Devotees celebrate Sunday, May 15, the feast day of San Isidro Labrador, the revered patron saint of farmers, peasants, agricultural workers, and of Madrid, Spain.
As one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, more than 150 parishes and several municipalities across the country were named and placed under the patronage of the well-loved Spanish saint, who is also known as Saint Isidore the Farmer.
At the San Isidro Parish in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, a novena followed by the celebration of the holy mass were held from May 6 to 14 to mark the feast of their patron as well as to celebrate the 179th parish fiesta.
On May 15, Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud will preside over the concelebrated mass at 4 p.m. which will be followed by a solemn procession. Holy masses will also be offered at 6 a.m. and at 8 a.m.
Traditional observances associated with the feast include the Carabao Festival in Pulilan, Bulacan and Angono, Rizal, which features kneeling carabaos in front of the church.
Quezon Province’s, colorful “Pahiyas” Festival in Lucban, Sariaya’s “Agawan” Festival, and the “Mayohan” sa Tayabas are also held in honor of San Isidro as well as the “Kangga” Festival in Mogpog, Marinduque, and the “Bariw” Festival in Nabas, Aklan.
Born in Madrid, Spain, San Isidro was a deeply religious and hardworking farmer who put God at the center of his life. He was known for his piety toward the poor and animals.
Many miracles were attributed to his intercession. He died on November 30, 1130. His wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, is also well-venerated in Spain to this day.