Facebook, Google, and Youtube are all familiar terms in people’s vocabulary in the 21st century. The spread of information through the Internet allows for people to keep in touch and to stay updated with news around the world in mere minutes— sometimes even seconds.
The Catholic Church even has a saint dedicated as the patron of the Internet. His name is Saint Isidore of Seville. As a bishop he brought unity to present-day Spain in the 7th century. Yes, you heard me right, Isidore lived in the 600s! Why was he chosen as patron of the Internet? Almost all our daily routines contain things not even invented his Isidore’s time!
In 1997 Pope John Paul II named Isidore as patron of the Internet. This is due to the structure of his writings was similar to that of databases. Isidore desired unity. He brought peace to a society devastated by years of war and united all Christians in Spain. As Doctor of the Church, Isidore’s writing promote unity and healing for those suffering separation or doubts about the faith.
We can also use the Internet in a similar fashion to evangelize and advocate ecumenism among various Christian denominations. This can occur through teaching friends via social media about the Church or even educating yourself on Catholic doctrine.
Be in Good Company
According to Orpah Winfrey, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Timeless advice, St. Isidore definitely stood in good company. Pope Benedict XVI, in his General Audience on June 18, 2008, as ”
He was a younger brother of Leander, Archbishop of Seville, and a great friend of Pope Gregory the Great.” His humility and fervor for knowledge helper him to better evangelize the Visigoths and other converts to Christianity at the time. The emeritus pope put it this way, “The wealth of cultural knowledge that Isidore had assimilated enabled him to constantly compare the Christian newness with the Greco-Roman cultural heritage (
General Audience on June 18, 2008).
Isidore— An Excellent Teacher
Commonly referred to as the Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages, Isidore acted as a true model of Christ the Teacher for the Catholic Church as a whole. Setting up rigorous schools and seminaries, the saint desired to properly form the newly converted Visigoths in the faith. The words of the 15th Council of Toledo, in 688, sums up Isidore’s character best, “The extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence, Isidore.”
Isidore, archbishop of Seville, ranks as an outstanding leader in the Church during the 7th century. His personal acumen along with the desire to catalogue human knowledge with precision makes him the perfect patron for the internet, computer technicians, and computer users!
While you surf the net, reflect on life St. Isidore. Seek to imitate his life by uniting Christians and all humans around you in worship of Jesus Christ.
Prayer Before Logging onto Internet
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.
Benedict XVI General Audience: June 18, 2008
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