A Patron Saint for the Internet?

This blog forms an extension of our Parish in to the World Wide Web. From the comfort of your own home via your computer, on the go on your mobile, or even on your Tablet, you can keep up to date on parish news, Mass times, events, and projects.

It’s pretty obvious that the Internet will go down in history along with the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, not to the mention the vast strides taken in science and technology, especially in the twentieth century, as one of the greatest inventions in the history of the world. And with all new inventions, the Church is called to see how they can be used to further the mission of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world.

Search engines are fantastic at finding out the answer to a particular question. A new verb has entered the language as people all across the world ask each other, ‘Have you Googled that?’. Search engines seem to have replaced the more traditional ways of research like looking subjects up in reference books such as encyclopedias.

The Church offers us holy men and women, the saints, as examples for us to imitate. Saints are people who, in very different walks of life, have all dedicated themselves to loving God, living their faith out simply, and being faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ. The Church invites us to ask the prayers of particular saints for a special circumstance, these are called ‘Patron Saints’. For example, St. George is the patron saint of England, St. Jude is known as the patron saint of hopeless cases, and St. Gerard’s intercession is invoked before childbirth. You can look into the stories of these saints to see why they were chosen by the Church to pray for the people of England, hopeless cases, and women in childbirth…Google it!

The Church has been discussing a potential patron saint for the Internet! His name is St. Isidore of Seville, a Spanish Archbishop who lived between 560 – 636. He was suggested because he was an amazing scholar and put together the first book of ‘everything’, a book called the Etymologiae which was the 7th century’s version of Google. Scholars across the world would know that if they needed to know anything about anything then St. Isidore’s Etymologiae was the book to look to.

So perhaps, when you next open Internet Explorer, or FireFox, or Safari, and begin to use the Internet for all the many different and brilliant things it can be used for, ask the prayers of St. Isidore to guide you on the Internet. The Internet is full of good and fantastic things to learn and to explore, but we also need to use it wisely, and remember that as we use the Internet as Catholics and followers of Jesus, and so should be careful with what we view, knowing that not everything on the web is wholesome or healthy.

Here is a prayer that you could use:

Lord God, thank you for the wonderful gift of the Internet through which we can come to know more about the world you created. Hear the prayers for us of St. Isidore so that we always use the blessings you have given us for good and not for harm. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Check out life of St. Isidore of Seville here, and why don’t you Google your own name to see who your patron saint is…you might be surprised by what you discover! Once you’ve found your saint, make a note of their ‘feast day’ and why not celebrate it by coming to Mass that day and then having a special treat afterwards?

Post by Edmund Montgomery, Pastoral Associate at Our Lady & St. Christopher’s, Romiley.

About Sarah Doyle - let them be small
Mum to Daniel and Emma, born 2014 and 2012. Lover of crafting, reading and hot baths, although I rarely seem to find time to do these things!

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