St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | Saint of the Day | April 4

Prayer to St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Lord, hear our prayers, which we offer on the commemoration of St. Isidore. May Your Church be instructed by his teaching and benefit from his intercession. Amen.

St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

St. Isidore was born at Cartagena in Spain, the son of Severinus and Theodora, illustrious for their virtue. St. Leander and St. Fulgentius, both Bishops, were his brothers, and his sister, Florentina, is also numbered among the Saints. From his youth he consecrated himself to the service of the Church and prepared himself for his sacred ministry by virtue and learning. He assisted his brother St. Leander, Archbishop of Seville, in the conversion of the Visigoths from the Arian heresy. On his brother’s death, about the year 600, he succeeded him at the See of Seville.

Several Councils at which the Saint assisted settled the discipline of the Spain Church, and in that of Seville, in 619, he converted Gregory, a Eutychian Bishop from Syria. A few years before, in 610, the Archbishop of Toledo, in a Council held at Toledo, had been declared Primate of all Spain. Still, the personal merit of St. Isidore was so highly esteemed that he presided at the Fourth Council of Toledo, held in 633, although the Primate was present. This Council was the most famous of all the Spanish synods. At that time Toledo was the capital of Spain and the residence of the Visigothic kings.

St. Isidore was also a voluminous writer. He composed a work containing the whole circle of science, which shows his vast erudition. This is one of the earliest encyclopedias on record. The Saint was versed in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. He governed his See about thirty-seven years, continuing his assiduous labors up to a most advanced age.

During the last six months of the Saint’s life his charities became more profuse that ever. Perceiving his end approaching he went to church, received Holy Communion, remitted all the debts that were due to him, and caused his money to be distributed to the poor. He then returned home and calmly expired four days later, in 636.