Madrids Patron Saints

Madrid for kids

Because Spain is a Roman Catholic country, towns and cities all have their own saints.   On a towns Saint day there are celebrations such as processions or fiestas. Madrid's saints are San [Saint] Isidro and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza and the Virgen de la Almudena.  San Isidro was a very poor farmer who was very devout and would pray all the time.  The Spanish royal family have traditionally turned to San Isidro in times of need.   He is said to have saved King Philip III from a deadly illness, and Queen Isabel the Catholic was so dedicated to him she apparently snapped a toe off his corpse and took it away with her.  The Virgen de la Almudena is Madrids other revered saint.  She has the cathedral, near Palacio Real built in her honour.  Her image was supposedly brought to Spain by the Apostle Santiago (St.  James) and hidden away inside a city wall when the Moors invaded in 783.

San Isidro is also closely linked to bullfights.  to get tickets click on this link Las Ventas arena.  Even if you dont like the idea, its going to be difficult to avoid seeing a fight as they are screened on TV throughout the season and tend to be on in bars.

He was accused by fellow workers of not doing his equal share of work because he went Mass each day and would stop to pray in the middle of the fields.  
Isidro claimed he had no choice but to follow the highest Master.  One tale says that when his master came one morning to chastise him for skipping work for church, he found angels ploughing the fields in place of Isidro.  It is said that miracles occur at his grave like cures and other miracles.  

200 years after being hidden the wall fell away exposing her image and the same candles she had been hidden with, still burning.  You can see where the statue was found if you walk down past the entrance to the crypt on Calle Mayor.   You will see flowers placed on the wall.   You can also see lots of damage to the walls from bullets , a reminder of past conflicts.  San Isidros (c1070 - 1130) most famous miracle was to persuade angels to do his ploughing so that he could go to mass and pray more.    continue

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