San Isidoro de Sevilla (560-635)
Teólogo español, fue obispo de Sevilla. Nació entre los años 560 y 570. San Isidoro es una figura importante en la historia medieval, pues su vida se desarrolla en el momento crítico en que se desintegra el mundo romano y de sus ruinas surgen nuevas nacionalidades. Combatió eficazmente el arrianismo, y presidió los concilios de Sevilla (619) y de Toledo (636, al que asistieron todos los obispos de España). Pero su mayor mérito radica en sus escritos, numerosos y de temas muy variados. Entre ellos destacan los referentes a la teología, a la filosofía, a la historia y otros de carácter enciclopédico. Su gran obra pertenece a este último género. Originum sive etymologiarum libri XX consta de 20 libros que abarcan la totalidad del saber: artes liberales y teología, ciencias naturales y derecho romano. En ella se encuentra todo: desde gramática, hasta alimentación o instrumentos domésticos y rústicos. Este saber se presenta bajo la forma de definiciones y se apoya en una concepción del lenguaje que supone una relación bastante inmediata entre las palabras y las cosas. La influencia de San Isidoro en la cultura occidental ha sido extraordinaria por la gran cantidad de conocimientos que transmitió a la posteridad.
San Isidoro fue nombrado santo patrón del Internet en el año 2001 por el Vaticano (ver texto abajo).
New York Times
Saturday, February 10, 2001
"Vatican to Give Internet its Patron Saint"
by Richard Owen in Rome
Those tempted to curse when their computer screen freezes or flashes up irritating messages about performing illegal operations will soon have someone to pray to instead. Reports this week said the Pope is about to name St Isidore of Seville as the patron saint of computer users and the Internet.
The proposal surfaced in 1999, with Spanish Catholic bishops advocating St Isidore as the best candidate on the grounds that in the 7th century he produced one of the world's first databases in the form of a twenty-volume encyclopedia called The Etymologies. Born in 560, he became Bishop of Seville—as had his father before him—and embarked on an educational mission, obliging all churches in his diocese to open schools and seminaries teaching Hebrew and Greek. The most learned man of his day, Isidore (not to be confused with Isidore the Farmer, the 11th-century patron saint of Madrid) is credited with introducing the works of Aristotle to Spain, and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century.
A Vatican spokesman said the Holy See was receiving a growing number of requests to name St Isidore, and the matter was "under active consideration". The Web is known to be high on the list of the Pope's concerns, and the Vatican has had its own website since 1996, powered by three computers dubbed Raphael, Michael and Gabriel.
Last week the Pope said the world's media, like the Vatican website, should promote positive and uplifting values rather than promoting the trivial or corrupt. In a sharply worded attack on the phenomenon of "spin-doctoring", the Pontiff said the media wrongly promoted the idea that "the only absolute truth is that there are no absolute truths, or that if there are, they are inaccessible to human reason ... what matters is not the truth but the story".
Vatican watchers said this echoed St Isidore's own remark that "in reading we aim at knowing, but we must put into practice what we have learnt rather than just acquiring knowledge". In a passage which will strike a chord with Internet users the saint added that"the man who is slow to grasp things but persists and really tries hard is eventually rewarded".
Patron saints have to be proclaimed by the Pope, who last year named St Thomas More the patron saint of politicians and statesmen. Those who have patron saints include accountants (St Matthew), actors (St Genesius), chemists (St Nicholas), broadcasters (St Gabriel), cooks (St Lawrence who was burned on a grill), doctors (St Luke), firemen (St Agatha), journalists (St Francis of Sales), lawyers (St Hilary), and taxi drivers (St Fiacre). The patron saint of television is St Clare, the companion of St Francis of Assisi, who was said to have the ability to transmit images of herself to him while she lay ill.