St Isidore the Bishop of Seville

Saint Isidore was born in the middle of the sixth century, and was related to the Visigoth royal family who converted to Orthodoxy from Arianism during his lifetime.

St Isidore was the brother of three saints: St Leander (February 27), St Fulgentius, and St Florentina. Orphaned at an early age, he was educated by his older brother Leander. The range of his knowledge was extensive, and included the study of Hebrew and Greek. He also wrote biographies of biblical figures and other illustrious men.

A prollific writer, St Isidore wrote on religious, historical and scientific topics. His ETYMOLOGIES (or ORIGINS) was a compendium of the knowledge of his time, and was used through the Middle Ages. Today, however, his history of the Goths and Vandals is of greater interest. He even composed a monastic Rule, although he was not a monk.

The tireless bishop also composed treatises refuting the Arian and Monophysite heresies. He participated in a council at Toledo in 610, and presided at the second Council of Seville in 618 or 619.

St Isidore fell asleep in the Lord in 636, and his holy relics were later transferred to Leon. Dante mentions him in his PARADISO (X, 130).