The question came up: Who is the patron saint for gardeners? According to Catholic Online, the patron saints for gardeners are: Adelard, Fiacre, Rose of Lima, and when you really think about it, Adam. My Catholic Source adds: Dorothy, Phocas, and Tryphon. We recently celebrated St. Isidore the farmer. He was a day laborer who did farming work outside Madrid. He attended Mass every day before he went into the fields. He and his wife, Maria Torribia had a little boy, who died in infancy. Henceforth, they lived together chastely and gave freely to the poor. Isidore died in 1130 and was canonized in 1622. Maria was canonized in 1697. St. Isidore is the patron for farmers.
One interesting fact about Isidore and Maria is their decision to live chastely. Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within a person and thus the inner unity of a person in his bodily and spiritual being. Living continently out of love for God is the celibate state. Celibacy is viewed by the Church as a gift from God – it is a charism of the Holy Spirit. It is never to be viewed as a lugubrious treatment of one’s body or of another person’s body. Celibacy and virginity are beautiful, not dirty.
Whether it is for vegetables or for flowers, garden work truly demonstrates the fresh, spontaneous, and generous work of the Holy Spirit. The flower which symbolizes chastity is the white lily. St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, is depicted in statues and pictures holding a lily. All the saints mentioned above share in some way this fragrant attribute of Jesus – His Purity of Heart. Perhaps St. Isidore and St. Maria were inspired by the Holy Family to live out their days in chastity in the service of charity for the purpose of offering the total gift of self as did Jesus, Mary and Joseph.