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The patron saint of internet security?

The patron saint of internet security?

We can all do with a helping hand now and then. Sometimes it’s a parent offering an encouraging word or a work colleague staying late to help with a presentation. It could be a Samaritan doing a good deed or a mentor pointing you in an alternative direction.

Or it could be more tangible, like a tool or a kitchen appliance making our life easier. An automated calendar reminder makes sure you won’t miss any important appointments. Spell check, of course, can be a life saver.

We can all benefit from good fortune, the rub of the green, loop holes, or whatever you like to call it.

But even that may not be enough. If all else fails, we can look for intervention of a more spiritual persuasion. Not the big guy, although I’m not knocking offering up a prayer from time to time. I’m thinking more saintly than divine.

Saints are individuals of exceptional holiness who are important in many religions, particularly Christianity. Many are designated as a patron of a particular cause or profession, sometimes by popular custom and sometimes by official statements.

There is a patron saint of accountants (Matthew the Apostle) and of advertisers (Bernadine of Siena), of road builders (Sebastian of Aparicio) and blondiniers (Lydia Purpuraria). Yeah, I had to look that one up, too. They’re cloth dyers, apparently.

Unfortunately, I just couldn’t seem to find anything to do with ICT.

Not so arms dealers, who have Adrian of Nicomedia. Clowns have Julian the Hospitaller; hospital administrators have Basil the Great; canoeists have three: Ivo of Kermarin, Raymond of Penyafort, and Robert Bellarmine.

I did discover that Gabriel the Archangel is the patron saint of telecommunications workers. I was getting close.

Thankfully, my search was not in vain. Recently, a patron saint has been appointed to look over the internet, computer technicians, computer users, and computers, Saint Isidore of Seville. Despite being born more than a 1000 years before the invention of the computer, he would seem a pretty good fit – which I guess is why he got the job.

So, who is this guy that’s watching over us?

Well, his biography says he was “dedicated to his pursuit of knowledge” and he “worked hard at his studies and quickly mastered Latin, Greek and Hebrew”. Born circa 560AD, he was regarded by many as “the most learned man of his time”. He took it upon himself to document all ‘universal knowledge’ – a bit like the Internet, I suppose. He put it all together within his writings now known as the Etymologiae, which is said to contain all of the learning possessed in his time (and apparently remains a superb reference tool).

Now, I don’t know about you, but he seems like just the sort of guy I’d want looking out for me as I’m tapping away on the keyboard.


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