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Monday, June 14, 1999 Published at 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK


When the saints go logging on

Online prayers could soon be answered

The next time you have trouble surfing the Net, spiritual help could be at hand.

In answer to the prayers of many Net users who have just crashed, the Vatican is considering giving the Internet its own patron saint.

The choice of religious saviour is thought to be St Isidore of Seville, who died 1,400 years ago.

The Spanish saint is the preferred choice for the Net by many users. He is credited with creating the world's first database - a 20-volume encyclopaedia.

St Isidore was a prolific writer and his works include a history of the world. He introduced the works of Aristotle to Spain and was considered to be one of the most learned men of his day.

For those about to crash

[ image: Web talk: Pope has broadcasted live on the Net]
Web talk: Pope has broadcasted live on the Net
Spokesman for the Catholic Media Office Tom Hallwood said: "There are patron saints of many things, so why not let the Internet have one?

"It is a good idea and might be able to help us all when we are about to crash.

"There has been no official statement from Rome but this has been an idea floating around for a while, so why not?"

The Vatican and the Roman Catholic church are heavily involved with the Internet.

The Pope broadcasts live speeches on the Web and Vatican Radio can be heard online.

It also uses three servers to cope with the heavy demand made on its websites, appropriately called Raphael, Gabriel and Michael.

The move to appoint a saint for the Internet has been attributed to pressure from Catholic users around the world, predominantly Spain.

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