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May 15

The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Saint of the day:

Saint Isidore the Laborer Farmer
Not to be confused with St. Isidore of Seville on April 4th

Patron Saint of Madrid

National Rural Conference in the United States

The Story of Saint Isidore the Laborer Farmer

St. Isidore was born at Madrid, Spain, in the latter half of the 12th century. For the greater part of his life he was employed as a laborer on a farm outside the city. Many marvelous happenings accompanied his lifelong work in the fields and continued long after his holy death. He was favored with celestial visions and, it is said, the angels sometimes helped him in his work in the fields. St. Isidore was canonized in 1622.

In 1947, he was proclaimed the patron of the National Rural Conference in the United States. He is the patron of farmers, and his feast day is May 15th.


Isidro, named after his parents in memory of San Isidoro of Seville, proved to be a good field worker and fervent believer, to whom the angels came to lend a hand to plow by driving the oxen through the fields while Isidro prayed fervently for long hours between the furrows of the field; a good husband, he married María Toribia (Santa María de la cabeza); and good father, had a son who, by accident, fell into a well (which can be seen in the museum of the origins) Both Isidro and his wife began to pray, and the water from the well rose a few meters to reach the surface, allowing the exit of the infant from its interior.

When he died he was buried in the cemetery of the church of San Andrés, and twenty years after his death the tomb was opened for his transfer, finding the body of the saint incorrupt and mummified. (The last time the sarcophagus was opened in which San Isidro is kept today was in 1985) Now his body and the ashes of his wife, María, are in the collegiate church of San Isidro el Real.

The remains of this holy man after his death have had a hazarosa "life" of transfers and walks from here to there that made him one of the most moved saints of our geography, leaving along the way several of his fingers of both hands as of the feet.




 God, through the intercession of St. Isidore, the holy Farmer,

grant that we may overcome all feelings of pride.

May we always serve You with that humility which pleases

You, through his merits and example.



Collegiate Church of San Isidro el Real

Saint Isidore Museum in Saint Andrew's square in Madrid


One of the most celebrated holidays of Madrid is held on May 15, the Feast Day of San Isidro who is the city's patron saint as well as the patron saint of farmers. The traditional festival and feast are held in an open-air area known as the Pradera del Santo. In the afternoon, the image of San Isidro and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, are paraded through the streets, from Calle del Sacramento to the Plaza de la Villa, via Calle del Cordon.



Pilgrimages, festivals, musical shows, attractions and bullfights are the main events we can find in the capital these days. In the grounds surrounding the Hermitage of San Isidro hundreds of families are going to eat on the 15th the huge prairie that extends through those lands, apart from drinking water from the spring of the saint, which they say is very miraculous. Likewise we can see ourselves surrounded by "chulapos", "manolos", "isidros" and "majos" that represent the most authentic spirit of Madrid.


At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, different characters who were part of the traditionalism of the court walked the streets of Madrid and, depending on the neighborhood in which they had been brought up and lived, they adopted a way of dressing that accompanied certain behavior. Social. Although its origin dates back to the previous century, it is during these years that the most chaste classes of Madrid live in their peak with a fashion that sought to differentiate itself from the French-dominated social elite.

Over the years, the terms "chulapo", "chulapa", "chulo" and "chulapona" have become generic forms of referring to the "madrileñismo castizo", although originally they coexisted in Madrid at the time with other local identifications, like those of "manolos" and "manolas", "chisperos", "isidros" or "majos" and "majas", which differed from each other in the colors and cuts of their suits and in the shapes of the sideburns and toupees.

The chulapos and chulapas were the neighbors of the district of Malasaña or of Maravillas that were distinguished, according to the dictionary of the Real Spanish Academy, "by certain affectation and beautifulness in the suit and in the way of being conducted" and they had a touch of golfería, that sometimes roamed the world of crime. The chulapas or chulaponas were the typical ironing of the Cavas, dressmakers, fruit, florists, cigar makers, washerwomen, happy and happy.

The peculiar clothing of this chuleco group was immortalized through the zarzuelas of the great composers such as Bretón, Chueca, Chapí, Moreno Torroba and many others.

The chulapas wear a tight white blouse at the waist with lantern sleeves, polka dot skirt or polka dot dress to the feet, handkerchief over the head (and sticking two carnations over the head) knotted around the neck with the hair tied in a bun and Manila shawl. In times it was common to wear a colorful apron to protect the skirt. The tight dress is an evolution of the wide skirt and ended up being as representative as this one or more.

The chulapos wear short vest or short jacket with carnation on the lapel, dark and tight pants, black cap or with small pictures, boots and white scarf around the neck.

What to Eat:




She is the queen of the food to take it in the meadow, on a red checkered tablecloth placed on the floor, along with the saint's donuts. 


To eat it in the pubs, at a table


now there is a lot of variety but these are the traditional ones:


They are considered the oldest, their recipe goes back to the Middle Ages. They are simply the traditional dough (flour, egg, sugar, oil and anise), without additional baths. They are the driest and driest but they are very light. 


Its origin is attributed to the Monastery of the Visitation whose nuns are known as "Santa Clara". 

They are covered in white dry meringue. 


They tell that they were created by Tía Javiera. She was a pastry chef and sold her donuts at fairs and pilgrimages. They are covered with a sugar bath with lemon flavor, although each time they make more colors and flavors. The most usual is yellow. 


The wife of Ferdinand VI found the silly donuts dull. 

The Royal chef added to the formula chopped almonds and sugar creating a new variety that made it popular in the streets of Madrid.


Las listas (‘the smart ones’) – rosquillas covered in a lemon sugar glaze
Las tontas (‘the dumb ones’) – regular rosquillas without any coating
Las de Santa Clara – rosquillas covered with a dry merengue coating
Las francesas – rosquillas covered in a sugar glaze with almonds


  • Flour, 250 grams

  • Sugar, 100 grams

  • Egg, 4 units

  • Baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon

  • Anise, 1/2 cup

  • Anises, 1 teaspoon

  • Lemon skin, 1 unit

  • Olive oil, 6 tablespoons


  1. Put six tablespoons of oil in a pan, bring it to the fire and when it starts to be hot, add the lemon peel and let it simmer for ten minutes. Remove the lemon peel and discard it. Remove the pan from the heat and let the oil cool.

  2. Next, put the teaspoon of aniseed in another pan and place it on the fire, stirring it in the mortar and crushing it to powder. Beat three eggs with the sugar until they are sparkling, add the fried oil, the aniseed, the aniseed cup and the flour. Mix everything well until you get a homogeneous mass.

  3. Increase the amount of flour a little, if necessary. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough stand for one hour in the refrigerator or in a cool place. Grease the hands with oil and divide the dough into twelve parts. Form balls with them, squash them a little and make a hole in the center to give them the shape of donuts.

  4. Next, grease the baking tray and place the donuts so that they are separated from each other. Beat the remaining egg and brush the donuts with it. Heat the oven and bake the donuts at medium power until they are golden brown on top (you can brush them more than once).

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