Patron of Cancer
Blessed Isidore De Loor, Passionist, came from a farming family in Belgium. For 26 years he worked the family farm. Finally he was able to fulfill his dream of being a Brother. “For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you”.
In 1907, Brother Isidore entered the Passionists. He expressed his goal: “I desire nothing else than to sacrifice myself entirely for the salvation of souls and for the spread of devotion to the Passion of Jesus, which on my part I can do only through work and prayer”. He was assigned to gardening and cooking. As Brother Isidore said: “We should find in all things the will of God”.
In 1911, things changed dramatically for Brother Isidore. Cancer developed in his right eye. It had to be removed. The doctors were sure that the cancer would spread. Brother Isidore responded to the news in a letter to the family. “If that is what God has disposed, I submit to Him without lament or weeping”. Brother Isidore has been called ‘Brother of the Will of God’.
In 1914 war ravaged Belgium. People sought aid from the Passionist Monastery. Brother Isidore was then porter. He reached out to the people with compassion and understanding. People never forgot this. In the midst of it all, he had his own battle with cancer.
By 1916 cancer had taken its toll. Brother Isidore could be seen with his head in his hands, barely able to endure the pain. He died that year at the age of 35. He was 9 years a Brother. Pope John Paul 11 beatified Brother Isidore in 1984.
Though Brother Isidore lived a hidden life, the people remembered him and prayed to him. Cures from cancer and other illnesses occurred. His name spread. Brother Isidore has been honored with the title ‘Patron of Cancer’.
The opening prayer at Blessed Isidore’s Mass sums up his message for us: “Lord God, in Brother Isidore’s spirit of humility and work, you have given us a life hidden in the shadow of the cross. Grant that our daily work be a praise to you and a loving service to our brothers and sisters”. Brother Isidore, pray for us.
Fr. Theodore Walsh C.P.