San Isidre is one of the favourite festivities of madrileГ±os devoted to the patron saint of the city, Isidore the Laborer (Sant Isidro Labrador), not unlike La MГЁrce in Barcelona. The legend goes that Isidore was a hardworking and pious laborer who went to church every morning, and usually arrived late to work because of that. The Isidore's master, when confronted about it by other workers, visited the field one morning to verify the claim and found an angel doing the day's work for the laborer while Isidore prayed.
San Isidro was born, lived and died in Madrid. He was married to Maria Torribia, also known as Santa Maria de la Cabeza. Both San Isidro and Santa Maria were canonized in the 17th century, becoming one of the very few canonized couples in the history of Christianity.
Not only San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid, he is also a patron of peasants and poor labourers. His Saint Day is May 15, which is widely celebrated in Madrid by religious and secular groups alike. The San Isidro Festival string of parties, festivities, performances goes on for nine days. May 15th also marks the beginning of the bullfighting season (la corrida) in Spain, celebrated with several consistently sold-out events at the Las Ventas bullring.