Isidore of Seville
Saint Isidore of Seville
St. Isidore of Seville (1655), depicted by
|Bishop, Confessor, and Church Father|
|Died||4 April 636 (aged 79–80)|
|653 by the |
Isidore of Seville
|School or tradition|
Saint Isidore of Seville (
At a time of disintegration of classical culture, and aristocratic violence and illiteracy, he was involved in the conversion of the Arian Visigothic kings to Catholicism, both assisting his brother
Isidore was born in
Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, the first of its kind in
Two centuries of Gothic control of Iberia incrementally suppressed the ancient institutions, classic learning, and manners of the
Scholars may debate whether Isidore ever personally embraced monastic life or affiliated with any religious order, but he undoubtedly esteemed the monks highly.
After the death of Saint
Saint Isidore recognized that the spiritual and material welfare of the people of his See depended on the assimilation of remnant Roman and ruling barbarian cultures, and consequently attempted to weld the peoples and subcultures of the Visigothic kingdom into a united nation. He used all available religious resources toward this end and succeeded. Isidore practically eradicated the heresy of
Archbishop Isidore also used resources of education to counteract increasingly influential Gothic barbarism throughout his episcopal jurisdiction. His quickening spirit animated the educational movement centered on Seville. Saint Isidore introduced
In 619, Saint Isidore of Seville pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who in any way should molest the monasteries.
Saint Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun on 13 November 619, in the reign of King
Based on a few surviving canons found in the
The council dealt with a conflict over the
All bishops of Hispania attended the Fourth National Council of Toledo, begun on 5 December 633. The aged Archbishop Saint Isidore presided over its deliberations and originated most enactments of the council.
Through Isidore's influence, this Council of Toledo promulgated a decree, commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their cathedral cities along the lines of the cathedral school at Seville, which had educated Saint Isidore decades earlier. The decree prescribed the study of Greek, Hebrew, and the liberal arts and encouraged interest in law and medicine. The authority of the Council made this education policy obligatory upon all bishops of the Kingdom of the Visigoths. The council granted remarkable position and deference to the king of the Visigoths. The independent Church bound itself in allegiance to the acknowledged king; it said nothing of allegiance to the
Saint Isidore of Seville died on 4 April 636 after serving more than 32 years as archbishop of Seville.