Clare of Assisi vs. Isidore of Seville

Today we dangle the FINAL spot in the Saintly Sixteen in front of two worthy saints, Clare of Assisi and Isidore or Seville. But that’s not all that’s at stake here. You see, Clare is the patron saint of television while Isidore is the patron saint of the internet. So, when the votes are counted, we’ll be able to declare, once and for all, whether TV or the internet is the greatest time waster of them all. (No word yet on whether a patron saint of Netflix has been declared).

Yesterday Elizabeth the New Martyr defeated Gregory of Nazianzus 58% to 42% to advance to the next round where she’ll face Hildegard of Bingen. Yes, folks, that means that three, count ’em, three Elizabeths will advance to the Saintly Sixteen.

So read, vote, and then get back to mindlessly either watching TV or scrolling through Facebook.

Clare of Assisi
Saint Clare of Assisi often is overshadowed by her contemporary, Saint Francis of Assisi arguably the best known of all the saints in the Roman Catholic Church. Clare even referred to herself as “the little plant” of Francis.

But Clare is more than just the first female follower of Francis, more than just his most dedicated disciple. She developed her own interpretation of the Franciscan life, founded the Order of Poor Ladies (known today as Poor Clares), and became the first woman to write a Rule of Life for a monastic order. Not one to back down from her ideals, she reportedly commanded miracles both before and after her death and, perhaps most miraculously, commanded the attention of the poor and powerful, men and women alike.

Chiara, or Clare, Offreduccio was born in 1194 to a noble family of Assisi, a small town in Italy’s scenic Umbrian valley. Official biographies written at the time of her death and canonization describe her as beautiful but they also hint at her strength and holy rebelliousness. At eighteen, she ran away from home to commit herself to Francis’s way of religious life, allowing the friar to cut off her golden curls and consecrate her to the Lord.

Clare became abbess of the monastery at San Damiano. Clare’s relationship with Francis was one of respect and friendship. She influenced, deepened, and supported Francis’s beliefs, including inspiring him to write his famous “Canticle of the Creatures.” She lived for twenty-seven years after Francis died in 1226, continuing to interpret and exemplify to others Francis’s teachings as well as promoting and supporting the growth of her order.

Clare went toe-to-toe with popes to preserve the way of life she wanted for her sisters, which included both the pursuit of radical poverty and their inclusion in the Franciscan order. That wish was granted when, two days before she died, she received a copy of the Rule of Life she had written bearing the papal seal. Within two years, Clare was declared a saint. And seven centuries later, the seeds scattered by “the little plant” of Francis continue to grow, with more than 20,000 Poor Clares in seventy-six countries. Clare is remembered on the feast day of August 11.

Collect for Clare
O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we, through his poverty, might become rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Clare, might serve you with singleness of heart and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Emily McFarlan Miller

Isidore of Seville
Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful. Such was the time of Isidore of Seville (560-636 ce). Born in Spain, Isidore grew up on the edge of the Roman Empire, on the Iberian Peninsula. He was educated at the Cathedral School of Seville, the only institution of its sort in the area.

Isidore worked alongside his brother Leander in teaching about and converting the Visigoths, who had adopted an Arian form of Christianity, to the Roman form of Christianity. Isidore succeeded him as the bishop of Seville. He immediately set to two tasks: preserving the monasteries, which functioned as repositories of wisdom and strengthening education throughout the region.

As bishop, Isidore was able to hold together the two peoples of the Iberian Peninsula: the Visigoths and the Romans. And his work in providing educational opportunities undoubtedly had a huge impact. Yet neither of these are why Isidore is remembered.

Late in his life, Isidore undertook the work of writing a book—but not just any book. Etymologiae (Etymologies) was intended to be a compendium of all human knowledge. In Etymologies Isidore summarized some of the most essential knowledge and wisdoms of those who came before him. This was the first work of this sort, an encyclopedia to gather together what had come before. By certain measures, Etymologies was a resounding success. The work of countless classical authors is known to us only from Isidore’s summaries. (Imagine if someone had written a Cliff Notes version of all the works lost in the Alexandrian Library!). His encyclopedia was used as a textbook in Europe for around nine hundred years!

For this herculean work of preserving and passing on knowledge, Isidore was only the twelfth person to be declared a Doctor of the Church. In 1997, Pope John Paul II suggested that Isidore and his quest to collect knowledge would be a natural fit as the patron saint of the internet. As the “last scholar of the ancient world” and the “schoolmaster of the middle ages,” Isidore provides a bridge carrying wisdom forward from the ancient world into ours.

Collect for Isidore
O God, by your Holy Spirit you give to some the word of wisdom, to others the word of knowledge, and to others the word of faith: We praise your Name for the gifts of grace manifested in your servant Isidore, and we pray that your Church may never be destitute of such gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

—David Hansen


Clare of Assisi vs. Isidore of Seville

  • Clare of Assisi (59%, 4,287 Votes)
  • Isidore of Seville (41%, 2,927 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,214

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Clare of Assisi: Italian fresco, 1325. Giotto di Bondone. [Public domain]
Isidore of Seville: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain]

178 Comments to "Clare of Assisi vs. Isidore of Seville"

  1. March 18, 2020 - 8:01 am | Permalink
    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 18, 2020 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

      No – seriously – what is this picture you’re using?

      I know it’s a meme – I just don’t know what it is (or what it is from).

      And I am curious…

      • Lorin's Gravatar Lorin
        March 18, 2020 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Woman Yelling at a Cat refers to a meme format featuring a screen cap of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast members Taylor Armstrong and Kyle Richards followed by a picture of a confused-looking cat sitting behind a dinner plate. The format gained significant popularity across the web in mid-June 2019 and the cat was later identified as Smudge the Cat.

    • TM's Gravatar TM
      March 18, 2020 - 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t possibly not vote for Clare, but I am delighted to learn about this wonderful scholar and bringer of peace, too.

    • Rev. Ellen Ekstrom's Gravatar Rev. Ellen Ekstrom
      March 18, 2020 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Michael: The lyrics you’ve got in your meme – I’ve got the tune earworm going in my head. What is that song?????

    • Rev. Ellen Ekstrom's Gravatar Rev. Ellen Ekstrom
      March 18, 2020 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Oh wait! It was a TV show I never watched – “Maude.”

  2. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 18, 2020 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    Isidore was that scholarly guy
    Who compiled Etymologiæ.
    His industrious drive
    Helped the classics survive;
    To the Saintly Sixteen should he fly.

    • Deb C-V's Gravatar Deb C-V
      March 18, 2020 - 8:55 am | Permalink

      I love it!!

    • Erin Thomas's Gravatar Erin Thomas
      March 18, 2020 - 11:29 am | Permalink

      I so enjoy you witty thoughts and as a result began to look through the replies. So much more to be gained from this group!

  3. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    March 18, 2020 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I had to choose Isidore for his work to preserve knowledge.

    • Richard Dorn's Gravatar Richard Dorn
      March 18, 2020 - 8:38 am | Permalink


    • Debbie's Gravatar Debbie
      March 18, 2020 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Me, too….plus the first sentence caught my attention: “Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.”

      • Camille Norman's Gravatar Camille Norman
        March 18, 2020 - 9:51 am | Permalink

        Sound like that is beginning now

        • Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
          March 18, 2020 - 10:38 am | Permalink

          No needto imagine the reality we live in today.

          • Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
            March 18, 2020 - 11:20 am | Permalink


      • Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
        March 18, 2020 - 10:09 am | Permalink

        I COMPLETELY AGREE ABOUT THE FIRST SENTENCE!!!!! Yikes! And he got my vote too!

      • Kit Barksdale's Gravatar Kit Barksdale
        March 18, 2020 - 10:25 am | Permalink

        Yes. Reminded me of today’s environs.

      • Carolynne's Gravatar Carolynne
        March 18, 2020 - 10:50 am | Permalink

        Right? Not too hard to imagine, these days 🙁

      • EMILY Anderson's Gravatar EMILY Anderson
        March 18, 2020 - 10:58 am | Permalink

        Sounds like today, huh?

      • March 18, 2020 - 11:04 am | Permalink

        The first sentence sounded eerily familiar to me due to our present political leadership.

      • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
        March 18, 2020 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

        You don’t suppose David Hansen did that on purpose, do you????
        Much as I admire Clare, today it’s gotta be Isidore, who should probably be the patron saint of librarians and library clerks.

        • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
          March 19, 2020 - 12:41 am | Permalink

          Yes, indeed! Patron saint of librarians.

      • March 18, 2020 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Eerily familiar.
        It’s quite unnerving.
        Hope we can hang on the what we have received and let something new emerge if necessary.
        Romans and Visigoths did, though for some years it wasn’t pretty.
        Surely our situation is not that drastic.

        • Adrienne Reynolds's Gravatar Adrienne Reynolds
          March 18, 2020 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

          surely in its drastic situation and potential paths, we aren’t completely annihilated.

      • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
        March 18, 2020 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

        That quote appears to be so relevant today. That’s why I voted for Isidore.

    • Nancy Pierce's Gravatar Nancy Pierce
      March 18, 2020 - 10:55 am | Permalink

      Plus, my husband name is Isidro. Even funnier, his first wife was Clare

  4. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 18, 2020 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    As a librarian, Isidore for the encyclopedia!

    Umm, I’d likely also pick him after reading this: “Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.” An expert may not be expert with the modern day soundbite requirement, but we should be so thankful for someone’s dedication to learning!

  5. Deborah Northern's Gravatar Deborah Northern
    March 18, 2020 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Even though I have to ask much help of Isadore with computer glitches, had to vote for Claire.

  6. Lee W.'s Gravatar Lee W.
    March 18, 2020 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    As a 5 on the enneagram and as someone who is dismayed at the thread of anti-intellectualism flowing through our nation now, I just had to go with Isidore, although Clare’s life and work are inspiring to say the least.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 19, 2020 - 2:15 am | Permalink

      I looked up “enneagram” and learned something new. Thanks!

  7. Jack Zamboni's Gravatar Jack Zamboni
    March 18, 2020 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know about Isadore’s important contribution the growth of the safe and the preservation of knowledge, and both of those are important to me. But I have to vote for Clare, a portrait of whom hangs on one side of our chancel opposite one of our Patron, her friend Francis. Really kind of a no-brainer for me, and I hope for many others. Clare for the golden Halo!

  8. John Blackwood's Gravatar John Blackwood
    March 18, 2020 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I go today with the educator. Education and a dedication to teaching needs more respect than it gets – I’m sticking with that thought for today.

  9. Denise LeGendre's Gravatar Denise LeGendre
    March 18, 2020 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for Clare but Isidore won out for his commitment to education.

    • Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
      March 18, 2020 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      That’s what happened for me, too.

    • March 18, 2020 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      Those are my exact feelings. Preserving the past is necessary so we can be in communion with all people through time and distance.

  10. March 18, 2020 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Clare is my gal!

  11. Linda Leong's Gravatar Linda Leong
    March 18, 2020 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    I chose Isadore for his work in preserving knowledge at a time when power was deemed more important. Okay, and because my great grandfather was named Isidore.

  12. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 18, 2020 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    The first encyclopedia, Preserving knowledge in an age of unreason. Oh Isodore, you speak to me!

  13. March 18, 2020 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    When I was young we had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, and I spent many happy hours looking through volume after volume. When I realized the set we had was made before the end of WWII, I convinced my parents that we needed a new set, and I still remember the visit from the saleswoman and the replica of the first Encyclopedia Britannica we got along with the new set. Internet, bah! I’m voting for the inventor of the encyclopedia! Thanks, Isidore!

    • Melinda's Gravatar Melinda
      March 18, 2020 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      I used to read encyclopedias as a kid, too!

    • Jane Young's Gravatar Jane Young
      March 18, 2020 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      Oh, yes. I had a Children’s EB that was delightful, I’d pick out a volume (usually H because of the horses) and read and read and read. Thanks for the reminder, Richard!

    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 18, 2020 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Richard – I have similar fond memories (for me it was a World Book encyclopedia). It was an important part of my early education.

    • Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
      March 18, 2020 - 9:21 pm | Permalink

      I also loved reading encyclopedias as well as dictionaries. And was planning a trip to Seville this spring, now postponed until better times. But I think I still have to go with Clare, as so much work with children and older people still goes on in her name.

  14. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 18, 2020 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I have admired Clare forever it seems but I am so impressed with the effort to preserve knowledge, I had to vote for Isadore. It is only through those ancient monasteries that much history and learning has been preserved for us all.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 18, 2020 - 10:51 am | Permalink

      Richard, I was devoted to a set of World Book encyclopedias as a child. Read through them for hours! And that is why, even though it’s against my bracket, I ended up voting for Isidore. That and the collect for Clare’s admonition against “an inordinate love of this world,” which struck me wrong.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 18, 2020 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

        My childhood passion (apart from ice cream) was Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia.

      • March 18, 2020 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Susan. I voted against my bracket as well. It surprises me sometimes how something unearthed in a bio can prompt a change in a vote (and a heart).

  15. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    March 18, 2020 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    In 2002 Mary W. Cox wrote the following poem beseeching the intercession of St Isidore:

    When programs crash and cursors freeze,
    with warnings: “fatal error”,
    our systems drive us to our knees –
    can this be cyber-terror,
    or mere demoniac possession?
    We need some saintly intercession!
    Ah, what comfort to implore,
    “Pray for us, St. Isidore!”

    When files we’ve saved cannot be found
    (not even by Outlook),
    when viruses and worms abound,
    and eat the address book,
    when through the Windows data’s flying,
    the desperate cyber-slaves are crying,
    prostrate on the office floor,
    “Pray for us, St. Isidore!”

    When “You’ve got mail!” but it’s all spam
    (or files that won’t unzip),
    when all at once there’s no more RAM,
    we start to lose our grip,
    and filling with the foulest hates,
    we would defenestrate Bill Gates!
    “Our charitable hearts restore –
    pray for us, St. Isidore!”

    When downloads fail, when disks erase,
    when life-work’s lost in cyberspace,
    remind us in our dire frustration:
    The goal here is communication.
    “Oh, heed our pleas (but don’t keep score) –
    pray for us, St. Isidore!”

    Nonetheless, I voted for Clare. For all of St. Isidore’s extraordinary accomplishments, there is a darker side to his episcopacy involving active discrimination against Jewish people, and this needs to be remembered. Isidore is responsible for two decisions of the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633: one that called for removing Jewish children from their parents to be educated in Christian homes, and one forbidding Jews from holding public office. It is difficult to excuse his position as “part of the culture of his time”; legal anti-Semitism is part of the Church’s history that we may well be grappling with until the Last Judgment.

    • Melinda's Gravatar Melinda
      March 18, 2020 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      Love this!! Thanks

    • Don Hill's Gravatar Don Hill
      March 18, 2020 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      I wish I read your post BEFORE I voted for knowledge and patron of the internet.

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      March 18, 2020 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      Oh, thank you for that poem!

    • Jane Young's Gravatar Jane Young
      March 18, 2020 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      Very nice, Jules, especially with so many home systems under severe strain (and I don’t mean only computer systems!) 🙂

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 18, 2020 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

      For the poem: Where’s the rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-hysterically emoji? I worked off and on for school and public libraries (an aide, not the librarian) and my husband was a computer programmer/analyst/guru.

    • Lynda Moses's Gravatar Lynda Moses
      March 18, 2020 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Damn. I wish I had known about the anti-Jewish sentiment/legal discrimination before voting for Isadore. I liked that he summarized information, and it was used for 900 yrs.

    • March 18, 2020 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

      This poem is a masterpiece. As one technologically challenged only saintly help will get me through a computer crisis. But, also, as a member of St. Clare of Assisi chapter Daughters of the King in Colorado, I voted for Clare.
      Please don’t hold that against me, St. Isadore!

  16. March 18, 2020 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    As a former Franciscan nun (Sr. Lauren Clare, OSF!) back in the ’60’s, who has visited all the St. Clare sites in Assisi and San Damiano, and seen her “preserved” body clothed in her holy habit, Clare/Chiara is my enthusiatic choice and life-long inspiration. “Clara nomen, vita clarior, clarissima moribus,” if I recall my liturgical latin.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 18, 2020 - 10:18 am | Permalink

      I visited all the sites in Assisi, too! My favorite was going to vespers at the Basilica of Saint Clare and walking out to one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen over a view of the Umbrian valley.

  17. Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
    March 18, 2020 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for one of the upsides to bring home for the next two weeks (at least). I can read and vote when the email comes out! Usually I am already at work.

  18. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 18, 2020 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    I’m feeling contrary today, so I voted for Isadore.

  19. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    March 18, 2020 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one. I’ve always admired the Franciscan crowd, but Izzy have is knowledge that continues to today. I settled for Isidore, not that I was happy, but because in this day and age, we need his power to discover the truth from all the sources of information out there

  20. Rose Elizabeth (Clare) Brown's Gravatar Rose Elizabeth (Clare) Brown
    March 18, 2020 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I voted for St. Clare because she’s my confirmation saint.

  21. Anne Monahan's Gravatar Anne Monahan
    March 18, 2020 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Always loved Clare’s strength and spunk and gave her name to my daughter. Said daughter has strength and spunk like that of Clare. Imagine a nun bucking a pope!
    Clare is a Saint after my own heart. Love Clare. Voted Clare.

  22. James (Jim) Bimbi's Gravatar James (Jim) Bimbi
    March 18, 2020 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    As the grandson of Giovanni (aka John), and the son of Luigi (aka Louis), I have to cast my vote for Chiara (aka Clare).

  23. Just Shan's Gravatar Just Shan
    March 18, 2020 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    I’m an encyclopedia nerd-it was an amazing day when my mother bought a set for our home. Wonder if she still has them. Probably. It’s only been 45 or so years.

  24. Will's Gravatar Will
    March 18, 2020 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    This was one of the toughest choices yet! Both of these saints would beat almost any other in this tournament, but in the end I had to pick Isidore because he did greater things and we need more people like him in our world today. I do hope he wins, I have him getting to the final two on my bracket.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 18, 2020 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      So do I—against Harriet Tubman!

  25. Deb C-V's Gravatar Deb C-V
    March 18, 2020 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Isidore preserved knowledge for us all. Without him and those like him we’d have no knowledge of tyre wisely church or dark ages Europe. Keepers of knowledge are extremely important. Go Isidore!

  26. Ann Smith's Gravatar Ann Smith
    March 18, 2020 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Having spent hours praying in the lovely peaceful surroundings of San Damiano as I ended my pilgrimage walking on the Way of St. Francis I have to vote for Clare. And I pray today for those wonderful people of Umbria as they face the pandemic that is changing all of our lives, but perhaps theirs far more than ours.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 18, 2020 - 10:20 am | Permalink

      I’d love to walk the Way of St. Francis someday! Joining your prayers.

  27. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 18, 2020 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    I wonder who will be the patron saint of virtual communities. This was another difficult decision. I voted for Isidore, because he was a Doctor of the Church who preserved learning. Also I thought of his position in Spain, in a “multicultural” environment, laboring to keep Visigoths and Romans abiding together if not in amity at least in some semblance of functioning order. He saw civilization through a time of collapse, at least major transition. I do have hesitations about his trinitarian position. I am deeply skeptical about the propaganda against Arius. I thank Gaen for posting yesterday about the mosaics in Ravenna. For his “encyclopedic” command of knowledge and for preserving it through the “dark ages,” I voted for Isidore, “the last scholar of the ancient world.” That seems to be a copy of De Summo Bono next to him. However, Isidore has clay feet. According to Wikipedia, he was anti-semitic. “He contributed two decisions to the Fourth Council of Toledo: Canon 60 calling for the forced removal of children from parents practicing Crypto-Judaism and their education by Christians, and Canon 65 forbidding Jews and Christians of Jewish origin from holding public office.” Given contemporary efforts to separate families and remove children from the parents of undocumented sojourners, I deplore my own vote. Like Christina the Astonishing, I hold my nose at sin. Nevertheless, I did vote for Isidore. Assessing some of these historical figures can be vexing.

    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 18, 2020 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Well said (as usual) St. C.
      The good news is, even without looking at anything (as is my wont) I knew Clare would win. So we’ll both get to vote for her in the next round (against E. Fry? Hmmm…).

  28. Elaine hixson's Gravatar Elaine hixson
    March 18, 2020 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I work at a Catholic gifts an bookstore. A St. Isidore medal hangs on our monitor! I vote for him for that reason and for the knowledge he preserved

  29. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 18, 2020 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Clare of Assisi has my vote this morning!

  30. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 18, 2020 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Clare of Assisi

  31. Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
    March 18, 2020 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Dave Hansen’s first sentence about Isadore is delightful, and of course, since like so many people I’m working from home, I SHOULD be trying to get in good with the patron saint of the internet. However, I go to St. Clare’s and Francis and Clare are two of my favorite saints, so I still voted for her.

  32. Sunny's Gravatar Sunny
    March 18, 2020 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Someone shared a reflection in the comments recently about social isolation as a spiritual practice for Lent, I think in past couple days. I cant find it, does anyone else recall this? Thanx

    P.s Go Isidore for the preservation of knowledge!

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      March 18, 2020 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      Monday (Joanna vs Junia), 3:43 PM — Look for the icon of red rock and blue sky!

  33. Tina Hogan's Gravatar Tina Hogan
    March 18, 2020 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    So why is Clare of Assisi the patron saint of TV? Did I miss something?

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      March 18, 2020 - 10:17 am | Permalink

      Tina, Here is what Wikipedia says about that “patron saint of TV” thing, re Clare of Assissi: “Pope Pius XII designated Clare as the patron saint of television in 1958 on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room.”

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 18, 2020 - 10:21 am | Permalink

      I’ll reveal all if Clare makes it to the next round! It involves remote viewing.

  34. ellietupper's Gravatar ellietupper
    March 18, 2020 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    I first thought, “Clare, obvious!” She was sweet and devoted and her works still live. But like all you other commenters, I spent delighted hours reading our World Book encyclopedia (S was my favorite volume, I recall). And now, working from home, I thank the generous Lord for the Internet and the chance to discover practically all human wisdom if you search hard enough. (Also human idiocy, but all you have to do is close the window.) Isidore was anti-Semitic like everyone else in his time, but I wonder how much Jewish scholarship found its way into his encyclopedia.

  35. Melinda's Gravatar Melinda
    March 18, 2020 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Oh no! Choose between the founder of the Poor Clares, who was friends with St. Francis of Assissi, and the man who compiled the first prototype of the encyclopedia!? This is a fiendishly difficult saintly conundrum.
    As a lifelong reader and a lover of ancient knowledge and history (I’m STILL mad about the Library of Alexandria), I’ll probably go with Isadore. But I’ma chew on it for a while.

  36. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 18, 2020 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    “Why can’t we all get along?”
    asked Jesus, never. I want to comment about the issue of referring to politics on the Lent Madness threads. I am very mindful of Tim’s and Scott’s exhortation on Saturday to be careful with one another because right now we are all carrying extra burdens of fragility. I believe we all have heavy hearts about the precarious condition of “our” democracy, in addition of course to fears about coronavirus. My rector has on her desk a Bible verse: “Jesus went and hid.” I totally get it. Nevertheless if we take the witness of these saints seriously, and LM is a real (virtual) pilgrimage during Lent and not simply trivial escapism to while away the hours while we are in quarantine, then I believe filtering our conflicting thoughts and beliefs about current politics through the examples of the saints is appropriate, and indeed necessary. If they are alive and with us, then they can handle our lively torment over all manner of political discussion. I concur with Richard the Chalice Bearer that cruelty is absolutely forbidden, also any efforts merely to stir up trouble (SEC 1: Troll 0.) If anyone is concerned that strong emotions might not be very “Christ-like,” then I refer you to Matthew 21:12-13 and John 2:13-16; you can judge for yourselves whether you think Jesus ever experienced “anger.” As for me, I keep in mind, always, the injunction in Mark 9:42 before I post. This little band of pilgrims is precious to me. Peace to you all. May you remain safe and well and arrive at Canterbury strengthened, enlightened, and refreshed.

    • Anne Madden's Gravatar Anne Madden
      March 18, 2020 - 10:14 am | Permalink

      Oh thank you sweetheart, that is so wisely and perfectly expressed! And I always hold on to Luke 12:32: “Do not live in fear, little flock.”

    • Donna's Gravatar Donna
      March 18, 2020 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      St. Celia, you put my thoughts into wonderful words. If our faith is real it guides us in our everyday lives. How we react to and respond to the pressures and issues of the world say much about our faith. My faith most assuredly influences my actions an reactions in regard to politics (taken broadly) . If it didn’t, I don’t think it would be worth much of anything. My faith is me/ who I am. Thank you for taking stands with your comments.

    • Linda M.'s Gravatar Linda M.
      March 18, 2020 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, St. Cecile, for your words of wisdom. I was upset & distressed over the Covid-45 remarks yesterday. We have enough on our plates right now & we don’t need comments like this. This is Lent Madness & comments should be about the daily saints.

  37. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 18, 2020 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    At first I thought Clare, in solidarity with Italy. But then I read the celebrity blogger’s write-up of Isidore. For a second I was tempted to dismiss Isidore, thinking that his work in education would have benefitted only men. Then I saw the part about him compiling summaries of “all knowledge” of his time, which makes him the appropriate patron saint of the Internet. I’m a big user of the Internet, even in ordinary times, and especially in coronavirus time. And I can see how the preservation of knowledge for future generations indirectly benefitted women as well as men. Isidore gets my vote today.

  38. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 18, 2020 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I forgot to add — We need a patron saint of the Internet right now, because I have read that some experts are concerned that it may break down, with so many people working and studying and streaming things from home. There may not be enough bandwidth. So pray for our connections to endure.

  39. Susan C.'s Gravatar Susan C.
    March 18, 2020 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I love it that Clare was a rebel for God. I love it that she didn’t settle for adopting the radical (yet truly authentically Christian) views of St. Francis, but took it further and influenced St. Francis’ views. I knew a very saintly Poor Clare when I lived in New Mexico. Also, anyone who could inspire St. Francis to write his “Canticle of the Creatures” gets my vote.

  40. Anne Crawford's Gravatar Anne Crawford
    March 18, 2020 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Well – this was a tough choice. In the end I voted for Clare because of my fond memories of a Zefferilli film about St. Francis and her that came out in 1972 called “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”. I even remember there was a song of the same title in the film.

  41. March 18, 2020 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    “Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.” THAT nearly describes the last 2 months of the United States’ ability to react to the pandemic that’s upon us. The 2nd half clearly describes the willingness of countless people in our society to deal with the new virus, at least until this week.

    When the Dark Ages destroyed practically all of pre-Christian, Classical knowledge, it’s marvelous that Isidore, a devout churchman, preserved an assortment of valuable, ancient learning from outside of Christianity. What made the Dark Ages so dark was the deliberate running away from and hoping to eliminate forever the centuries-old knowledge and wisdom from outside The Church.

    Usually, the longer ago the saints were, the more their lives are now seen through legends that might be pure fiction. Because of his written contributions, we know remarkably much of Isidore’s priceless contribution to the accumulation of learning. None of this in any way criticizes hard-working Clare of Assisi.

  42. Judith Mack's Gravatar Judith Mack
    March 18, 2020 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    I wrote a comment yesterday and was told when I submitted it that it was a duplicate but it was not published. I was offended that in these perilous times that some commentators chose to be political. I think it is important that everyone know the steps our government has taken to reduce the negative economic consequences. Small businesses, 70% of our economy, can get loans to help them through the crisis. They can deduct from their taxes money to pay both full time and part time employees. Children who are receiving school breakfasts and lunches will continue to get them. I hope we, as Christians, will pray for our leaders as they try to mitigate the consequences of plague.

  43. Alan Justice's Gravatar Alan Justice
    March 18, 2020 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    It’s clear—it’s Clare.

  44. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 18, 2020 - 9:50 am | Permalink
    A cartoon about the importance of education

  45. Sandy W's Gravatar Sandy W
    March 18, 2020 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    “Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.” Imagine! This has to be the best intro to a Lent Madness entry ever. I would have thought it impossible to vote against Clare, but in this strange new world I have to vote for preserving knowledge. (and for the internet)

  46. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 18, 2020 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Were I St. Isidore, who had laboured mightily to preserve knowledge, I would be thoroughly ticked off by being named patron saint of the internet, the greatest tool ever devised to promote the spread of ignorance! That said, much as I respect Isidore for his accomplishments, my heart overrules my head today, and my vote goes to St. Clare, who has stood too long in the shadow of her friend Francis.

  47. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 18, 2020 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Here is what Wikipedia says about that “patron saint of TV” thing, re Clare of Assissi: “Pope Pius XII designated Clare as the patron saint of television in 1958 on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room.”

    • Candace's Gravatar Candace
      March 18, 2020 - 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Wow! I voted for Clare, not for the TV thing, but we feel a personal connection to her having visited Assisi and the cathedral dedicated to her. Isidore’s contribution was indeed tremendous, but our memories of our Italian journey won out!

  48. Rita's Gravatar Rita
    March 18, 2020 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    As an educator I had to vote for my Bro!!!!

  49. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 18, 2020 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    Pray for us, St. Isidore, in these days and in the hours of our cyber-liturgies, our Zoom gatherings, our quest for music and learning and news and entertainment, our need to keep in touch with one another. In this time of physical social distancing, keep us, we pray, connected and in communion with one another and with our one and holy God, to whom with you we pray, Developer, Interfacer, and Holy Connecter through wire and all space. AMEN.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 18, 2020 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Lisa, this is beautiful and true, as all good prayers are.
      Thank you!

  50. Brian Thom's Gravatar Brian Thom
    March 18, 2020 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    IBPS (Idaho Bishop Prognostication Service) predicts that Claire of Assisi will enter the Saintly 16 today with a win over Isidore of Seville. With this victory, Brian Thom, CEO (Chief Ecclesiastical Officer) of IBPS will be 12 for 16 in the first round of the 2020 Lent Madness competition. While his Monastics & Martyrs bracket was busted early by Brother Lawrence’s upset victory over St. Patrick, CEO Thom remains confident that Joseph (father-figure of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST) will continue his humble, yet triumphant, walk all the way to The Golden Halo.

    • March 18, 2020 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

      One of the sheep in the flock of IBPS CEO Thom (that would be me) will only be 6 for 16 should (as seems likely) Clare advance.

  51. March 18, 2020 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    I vote for St. Isidore because my husband taught Spanish and on his first trip to South America, some people thought he was from Spain although he was actually born and raised in Ohio.

  52. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 18, 2020 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    I thought I was going to vote for Clare but the write-up for Isadore won me over.

  53. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 18, 2020 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Isadore today gets our vote. In this period of coronavirus I’m thankful for the technology that keeps us communicating, in LM, seeing friends and family through FaceTime, and smart TVs that provide vital information, comforting music when we need a break from the crisis, and entertainment when we can get it. I loved our World Book Encyclopedias too! And I’m thankful for the ways our public libraries are virtual in many ways right now. Go Isidore!

  54. Kate Mason's Gravatar Kate Mason
    March 18, 2020 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Some time back, I heard an anecdote about Clare and Francis. (It’s possible I heard it via Richard Rohr, but I can’t remember.). So I can’t verify this, but it fits what I know about both folks.

    When Francis was first determining how he would go forth, he wondered if he should be an activist in the world, or a contemplative. Clare spent time in prayer, then returned to Francis and said simply, “Yes.”

    We need to be activists, in general and right now (call your neighbors, check on the lonely). And we need to be contemplatives, to be sure our actions are rooted in God. I’m voting for Clare.

    Peace, friends. And keep the faith.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 18, 2020 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      I hadn’t heard this story! Thank you for this.

    • March 18, 2020 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes, thanks, Kate. It is my opinion that contemplatives tend to become activists; I’m not sure that it works the other way, as well.

  55. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    March 18, 2020 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    What an undertaking St Isadore took on and in the days before the creature comforts we have today. Too dark to read? Turn on the light. Too cold/hot turn up the heat or on the fan or a/c. Microwave a meal. All this compilation of knowledge without the internet. I will have to research him further on the internet of course. Just found out he is sometimes depicted with bees as symbol of industriousness, community and cooperation.

  56. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 18, 2020 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    A setting of St. Francis’ best-known Prayer, beginning with “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace”, was sung at my college graduation and at my ordination as Deacon. (In 1980, United Methodist clergy had two ordinations: the first as Deacon and the second, more permanent, as Elder. I can’t even begin to make this clear, even to another Methodist.). This prayer, which has been a succinct guide through most of my life, and other exposures to St. Francis’ life and work, led me to great respect and love for this saint and his companions, including St. Clare. As much as I value encyclopedic learning, even at my advanced age, I just have to vote for her.

  57. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 18, 2020 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Actually, I voted for the Internet. Where would we be without it in these times? I didn’t know about Isidore’s antisemitism, which I deplore. Nevertheless, the Internet is enabling us to stay connected in these days of social distancing. Thanks be to God.

  58. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 18, 2020 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    I consulted Mister Death for a trinitarian cocktail appropriate to the Nicene Creed. Mister Death never fails. This is called “One, one, one.”
    (Sorry, Gregory of Ravenna. Mister Death doesn’t like you; this drink uses gin. It’s basically a variant of a martini. However, I have a treat for you later.)
    1 oz. Krogstad aquavit
    1 oz. Beefeater London dry gin
    1 oz. Dolin blanc vermouth
    1 dash Regan’s orange bitters
    Stir all ingredients over ice, strain into a coupe glass. No garnish. A toast to the saints.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 18, 2020 - 11:26 am | Permalink

      I knew you’d come through for us! “Krogstad aquavit”??? Gotta look that one up—on the Internet, of course.

    • March 18, 2020 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Time to head to the liquor store, my cabinet is woefully lacking in these ingredients for a Homoousion!

      • March 18, 2020 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Lucky you if you live where the liquor stores are open. Here in Pennsylvania, our “Fine Wines and Good Spirits” stores, previously known simply as state liquor stores, closed indefinitely as of yesterday. It was quite a sight as people stocked up.

    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 18, 2020 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

      No worries St. C. – we’re very ecumenical here at The Stacks (our Mandatory Retreat Center). Last night’s preprandial libation included gin – and Irish whiskey, of course!

      The Massey
      1 ounce Irish whiskey (Tullamore Dew)
      1 ounce gin (Bombay Sapphire)
      3/4 ounce sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula)
      1/4 ounce Green Chartreuse
      1/8 ounce Campari (I use Gran Classico; no fake color in my cocktails!)
      Garnish: orange twist

      I’m down for anything with Chartreuse in it – and it is a green liqueur…

      I don’t have Mr. Death’s book – I use the Green Book (aka Meehan’s Bartender Manual).


      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 18, 2020 - 2:39 pm | Permalink

        You had me at chartreuse!

  59. Nolan's Gravatar Nolan
    March 18, 2020 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    While my childhood love for the Childcraft Encyclopedias the originally belonged to my father and his brother I inherited from my grandparents makes me lean towards Isadore, in this time of worshiping together remotely Clare;s story of how she became patron of TV seems particularly appropriate, so voting for her

  60. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 18, 2020 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    And because we are bidden to offer non-alcoholic beverages, served equally attractively, here is a non-alcoholic drink called “Cardinal Punch.” Apparently “Parish Priest Punch” was not posh enough.
    2 oz. cranberry juice
    1/2 oz. lemon juice
    1 oz. orange juice
    2 oz. ginger ale
    Garnish: lemon and orange slices
    Serve in a collins glass over ice. A toast to the saints.

    • Evelyn's Gravatar Evelyn
      March 18, 2020 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

      It would be posh enough for the parish priest. You just have to omit the cranberry juice.

  61. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 18, 2020 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    ‘Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.’ This opening determined that my vote goes to Isodore, along with the line from the collect, ‘We praise your Name for the gifts of grace manifested in your servant Isidore, and we pray that your Church may never be destitute of such gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord ‘. As we wrestle with the impact of the call by the Archbishops to suspend public worship in the Church of England, we are looking to offer ministry on line. St Isodore, pray for us! In a political atmosphere where knowledge has been debased, we need knowledge and wisdom in the church and in society more than ever. I am so grateful to the scientists and researchers who are calming and quietly bringing their knowledge to bear. I am also grateful for the life and witness of Clare, who I admire greatly, and expect another opportunity to vote for her in rounds to come.

    • Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
      March 18, 2020 - 10:39 am | Permalink

      Oops, posted in haste, a sin of so much internet use – Isidore, pray for me!

  62. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    March 18, 2020 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful. We are! St. Isadore help us and God save us from the current incarnation of No Nothings.

  63. Lucinda's Gravatar Lucinda
    March 18, 2020 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    One piece of knowledge that would bless us all is learning about and revering the Doctors of the Church. Their lives and contributions to the ongoing life of Christianity are impossible to measure.

  64. SharonDianneFosterPattison's Gravatar SharonDianneFosterPattison
    March 18, 2020 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Sorry all you people’s out there voting for the ‘librarian’ and not the real Saint!
    I too worked in a library thru my highschool days, but if not for the library I would not have my love of books, all kinds of books! Mostly non fiction, but , like the current Facebook and social media, not always true, just someone else’s ideas and or thoughts, not necessarily true or factual! I did know of this man and the taking of children and giving to Christian families to teach and raise, but what did they actually learn of their own history? So, please do you own checking on the real history and acts with on the web or in an actual library, and then vote, if you have the time!

    • March 18, 2020 - 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m always an advocate of the library, but I imagine they are all closed now . . .

  65. Sara P's Gravatar Sara P
    March 18, 2020 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    I found this so difficult, I had to draw names.

  66. March 18, 2020 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Yes, imagine living in a world where opinions of experts are ignored as people turn instead to the voices of the rich and powerful! Oh, wait…

  67. March 18, 2020 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Although poor Clares are more well known, And Isadore’s textbook out of date, As a school teacher, I relate to Isadore. He was a collector and source of wide spread information. I vote for Isadore, proposed future saint of the internet.

  68. Carol Gallagher's Gravatar Carol Gallagher
    March 18, 2020 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    As a life-long educator and student, I had to vote for Isadore.

  69. Kathy Vaughn's Gravatar Kathy Vaughn
    March 18, 2020 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    ”Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.” Why yes. I can imagine that. Seems timely. And I’m a teacher, so Isadore it is.

  70. Gretchen Denton's Gravatar Gretchen Denton
    March 18, 2020 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    A tough choice for a feminist but the opening line of St. Isidore’s description swayed me, “Imagine living in a world where institutions of learning were crumbling and the opinions of experts were ignored as people turned instead to the voices of the powerful.” We live in such a time and need St. Isidore now.

  71. Brenda McHenry's Gravatar Brenda McHenry
    March 18, 2020 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Loved the poem for St. Isadore, having been there on too many occasions. But my own church is St. Clare’s of Assisi, and loyalty wins out.

  72. Brenda McHenry's Gravatar Brenda McHenry
    March 18, 2020 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Oops. Isidore.

  73. March 18, 2020 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    My heart goes out to the people of both Italy and Spain right now given what they are facing.
    Both TV and Internet are providing important connection.
    Love Clare but going with Isidore today because of the opportunity for practical interactive helping utility provided by the internet keeping people informed and connected in dire circumstance.
    May Isidore call down cleansing e-fire on all lies, hatred, and misinformation being spread via ‘his’ medium.

  74. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 18, 2020 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    This is a tough call. I’m going with the Little Plant.

  75. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    March 18, 2020 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Again, a hard choice.
    I went with Clare, a woman of her time and could be one for our time as well.
    May God preserve her memory.

  76. john's Gravatar john
    March 18, 2020 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who goes toe-to-toe with a pope has my vote.

  77. Diane Quantic's Gravatar Diane Quantic
    March 18, 2020 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Come on, folks!! Let’s hear it for Isadore, compiler of the first Wikipedia!

  78. Rufus's Gravatar Rufus
    March 18, 2020 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I knew I’d be voting for the less popular candidate today, but I couldn’t help it. I am a scholar and musician, and Isidore compiled one of the earliest encyclopedias (Etymologies) and included a section on music in one of its volumes.

  79. Michael Cudney's Gravatar Michael Cudney
    March 18, 2020 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Clare, a strong woman who stood up to Popes. How could I not voter for her?

  80. Evelyn's Gravatar Evelyn
    March 18, 2020 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Amazing, extremely, enjoyable expositions!
    Educator: Isidore.

  81. Beverly Duncan's Gravatar Beverly Duncan
    March 18, 2020 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    No contest I thought, breating a sigh of relief because so many day’s choices have been excrutiating! Then I read St. Isador’s bio which stopped me in my tracks! Learning is so very important, expecially today with so much “fake” news and info floating about. Isador was about education, preserving the knowledge of the past that it might enlighten our thinking and therefore our futures. He got my vote, but not without a backward glance over my shoulder to Clare.

  82. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    March 18, 2020 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Whoa, that was hard! St Clare is a notable figure in her own right, but the further association with St Francis and Assisi made my vote for her a certainty. Until I read about St Isisdore’s contribution to knowledge. His efforts to preserve the light of learning earned my vote. Then I read about his anti-Semitism. I might have voted differently had I read others’ posts first – should I be doing this? – but, of course, it doesn’t matter. I have learned something about the history of the church and two of its notable figures, read a couple of prayers, and appreciated my membership in this online community during a Lenten season of enforced social distancing. Thank you, Lent Madness.

  83. March 18, 2020 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    My BA (Honours) Degree from Bristol University, England, was in Classics so I have to vote for the classical scholar, Isidore. And your first sentence about him struck me as being of real relevance today.
    We need more real learning to help us through these difficult times.

  84. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 18, 2020 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    For me it would have had to be Clare regardless. When in my beloved city of Cortona, Italy, I drive over to Assisi to attend the Anglican congregation of St. Leonard, which meets in a frescoed gem of a little church lent to us by a local Roman Catholic confraternity. As I walk up to the city from the parking garage below I pass below St. Clare’s Basilica and all too often learn from the chiming of its bells that once again I am late for church.

    In fact, as her bio and our discussion show, Clare has plenty to recommend her. Francis, who was increasingly frail until his death at the age of 44, would have benefited enormously from her spiritual and emotional support. The palpable contemporary witness of the order she founded 800 years ago puts her over the top as far as I’m concerned. And then there’s the television thing.

    • March 18, 2020 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Francis died at 44?? How did I not know this? Tragic!
      Your first paragraph took me to Italy in a flash. I loved the trip–thank you.

  85. Patrick Alther's Gravatar Patrick Alther
    March 18, 2020 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Went with Clare, simply could not vote against a friend and disciple of St. Francis.

  86. Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
    March 18, 2020 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Tim & Scott!

    I’ve been wondering – are all of these collects pre-existing, or are some of them written just for LM?

  87. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    March 18, 2020 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The lady Clare gets my vote today, although it seems we are living in Isidore time

  88. James N Lodwick's Gravatar James N Lodwick
    March 18, 2020 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always admired Clare of Assisi and continue to do so, but I voted for Isidore because of his essential work of preserving and passing on learning.
    The blogger who writes about Clare calls her friend Francis “arguably the best known of all the saints in the Roman Catholic Church.” I think that is an inaccurate way of putting things. Francis lived centuries for the schisms of the 16th century Reformation. He is widely known and revered throughout the entire Church Catholic, not just the Roman part of it. That is certainly the case in Anglicanism, where there is even an Order of St. Francis and also many churches named after him.

  89. Jude the Obscure's Gravatar Jude the Obscure
    March 18, 2020 - 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Isador for me.
    When my parents bought a set of encyclopedias, my brother and I perused them daily. We learned how to play poker and how to make dandelion wine…..among other things of course!

  90. GaenM's Gravatar GaenM
    March 18, 2020 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I had to vote for Isidore. While “converting” Arians to Roman Christianity offends me (as I wrote about yesterday, anyone who has ever looked at the Arian mosaics in Ravenna can feel the depths of Arian Christianity), I love that he had such a passion for knowledge that he wrote the first encyclopedia. My husband is a travel writer and I spent time with him last fall in Assisi, including touring and spending many hours praying at San Damiano. One of the most beautiful parts of San Damiano are the rough-hewn choir stalls that illustrate (close to 1,000 years later) Claire’s commitment to poverty. She must have been an extraordinary woman to have done all that she did — and yet the fact that she lived cloistered once she ran away from home to join Francis has always, always troubled me. Her order still lives cloistered today in Assisi. I came for evening prayer and to spend time with the actual cross of San Damiano (that was part of Francis’s conversion), and we were all in one room and they were in another. Withdrawing to contemplate is one thing; but being cloistered speaks to me of prison.

  91. March 18, 2020 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    While I graduated from a classical high school and have never entered a library that I did not love, Clare gets my vote all the way to the Golden Halo. She is the patron saint of needleworkers. Names are destiny. I started sewing by age 8 and earned a BFA in Fashion Design. How many of you knit/stitch in front of the TV? A two-fer!

    • Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
      March 18, 2020 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes! So glad I voted for Clare, as I am a devoted needleworker. It’s getting me through all of the current social distancing.

    • Donna's Gravatar Donna
      March 18, 2020 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget us crocheters!

  92. Claire from Quincy MA's Gravatar Claire from Quincy MA
    March 18, 2020 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    While I graduated from a classical high school and have never entered a library that I did not love, Clare gets my vote all the way to the Golden Halo. She is the patron saint of needleworkers. Names are destiny. I started sewing by age 8 and earned a BFA in Fashion Design. How many of you knit/stitch in front of the TV?

  93. Richard Jonathan Adams's Gravatar Richard Jonathan Adams
    March 18, 2020 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Isidore promoted measures (canons) to isolate Jews from the rest of society. I am surprised he is even a candidate in Lent Madness.

    • Donna's Gravatar Donna
      March 18, 2020 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

      John Chrysostom was a candidate so why not Isidore?

  94. Vera-Lee's Gravatar Vera-Lee
    March 18, 2020 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Each week I drive by St Isdores Church , really knowing little about him so it was awesome to read about his life and accomplishments.Also as a believer in Education he gets my vote

  95. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    March 18, 2020 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

    In this time of social distancing, I have to vote for Clare, the patron saint of television.

  96. Linda MacDonald's Gravatar Linda MacDonald
    March 18, 2020 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Another tough match up! I was leaning toward Clare, and then I read about Saint Isidore. I am into books and authors and feel amazed by those who gather together knowledge to pass on and on. Of course Saint Clare did that as well. And given our current situation, it may be very important to have a Saint whose presence strengthens the internet despite some of the many dumb things posted there and that it can be used so badly by folks wanting to make trouble. But that is kind of how life is. It is never clear cut – you just have to go forward in the moment trusting that the everlasting arms will catch you no matter what.

    • March 18, 2020 - 5:58 pm | Permalink

      My black lab is named Clare of Assisi.
      She was such a naughty puppy, we sometimes also refer to her as Clare the Blackhearted,
      but she was in trouble so much we did frequently find ourselves calling her “Poor Clare.”
      She is pushing the Vote button for me today.

  97. Victoria Madsen's Gravatar Victoria Madsen
    March 18, 2020 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

    How can Clare be winning when so many of us love Isidore?

    • Claire from Quincy MA's Gravatar Claire from Quincy MA
      March 18, 2020 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

      How can Clare be winning in spite if all the much deserved praise for Ididore? Um..a silent majority! 🙂

  98. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 18, 2020 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

    The world desperately needs people who value, love, preserve, and spread knowledge. No matter what time in history, we desperate need them. Isidore!

  99. Evelyn's Gravatar Evelyn
    March 18, 2020 - 7:21 pm | Permalink

    claire was very sucsesful

  100. March 18, 2020 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    As a retired teacher and former member of St. Isidor parish when we were stationed in California, I have to vote for Isidor. Dear St. Clare was surely a force of her time and the feminine reflection of Francis’ rule, but Mr. Hansen’s initial statements struck a chord in me that is sooooo appropriate for our times!

  101. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 18, 2020 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

    As a scholar, I ought to vote for Isidore, but there’s some thing about Clare’s radical rebellion that feels even more necessary today.

  102. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 19, 2020 - 12:27 am | Permalink

    I voted for Saint Isidore of Seville before commuting around my bookcase to work this morning and unlike some of my other at-home-working coworkers, I did not have any trouble with the VPN nor did I have any trouble with our customer records management software. May he continue to keep me connected.

    Additionally, remember to tip generously when picking up carry out or having food delivered!

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