Isaac Edward Leibowitz was married to a woman named Emily. He lived during a nuclear war in the United States, referred to as “the flame deluge.” Leibowitz was a technician and drafted a blueprint for a transistorized control system. The blueprint was replicated centuries later by Brother Francis Gerard of Utah, a monk. He was a hero to the monks. A statue of Leibowitz was at the monastery which was named after him in his honor. The monks referred to him as Beatus ('Blessed') Leibowitz prior to the canticle ceremony and he was called 'Saint Leibowitz' after it (Brians 2007, 3).
Story Plot 
After the death of his wife Emily, he took a vow to become a priest. He established a religious community dedicated to preserving history for generations to come. They smuggled books for preservation and were "memorizers" that would remember the books in case the books were destroyed. Leibowitz felt it important to preserve documents so the future would be able to educate themselves about their heritage. The world was going through a simplification. All knowledge, especially written words, were deemed evil. He was considered a martyr, caught and strangled while smuggling books. The mob destroyed documents and books hidden in kegs so only a few books and documents remained.
Saint Isaac Edward Leibowitz was a pioneer archivist. He was revered, especially by the monks. Centuries after his death other monks continued the work of preserving written documents. Saint Leibowitz’s foresight prevented future generations being deprived of their heritage.
Usage in other publications 
- In James A. Michener's novel Space, the last words by Colonel Randy Claggett (commander of Apollo 18) before the lunar module Luna crashed: "Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there".
Miller, Walter M., Jr. 1959. A canticle for Leibowitz. New York: Bantam Books.
External sources 
Brians, Paul. Study guide for Walter M. Miller, Jr.: a canticle for Leibowitz (1959). http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/science_fiction/canticle.html (accessed March 14, 2008).
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