I learned a very curious fact. We have two Christian saints St. Thekla and St. Isidore of Seville which are protectors of Computing and people involved with computational sciences programming and IT related jobs.
The two saints both lived before the Great Church Schism thus the saints are celebrated and venerated nowadays in Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches all around the Christian world.
The Holy living of Saint Thecla – The ProtoMartyr (The first Christian woman martyr)
The reason why Saint Thecla is considered a protector of all people who heavily work with computers and possibly hackers 🙂 is her name, Tecla means "Key" (a keyboard one) in Spanish.
Besides that everyone knows Keys (Passwords) and codes – a sort of keys as well as keys in programming arrays are widely used in Informatics and are essential part of computer basic Software.
Saint Thecla's living is mostly interesting, below is a short story of her earthly live as recognized in Orthodox Christian tradition;
Saint Thecla is considered a direct pupil of Saint Apostle Paul as she turned to be preacher of Christianity after speaking saint Apostle Paul. She lived in 30 A.D. until 1-st century after Christ. St. Thecla was virgin and decided not to mary even though she had fiancee in moment where she heard the Gospel of Christ.
She was miraculously saved from being burned at a stake by the onset of a storm, and traveled with Paul to Pisiduan Antioch. There a nobleman named Alexander desired Thecla and attempted to take her by force. Thecla fought him off, assaulting him in the process, and was put on trial for assaulting a nobleman. She was sentenced to be eaten by wild beasts (a common punishment for Christians in 1st century). Again saved by a series of miracles when the female beasts protected her against her male aggressors.
She sought out St. Paul and his companions, including St. Barnabas, who were hiding in a cave near the city. She spread the gospel of Christ with them in Antioch, and throughout her life performed many miraculous feats and suffered many tortures to give glory to God. Having retired to a desolate region of Isaurian Seleucia with the blessing of St. Paul, Thekla continued to preach God's word and heal st. Paul's spiritual children.
She lived to venerable old age of 90. Even in this old age envious pagan sorcerors come with the intention to defile the holy virgin. . A large rock split open when St. Thekla called on Christ the Savior to help her, and the rock covered her, and she offered up her soul to the Lord.
St. Thecla is highly venerated by Nuns an interesting fact is during tonsure of nuns in the Orthodox Church, her prayerful intercession for the tonsured nun is invoked.
The Kontaktion and Troparion as sung in the Church on her day feast in Orthodox Church – September 24 is;
Hymns Troparion (Tone 4)  You were enlightened by the words of Paul, O Bride of God, Thekla, And your faith was confirmed by Peter, O Chosen One of God. You became the first sufferer and martyr among women, By entering into the flames as into a place of gladness. For when you accepted the Cross of Christ, The demonic powers were frightened away. O all-praised One, intercede before Christ God that our souls may be saved. Kontakion (Tone 8) O glorious Thekla, virginity was your splendor, The crown of martyrdom your adornment and the faith you trust! You turned a burning fire into refreshing dew, And with your prayers appeased pagan fury, O First Woman Martyr!
Saint Tecla is very important woman saint, there is a whole monastery dedicated to her – Saint Tecla Monastery in Ma'loula
Saint Isidore of Seville – St Isidore Archbishop of Seville – An important Christian Saint writer from 6th century
St Isidore lived (circa 560-636), he served as Archbishop of Seville. Apart from his great holiness in modern terms, he can be defined as "information freak" and even in modern terms Nerd 🙂 Even in his living he was recognized as miracle worker. St. Seville just like me and most IT people had a hobby of knowing as much as possible, he collected texts and write books on scientific or quasi-scientific facts and theories on subjects from Scripture, Church order, materials, and jurisprudence and medicine to achritecture, agriculture, botany, food, drink furniture,war, navigation ! etc. etc. 🙂
His books are among the first attempts to create universal catalog of available information in the World. His writtings are a sort of ancient Wikipedia. Even to this age his books provide us with many information and instruction on Church dogmatics and life as understood from a Christian view.
Saint Isidore's most notable work is Etymologiae – which is among the first encyclopedias worldwide – a huge compilation of 448 chapters in 20 volumes.
Contrary to many critics of Christian faith claiming that the Holy Fathers or the Church teach the earth is square shaped and one can reach the end of the world in St. Isidore's work, it is clearly explained that the earth has a circle like form.
Saint Isidore was contemporary to Saint Maxim the Confessor and one of the last ancient Christian Philopsophers, and last of the Great Western Church Holy fathers
According to some sources, saint Isidore is said to be the most learned man of his age. His works played key role on development of Middle-ages educational life. It is curious fact that in year 2000, the Vatican proclaimed Saint Isidore as patron saint of the Internet.
In Orthodox Church, we're not the authority of the Vatican Pope, so for us Orthodox Saint Isidore is not patron saint of Internet, however his contribution for increase of worldly knowledge as we know it today is un-questinable. His Holy relics are currently held in Roman Catholic Cathedral in Murcia (Spain), so any Orthodox Christian who is in deep involvement IT who travels to their or happen to live their might drop by to venerate the saint.
St. Isidore's episcopate was during a time of disintegration and transition as the ancient institutions and knowledge of the Roman Empire were disappearing. During these times, he set himself to the task of joining into a homogeneous nation the many peoples who made up the Gothic kingdom. To accomplish this task he used all the resources of religion and education available to him. He presided over the Second Council of Seville in November 619, leading to the setting forth of the nature of Christ in the Acts of the council, as he pushed for the eradication of Arianism.
A list of all his works, most of which are unfortunately present on the Internet only in Latin are:
- Historia de regibus Gothorum, Vandalorum et Suevorum (a history of the Gothic, Vandal and Suebi kings)
- Chronica Majora (a universal history)
- De differentiis verborum, which amounts to brief theological treatise on the doctrine of the Trinity, the nature of Christ, of Paradise, angels, and men.
- On the Nature of Things (a book of astronomy and natural history dedicated to the Visigothic king Sisebut)
- Questions on the Old Testament.
- a mystical treatise on the allegorical meanings of numbers
- a number of brief letters
- Sententiae libri tres Codex Sang. 228; 9th century
- De viris illustribus
- De ecclesiasticis officiis
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