Would you believe that there is a patron saint of internet users and computer programmers? Yep, there sure is, it seems as though the reach of the Catholic is now becoming well entrenched into even the internet. Heck, the Pope even has a Twitter account, and gets mentioned frequently by the Facebook God. Surprisingly however, even though the Church is beginning to get a grip of social media, this was a proposition that first saw light of day in the late 1990’s, when the internet was still an adolescent child.
Why is there a patron saint of internet users and computer programmers?
Back in 1997, before Google had plugged into an old dial up modem, while Facebook was first venturing into middle school, and the only tweets that you would ever encounter were out of a birds beak, the internet was becoming the world’s new play toy. All sorts of things of different description were being bought and sold, creating a completely new market place. Some people were becoming online experts, while the majority of us were still getting acquainted with the power of something literally at our fingertips. It was a brand new world, brimming with new information every day. It was, and still is, a fun place to be. But as we know, the internet has a darker side.
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For every useful site out there, there is a site that’s not really that useful. I’m talking about porn sites and illegal content sites. I don’t personally have anything against porn, but it’s not exactly Wikipedia, now is it? Then there are the sites that allow for illegal downloading of pirated content. Again, I’m a little liberal here too. If they provided the content at a reasonable price, people wouldn’t be as tempted to get it for free. Then there are the really bad sites, the evil sites. Those are the ones dedicated to child exploitation and so forth. So as you can see, the internet can be used for good and evil. This was the basis for Pope John Paul II deciding that a patron saint of internet users and computer programmers was needed. He felt that a saint was needed to guide Catholics in the proper use of the internet.
Pope John Paul II decided that Saint Isidore of Seville, the Doctor of the Church, and last of the Latin Fathers was the perfect pick. What made Saint Isidore of Seville so perfect for the information super highway, was that he was the first Christian to try and compile a complete list of all things known to man. Basically an encyclopedia. He actually coined the word etymology, which came from his 20 book opus called Etymologia.
As the internet is full of all kinds of information, this made Isidore the perfect pick.