This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 25 -- Feast of Saint Braulio

Braulio and Isidore, sixth century bloggers
There's a lot that's been published lately about the revolutionary power of Facebook and Twitter.  Arab Spring was powered by these social networks.  I'll set aside my cynicism about how the new boss in Egypt may look the same as the old boss (okay, saying it is not really setting it aside).  But I want to float the notion that if social networks are really powerful things, they should probably get their own patron saint to guide their use for good and not ill.  And if a saint is to be assigned, I'd like to suggest Saint Braulio of Zaragoza (Saragossa). 

Needs a better profile picture though. 
Braulio, like his good friend and colleague Isidore of Seville, was a seventh century Spanish archbishop.  Also like Isidore, he succeeded his brother to the office of archbishop.  A dedicated scholar, Braulio helped Isidore write and edit an encyclopedia.  And each was proposed as a possible patron of the internet; Isidore got the nod from Pope John Paul II

So why social networks in particular for Braulio?  The social networks of his day were letters, and before he went blind, Braulio wrote many.  One in particular stands out in the context of speaking truth to power.  Pope Honorius I criticized the Spanish bishops for not doing enough to prevent baptized (former) Jews from relapsing into Judaism.  When the Pope himself scolds you, you humbly apologize and promise to do better, right?  Not Braulio.  His response let Honorius know that the bishops were on the job, vigilant and diligent, and that His Holiness had best get his facts straight before he made any claims of papal infallibility.  True, he didn't say that in 140 characters, but I'm sticking by my parallel. 

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