Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Friday, April 04, 2008



Saint Isidore of Seville
Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church

DOUBLE / WHITE
St. Isidore was born
at Cartagena, Spain, about 560. He was the son of Severianus and Theodora. His elder brother Leander was his immediate predecessor in the Metropolitan See of Seville; while a younger brother St. Fulgentius presided over the Bishopric of Astigi. His sister Florentina was a nun, and is said to have ruled over forty convents and one thousand religious.

St. Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. With such diligence did he apply himself to study that in a remarkably short time mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Whether St. Isidore ever embraced monastic life or not is still an open question, but though he himself may never have been affiliated with any of the religious orders, he esteemed them highly. On his elevation to the episcopate he immediately constituted himself protector of the monks.

On the death of Leander, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. St. Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville in 619. But it was the Fourth National Council of Toledo 633 that afforded him the opportunity of being of the greatest service to his county. At this council, all the bishops of Spain were in attendance. St. Isidore, though far advanced in years, presided over its deliberations, and was the originator of most of its enactments. It was at this council and through his influence that a decree was promulgated commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school already existing at Seville. Within his own jurisdiction he had availed himself of the resources of education to counteract the growing influence of Gothic barbarism. His was the quickening spirit that animated the educational movement of which Seville was the center. The study of Greek and Hebrew as well as the liberal arts, was prescribed. Interest in law and medicine was also encouraged. Through the authority of the fourth council this policy of education was made obligatory upon all the bishops of the kingdom. Long before the Arabs had awakened to an appreciation of Greek Philosophy, he had introduced Aristotle to his countrymen. He was the first Christian writer to essay the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge. This encyclopedia epitomized all learning, ancient as well as modern. In it many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise had been hopelessly lost. The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. His style, though simple and lucid, cannot be said to be classical. It discloses most of the imperfections peculiar to all ages of transition. It particularly reveals a growing Visigothic influence. Arevalo counts in all Isidore's writing 1640 Spanish words.

St. Isidore was the last of the ancient Christian Philosophers, as he was the last of the great Latin Fathers. He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages.

He died April 4, 636.

Mass of a
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, except

COLLECT
O God, may blessed Isidore intercede for us in heaven as he once instructed Your faithful on earth and directed them in the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord . . .