Onward! Lemme set this up real quicklike:
- a) My husband's family lives in Portugal. Our next trip has always included a trip to Madrid, Spain, a mere 5-hour drive from Lisbon.
- b) I have a fascination with art in an anthropological, culture way. I love old books. I search for old books when I do my rounds of my fave 2nd hand store *treasure hunting* spots.
- c) I also love to garden a lot, worked and lived on a working farm as a teenager, back in my horse-girl days and have recently been thinking & researching a lot about starting an Urban Community Garden in my own neighbourhood. We live in an area without one, with apartment buildings and green schoolyards all around me, and no real close access to local produce. I am feeling a need/drive to do something real in my community.
- d) Have I mentioned the pets? I have had them all including horses, still have 4 as we speak (touch wood, Fatty is getting old!) and generally treat my pets as my buddies. They have great lives. I want to come back in another life as one of my own pets, actually. They have it that good.
- e) Sorry if this seems choppy, one last thing to add. I promise.
- f) I have been thinking of religion a lot. No specific one, but what the deities represent, and why, how our cultures view religion and the stories behind the icons. How they change over time. Looking deeper into the myths behind them I've also found myself staring at the new 360 view of the Sistine Chapel the Vatican has launched online. Reading Travelling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kid for my 52 books challenge has seemed eerily co-incidental.
So, the entire point of this? I picked up this very cool anthology of french literature published in Quebec in 1877 for $3 a while back. Yah. Sooo cool. I decided to pick it up today, remembering there was something in its pages somewhere. Out popped a prayer card thing, in french, from April 16, 1942. It's a card of St. Isadore.
Being only functionally bi-lingual and not able to fully comprehend the blurb on the back I googled St. Isidore and came up with this:
Isidore was born to very poor yet very pious Catholic parents in Madrid, Spain. His parents were unable to support him when he was a youth and sent him to work for a wealthy landowner, John de Vergas (He ended up working for him for the rest of his life).
He married a very religious woman named Maria Torribia (also known as Maria de la Cabeza). She, like Isidore became a saint. They had one son who died unexpectedly as a child. Their grief inclined them to believe their son's death to be a sign from God and consequently vowed to live a life of perfect continence.
Isidore frequented Holy Mass every morning but often reported to work late. Late, though he was, his plowing was nevertheless accomplished by angels that resulted in three times more productivity. His coworkers and his boss witnessed such miraculous events and accorded Isidore with great respect.
St. Isidore loved the poor and loved the animals. The miracle of the multiplication of food occurred when Isidore fed a flock of starving birds and on another time when Isidore shared his food with a large group of beggars.
Isidore died on May 15, 1120 at 60 years of age and was canonized in 1622 along with four very notable Spanish saints. St. Isidore is known as the patron of Madrid, Spain as well as Leon, Saragosa, and Seville. He is also considered the patron of farmers, peasants, day laborers, and rural communities.