Help make more Madness

Come Monday morning, it will all heat up as the Faithful Four begins. One of four saints will soon take home the coveted 2018 Golden Halo. We hope you have enjoyed the ride. It’s been another great year of Lent Madness, as tens of thousands of people from around the globe have learned about the saints together. Once again, we have enjoyed a wonderful online community together. (Name another site where you actually want to read the comments!)

It can all seem a bit silly at times, we know. And that’s the point. Lent Madness also gives us an opportunity to reflect on all the ways the love of Jesus Christ is revealed in women and men of all sorts, in all places, in all times. Perhaps someone from the Lent Madness Global Viewing Public will one day be remembered by the church as a saint.

Tim started this madness on his blog in 2010. Scott got involved that very year, running a proxy campaign for George Herbert, the first-ever Golden Halo winner. When Scott went to work at Forward Movement, Tim suggested they team up to kick the madness up a few notches. And the rest is history.

Back in 2012, it might have seemed unlikely. Why would a staid publishing company choose to sponsor Lent Madness, which is anything but predictable? Simply put, it’s because Forward Movement was in the midst of embracing a deeper calling, to be a discipleship company, not just a publishing company.

Lent Madness is but one of many ways Forward Movement has expanded over the last few years. Families can get encouragement and ideas for practicing faith at home on Grow Christians. People have gathered for inspiring conferences on evangelism and discipleship. Free curricula are now available so that churches can teach people the wonders of scripture or the breadth of diversity in the saints. Lately, Forward Movement has offered more and more resources for free to prisoners, people deployed in the military, nursing home residents, and hospital patients.

What do all these new and expanded ways of serving the church have in common? None of them brings in much net income. The expenses to offer resources to today’s church often exceed what comes in. And yet we know that these are exactly the kinds of resources that lead to transformed lives in today’s church.

Here’s your chance to give thanks for Lent Madness and many other new resources for the church. Please consider making a gift (large or small!) to support this work. Make your gift in honor of your favorite saint, if you like. Make your gift in honor of someone who has received free material. Make your gift in hope that Forward Movement will continue to inspire disciples and empower evangelists in tomorrow’s church.

You can make a gift online, you can send a check to Forward Movement, 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202, or you can call 800-543-1813 during business hours. Your generosity will allow Forward Movement’s ongoing generous response to the needs of the world and the church.

Anna Alexander vs. Eglantyne Jebb

Today marks the fourth and final matchup of the Elate Eight as Anna Alexander takes on Eglantyne Jebb. To make it this far, Anna made it past Peter Claver and Edith Cavell while Eglantyne cruised past both Seraphim of Sarov and Catherine Winkworth.

Yesterday Maria Skobtsova swept away Martin de Porres and will face Esther in the next round. So the Faithful Four is nearly set: Maria, Esther, Richard Hooker and…today it’s your job to complete this sentence!

Then take a deep cleansing breath and get ready for the last three battles of Lent Madness 2018. On Monday and Tuesday it’s the Faithful Four. And then on Spy Wednesday the scene will be set as we collectively crown the Golden Halo winner. The end is near!

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Martin de Porres vs. Maria Skobtsova

The fast and furious pace of the Saintly Sixteen continues today as Martin de Porres faces Maria Skobtsova. To get to this round, Martin defeated John of Beverley and Dymphna while Maria took down Thomas à Kempis and Quiteria.

In yesterday’s saintly action, Richard Hooker and his three-legged stool buried Phocas the Gardner and will face the winner of tomorrow’s battle between Anna Alexander and Eglantyne Jebb in the Faithful Four.

As we get deeper into the season, many of the Lent Madness faithful must decide between two saints they voted for in previous rounds. Oh, the agony! And yet in the end, despite all the amazing saintly souls, only one will emerge victorious.

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Phocas the Gardner vs. Richard Hooker

In the second matchup of the Elate Eight, Phocas the Gardener faces Richard Hooker. Our ever-creative Celebrity Bloggers daily earn their keep (well, their Lent Madness mug) in the Round of Saintly Kitsch as they scour the internet for your voting pleasure. To make it to this round, Phocas bested Isidore the Farmer and Katharina von Bora while Richard made it past Mary of Egypt and Margaret of Scotland.

Yesterday, Esther narrowly defeated Peter, in an epic start to the Elate Eight, to become the first saint to advance to the Faithful Four.

Can you feel the excitement? We are getting ever closer to awarding the 2018 Golden Halo. Every vote counts!

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Peter vs. Esther

Congratulations! You’ve stuck with Lent Madness as a Lenten devotion and the field has been whittled down from 32 saints to eight. After a long and winding road, we have made it to the Round of the Elate Eight. There is now light at the end of the Golden Halo and by the end of the week we’ll be down to the Faithful Four.

We begin this round with an epic battle of Biblical proportions as Peter faces Esther. To make it this far, Peter defeated Paul and John the Evangelist while Esther got past Lazarus of Bethany and Michael the Archangel. The remaining matchups in this round are Phocas the Gardener vs. Richard Hooker, Martin de Porres vs. Maria Skobtsova, and Anna Alexander vs. Eglantyne Jebb. One of these eight will win the 2018 Golden Halo.

The Elate Eight is also known as the Saintly Kitsch round. After basic biographies, quotes and quirks, what else could there be? There are always some folks who take offense to this approach — we call them Kitsch Kranks. Tim and Scott discussed this in yesterday’s edition of Monday Madness. This is not to belittle or demean our saintly heroes but to have some fun and gaze in wide wonder at the breadth of devotional practice. So kindly relax and enjoy the spirit of the Madness as we push ever onward to our goal.

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Monday Madness: Coffee Edition

This week, Tim and Scott span the globe. Tim comes live from coffee country in Nicaragua. Scott is in Cincinnati. And they are both live, discussing the Elate Eight. They also warn about people who could be grumpy about this round, so the Supreme Executive Committee once again delivers the two great commandments of Lent Madness.

Check out the bracket tab as you plan your week around Lent Madness Elate Eight contests. Best thing is to vote once (and once only) but refresh your browser dozens of times an hour to check results constantly.

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Eglantyne Jebb vs. Catherine Winkworth

Today in Lent Madness, it’s the last matchup of the Saintly Sixteen as Eglantyne Jebb squares off against Catherine Winkworth in the Lent Dome. To get to this round Eglantyne routed Seraphim of Sarov while Catherine upset Isaac Watts.

If you had a big weekend and/or your memory is shaky, on Friday Martin de Porres defeated Dymphna 62% to 38% to advance to the Elate Eight where she’ll face Maria Skobtsova.

Tomorrow we begin the Elate Eight, aka the Round of Saintly Kitsch as Peter faces Esther. Hold on to your Bibles, folks!

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Martin de Porres vs. Dymphna

Today in the Saintly Smackdown©, Martin de Porres faces Dymphna, as we move between 17th century Peru and 7th century Belgium. To get to the Saintly Sixteen, Martin eased past John of Beverley while Dympha defeated Gertrude of Nivelles.

Yesterday, Phocas the Gardener took down Katharina von Bora 60% to 40% to advance to the Elate Eight against Richard Hooker. This marks the second year in a row that a member of the Luther Family will not win the Golden Halo. Last year, Katharina’s husband, some guy named Martin, made it to the Faithful Four before running into the Florence Nightingale juggernaut.

It’s hard to believe but the last battle of the Saintly Sixteen will take place on Monday as Eglantyne Jebb faces Catherine Winkworth. Then it’s on to the Elate Eight! Enjoy today’s vote and we’ll see you first thing Monday morning.

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Phocas the Gardener vs. Katharina von Bora

The Quotes and Quirks of the Saintly Sixteen continue as Phocas the Gardener faces Katharina von Bora. To make it to this round, Phocas defeated Isidore the Farmer while Katharina took down Wulfstan. Today’s winner will face Richard Hooker.

Don’t forget, the Saintly Sixteen write-ups are not the sum of what has been shared about each saint by our Celebrity Bloggers. Click the links above or scroll down on the bracket page to supplement your knowledge of our daily contestants.

Yesterday, the great controversy surrounding whether or not it was “fair” to stick an angel in the bracket was decided as Esther soundly dismantled Michael the Archangel 70% to 30%. This sets up the first Elate Eight matchup, a sure-to-be epic battle between Peter and Esther. Now go vote!

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