Saint Isidore the farmer . Feast Day May 15th. Saint Isidore was born in 1070 in Madrid in the Kingdom of Castille to poor but very devout parents. He spent his life as a hired hand in the service of a wealthy Madrilenian land owner called Juan De Vergas, working on a farm in the vicinity of Madrid. Isidore fell in love with and married a young peasant girl called Maria Torribia who later became known as Santa Maria de la Cabeza, her head is invoked for rainfall by the faithful. Together they had one son called Illan who died in his infancy. Tradition states that Illan their baby when he was a few months old fell down a well, thus Maria and Isidore prayed fervently to God for his safety , suddenly the water in the well miraculously rose so that the baby floated on the top and they could rescue him .Consequently they were both so grateful they devoted their lives to God both living a chaste life in different houses helping to feed the needy. Isidore was a kind gentle soul who cared for the poor and had a great affinity and affection for animals. Many Miracles were attributed to him , it is said that he brought back his masters dead daughter to life ,he also enabled a fountain of fresh water to burst forth from the dry earth to quench his masters thirst. Isidore was a mystic and experienced a series of celestial visions, it is believed the angels helped him with his work in the fields . He died in 1130 on May 15th at his birth place and was canonised by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. Isidore is the patron saint of farmers and Madrid.
Saint Simon Stock. Feast Day May 16th. Simon was born in Aylesford in Kent in the united Kingdom in 1165, during his youth he entered the Carmelite order and travelled to Palestine . Returning to Europe he established many Carmelite communities principally in university towns like Oxford, Paris and Barcelona. The name Stock which means tree trunk was a nick name attributed to Simon as by the age of 12 he had already adopted a hermetic lifestyle dwelling in the hollow trunk of an old oak tree. In 1251 whilst the Carmelite order suffered a period of great oppression the Virgin Mary appeared to Simon in Cambridge promising to secure his religious mission and offering perpetual protection to the Carmelite communities. Our Lady also bestowed upon Simon and his fellow brothers the brown habit and scapular as a sign of her favour .The Virgin ensured him that those who wore the brown habit would be protected form the fires of hell , the scapular itself was a spiritual shield against danger. In 1254 Simon was appointed Superior General to the Carmelite order in London. Simon died in 1265 in Bordeaux in France of natural causes. The Carmelite order was originally a contemplative community founded at the end of the 12th century in Palestine by a group of ascetic monks that lived on Mt Carmel, they have an extremely strong devotion to Mother Mary who is the Patroness of the order. The Carmelite motto is ” With Zeal I have been zealous for the Lord God of hosts”.
Saint Eugene de Mazenod. Feast Day May 21st. Charles Eugene de Mazenod was born in to a wealthy family of noble descent in 1782 at Aix- en Provence in France. During his youth he experienced the great turmoil of the French revolution and his family fearing for their safety fled to Italy. When they arrived in Italy his father deserted them and his mother and many siblings suffered great hardship and poverty. Thanks to the kindness of a wealthy benefactor they were able to return to France and in 1808 after much reflection and a lavish former lifestyle in his home country Eugene underwent a spiritual conversion and entered the seminary of St Sulpice in Paris. His very words were, ” I looked for happines outside of God but instead I found only affliction and dissapointment”. In 1811 he underwent ordination to the priesthood at Amiens and directed his vocation towards the poorest of the poor and their spiritual and physical needs. After a while he was appointed bishop of Marseille and began to build many Churches and parishes throughout the area. He is famous for establishing the ” Missionaries of Provence “after a short while this community was approved by Pope Leo X111 and became collectively known as as ” The Oblates of Immaculate Mary”.In 1841 the Oblates sailed for missions in five different continents. After a life of spreding the Good News of the Gospel Eugene died in 1861, he was canonised in 1995 by St John Paul 11 . Eugene is the Patron Saint of dysfunctional familes.