Tuesday, May 15, 2012

St. Isidore, Farmer - New Leader of Jesuits in English Canada

St. Isidore the Farmer's feast is observed in the United States but is not in the Canadian calendar of saints. 

There are two parishes in our Archdiocese dedicated to him: a francophone parish in the east (Saint Isidore-de-Prescott) and a parish in Kanata North-South March (which has just moved into a newly-constructed church of the site of earlier churches):

When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, 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 had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long.

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."

Patron: Farmers; farm workers; ranchers; rural communities; Madrid, Spain; death of children; for rain; livestock.

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The Jesuits in English Canada were recently informed that Father Peter Bisson, 54 and a native of Edmunston, NB, has been named by the Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, to succeed Father James Webb as Provincial of the Jesuits in English Canada effective May 31. 

Father Bisson has been serving as the assistant to Father Webb, who is stepping down for reasons of health. Please keep both of these fine men in your prayers.

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