St. Isidore a Favorite for Internet Patron

VATICAN CITY, APR. 3, 2001 ( St. Isidore of Seville, whose feast day the Church marks Wednesday, has received the most petitions to be named patron of the Internet.

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The “last Father of the Western Church,” was born in Cartagena, Spain, in 560, and died in Seville in 636. His elder brother Leander was bishop of Seville. At the latter´s death, he was replaced by Isidore, who headed that diocese for 38 years.

St. Isidore´s best-known work, “Etymologies,” was the first Christian “encyclopedia” whose structure is similar to that of the databases used by Internet today. This work of the saint, who in 1722 was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII, preserved a good part of the ancient cultural heritage, and gave a soul to the cultural transition in which he lived.

Participants at last month´s plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications studied the possibility of presenting the Vatican State Secretariat with several names to proclaim a patron saint for Internet.

St. Isidore of Seville has received the most requests from all over the world. Others proposed are the Apostle Paul and two 20th-century martyrs: St. Maximilian Kolbe, a great communicator, and Blessed Titus Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite and journalist.

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