I need help. My computer stopped working. And given that there are no signs of glowing screen life, my software troubleshooting skills are pretty much useless.
I have run out of options. It is midnight in the time of Covid and the Genius bar is closed. So is the bar in town.
What I need is divine intervention.
Surely there is a patron saint of computers I can call on. There is a patron saint for everything. Beer, indigestion, lost causes, motorcycles, infectious diseases. You name it and there is a saint to serve as a heavenly advocate for any problem imaginable.
In trivializing the role of saints interceding with the man upstairs , I realize that I run the risk of sounding both blasphemous and sexist. Fortunately I can call on St. Stephen, the patron saint of blasphemy, and St. Joan of Arc, a patron saint of brave women, to assist me if I run into trouble.
And this is urgent. I need to retrieve and finish this article by the time you read it.
Like everyone, I feel overly prone to technology failures. They seem to never end. But tech failures don’t seem random to me. They come at the worst possible time, suggesting there could be some sort of divine retribution for my shortcomings as a human being.
Hence my virtual call on Saint Isadore of Seville. He is the patron saint of the internet, computers and technology, nominated to that position in 1997 by Pope John Paul II, himself a saint. I googled it on my phone. Alexa, who is the patron saint of the Internet?
Saint Isadore doesn’t have an email address, but he does have some serious IT cred. He is considered among scholars to be the first search engine, having written a 20 volume set of works dedicated to everything ever known. In the year 636 this may not have been a lot of information, but for centuries it was considered the encyclopedia of all knowledge.
He also invented the period and the comma and the blueprint for a QWERTY keyboard.
Becoming a saint is pretty straight forward. Speaking as someone who will never become one, the first step is the easiest. You need to be dead. For at least five years. That is deemed sufficient time for the people who nominate you to sainthood to forget about all the bad stuff you did in your life.
Next comes a rigorous background check to verify that you have lived a life of heroic virtue. Here it helps to have some very redeeming qualities that positively impact the lives of everyone you meet.
Then, if approved by the Pope, you are granted a venerable security clearance and can move on to the beatification lightning round, in which candidates must receive prayer and demonstrate verified miracles from the man himself. These days, unexplained recovery from illness seems to be the miracle of choice. If you can turn water into wine, that might work too, although magicians like Criss Angel have rendered this sort of biblical miracle pretty mundane.
And then you are done. Saint Easy Peasy.
At that point, assignation to patron saint is pretty much up for grabs. If a saint has some connection to a place or an occupation or an affliction or a thing, no matter how tenuous, he is ripe to be prayed upon. If Jimmy Hoffa had led a more reverent life, for example, he could be the patron saint of Giants Stadium.
Pity Saint Drogo, patron saint of coffee and maybe Star Wars. A horrific disfigurement also distinguished him as patron saint of the ugly. His miracle was that he could be in two places at once, which if you are being stoned for your appearance, seems doubly tragic.
Despite their pious lives a thousand years ago, as saints today some of these patronage assignations seem pretty outlandish. When poor Saint Clare grew too feeble to go to church, the story goes, she envisioned the sights and sounds of the service on her bedroom wall. Thus in 1957 Pope Pius XII named her patron saint of television.
But who am I to question the Pope. At least now I know where to go when I can’t find the remote.
I don’t really know if Saint Isadore of Seville can get my computer working. And I feel a little guilty praying upon his kindness, even though he died 1300 years ago.
Surely saints have more important things to do than intercede with my insignificant problems.
If you are reading this now you have no doubt surmised that my computer issue is resolved.
I believe in miracles. But bringing a wonky computer back to life is not one of them.
I tried jiggling the power cord.