Get is straight. Bert Ghezzi is not the patron saint of the internet.

The patron saint of the internet is St. Isidore of Seville

My friend and guest blogger Bert Ghezzi contributes this piece for your learning and edification.

St. Isidore of Seville (560–636) is sometimes called the “Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages” because his books and schools helped shape the education and culture of medieval Europe, and so of western civilization. For ten centuries, Isidore’s voluminous works were among those most quoted by other writers. And his establishment of cathedral schools laid a foundation for the medieval universities and for education in the West. Because of this legacy, he has been named a doctor of the church and the patron of the Internet

In 599, Isidore became bishop of Seville and for 37 years led the Spanish church through a period of intense religious development. He continued the conversion of the Visigoths from Arianism, a process that had started when their king, Recared, embraced orthodoxy in 587. Isidore also organized representative councils that established the structure and discipline of the church in Spain. At the Council of Toledo in 633, he obtained a decree that required the establishment of a school in every diocese. Reflecting the saint’s broad interests, the schools taught every branch of knowledge, including the liberal arts, medicine, law, Hebrew and Greek.

Isidore wrote many books, the most famous being the Etymologies, an encyclopedia of grammar, rhetoric, theology, history, medicine and mathematics. He also wrote a dictionary of synonyms, brief biographies of illustrious men, treatises on theological and philosophical subjects, a history of world events since the creation, and a history of the Goths, which is our only source of information about them.

  Throughout his long life, Isidore lived austerely so that he could give to the poor. Even in the last years of his life, they queued up daily at his door. But while Isidore had compassion for needy, he thought they were better off than their oppressors, as he explains in this selection:

“We ought to sorrow for people who do evil rather than for people who suffer it. The wrongdoing of the first leads them further into evil. The others’ suffering corrects them from evil. Through the evil wills of some, God works much good in others.“Some people, resisting the will of God, unwittingly do his purpose. Understand then that so truly are all things subject to God that even those who oppose his law nevertheless fulfill his will.

“Evil men are necessary so that through them the good may be scourged when they do wrong. Thus the Lord declares the Assyrian to be the rod of his anger. Through such men, God in his indignation wreaks his anger on those whom he would amend by chastisement. God works in this with a will of perfect justice, but his instruments often with the intent of cruelty, as the prophet says of the same Assyrian: ‘His heart is set on destruction.’

Some simple men, not understanding the dispensation of God, are scandalized by the success of evil men. They say with the prophet: ‘Why does the way of the wicked prosper?’ Those who speak thus should not wonder to see the frail temporal happiness of the wicked. Rather they should  consider the final end of evil men, and the everlasting torments prepared for them. As the prophet says: ‘They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment they go down to hell.’”

Shortly before his death, Isidore had two friends clothe him in sack cloth and rub ashes on his head so that he could come before God as a poor penitent. He died peacefully at Seville in 636

Bert Ghezzi is a popular speaker and the author of many books, including Voices of the Saints. His most recent book is The Angry Christian: A Bible-based Strategy to Care for and Discipline a Valuable Emotion, published by Paraclete Press.