Patron Saint of the Internet

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The Life of Saint Isidore

From a young age in the Cathedral school of Seville, Isidore was dedicated to his pursuit of knowledge. Here he was taught by many learned men, including his brother Leander who was the archbishop. Isidore worked hard at his studies and quickly mastered Latin, Greek and Hebrew. When his brother died, Isidore became the archbishop in his place. His title, like his brother’s before him, was the Metropolitan See of Seville. Isidore’s greatest passion was in the field of education. He encouraged the educational institutes in Seville to prescribe the study of Greek, Hebrew, law and medicine. To many Isidore was seen as the most learned man of his time. Isidore was born circa 560AD and died on 4th April 636.

The Works of Saint Isidore of Seville

Anyone looking for the reason Saint Isidore was chosen as the Patron Saint of the Internet need look no further than his greatest work. Saint Isidore took it upon himself to document all “universal knowledge” much like the Internet aims to do today. He was a collector and compiler of all information which he put together within his writings now known as the Etymologiae, which is said to contain all of the learning possessed in his time. It was used by almost all schools at the time as the source of all learning. In some areas the works still remain a superb reference. With Isidore being an expert in the field of Latin and Greek poets, the Etymologiae quotes over 150 of them.

The Etymologiae

The works of Isidore were split into 20 separate books.

·         Book One: grammar and metre

·         Book Two: rhetoric and dialect

·         Book Three: mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy

·         Book Four: medicine and libraries

·         Book Five: law and chronology

·         Book Six: ecclesiastical books and offices

·         Book Seven: God and the heavenly and earthly hierarchies

·         Book Eight: the Church and sects

·         Book Nine: languages, people and kingdoms

·         Book Ten: etymology (the history and origin of words)

·         Book Eleven: of man

·         Book Twelve: beasts and birds

·         Book Thirteen: the world and its parts

·         Book Fourteen: physical geography

·         Book Fifteen: public buildings and road making

·         Book Sixteen: stones and metals

·         Book Seventeen: agriculture

·         Book Eighteen: terminology of war, jurisprudence and public games

·         Book Nineteen: ships, houses and clothes

·         Book Twenty: domestic and agricultural tools and furniture

The Order of Saint Isidore

The Order of Saint Isidore of Seville is an Internet-based organisation. The Order was formed on 1st January 2000 to celebrate the beginning of Christ’s Third Millennium, to honour Saint Isidore of Seville and to promote the ideals of Christian chivalry through the medium of the Internet. In short, they pledge to use the Internet only for good and to encourage others to do so. It is perhaps best said in the prayer to Saint Isidore which is on its website.

Prayer to St. Isidore of Seville

Almighty and eternal God,

who has 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 example 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.


The copyright of the article Patron Saint of the Internet is owned by Dulcinea Norton-Smith. Permission to republish Patron Saint of the Internet in print or online must be granted by the author in writing. First published on


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