Saint Isidro Farmer- Patron Saint of Madrid
Saint Isidro Farmer is one of the Patron Saints of Madrid. Every 15th of May the city gets dressed with the typical clothes of Madrid to give life, colour, happiness and a genuine style to the City to celebrate his day.
But let’s start from the beggining. Why did Saint Isidro become the Patron Saint of Madrid?
Because Saint Isidro was a saint borned in Madrid! He was a faithful farmer who lived in Madrid from the 1082 to the 1172 and who became a saint because of the great amount of miracles that he made. He lived in San Andrés Square, in La Latina neighbourhood, in the house of the a rich Family from the Spanish nobility, the Vargas Family, emplaced where nowadays we find the Saint Isidro museum.
And what did he do to become a Patron Saint?
He made a lot of miracles related to the water. Everytime that he needed it he prayed to God and hammered his stick on the ground to make the water appears. That is why he is always represented with his stick on his right hand.
His most famous miracles were:
The Field that took care of itself
When Isidro was a farmer we worked for the Vargas Family taking care of their fields. One day, one of the servants of the family warned to his master Ivan Vargas that Isidro was not taking care of the lands as ordered, that he was just spending the whole day praying. Worried about the fault of his servant, Iván Vargas went to see what was Isidro doing. When we found him, he saw that he was praying and not caring about the lands as the other server had told him. But his biggest surprise was not this one, his biggest surprise was to find that the lands were just in perfect conditions because they were being plowed by an angel who had gone there to let Isidro pray! After watching this miracle, Iván decided to let Isidro as the “manager” of his lands.
The Miracle of the Pot
The most famous miracle of Saint Isidro is the miracle of the pot. This story tells that Isidro, after a hard work day, went back home to get together with his wife María de la Cabeza and his only child Illán. When he arrived we found his wife crying, totally devastated. Their son had fallen into the pot of their house. Both of them started to cry inmediately and went to see the pot. Once there, both of theme kneeled next to the pot and started a prayer…And it was then, just some seconds after doing it when the water of the pot started to go up from the bottom to the top making their son appear completely safe and sound. The pot where this miracle happened can be still found in Saint Isidro Museum of Madrid.
But apart from making his miracles in life, he made some of other after his death.
One of them says that when his body was exhumed some decades after his death he was found in perfect conditions, completely incorrupt.
It is also said that he had a really important participation in a decisive battle for the Spanish History in the Navas de Tolosa Battle. This was one of the key battles of the Reconquer period. After wining the battle the then King Alfonso VIII said that the victory was possible thanks to a young sepherd that showed them a path to cross Sierra Morena Mountains to catch the muslim empire by surprise.
When Alfonso VIII saw the miracle of the incorrupt body of San Isidro, he found out his face really familiar…He was the sepherd that had guided them to the victory!
That is why after making so many miracles he became the Patron Saint of Madrid and every year on the 15th of May, the day of his beatification, the Madrileños and Madrileñas, the chulapos and chulapas wearing a carnation flower and a Manila shawl we go to the meadow where Saint Isidro installed his miraulous fountain, we go to Saint Isidro Meadow. In there we enjoy of the nice company of our friends, of the gallinejas sandwich (chicken intestines sandwich) and the San Isidro donuts. Their names are Las Listas y las Tontas. It means the Clever and the Stupid ones.
It is easy to guess which are the clever and which one are the stupid. The clever ones are the one that have the lemon cream over it, and the stupid ones are the one that have nothing on top…just like in real life. Our recommendation is “always clever better thant stupid”. Also in the donuts.
And with the story of Our Patron Saint and this gastronomic recommendation we end the post of this week. But before saying goodbye, we would like to first invite you to come to Madrid on the next 15th of May and enjoy the city in such a special day!
If you want to know much more stories about Madrid and our Patron Saint. Do not doubt it, come with us and Discover with our Free Tours the best well hidden stories of Madrid!