Spanish version

San Isidro, May 15th

San IsidroSan Isidro, Patron Saint of Madrid

San Isidro was born in the XI century, but the exact date and place is not known.
He was a farmer and well known for his many miracles. One story says that, for example, he used to go to mass every day before starting work. Sometimes he arrived at work late because of this and his collegues complained about it. So, one morning, the owner of the land he was farming went to see what was happening. San Isidro was late again, but when they arrived at the land the oxes were ploughingSanta Maria de la Cabeza led by angels.
San Isidro knew how to find water. One year there was a terrible drought and he found a well with so much water that it was enough for all Madrid. This well still exists and every year, on the Saint´s day, people gather around this place to celebrate Madrid´s Patron Saint and get some water.
He was very poor but even so he divided his earnings into three parts, one for the church, another one for the poor and the third for himself and his family.
Interior San Isidro Chapel-Museum of San Isidro One day he was invited to a big lunch. He took some beggars with him and the host was quite angry because he did not have enough food. So San Isidro divided his part and there was enough for all of them.
Perhaps the most popular story is the one related to his son. The baby was in a basket that fell into a well. San Isidro and his wife started to pray and the water in the well started to come up and brought the baby unhurt to the surface.
He was married to Maria de la Cabeza, also a saint and a patron saint of Madrid, although the first is the Virgen de la Almudena.

They are both buried in the Colegiata de San Isidro (Collegiate Church), which is said to be built on the place they used to live and where he also found another well. The Colegiata is located in the Calle de Toledo, 37. Their house and the well are under the altar. This church burnt down in the beginning of the XX century and was rebuilt. This church should not be confusedFiestas de San Isidro painted by Goya with the Ermita de San Isidro (San Isidro Hermitage).
Museum of San Isidro There is a museum dedicated to San Isidro, Museo de San Isidro. It is located in the Plaza de San Andres, 2 and there you can see the well into which San Isidro´s son fell.
May, 15th is the Saint´s Day. At twelve o´clock there is a mass in the Colegiata. Afterwards everybody goes to the Pradera de San Isidro (Meadow of San Isidro), where they eat and celebrate. In the afternoon the images of the saint and his wife are taken in procession through the streets.

The Pradera de San Isidro is close to the river Manzanares. The processions used to start in the Puerta del Sol, as can be seen in paintings by Goya.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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