On May 15, 2023, the SCJ parish in Dumalinao celebrated its 66th Patronal Feast of St. Isidore, the Farmer. The Holy Eucharist started at 9:45 am. The main celebrant was the Bishop of Pagadian, Most Rev. Ronald I. Lunas, D.D. The bishop was joined by some SCJs, from the Zamboanga del Sur area and from Cagayan de Oro. The celebration of the Eucharist was followed by a common meal and a cultural program.
St. Isidore, the Farmer, was born into a humble family in Madrid, Spain, in the 11th century. Despite the family’s poverty, Isidore received a good education and was known for his deep religious devotion from a young age. He later became a farm worker and was employed by a wealthy landowner, Juan de Vargas. Isidore spent the rest of his life working for Juan de Vargas, but his devotion to God never waned. He attended Holy Mass every morning, even if it meant being late for work. Isidore was known for his hard work, and it was said that he completed his plowing three times faster than his peers, thanks to the help of angels.
Isidore’s love of the poor and concern for the proper treatment of animals made him a beloved figure in his community. He was known to share his food with the poor, and it was said that he could miraculously multiply food to feed those in need. Isidore’s devotion to his faith and his concern for others earned him the reputation of being a holy man, and he is considered the patron saint of farmers, farm workers, ranchers, and rural communities.
The celebration of St. Isidore’s feast in Dumalinao was an occasion for the community to come together and honor the life and virtues of this holy man. The Eucharist and the feast that followed were a way of sharing in the bounty of the earth and in the spirit of generosity that Isidore embodied. The celebration was a reminder of the enduring power of faith and the example of the saints to inspire and guide us in our own lives.
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to forget the importance of hard work, devotion, and care for others. But the life of St. Isidore reminds us that these values are timeless and can be found in any era or community. The celebration of his feast was a testament to the enduring legacy of this holy man and to the power of faith to bring people together in a spirit of love and unity.