Isidore, 560-636. Doctor of Education, Feast April 4th
all who have been discouraged as a student, failed in their studies,
or dropped out of school, St Isidore can identify with you. These
three setbacks and disappointments in the learning process happened
to him and to many thousands of us today. That is an excellent reason to turn to Isidore in petition
to gain strength and courage to use one's mind to fullest
When you yearn to learn and to be holy, no doctor
is gifted to lead you more than this saint. The educational doctor
will exceed your expectations, needs, and desires. When you humbly and
imploringly beseech God to guide you in holy knowledge and
understanding through Isidore's intercession, you can be assured of
Isidore knew the value and difference between
learning and education. He grasped their connection through
grace-God’s way of knowing. If we have jeopardized, minimized or
overlooked our opportunity to learn, we might turn to God through
Isidore. We can be assured of his assistance because he has given us
an example through his extraordinary modeling. He was a master on
how to love God through learning and supported others to be
educated. That isn’t always easy. Why? Strange as it may sound,
knowledge doesn’t always lead us to God or holiness.
gift of knowledge is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit but
that gift is not something that we merit or gain only through
intellectual endeavor. It is above all a gift from God. The gift of
knowledge is not discursive. It is intuitive; it has the divine
character proper to the action of the Holy Spirit. It gives us an
insight into the mysterious relationships between creatures and
Creator. For more information about this gift and subject read True
Devotion to Holy Spirit (formerly called The Sanctifier ) by Luis M.
Martinez, former archbishop of Mexico, and published by Sophia Press: Recommended by Fr Benedict Groeschel and
the late John Cardinal O'Connor. To order the book go to:
Professors, educators, learners and
anyone involved in the design, development and implementation of
education can easily get excited and surprised at Isidore’s great
contributions to education. His efforts in seminaries and dioceses
with regard to the training for the priesthood is monumental and
lasting. All members of the church and society owe Isidore a
tremendous debt and thankfulness. He unquestionably benefited millions
through the seminaries he helped established and, more importantly,
through his example and charity in assisting others to learn. He was
convinced and demonstrated throughout his life that learning is a
part of loving especially if it is done for God’s honor and the
service of humankind.
Isidore’s learning and holiness
enormously influenced the medieval culture. He was not only a
guiding light to the church in diocese formation of seminaries and
seminarians but also to the world for his achievements in education
As many doctors of the church before him, he
felt called initially by God to become a hermit despite the pleading
of his friends to take a different path to God. As it often happens,
God calls us one way and then reverses the call to let us know that
he who calls doesn’t stop calling and nothing is permanent in life
but change. Two obvious examples are the deceased Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Pope John Paul II. Both started their initial
vocations in different directions. One changed from her original religious
community to another and the other was denied entrance into a religious order
not once but twice. No sooner was Isidore a hermit than God invited
him to become an Archbishop of Seville following the death of one of
his brothers. Both his brothers had been bishops. His sister was a
nun with major responsibilities for many convents.
Isidore was a teacher, educator, ruler, founder and reformer. He
labored diligently not only in his own diocese but throughout Spain
and even in foreign countries. He presided at the Council of Toledo
one of the major twenty-one ecumenical counsels of the church. He
was most instrumental in the church’s growth, reform and
Isidore required seminaries to be built in
every dioceses, wrote rules for Religious Orders and founded schools
that taught every branch of learning. He also wrote many books
including an entire encyclopedia, dictionaries and a vast array of
educational tools that promoted learning. His encyclopedia was used
as a textbook for nine hundred years. He also wrote a history of the
world. In Toledo, Spain, the Mozarabic liturgy, which he wrote, is
still in use today.
He governed his diocese nearly
thirty-seven years and despite all his erudition and learning he
always remembered the poor. It was his custom to bring them into his
house and it was crowded from sunrise to sunset. His knowledge
humbled him and he always showed charity among the poor, the
ignorant and the uneducated because he remembered that he too had
quit school, failed, got discouraged, and even ran away from home
The saint combined holiness with learning and practiced
it daily. He knew that learning without holiness would lead to pride
and deterioration of soul and spirit. His learning promoted his
sanctity and his sanctity spurred his learning and knowledge. It was
especially aimed to educate people and always to strengthen
individual members in service to the church. Isidore's driving
passion and his major focus was to yearn to learn. God implanted
this gift, thirst and longing in him throughout his lifetime. That
is one reason why he may be considered the educational doctor. He
yearned to know and love God and his neighbor through knowledge.
All the doctors emphasized that we can only truly know God
intimately through divine love. Spiritual love is knowledge in the
form of wisdom. God wants us to use our hearts and our minds fully in
order to have full access and entrance into the inner life of the
intelligent Supreme Being. Our efforts coupled with God’s graces
will give us deeper insights, knowledge and full use of our
understanding. Our intelligence united to our wanting the holy will
of God will unite our hearts and minds with God’s
Through Isidore’s significant educational
contributions, the church has instructed both clergy and lay
persons. By his holy example, school efforts and the learning
process, the church and its member have been deeply enlightened. He
became one of the most learned persons of his time in Spain during
the seventh century. He was an ardent, educational advocate. Not
only did Isidore help educate others but also helped ignorant and
misguided people in the faith to become reeducated. That
accomplishment is sometimes harder.
To assist people to
unlearn facts is a science and an art because ingrained habits are
harder to break and erase. A fine example of this is the Arian
heresy that had been around for nearly four hundred years during his
lifetime. This misleading heresy was the scourge of the church for
decades. Isidore converted a leader of this terrible heresy by
reeducating him. By this action, Isidore helped Spain become
detached from this heinous heresy which had plagued thousands. He
pointed out errors then and for us today with fuller and tangible
knowledge of God through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the most
authentic reflection of the Father by reason of his very nature both
as God and Man. This also allows all human beings to identify,
experience, and sense the omniscent One dwelling in our own flesh.
God is divinizing us daily, not only in Jesus’ name, but also in the
actual person of Jesus and with his Spirit. God shares his
incredible intimacy, friendship, pleasure and bliss with us through
his church and life. Even, now, in this life on earth, we can sense
a foretaste of the life to come. Faith enables us to grasp this
mystery or perhaps the mystery touches us with faith. That is why it
is vital to know what one believes in order that one does not get
misled or confused.
The expression "The mind is a terrible
thing to waste" has many lessons. We waste our minds not only by
drugs but also by drugging our minds with knowledge that can be
dangerous or destructive. There are ideas and concepts that are
misleading and lead to evil. Books, magazines, newspapers and
various media such as the computer and the ubiquitous Internet can
be a blessing or a curse not in themselves but in how that knowledge and usage
impacts us. One would be shocked to know the numbers of adult
websites that are created daily and leads to serious pornographic addictons in thousands.
Education, knowledge and
learning in itself are no guarantee for holiness. Isidore shows us even today
education can be an instrument to help and share with
Mothers, fathers, teachers, professors and tutors-all
play a vital part in the education of one’s family, society and
everyone that seek knowledge. Isidore gives us a marvelous gift by
his example. He treated those less gifted in knowledge and
identified with them by showing tremendous dignity and respect. We
should recall Jesus’ words that to whom much is given, much shall be
During the seventy-six years of Isidore’s life
there were many conflicts (as all generations) and growth for the
church in Spain. The Arians claimed that Jesus Christ was not God.
They were Christians to be sure and Jesus was a very special person
but a man could not be God to their logic. Spain was divided by the
Roman Catholics and the Arian Goths who had invaded the country a
century and a half earlier-before the birth of Isidore. They had set
up their own capitol. In fact, Isidore’s father was probably of
Roman origin and was connected with the Visigothic kings. During the
reign of six kings in Isidore’s time, he and his brothers before him
helped convert the Visigoths from Arianism to
Isidore played a major role in the unification
of Spain by making it a center of culture and learning. He assisted
the other European countries, whose culture had been threatened by
barbarian invasion, by teaching, instructing, and guiding. He has been
called the Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages because of his immense
contribution to educational growth.
Isidore paved the way in
education for the church through his holy example. His actions were
imitated by many that followed in his footsteps. Some examples are
St John Baptist de la Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the
Christian School (Christian Brothers). He is named the Patron of
Schoolteachers and is often called the Father of Modern Education.
John Neuman became the first American bishop to be beatified in the
United States and drew into American cities many teaching orders of
sisters and the Christian Brothers.
Through the extraordinary
efforts, gentleness and painstaking care of Isidore and many other
doctors, education and teaching became an art and science. In fact,
it became more! St John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, wrote: What is nobler than to
mold the character of the young? I consider that he who knows how to
form the youthful mind is truly greater than all painters, sculptors
and all others of that sort.
The church has provided down
through the centuries outstanding leaders in the educational field.
St Angela Merici has the double distinction of founding the first
teaching order of women in the church and what is now called a
“secular institute” of religious women. She formed the Company of
St. Ursula and is the Patroness of Medieval Universities and venerated as a
leader of women for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life
through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. Most
of us can identify with a mother, widow, educator, founder, saint
and pioneer of the first American parish school and first American
orphanage. Elizabeth Ann Seton did all this while raising her five
children. She founded the first native American religious community
for women, the Sisters of Charity. Elizabeth was the first
American-born citizen to be canonized. Frances Xavier Cabrini,
another great missionary and educator, was the first US citizen to
be canonized. Many scientists can identify with the great scientific
knowledge that St Albert the Great shared with us during his life.
Who can forget the Patron of Catholic Schools, St Thomas
Aquinas, and his enormous contributions in the area of philosophy
Many are indebted to the illustrious Sisters
of Notre Dame for their education. St Julia Billiart is the original
foundress of that Order which has different divisions. She was an
invalid of twenty-two years before becoming cured through her faith,
her good sister’s faith, and Julia’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of
The best teachers as Isidore, John Bosco, and many
other religious and secular educators that have taught civilization,
have instructed the whole person-body, mind, heart and
The Salesians are found nearly everywhere. They are a modern religious society of
priests and brothers founded in 1859 by St John Bosco to reach out to the poor and needy youth.
They are the third largest religious order in the world-some 17,000 strong working in 100 countries all
over world. And then there are the sisters-another 17,000! And then there are cooperators-several thousand again.
Another site for St John Bosco is
The famous, Jesuit saint, Peter Claver, who taught and
ministered to the slave trade in the sixteenth century, understood
that distribution of medicine, food and brandy to his Black brothers
and sisters would educate and instruct them far more effectively
than pious statements or educational methods. Technique, knowledge,
articulation are secondary to an education in authentic love. St
Claver would tell all educators and us today that we must show good
example with our hearts, hands and minds by sharing and giving
before we try to educate others with our lips.
This is what
Jesus, Isidore and Peter Claver did and all those involved in
service and education of others. By failing to model for others,
show good example, act patiently, especially with the less
fortunate, we will never be able to teach or educate others anything
that will be lasting or enduring.
We mustn't think that it was only the sixteenth century
during the slave trade that the lack of education existed. The world today in many foreign countries deny young
people the privilege and opportunity of education due to the need to work for survival.
Many hundreds of million children in India do not attend school because they must work to help support
their families. Girls are affected the most by this problem, and a lack of education puts them at a great
disadvantage for rising out of poverty. The following is taken from the below website that quote the Catholic
Education starts at a very
young age. Normally, mothers begin this process with ‘drawing out’
from their infant the best as they share their love. As the child
matures, nothing gets knowledge across more effectively than sincere
love, communication, demonstration and enthusiasm. This encourages
using one’s mind, heart, soul, spirit, and strength toward gaining
knowledge, sharing, communicating, and imitating all the good that
There is a plaque that many parents have in
their children’s room. It contains a story and an invaluable lesson
that St Isidore put into practice for many years as he ministered
and taught others in his own home from sunrise to sunset. This
plaque contains a profound truth and beautiful message. It reads:
Children Live What They Learn
When children live with
They learn to condemn.
When children live with
They learn to fight.
When children live with
They learn to be shy.
When children live with
They learn to feel guilty.
When children live with
They learn to be patient.
When children live with
They learn to have faith.
When children live
They learn confidence.
When children live with
They learn justice.
When children live with
They learn to appreciate.
When children live with
They learn to like themselves.
When children live
with acceptance and friendship,
They learn to find love in the
If there is but one phrase that the Church and
especially St Isidore, The Educational Doctor, would have us cherish
and remember it would be that all might yearn to learn. It will make
us holy and wise.
Isidore, according to Father Gambero’s
book listed in the Sources, gives a considerable amount of space to
Marian devotion in his writings. He confirms Mary to be the Virgin
Mother. Among other things, he justifies the use of various Marian
titles. In one of his many books and perhaps the most famous,
entitled: Etymologies , Isidore attributes three meanings to the name
of Mary: “Mary signifies Light-giver or Star of the Sea; for she
gave birth to the Light of the world. In the Syriac tongue, however,
Mary means “Lady”, and beautifully so, since she gave birth to the
Lord. Fr. Rengers, in his book listed in the sources on the doctors,
informs us that a scholar from the University of Chicago found at
least 950 manuscripts of the Etymologies still extant. In medieval
Europe, every library of Western Europe had this work as an indispensable source of information.
Isidore defines Mary as
the new earth, upon which the torrent of the Spirit poured down:
Mary, the Virgin Mother of the Lord, is quite properly called
“earth”… This earth was watered by the Holy Spirit. No creature
learned more about the love of God and neighbor than Mary. No
creature practiced that knowledge more than Mary did. God permitted
the demise of His Mother, Mary to remain a mystery. The conjecture
of the doctors is that inasmuch as Mary and Jesus were so totally
united, she actually wanted to die at the appointed time in
imitation of her Son. Her death is referred to her
She was not a martyr by physical blood buy by
spiritual desire. Her witness to the crucifixion and sufferings
leading up to that nightmare is partly listed in scripture. Other
doctors and saints have written about her pain, suffering and
spiritual death. Her witnessing of the shedding of his precious
blood and his treatment carrying the cross and the whole scene on
Calvary is enough to make us trembling and shudder beyond
comprehension. It was only by a miracle that Mary did not died with
her Son on Calvary.
We positively know that she “walked with
him each step that day, each breath and pain and toil displayed”.
One author affirmed that it was extraordinarily difficult for Mary
to leave her Son’s body in the tomb. She was with him in life. She
wanted to be with him in death. However, she obeyed St John to come
out of the tomb. She remembered that her Son had entrusted her to
him and she to him.
How many years did she live under John’s
care? We do not know. She was probably in her forties when Jesus
died. We are free to believe as we want.
The dogma of the
Assumption states that she was taken up into heaven body and soul.
The church has left it up to the individual how she died and her age. We are
free to believe or not believe that she actually died on earth
physically. Isidore believed that Mary actually died a physical
death because her Son died and she wanted to imitate
Perhaps no other doctors set in place and in motion the
means of education and the practice of helping others in the art of
learning and loving than Isidore, the educational doctor. He showed
by continual example that tender concern to help others learn
through the generous sharing of his home and heart from sunrise to
sunset. He gave to those, who sincerely wanted to learn, all of his
love and means to help them. Some have honored him for his love for
learning and education by endorsing and using him as a patron for
the Internet. That is definitely not a bad choice.
The following is a prayer that
I found on the Internet regarding Isidore and those who are advocating him as the Patron of the Internet:
Proposed Patron Saint of Internet Users
A Prayer before Logging onto the Internet and the Catholic Online Forum.
Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good,
true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee that,
through the intercession of Saint Isidore,
bishop and doctor,
during our journeys through the Internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord.
Internet is a sleeping giant that is having explosive growth. There
is a great disparity and access in the use of the Internet. Many are
educating others regarding the potential, benefit and power of the
Internet. Isidore would share it most generously.
dictionary, encyclopedia and other educational tools that he set up
opened "new doors". Sharing knowledge generously is the key for
human development. Isidore excelled in that area.
Internet is, as it were, a "new door". Naming St Isidore, or anyone,
the patron of the Internet should be based upon their achievements
in education toward the poor, the uneducated, the drop-out and those
seeking knowledge. Inasmuch as Isidore was a scholar and a very
educated person whose example and efforts opened up many doors to
all classes of people who were in most need of education, reading
and learning, we can say that Isidore truly "IS A DOOR" and the
phrase rimes with his name.
His wise comments regarding
education, learning and reading are:
Prayer purifies us,
reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible.
Otherwise, prayer is better than reading.
If a man wants to
be always in God's company, he must pray regularly and read
regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to
All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection.
By reading we learn what we did not know; by reflection we retain
what we have learned.
Reading the holy Scriptures confers two
benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns man's
attention from the follies of the world and leads him to the love of
The conscientious reader will be more concerned to
carry out what he has read than merely to acquire knowledge of it.
In reading we aim at knowing, but we must put into practice what we
have learned in our course of study.
The more you devote
yourself to study of the sacred utterances, the richer will be your
understanding of them, just as the more the soil is tilled, the
richer the harvest.
The man who is slow to grasp things but
who really tries hard is rewarded, equally he who does not cultivate
his God-given intellectual ability is condemned for despising his
gifts and sinning by sloth.
Learning unsupported by grace may
get into our ears; it never reaches the heart. But when God's grace
touches our innermost minds to bring understanding, his word which
has been received by the ear sinks deep into the heart.
Our saint was a lover of learning and holiness and "the
last of the ancient Christian Philosophers as he was the last of the
great Latin Fathers."
There are many links below associated
with Isidore. The first association is the very first Roman Catholic
Seminary and University in the United States. It is quite fitting
that he who started the concept of seminaries in dioceses should
receive some recognition.
St Isidore, who was instrumental in vocational development many years ago, might be surprised at what some call a vocational shortage. This section will be broadened to include the entire dimensions on vocations: single, married, religious life and the priesthood.
God's infinite love for creatures and his Church is unimaginable. There are no vocational shortages because all are called to holiness. It is only with discernment, spiritual guidance and direction will we know our calling, special gifts and vocation.
All are called and have vocations. Some have special callings. It can be permanent or temporary. We will know when we cooperate with grace and act sincerely. The doctors are guides but spiritual guidance and directions are needed.
God knows how to excite us. The Creator is a
master Seducer. He knows how to attract, interest and
make us curious toward a more exclusive lifestyle with
Be all that you can be by staying open
and docile to God. Remain unafraid when and where God
draws you. Life is exploring, loving and growing for
yourself and others. God wants us to be happy and at peace. Former Cardinal Newman said: God has created all things for good; all things for their greatest good; everything for its own good.
One's parents can be indispensable in
making wise choices. However, some young people feel
reluctant to ask their mother, father or relatives. For
the most part, one can never go wrong in talking with
one's pastor or his associates.
calls most people to the married state. Some are called
to the single state and some are
called in a special manner within Holy Order or the
religious life. However, before we explore any vocations
we might want to look at the married state first because
that is typically where most of us are
One website that has attracted thousands of members is St Raphel Net. The link is:
For young people who are seeking the strength to overcome some of the pressures in today's society, they might want to check out the Pure Love Club. Visitors will find loads of resources promoting chastity. The site offers lots of questions and answers on things young people may be timid about asking others. There's also information about how to start a club locally.
CatholicSingles.com is the original online dating service for Catholics across the country. Now you can tell the single Catholics in your life about this service which was created specifically for them... or get them started right away by purchasing a gift membership for them! It's fast and easy! Their link is below.
one can identify and obtain tremendous insights from
their Religious Education Director or Youth Minister.
God calls us all differently. But, be assured,
He calls us continually. We are the presence of God. We
are made in the image and likeness of God. That is our
origin. God made us for Himself. That is our true
destiny. God pants for us and continually calls each and
all creation. That is our vocation, destiny, and our
To make God's call ever more patently
clear, not only does God call us to His infinite
Divinity, He calls us to his sacred humanity because
Jesus is God and became Man to convince us and redeem
us with his very life.
He calls us when we
are successful or unsuccessful, sure or unsure, young or
not-so-young, rich or poor, educated or uneducated,
employed or unemployed, believers or unbelievers.
The Creator always wants us to come up higher to
a new level with Him. The almighty One pursues us to
transform us because we are restless until we rest in
him. Our Redeemer has paid for us with his life and with
his mother and she cooperated with Him.
calls us when we are sinners or saints, separated or
united. He calls us even when we are running away from
him or ignoring him as some of the doctors and saints
did for a while.
God does not call the
qualified. He calls you to qualify you. God qualifies
The doctors have a special
leadership role in the church to guide and lead us under
the Spirit of Truth that Christ promised to his church.
They looked to others because no one has all the
We have so many choices to choose from
that we can become uncertain or overwhelmed in
discerning the holy will of God. Therefore, one needs to
explore and remain open to the many choices that are
before us daily from the 'outside'.
within ourselves, we are bombarded by our thoughts,
feelings, memories, experiences, history, habits,
emotions, urges, and tendencies. Only by being attuned to
the Holy Spirit with his gifts, fruits and favors will
we be assured of following our true destiny. It's simple
but not easy.
Wisdom is available. Go to the
right Source. Pray for spiritual guidance, wisdom and
direction and God will surely lead you when one is
wholeheartedly sincere, persevering and open.
addition to praying with the doctors on this web site,
you might want to click on the below link:
This publication contains one of the most
comprehensive Religious Vocation Discernment Guidebook
published by the National Religious Vocation Conference
through Claretian Publications. It contains a complete
online directory of American religious communities. To
write, call or email:
205 West Monroe Street
recent vocation book is entitled Priests for the Third
Millennium L by Msgr. Timothy Dolan.
Father Vincent J. O' Malley, a former vocations director
for his order who is currently stationed at Niagara
University in Lewiston, N.Y., points out that throughout
history vocations and married life have been linked.
When married life prospers, vocations to religious life
prosper," he notes. "When one suffers they both suffer.
As soon as married life gets more stable, I think we'll
see more attraction to religious life as
The below link contains Catholic Vocations that are divided into:
Societies of Apostolic Life
The Religious Women category contains over 75 types.
Catholic Internet Directory is:
the final analysis, you do not pick God; it's the other
way around: "You have not chosen me. I have chosen you,
and appointed you to go and bring forth good fruit in
your lives, fruit that will last." Be assured that no
matter how sincere you are in searching for God, God is
seeking you much more. He continually speaks within you. Your breath belongs to God. He is the breath of Life. Listen to your breatning carefully and tearfully and you'll be listening to God speak. You may not "hear" him but you will know the message.
The below is a quote from
a issue (4/01) of the Columbia magazine by Lorene
Hanley Duquin. "Everyone has a vocation," Father Biernat
explains, "Some are called to single life, others to
married life, and still others to the priesthood and
Russell Shaw, a Catholic author
and contributing editor to Columbia: believes that
Catholics must begin to emphasize this broader
understanding of a vocation as a way of life. Writing in
the December issue of Crises magazine, he notes:
"Paradoxically, the way to attract more candidates to
the priesthood is to foster the understanding that
vocation is a great deal more than a calling to the
priesthood or religious life.
"The reality of
vocation should be seen as universal and profoundly
personal - universal because everybody has one, deeply
personal because each individual's vocation is uniquely
his or hers - a special, unrepeatable cooperation in
God's redemptive plan."
As stated above,
Vincentian Father Vincent J. O' Malley, a former
vocations director for his order who is currently
stationed at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y.,
points out some interesting facts about vocations and
If Father O'Malley ideas are
possible, perhaps vocation directors might include
qualified married couples and those who are single, as
well as priests and qualified religious.
interesting Catholic files and inspiring vocational
Institute of the Incarnate Word was started in 1984. It
began in Argentina. Their specific goal, following the
call of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, is the
evangelization of the culture. The Institute currently
(2002) has 149 priests. Seminaries are located in
Maryland, Argentina and Peru. The Institute has a
feminine branch and a Third Order group. Info can be had
from 301-773-3635 in Maryland. email is
firstname.lastname@example.org. Their address is: The Bishop Sheen
Residence, 6301 Jason St, Cheverly, MD. 20875. Other
locations included NY, PA, MA, and CA. Samuel Leonard, a
candidate for the priesthood, was very kind to share
this information with me.
Institute on Religious
Life, Resources on religious vocations
The below link contains Catholic Vocations groups that are alphabetized for men and women. They are classified as:Clerical Religious
Societies of Apostles Life
In the area of Religious Women alone there are over 75 types.
The Doctors would assure us that there are
callings or stages that lead to other callings. Many a
person who joined the Knights of Columbus journeyed
onward to other special callings in the religious life
and the priesthood. We might also say that the Doctors
are Special Knights of our Lady who defended her honor
and dignity. The Knights of Columbus do the same: Check
Prayers to the Blessed Mother and the Doctors of the Church, who are powerful intercessors are always heard and answered.
the ladies there are sodality groups to investigate
either in your parish or in your archdiocese.
the varieties of vocations
The Univeral Church has many Eastern Rite vocations and callings. There are over twenty authentic rites that are in total union with the Pope. John has told us many times that the "body" of the Church must have two lungs to breathe and function fully and fruitfully. The East and the West are one "body" of Christ. One group of Maronites are the Maronite Monks of Adoration, a community Eucharistic adoration. They are a contemplative order. Explore their website in the link below and discover their exciting saints and way of life in the United States and elsewhere.
A future fascinating link of St Isidore of Seville will be added.
uses recruiting on the web as a source for the
Additional links related to St Isidore.
educational resource with over 1000 articles:
ST MARY AND THE CARTHUSIAN'S WEBSITE IS BELOW. NONE OF THE DOCTORS BELONGED TO THE CARTHUSIANS. IF THEY DID, THEY PROBABLY WOULDN'T EVEN BE KNOWN. SOME OF THE DOCTORS WERE ATTRACTED TO THE ORDER, SUCH AS ST JOHN OF THE CROSS, BUT DIDN'T ENTER. SOME SAINTS TRIED AS ST MARY CLARET BUT THE LIFESTYLE WAS TOO VIGOROUS. THIS TRULY HOLY ORDER REQUIRES A VERY SPECIAL CALLING AND THOSE WHO LIVE THE RULE WITH CHARITY ARE CERTAIN TO BE SAINTS. HOWEVER, THEY SHUN CANONIZATON BECAUSE THEY PREFER TO BE UNKNOWN AS JESUS BEFORE HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY. THEIR FOUNDER, ST BRUNO, WAS GIVEN THE TITLE OF SAINT BUT FOR THE MOST PART THEIR EMPHASIS IS ON: SILENCE, SOLITUDE AND SECRECY AS THE PRAYERFUL AND GENTLE MAN FROM THE NAZARETH. THAT IS A SURE PATH TO HOLINESS.
Virtual Order of St Isidore of Seville
Born at Cartagena, Spain, c. 560; died in Seville, Spain, in April
4, 636; canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1598; and declared a
Doctor of the Church by Pope Innocent XIII in 1722. |
Saint Isidore was born into a noble Hispano-Roman family, which
also produced SS. Leander, Fulgentius, and Florentina. Their father was Severian, a
Roman from Cartagena, who was closely connected to the Visigothic
kings. Though Isidore became one of the most erudite men of his
age, as a boy he hated his studies, perhaps because his elder
brother, Saint Leander, who taught him, was a strict task master.
It is probably that Isidore assisted Leander in governing his
diocese, because, in 601, Saint Isidore succeeded his brother
Leander to the archiepiscopal see of Seville. During his long
episcopate, Isidore strengthened the Spanish church by organizing
councils, establishing schools and religious houses, and continuing
to turn the Visigoths from Arianism. He presided over the Council
of Seville in 619 and that of Toledo in 633, where he was given
precedence over the archbishop of Toledo on the ground of his
exceptional merit as the greatest teacher in Spain.
Aware of the great boon of education, Isidore insisted that a
cathedral school should be established in every diocese in Spain--
centuries before Charlemagne issued a
similar decree. He thought that students should be taught law and
medicine, Hebrew and Greek, as well as the classics. These schools
were similar to contemporary seminaries.
For centuries Isidore was known as 'the schoolmaster of the middle
ages,' because he wrote a 20-volume Etymologies or
Origins, an encyclopedia of everything that was known in 7th
century Europe. His Chronica Majora summarized all the
events in the world from creation to his own time drawn from other
church historians but with the addition of Spanish history.
Another book completed Saint Jerome's
work of biographies of every great man and woman mentioned in the
Bible plus those of many Spanish notables. His history of the
Goths and Vandals is very valuable today. He also wrote new rules
for monasteries, including one that bears his name and was
generally followed throughout Spain, and books about astronomy,
geography, and theology.
While not an original or critical thinker, Saint Isidore's works
were highly influential in the middle ages as demonstrated by the
very large number of manuscripts of his writings. Dante mentions
him in the Paradiso (x, 130), in the company of the Venerable Bede and the Scottish Richard of
Saint-Victor. In fact, at the time of his death, Bede was working
on a translation of extracts from Isidore's book On the wonders
of nature (De natura rerum).
Isidore longed to convert the Spanish Goths, who were Arians. He
rewrote the liturgies and breviaries of the Church for their use
(known as the Mozarabic Rite, which had been began by Leander), and
never wearied of preaching and teaching those in error during his
37 years as archbishop. He also sought to convert the local Jews,
but by highly questionable methods.
This extraordinary man loved to give to the poor, and towards the
end of his life scarcely anyone could get into his house in
Seville, crowded as it was with beggars and the unfortunate from
the surrounding countryside.
When he felt that death was near, he invited two bishops to visit.
Together they went to the church where one of them covered him with
sackcloth and the other put ashes upon his head. Thus clad in the
habit of a penitent, he raised his hands to heaven and prayed
earnestly for forgiveness. Then he received the viaticum, asked
for the prayers of those present, forgave those who had sinned
against him, exhorted all to charity, bequeathed his earthly
possessions to the poor, and gave up his soul to God.
The archbishop of Seville was considered the most learned man of
his century. Not only for the reason that the Church was able to
proclaim him Doctor a short time after his death, or because he is
the author of the Etymologies, but because knowledge
permeated his whole being. The nexus of sanctity and learning
gladdens this heart.
Learning did not turn Saint Isidore away from sanctity. Indeed, it
was sanctity that surely made such a learned man of him. The
saint, possessed by God, is full of gifts of the Holy Spirit; and
learning is one of them. This learning, the true science which
contains all other sciences, favors new discoveries and multiplies
it in every domain that is approached.
Saints are most exclusively the savants of God and their private
works are no less important. And savants are a type of saint
because any discovery discloses something of God. The philosopher
as well as the painter, the seeker as well as the poet, is a
Recall another Spanish saint, John of the
Cross, whose works nearly brought a contemporary philosopher to
the edges of sanctity. The bird in Braque's last painting is a
figure of grace. This revelation leads me to believe that the
patient hand that was the means of painting could not have been
anything other than that of a man on the way to sanctity. One can
paint birds without making them suggest such a presence as Braque's
painting does. This presence is not that of the artist, he has
absolutely effaced himself; it is the presence of that which
finally transcends him, the presence of God.
The most learned persons have perceived the richness, the 'odor' of
sanctity. Our age may see it flower; how could it have a taste for
anything else after having plumbed the depths of nothingness and
despair, if, of course, it still wants something to which it can
aspire. Our generation needs something solid, substantial. It is
dying of weariness and thirst.
A life-giving stream is still running, all we need to do is bend
down to drink it in order to renew the ancient gestures and enter
humbly, without hesitation or compromise, into that which does not
go out of fashion and does not age: into this Church in which
today we pray to Saint Isidore, who is the patron of savants.
Saint Isidore, pray for us and for them (Attwater, Benedictines,
Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh).
In art, Saint Isidore is an old bishop with a prince at his feet.
At times he may be depicted (1) with pen and book (often his
Etymologia); (2) with a beehive or bees (rare, but
symbolizes oratorical eloquence); or (3) with his brothers and
sister, SS. Leander, Fulgentius, and Florentina (Roeder.
The below web site contains comprehensive resources on our church, faith, the bible, saints, writings, apologetics, evangelization, family issues, links, and many pertinent services. This superior and highly organized web site (see Table of Content) is a most fascinating site with beautiful prayers, devotions, and really too much to enumerate. A truly universal catholic site.