Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant

With yesterday’s victory for Brigid of Kildare over Kamehameha IV, 55% to 45%, half the Faithful Four is set. Brigid and Francis are in with two remaining spots up for grabs. Today it’s Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant. Tomorrow Frederick Douglass faces Egeria. Things are fast and furious as we race toward the finish line of Lent Madness 2015! Oh, yeah, and Easter.

To get to the Elate Eight, Bernard defeated Margaret of Antioch and Jackson Kemper while Molly bested Swithun and Cuthbert.

Let’s face it, some saints are more prone to kitsch than others. We’re grateful to those Celebrity Bloggers who have not been dealt low hanging saintly kitsch fruit. Like those advocating for today’s saints. Kudos for kitschy kreativity!

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Brigid of Kildare vs. Kamehameha

The Elate Eight, and our endless fascination with saintly kitsch, continues with Brigid of Kildare facing Kamehameha IV. To make it this far, Brigid defeated Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) and Dionysius the Great. Kamehameha trounced William Laud before besting David Oakerhater.

Yesterday, Francis of Assisi trounced Thecla 71% to 29%. Tomorrow the Elate Eight continues with Bernard Mizeki taking on Molly Brant.

While we all know the real point of Lent Madness is to be inspired by saintly souls and grow closer to Jesus during this holy season, this doesn’t mean the competitive spirit remains completely dormant. Over the years, thousands of dollars have been raised in parishes that use the saintly smackdown for charitable purposes. In most places this involves parishioners filling out and submitting Lent Madness brackets in advance with a small donation. When the Golden Halo is awarded, the one who “wins Lent” gets to decide which charity gets the pot.

The point it, we’re curious about how people’s brackets are faring? Does anyone have a 11081669_10153232593998385_2072347019_nperfect bracket? Is anyone 0-for-Lent? One of Tim’s parishioners was pleased to report he’d only gotten three wrong heading into the Elate Eight (see photo). Of course, as he put it, “Most years I only have three correct at this point.”

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Thecla vs. Francis of Assisi

And then there were eight. We started with 32 saints and 3/4 of them have been sent packing. Welcome, friends, to the Elate Eight. Things kick off with Thecla taking on Francis of Assisi. To make it to this point, Thecla defeated John Keble and Brendan the Navigator while Francis of Assisi beat John Wycliffe and Cecilia. (Elate Eight Bonus: click on the names of vanquished foes to refresh your memory by reading the write-ups from previous rounds).

Yesterday, Egeria defeated Thomas Ken 54% to 46% to nab the final spot. After today’s battle, it’s Brigid of Kildare vs. Kamehameha, Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant, and Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria. One of these eight will be awarded the coveted 2015 Golden Halo!

This round 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. This round is not meant 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 toward our goal.

Finally, if you want to know more about, and see some examples of, saintly kitsch, tune in to this week’s episode of Monday Madness in which Scott and Tim also reveal why Lent Madness is the Original Saintly Smackdown©.

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Monday Madness — March 23, 2015

KitschJust in the nick of time (before Tuesday, that is), Scott and Tim are back with the latest episode of Monday Madness. This week, they preview the Elate Eight match-ups and the change in style which comes with this round, also known as the Round of the Saintly Kitsch. Because every year brings out a few Kitsch Kranks, the Supreme Executive Committee reminds everyone of the two Lent Madness rules, which will help anyone through whatever objection to Lent Madness they claim.

Also, in this week’s episode, the SEC basks in the glow of flattery which springs from imitation, since Crux Now has cloned a nearly identical “Saints Madness” for their faithful. While we are glad to see others joining in Lenten fun, we also wish to remind the world that all are welcome here at Lent Madness, and that our halo can be worn by Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, or any stripe of Christian. So c’mon over everyone, and join the party. Plus, at our party, we feature the world-renowned Original Saintly Smackdown.

Egeria vs. Thomas Ken

Monday morning doldrums? Impossible! At least when you log on for another full week of Lent Madness. Today’s matchup is the final battle of the Saintly Sixteen meaning that either Egeria or Thomas Ken will round out the lineup of the eight remaining saints. Over the next 24 hours, you’ll decide whether the Spanish nun or English bishop will advance to face Frederick Douglass.

You likely know by now, if you follow Lent Madness on Facebook or Twitter or compulsively check in for Bracket updates, that Friday’s nip and tuck battle ended with a 52% to 48% victory by Bernard Mizeki over Jackson Kemper. He’ll face Molly Brant in the next round.

So, read, vote, pray, lobby others, and then steel yourself for tomorrow’s start of the Elate Eight, aka the saintly kitsch round, as Francis of Assisi takes on Thecla.

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Bernard Mizeki vs. Jackson Kemper

In the penultimate (we love that word here at Lent Madness) matchup of the Saintly Sixteen, South African Bernard Mizeki faces Midwesterner Jackson Kemper. The winner will tangle with Molly Brant in the Elate Eight.

Yesterday, Brigid of Kildare took care of Dionysius the (evidently-not-so) Great 63% to 37% and will square off against Kamehameha in the next round.

Enjoy a weekend voting respite but be prepared to return bright and early Monday morning for the last battle of the Saintly Sixteen between Egeria and Thomas Ken. Then it’s on to the Elate Eight! Oh, and go to church on Sunday. The SEC encourages that.

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Brigid of Kildare vs. Dionysius the Great

We’ve almost made it through yet another week of heart-stopping, saintly thrills and spills. Two more votes to cast before we’re given a chance to catch our collective breaths/suffer from the weekend malaise that is LMW (Lent Madness Withdrawal).

After today’s matchup, only two battles remain in the Round of the Saintly Sixteen. Tomorrow Bernard Mizeki will face Jackson Kemper and on Monday it’s Egeria vs. Thomas Ken. Then it’s on to the Elate Eight!

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on a tricky pairing between a beloved Irish saint and a bishop who served amid the trials of persecution. Brigid of Kildare faces Dionysius the Great as we continue to get to know our saintly souls through Quirks and Quotes.

Yesterday, Francis of Assisi trounced Cecilia 69% to 31% and will face off against Thecla in the next round.

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Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia

Today Francis of Assisi takes on Cecilia and Lent Madness voters everywhere are forced to choose between animals and music. Okay, that’s just the superficial choice. It’s really a choice between your childhood rabbit and your mother who sang in the church choir. The winner will face Thecla in the Elate Eight, thereby finalizing the first matchup of the next round.

Yesterday Frederick Douglass solidly defeated Juan Diego 60% to 40% to advance. Click here to see the fully updated bracket (scroll down for links to all the previous matchups including Francis’ first round victory over John Wycliffe and Cecilia’s defeat of Balthazar). 

We also gave you an opportunity to vote (it’s what we’re all good at!) for 2013 Golden Halo winner Frances Perkins to appear on the $20 bill. And, no, the SEC hasn’t started printing its own purple money — this is an initiative of the U.S. Treasury Department.

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Could a Golden Halo Winner Go Green?

No, this is not a green-themed story connected with St. Patrick’s Day, because who would want to read about a saint who was driven out the Round of 32 in Lent Madness 2011? This is a story about good old American green currency.

The Supreme Executive Committee has just learned that Frances Perkins, winner of the 2013 Golden Halo, continues to leverage her newfound fame. She is among the short list of women who could grace the $20 bill!

Frances Perkins on $20

As reported in the Boothbay Register, there is a growing movement to put a woman on the American $20 bill. If you think a Maine newspaper might be biased toward their local hero, the New Yorker has the skinny too. Of course, we at Lent Madness would be happy to see Andrew Jackson (or anyone else for that matter) get tossed aside in favor of a Golden Halo winner. In fact, rumor has it that a number of Lent Madness fanatics have initiated a grass roots campaign to get Mary Magdalene on the nickel.

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Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass

Today, Lent Madness offers us a tough choice between Juan Diego and Frederick Douglass. Their respective stories and legacies are compelling yet only one will advance to the Elate Eight. To paraphrase a best-selling book: Eat, Pray, Vote. Unless you’ve already eaten. In which case, just pray and vote. 

Yesterday, in a hotly contested battle, Molly Brant edged out Cuthbert 51% to 49% and will advance to face the winner of Bernard Mizecki vs. Jackson Kemper.

Oh, and don’t forget to watch yet another exciting episode of Monday Madness. Tim and Scott mention a few folks (at least by town) who have been cast into the outer darkness for voting too many times from a single location and they reveal just who writes all the Monday Madness scripts (HINT: It’s not Jimmy Fallon’s talented stable of writers).

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