the reign of King Henry VIII and involved persons who did not support the 1534 Act of Supremacy and the dissolution of the monasteries. The Carthusian monk John Houghton and the Bridgettine monk Richard Reynolds died at that time. In 1570, Pope Pius V, in support of various rebellions in England and Ireland, excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, absolving her Catholic subjects of their allegiance to her. The Crown responded with more rigorous enforcement of the various penal laws already enacted and passed new ones. It was high treason to affirm that the Queen ought not to enjoy the Crown, or to declare her to be a heretic. An Act against Jesuits, seminary priests, and such like other disobedient persons was the statute under which most of the English martyrs suffered, as it made it high treason for any Jesuit or any seminary priest to be in England at all and a felony for anyone to harbour or aid them. Seminary priests were caught up in the alleged Popish Plot against Charles II in 1679. Many of the martyrs were sentenced to death at show trials or with no trial at all and all but six of the forty were hanged, drawn and quartered, many of them at Tyburn. Scottish immigrants carried versions of this Feast to North America in the Nineteenth Century. Other western countries embraced it in the late Twentieth Century, including Ireland, the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, also Australia and New Zealand. Venerated in Catholic Church (England and Wales). Feast Day 4 May in England. Image: twitter.com.
St Crispin’s Day. Feast Day for the Christian saints Crispin and Crispinian, twins who were martyred c286. It is a day most famous for the battles that occurred on it, most notably the 1415 Battle of Agincourt. The St Crispin’s Day Speech in Shakespeare’s play Henry V called the much-outnumbered English soldiers who would fight against the French on the day a band of brothers and other battles fought on Crispin’s day having thus been associated with Shakespeare’s words. These battles include: the 1147 fall of Lisbon; the 1854 Battle of Balaclava, with the Charge of the Light Brigade, during the Crimean War; the 1893 Battle of Shangani in the First Matabele War in present-day Zimbabwe; the 1942 third day of the Second Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Henderson Field at Guadalcanal; and the 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf at Cape Engaño, Samar Island and in the Straits of Surigao, where the Japanese fleet was effectively destroyed. Although this feast was removed from the Roman Catholic Church’s universal liturgical calendar following the Second Vatican Council, the two saints are still commemorated on the day in the most recent edition of the Roman Martyrology. The feast was a Black Letter Saints’ Day in the 1662 calendar of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and so was not celebrated liturgically but remains in the calendar of the Church of England. Image: boardgamegeek.com.
Prayer Remembering Agincourt, Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers. Amen