Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday in the 4th Week of Lent - Saint Isidore -

Fourth Monday of Lent
O God, who renew the world through mysteries beyond all telling, grant we pray, that your Church may be guided by your eternal design and not be deprived of your help in this present age. Through our Lord.

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Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today, there is possible an optional liturgical commemoration of this saint who has been proposed as the patron saint of the Internet and/or encyclopedic projects (such as search engines?)

[Image adaptation by the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida]

Isidore of Seville - Born: c.560 in Cartagena, Spain; died: April 4, 636; canonized: 1598; Feast Day: April 4; Patron Saint of computers, computer users, computer programmers and the Internet.

Isidore was born in 560 AD to a noble family in Cartgena, Spain. He was educated mainly by his older brother, Leander, a monk. Succeeding his brother, Isidore served for 36 years as archbishop of Seville, and was known for his emphasis on education. In 633, three years before his death, he presided over the Fourth National Council of Toledo, which enacted a decree commanding all bishops in Spain to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school already existing at Seville.

In the 7th century he produced one of the world's first databases in the form of a twenty-volume encyclopedia called the Etymologies. He was the first Christian writer to essay the task of compiling a summa of universal knowledge. His encyclopedia epitomized all learning, ancient as well as modern, and in it many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise would have been hopelessly lost.

In 1999 the Vatican's Observation Service for Internet, which drew its mission from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, researched the Internet and related technologies to select a patron saint who would best reflect the concerns and ideals of computer designers, programmers and users. Because of St. Isidore's leadership in compiling and making accessible the world's knowledge in his time, he seemed an appropriate choice.

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Hear graciously the prayers, O Lord, which we make in commemoration of Saint Isidore, that your Church may be aided by his intercession, just as she has been instructed by his heavenly teaching. Through our Lord.

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