Blessed Isidore de Loor

“We can’t measure our life in terms of how long it lasts.”   Blessed Isidore de Loor   

Holiness doesn’t always mean great visions, miracles or deep spiritual writings. Sometimes, it just means being a good gardener who tries to do what God asks.

Isidore became known as “Brother of the Will of God.”

Born in 1881 in Belgium to a farming family. He worked on the family farm and enjoyed it. He gradually felt a call to religious life and joined the Passionists. There he continued as a farmer, but now he did it as a brother in a community of brothers. His life consisted of hard work on the farm, in the kitchen, prayer and life with his brothers in community. Shy by nature, he impressed with his hard work and his generosity. He had a generous heart and a cheerful disposition. Cancer struck early and he knew he would not make old bones. But he did ordinary things extraordinarily well.  A fellow Passionist describes his final hours.

He cheerfully bore the pain as it grew stronger. One night his Superior said: “Brother Isidore, I give you permission to go to Heaven.” Full of joy he raised his hands and said quietly “Yes, to Heaven!” He asked for his brothers to come in. He begged pardon for any trouble he’d caused and promised to pray for them in Heaven.  Then quietly, as he had lived, with scarcely anyone noticing, he died. It didn’t take long for this simple, generous and holy man to be recognised as a hero by the church. In 1984 Pope John Paul II beatified Isidore and to told us:

In Blessed Isidore we can contemplate the face of the suffering Christ, in whom God’s infinite love is revealed. He committed himself, with love and trust, to follow the example of Jesus. Isidore gave himself to follow Jesus crucified and risen. Affected by one of the most common diseases, cancer, Brother Isidore prepared himself for death with the same calm with which he had lived.