Spring with St. Isidore the Laborer


Once May rolls around, you’d think we’d be smart and ease up on the business of our life so we can literally stop and smell the roses. The reality is that moms, dads, and grandparents are entering a zone of activity and special events that will send us into a whirlwind causing us to rethink our life choices. Is it too late to be a hermit? Where can I buy a yurt?

All of a sudden, our life is bombarded by graduations, recitals, tournaments, rehearsals, banquets, school plays, First Communion, Confirmation, and wedding season! All of these are fun, joyful, amazing events, but added to the daily responsibilities of life that don’t go away they can run us ragged. Oh, and it is time to start adding yard work and gardening to the chores list; if you work in agriculture, we’ll see you in November.

"Spring with St. Isidore the Laborer" by Kate Daneluk (CatholicMom.com)

By Ringo9009Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Last week, my friend Suzanne put St. Isidore the Farmer (aka the Laborer) in my path. She was giving me some garden advice, but I spent some time learning about St. Isidore, and I found a friend for spring in more ways than the garden.

Simple and uneducated, big and strong, St. Isidore’s life wasn’t easy by our standards. A husband and father, he and his wife lost their young son early in life. But despite personal hardship and the tiring, daily work as a farm laborer in Medieval Madrid, Isidore and his wife Maria always put their faith life first. Prayer, Mass, and charity dominated their lives. We celebrate his feast on May 15.

So while the life of a 21st-century mother of six working part-time from home may give me reason to make excuses as I plod through the minimums for my daily and weekly obligations as a Catholic, I find myself shamed and humbled when I consider that St. Isidore found time for daily Mass, daily prayer, and incredible generosity. When I consider the daily life challenges of a poor, rural, medieval life and admit that my issue is getting distracted on Facebook, I realize how much I need the help of this great saint to get my priorities straight.

St. Isidore would sometimes be late to the fields because of extra time spent in church. It is said that angels were seen plowing the fields with him to allow him to catch up on his work. I’m not expecting angels to come and change diapers or write articles, but I do believe that following St. Isidore’s example of making prayer a priority, and trusting in God, will reap benefits in our lives.

I can look at the grocery bill for my family of eight and feel guarded about my funds, but Isidore and Maria fed the hungry and the poor in their home almost every night despite modest means. When the food ran out, their pot would miraculously refill. Again, I don’t expect a loaves-and-fishes miracle, but I do know that there is room in our budget to feed another without my children going hungry.

Isidore was the master of life balance, the perfect combination of Mary and Martha. When he tipped the scale a bit further toward prayer and generosity, God made up the difference. Let’s turn to the gentle giant, St. Isidore, for help in finding life balance with today’s challenges.

When has God “made up the difference” for you when you put Him first in your life?

Copyright 2017 Kate Daneluk


About Author

Kate Daneluk is a wife, mother of six, and co-founder of Making Music Praying Twice. With a background in music, theology and education, she contributes articles and resources to various publications.

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