A patron saint of the Internet?

One out of every eight couples married in the United States last year, met via the Internet. If Facebook were a country it would be the fourth largest in the world. Incidentally, the fastest growing segment on Facebook is women between the age of 55 and 65.

One out of every eight couples married in the United States last year, met via the Internet. If Facebook were a country it would be the fourth largest in the world.

Incidentally, the fastest growing segment on Facebook is women between the age of 55 and 65.

I spend an inordinate amount of time using the Internet. When it works, life is heavenly. When it doesn’t well life is, well, you can guess.

I can cry the depths of my despair to my Nerd on Site Luis but he’s a busy guy. Why isn’t there a patron saint of the Internet to call on post-haste?

Apparently there is one. At least the search is on.

According to Catholic Online, patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes. Anything that is important to us. There are patron saints for everything from animals (Saint Francis of Assisi) to librarians (Saint Jerome). St. Anesthesia is the patron saint of dull sermons, but I digress.

Nothing definitive from the Pope yet, but the idea for a patron saint of the Internet has been floating around on — what else — the Internet. There is a web site where you can vote for a patron saint of the Internet, although it’s in Italian. I can’t speak Italian and I’m not even Catholic. I haven’t voted.

But why not have a spiritual presence to comfort us when our computer is about to crash, connect us when we are disconnected and perhaps even dry up the flood of spam? There are finalists in the running.

St. Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori traveled around a lot. Who hasnít? St. Clair could see a kind of projection on the walls of her convent of the mass that was taking place in the nearby church. She was named the patron saint of television by Pope Pius Xll in 1958 so she’s already got a lot on her hands.

Archangel Gabriel was a communicator of divine revelation. Come to think of, maybe that’s the kind of saint the internet needs. Venerable (not St.) Giacomo Alberione was a proponent of better communication. St. Giovanni Bosto was an educator of the young. Maybe he would filter out the porn sites?

The favourite choice is widely believed to be ‘Saint’ Isidor of Seville. He loved information. A polyglot who spoke Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he is credited with producing the world’s first database, a 20-volume encyclopedia entitled Etymologies, as well as books on grammar, astronomy, geography, history, and theology.

If you are having troubles with the Internet, you might want to check him out, but I’m not sure if he’d understand. Saint Isidore likely knew what it meant to repent, but not to reboot.

If calling on the good saint leaves you less than comforted, call on one who is wiser than you. One who understands your pain and can connect you to your loved ones once again.

Even if he is a nerd.

Rev. Bob Ripley,author and syndicated columnist, is the Senior Minister of Metropolitan United Church in London Ontario.

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