Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Our Lady of Perpetual Posting, Pray for Us!

They’re taking votes on a patron saint of the Internet

The Archangel Gabriel is one of Christianity's great communicators -- it was he who brought word to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the Bible says. So it was only natural that when a search began for a patron saint for the Internet, Gabriel's name arose.

According to a poll being conducted by a Roman Catholic organization in northern Italy, he is now in sixth place behind a 20th century martyr, an educator and a publisher born in the 19th century, an 18th century evangelizer and a 13th century nun who saw visions projected on a wall.

The web site, www.santiebeati.it, is soliciting votes with the aim of having an Internet patron saint named by Easter. "We had lots of requests for a patron, so we decided the Internet was the best tool for finding one," said Roberto Diani, an Internet adviser for Italy's Conference of Bishops. The official choice will be made by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Cult and Discipline of Sacrament.

….….Among the personages set for beatification this year is San Giacomo Alberione, founder of a major Catholic publishing house. He also leads the Internet patron race with 29 percent of the vote.

The others in the top six are Gabriel, St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian order and a promoter of youth education; Sant'Alfonso Maria de Liguori, a bishop and prolific writer; and Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest and missionary who favored use of technical advances to spread the Gospel. He died of hunger in Auschwitz after offering his life in exchange for a condemned fellow prisoner. Finally, there's St. Clare of Assisi, who saw visions on the wall; she's the patron saint of television…

Er, no…Maximilian Kolbe didn’t “die of hunger.” They sort of shot him through with carbolic acid. I think that might have done it.

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