St. Isidoro of Seville, Bishop
April 4

c. 560-636

Of a noble Hispanic-Roman family of Cartagena, Spain, and brother of SS. Leander, Fulgentius, and Florentina, he was born at Seville, was educated under the supervision of his elder brother, Leander, and succeeded him as bishop of Seville in about 600. Isidore became noted as one of the most learned men of his times, continued Leander's work of converting the Arian Visigoths, and presided over several important councils, including that of Seville in 619 and Toledo in 633. Greatly interested in education, he founded schools in each diocese similar to our present-day seminaries and broadened the curriculum to include liberal arts, medicine, and law as well as the conventional subjects. He compiled the Etymologies, an encyclopedia of the knowledge of his times, wrote treatises on theology, astronomy, and geography, histories [his history of the Goths is the principal source of information about them], biographies, and completed the Mozarabic liturgy begun by Leander. Isidore was known for his austerities and charities and is considered the last of the ancient Christian philosophers. He died on April 4, was canonized in 1598, and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIV in 1722.