The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Saint Isidore of Seville in April. Many people know that he’s the patron saint of the internet, but many scratch their heads. Patron of the internet? How on earth is a saintly archbishop from the Middle Ages patron of something so modern?
Here is an explanation to that question as well as four more fun facts about the “last of the Latin Fathers”.
1. Yep, he is the patron saint of the internet
Pope Saint John Paul II considered Isidore as one of the possible patrons of the internet in 2001 because Isidore tried to record everything possible. Much like we (humanity as a whole) try to preserve as much as we can online.
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However, unlike our meme-loving society, Isidore sought to compile the information in order to glorify God and his kingdom. At the end of his life, 20 books were attributed to this prolific writer. Not only is he a patron of the ‘net, he’s also considered the patron of computers. Next time you’re having problems, be sure to ask Isidore for a little help.
2. He comes from a family of saints
Isidore’s family was one truly full of saints. His parents, Severianus and Theodora, were well known for their faith and piety. His siblings are all recognized as saints by the Catholic Church. His brother Saint Leander of Seville became the Archbishop of Seville and was a close friend of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. He has been credited with bringing the Nicene Creed to the west. His feast day is March 13.
Isidore’s brother Saint Flugentine of Ecija became Bishop of Ecija. His feast day is January 14. His sister Florentina of Cartagena became a nun and at ran over forty convents in her lifetime. Her feast day is August 28.
3. He was a Spanish reformer
Isidore was in Cartagena, Spain at a time when the Arian heresy ran riot. His own country was split into two; Roman Catholics on one side and the Arian Goths on the other.
Isidore and his brother, Leander, have been credited with reforming the Visigoths. Isidore took up the task of helping educate the faithful after two centuries of Visigoth rule. Part of the reforms included tackling religious and clerical errors as well as helping bring social justice and a sense of government to Spain.
4. He was the typical little brother
Being close to his brother, Leander, Isidore could be called a typical “little brother.” Having lost both of his parents at a young age, Leander took over and raised the rest of his siblings. He took over their education, which is where Isidore developed a love for prayer, study, and doing good works for the Church.
As they got older and became priests, Isidore signed up to help his brother’s mission of converting the Visigoths. After Leander’s death, Isidore even succeeded him as Archbishop of Seville.
5. He’s known as the ‘Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages’
Known as the “Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages,” Isidore composed a text that was used for nine centuries across Europe. Despite having a rough start with his education, he ended up writing a dictionary, an encyclopedia, and several other books on topics ranging from theology to agriculture and animals to law and war.
Have you ever used the word “etymology”? Thank Isidore who came up with the word.
With so much misinformation and animosity being the norm in the online world, don’t forget to pray this prayer to Isidore for a more fruitful experience.
Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop, and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.