Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

St. Isidore the laborer

From Fatima Portugal we travel a little over 300 miles to Madrid, the birth place of today's saint- Saint Isidore the laborer.

  Good Saint Isidore who was so good and holy, and such a good worker, that God sent an angel to toil the fields of the wealthy John de Vargas so that St. Isadore could keep going to daily mass!  Isadore's employer saw the angel working away and he converted to Christianity, and the story has it that Isidore and John de Vargas started going to mass together.

Isidore's wife, Maria Torribia  is also a saint.  They too suffered the sorrow of losing  their only child, a son.  They were noted however not for how they grieved, but how they incorporated that grief into living a full, holy, and even happy life afterwards.
St. Isidore the Farmer
Christina B Castro via Flickr Licensed by CC

St. Isidore loved the poor and loved the animals. He also had the gift of food multiplication. Isidore fed a flock of starving birds and another time shared his food with a large group of beggars.  His wife Maria always kept a pot of stew on the fire, knowing that her husband would always be inviting someone in to eat with them. One time he invited a large crowd over and Maria was just sure that there would not be enough food, but Isidore insisted that she check again and when she did, sure enough, there was enough stew for everyone to have something to eat.

Isidore died on May 15, 1120 at 60 years of age. It is noted that he took special preparation and prayer to prepare for a holy death.  He was canonized in 1622 along with four very notable Spanish saints. The group, known as "the five saints", included St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier, St. Phillip Neri, and St. Isidore. His body has been found incorrupt. His memorial is celebrated on May 15th on the Roman Calendar.

He is the patron saint of Madrid and farmers.

My daughter's name is Isadora, so today is her feast day.  She is named for her Grandpa Isidore, Mr. Pete's father.  He was a delightful man with a wonderful sense of humor and fun.  I remember in high school he drove the family station wagon to pick up  Pete and his friends wearing a blond Farrah Fawcett wig.  Of course everyone pointed and stared but he pretended he had no clue what they were laughing at.  Mr. Pete and his friends had no choice but to get in the car with him if they wanted a ride home.  Ah... the fun of embarrassing teenagers!

Another time, after we were married, my father-in-law Isidore wore a pair of dark sun glasses to a New Year's Eve party.  The glasses lit up when he pressed a button in the pocket of his leisure suit.  He spent a good part of the evening flashing his glasses and surprising people.  The DJ that evening then found a record about cheap sunglasses and my father-in-law took to the floor, dancing by himself and flashing his sun glasses while the crowd watched and applauded.  Boy, that was so fun!  I really missed him after he passed on.

Lest you think he was just a jokester, my father-in-law was with General Patton in WWII.  He was with him during two campaigns, but was hit by shrapnel in Africa and was out for the rest of the war.  That's how he met my mother-in-law.  A girl was writing to him, but she had too many soldiers to write to, so she gave Isidore off to my mother-in-law Virginia.  Their letters clicked with each other.  They met, married and had nine children.  The rest is history!
Isadore LaVictoire PFC
My kids know all of these stories.  So in honor of St. Isidore, and of Grandpa Isidore, we are going to plant some flowers today.  St. Isidore was a farmer, so that is very appropriate.

Happy Feast Day St. Isadore, Grandpa Isadore, and sweet little Izzy!
Litany to St. Isadore here
Great day to do some planting! Like a Marian Garden. Check out St. Isidore's Grotto 

St. Isidore