Bernard Mizeki vs. Margaret of Antioch

In the penultimate battle of the first round, we have a South African missionary and martyr taking on an early 4th century martyr from Antioch. Courage (and at least one dragon) abounds in this battle between Bernard Mizeki and Margaret of Antioch with the winner to face Jackson Kemper in the Saintly Sixteen.

Yesterday in the Battle of the Greats, Dionysius the Great proved his greatness by defeating Irene the Great, 58% to 42%. Wondering how things are progressing? Check out the updated Bracket.

And in case you missed this week’s stirring edition of Monday Madness: Global Edition, Tim and Scott awarded the first ever Lent Madness Medal of Valor. Oh, and they also coined the term “Servermaggedon.”

Bernard MizekiBernard Mizeki

Bernard Mizeki is one of the most beloved martyrs in South Africa. Each year on June 18, one of the largest Christian gatherings in Africa takes place as part of the celebration of his feast day.

Born in Portuguese East Africa in 1861 and educated by the Cowley Fathers, Mizeki began his working life offering hospitality in the Fathers’ Hostel for African men. Under their tutelage and with the additional evangelical efforts of a German missionary, Mizeki was baptized in 1886. Shortly after, he left his job at the hostel and began his training as a catechist.

Mizeki’s calling as a catechist and his innate gift for language made him a natural fit as a partner to missionaries working in what is now known as Zimbabwe. He and his wife provided pastoral care and formation to the people in and around the Marondera district, taking special care to explain the Christian faith in ways that used the indigenous culture to undergird the primacy of the gospel of Jesus. Mizeki understood the importance of respecting cultural integrity and had an ardent desire to preach the good news.

In a decision repeated by Martin Luther King, Jr. more than fifty years later, Mizeki refused to allow death threats and intimidation from local authorities to keep him silent. Mizeki was truly a shepherd to his sheep until the end of his life. During an 1896 uprising, Mizeki was attacked outside of his hut. In an effort to staunch his wounds and give him comfort, his wife and a friend ran back into the dwelling to retrieve food and blankets. Reporting a bright flash of light and a sound like many beating wings, the two helpers were unable to find Bernard’s body on returning to the spot where he had fallen. While his final resting place remains unknown, Bernard Mizeki’s faith and trust in the love and life of Jesus is unmistakable.

Collect for Bernard Mizeki

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the heart of your holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Nancy Frausto

Margaret-2Margaret of Antioch

Margaret of Antioch is one of the Auxiliary Saints, the so-called “Fourteen Holy Helpers.” She was a victim of the Diocletian Persecution (302-303). In her story she was true to her name (margarites means pearl in Greek): shining, resplendent Margaret was a small but powerful woman. She is the patron saint of expectant mothers and was one of the holy personages said to have provided comfort, solace, and direction to Joan of Arc.

Born to a prominent pagan family in Antioch, Margaret’s father gave her to a nurse to be brought up as a proper lady. When Margaret was old enough to decide for herself, she was baptized as a Christian. Sometime later, when she was fifteen, a local prefect saw her and wanted her as his wife. Upon further inspection, he learned of her noble parentage and her apt name. He also learned of her Christian faith. The prefect expressed his disapproval for her religion, and Margaret likewise condemned him for not believing in the crucified Christ. This angered the prefect and he had her thrown in jail.

The next morning, Margaret was ordered to offer sacrifices to the prefect’s gods. Margaret refused and dared the prefect to follow through on his threat to torture her. He carried through — Margaret was placed on the rack, beaten with rods, and cut with iron rakes. The violence was so disturbing the prefect could not bear to watch.

Margaret was taken off the rack and sent back to jail. That night she battled a great dragon (thus a dragon is often included in artistic depictions of her). In some versions of her story, she fended off the dragon by making a sign of the cross. In other stories the dragon consumed her whole, and while in its belly Margaret made the sign of the cross and the dragon burst open, providing us with one of the most lasting and impressive stories about intestinal upset upon being confronted with the truth of the gospel and zeal of the faithful. Upon vanquishing the dragon, she faced off with the devil, appearing to her in the form of a man. Margaret grabbed the man by the head, shoved him to the ground, and pinned him under her feet. Knowing that she had vanquished the devil, she confidently approached the prefect the next day.

In front of a large crowd, Margaret refused to make sacrifices to the gods. She was stripped and her body was burned with torches. She was bound and placed in a tub of water to increase the pain. Immediately the earth shook, and Margaret emerged from the water unscathed. Five thousand people saw the miracle and immediately converted to Christianity. Fearing more people would convert, the prefect ordered her beheaded. Margaret died with a single stroke of the blade.

Collect for Margaret of Antioch

Everliving God, we remember before you today your servant Margaret of Antioch, who, though small and delicate in stature has become a giant of the faith. Grant that we, like Margaret, would have the faith and fortitude to cling to your love and solace, even in the midst of humiliation and great pain, so that we may always proclaim the words of your story and the faith of your church to encourage those around us in our darkest hours. Amen.

David Creech


Bernard Mizeki vs. Margaret of Antioch

  • Bernard Mizeki (57%, 3,358 Votes)
  • Margaret of Antioch (43%, 2,514 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,872

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175 Comments to "Bernard Mizeki vs. Margaret of Antioch"

  1. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    March 10, 2015 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    As stated in his biography above, Bernard Mizeki was educated by the Cowley Fathers. So if you love SSJE, vote for Mizeki.

    • Gabriella's Gravatar Gabriella
      March 10, 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      This was a particularly difficult choice as both were fearless witnesses for the Gospel under hideous circumstances – more than once!!!

    • March 10, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

      And if you love the Sisters of St. Margaret, vote for Margaret of Antioch! 😀

      • Fr. Cory Randall's Gravatar Fr. Cory Randall
        March 10, 2015 - 10:53 am | Permalink

        Yea Sisters of St. Margaret – and St. Margaret too.

      • Lois Gertler Pongo's Gravatar Lois Gertler Pongo
        March 10, 2015 - 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Love the Sisters! Sr. Hope Margaret was my father’s sister/my aunt—-and the closest thing to a walking talking 20th century Saint in my life. Loved her dearly…. When God showed up in my life during my teen years she so faithfully nurtured my faith all along my Way. I was a camper in Duxbury, and eventually a camp counselor (with Sr. Ann) God bless all the sisters, and all of your ministries. Hope St. Margaret wins!

      • Margaret Hasselman's Gravatar Margaret Hasselman
        March 10, 2015 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

        I like the story of Margaret, even tough it echoes Perpetua. And we need more Margaret-pearls in this world.

    • Judy B's Gravatar Judy B
      March 10, 2015 - 11:39 pm | Permalink

      I was undecided but love SSJE, so your comment turned me!

  2. March 10, 2015 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    The SSJE/Cowley Fathers connection tipped me even further in favor of Bernard (just call me George?) Mizeki.

    However, as an EfM mentor, I was already leaning toward the catechist sensitive to cultural differences in his proclamation of the Gospel.

  3. Anne Burton's Gravatar Anne Burton
    March 10, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Question – is it Bernard Mizeki or George Mizeki? The bio says Bernard, the voting button says George.

    • March 10, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      Bernard. Fixed it. Lent Madness gremlins at work. Obviously not SEC error.

      • Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
        March 10, 2015 - 8:49 am | Permalink

        *Not* fixed!

        -David Creech
        George Mizeki vs. Margaret of Antioch
        Bernard Mizeki (58%, 427 Votes)
        Margaret of Antioch (42%, 306 Votes)
        Total Voters: 733

        • Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
          March 10, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

          Still not fixed! The vote tally still says the same thing!

          • March 10, 2015 - 11:27 am | Permalink

            Relax. If you visit the site anew, it’s been corrected. And remember, when it comes to Lent Madness, you get what you pay for.

          • Greg Masztal's Gravatar Greg Masztal
            March 10, 2015 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

            Such a cheap price for enlightenment!!

      • Lithophyte's Gravatar Lithophyte
        March 10, 2015 - 8:54 am | Permalink

        How dare that we have alternative thinking- The SEC is perfectly right in every way.

      • Babzee's Gravatar Babzee
        March 10, 2015 - 5:22 pm | Permalink

        aftershock of servermageddon?

  4. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    March 10, 2015 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    The SEC has given us yet another match up between a female saint from antiquity with fantastic claims attributed to her vs. a modern day male whose history is better documented and closer to us, albeit with his own sacred special effects. Guess which way this one will go?

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 10, 2015 - 8:27 am | Permalink

      Blame the ferrets for the matchup. I agree with you that this is not a fair matchup. Photos and well documented historical facts vs the ancient record is not equal.
      I wonder how the whole madness will play out with the recent vs ancient thing going on.

      I wish there could be a Lent madness that celebrated the saints from yesteryear and let them “duke it out”. In a separate year, the focus could be on the modern saints.
      How about it, SEC?

      • Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
        March 10, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

        Some of these fantastical match-ups raise larger questions about the role of myth and legend in saintly designation.

        • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
          March 10, 2015 - 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes indeed, they do! *sigh* I think we are guilty of judging people’s saintliness by whether or not they are photographable!

      • Gail Renborg's Gravatar Gail Renborg
        March 10, 2015 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

        I like the suggestion of ancient and more contemporary or modern in two different categories. I have a dreadful time deciding how to vote, and usually end up with the ancient, less documented contestant because I feel they are the underdog. I also tend to vote for women in history because where men may have had it tough, the women’s lives were downright nearly impossible. I’m not in it to win it, shall we say, so I’m happy to be learning of Saints and martyrs heretofore unknown to me.

        • dewluca's Gravatar dewluca
          March 10, 2015 - 6:20 pm | Permalink

          I also agree that there really should be different “Divisions” or “Leagues” for the modern/ historical/photographable 🙂 vs. the more mythic/legendary . . . then the winners could face off in the final . . . Just a thought for future SECs.
          I’m not really in favor of turning this into a battle of the saintly sexes, but I do understand the inclination.

          • Frett's Gravatar Frett
            March 10, 2015 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

            Who says Title IX doesn’t apply to the SEC?

      • March 10, 2015 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

        I would lean more toward female verses female and male verses male in the first round, then have the all out, no holds barred competition in the second and final rounds.

    • March 10, 2015 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      I voted for the fantastical female. Go figure.

      • Diana Leavengood's Gravatar Diana Leavengood
        March 10, 2015 - 10:53 am | Permalink

        Me too!

        • Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
          March 10, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

          Me three. Go Margaret!

          • Rhonda Baker's Gravatar Rhonda Baker
            March 10, 2015 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

            Me the forth (be with you)

          • Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
            March 10, 2015 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Me five!

      • Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
        March 10, 2015 - 3:42 pm | Permalink


      • Terri Merritt's Gravatar Terri Merritt
        March 10, 2015 - 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Me the fifth. Go Margaret.

      • Georgette's Gravatar Georgette
        March 10, 2015 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Me six!

  5. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 10, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Bernard, for his sensitivity to culture in his work and for his lasting impact. (And whilst no animals may have been harmed in the making in Lent Madness, I am troubled by the fate of the dragon…)

  6. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 10, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Margaret is an amazing example of courage in the face of persecution. Can you imagine being tortured, then, having survived that round, being brought back for another round and yet another? This is a strong woman and a worthy example of faith in Jesus Christ, her Lord and ours.

  7. Paul (A.)'s Gravatar Paul (A.)
    March 10, 2015 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    How do we know that Bernard Mizecki’s body wasn’t taken away by another dragon or two? The “many beating wings” could be a clue.

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      March 10, 2015 - 10:02 am | Permalink

      Ho ho! That didn’t occur to me. Well-spotted, Paul A.!

      • March 10, 2015 - 11:03 am | Permalink

        FWIW, Wikipedia, that unfailing fount of all inerrant knowledge, says the leader of the attacking group was later found guilty of murder and of taking Mikeki’s body. I suppose that was to prevent his grave becoming a shrine, but it does not seem to have helped.

    • Babzee's Gravatar Babzee
      March 10, 2015 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

      or eaten by seals

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 10, 2015 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

        no otters or ferrets though

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 10, 2015 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Love it!

    • Robert's Gravatar Robert
      March 10, 2015 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

      I think you’re on to something, Paul A! Still, I went with St. Margaret.

  8. March 10, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Bernard for me!

  9. Barbara from St. Barnabas's Gravatar Barbara from St. Barnabas
    March 10, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    This was a difficult choice…..but I have to go with Margaret – the small powerful woman. She suffered for her faith and never gave up!

    • Paul's Gravatar Paul
      March 10, 2015 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      I went with Mr Mizeki due to his cultural sensitivity. How much better to build on what people already believe, than to damn their previous searching!
      On the other hand, I am married to a Margaret who is a pearl who shines with faith, especially in the tough times. Thanks be to God for the Margarets!

      • Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
        March 10, 2015 - 3:22 pm | Permalink

        I was wondering where the Margaret s are. I am one. Congratulations to your Margaret for having such a loving husband. I pray we never are so tested. Praise for this brave Margaret, who endured so much and remained faithful.

  10. March 10, 2015 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Hard decision for many as seems a battle between SSJE & SSM. Voted for Margaret but liked
    Mizeki until the last when he vanished. Margarets life I am not sure of but loyalty to SSM prevailed.

  11. Dave H's Gravatar Dave H
    March 10, 2015 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Geez Margaret’s life was a bummer! I am definitely not martyr material, I guess. Can someone explain to me how she came to be the patron saint of expectant mothers??

    I admire Bernard a lot, but going with Margaret just for the dragon vision alone.

  12. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 10, 2015 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Cultural sensitivity and steadfastness of faith in the face of intimidation and death threats wins the day for me…Bernard it is.

  13. Matthew's Gravatar Matthew
    March 10, 2015 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Bernard’s story is more believable, but Margaret’s is cooler. Should I do the cool thing or the mature thing? WHY IS THIS SO HARD❗

    • Michael's Gravatar Michael
      March 10, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

      Cool, definitely.

  14. Michelle Crull's Gravatar Michelle Crull
    March 10, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Another difficult choice. While I was inspired by Margaret’s story – to go through all that torture and remain faithful, I had to go with Bernard. I liked that he taught the Gospel in ways that were meaningful and respectful to the local culture.

  15. Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
    March 10, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Bernard is worthy of my vote, but being named Margaret and having briefly attended Antioch, I must vote for her today. I will be more responsible in future rounds.

  16. Nancy Strong's Gravatar Nancy Strong
    March 10, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Bernard was schooled by the Cowley Fathers, while Margaret of Antioch is the patroness of the Sisters of Saint Margaret! And while I love the Brothers greatly, it was the Sisters who provided me with my first encounter with Anglican monastic communities at their former Mission House in Germantown, and that has marked my life indelibly! So, it’s Margaret of Antioch for me! Oh, and God bless the Reverend John Mason Neale for pulling her story forward into modernity by establishing the community that bears her name.
    I think the reason she has been associated with expectant mothers has to do with the story about the dragon consuming her and her bursting forth from the belly of the beast…

    • March 10, 2015 - 9:12 am | Permalink

      Glad to see you on here and voting, Nancy!

      • Jc's Gravatar Jc
        March 10, 2015 - 10:37 am | Permalink

        Well now you have given me Father Tim and Lent Madness. Bless you and Pinterest.

  17. Kerrie C.'s Gravatar Kerrie C.
    March 10, 2015 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Margaret of Antioch was a brave Christian woman! I admire her faith, fearlessness, and strength of character.

  18. Oliver- 7 year old's Gravatar Oliver- 7 year old
    March 10, 2015 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    I vote for Margeret! She is so strong and she has powers cool. The dragon is awesome.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 10, 2015 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Oliver!

  19. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    March 10, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    How do choose among these? Perhaps “dragon” is a non-believer’s characterization of a really powerful angel.

  20. Patti Blaine's Gravatar Patti Blaine
    March 10, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Depictions of Margaret of Antioch are among my favorite in Art History, but. I’m voting for Mizecki. Still, here’s one of Margaret:

    • March 10, 2015 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the link! I’ve added her to myMargaret of Antioch board on Pinterest.

  21. Annie's Gravatar Annie
    March 10, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Margaret had me at Patron Saint of expectant mothers. I think it has something to do with me becoming a first time grandma in May. The expectant mom is tiny and the baby seems to be a big one. Praying that everything goes alright.

  22. joan's Gravatar joan
    March 10, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    It was Margaret for me…her unstoppable faith touched me as I imagined whether I could take such suffering and remain faithful. It is always easier to run.

  23. Susan Comer's Gravatar Susan Comer
    March 10, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Bernard was named George above the voting because he also slayed dragons. His is an example of true steadfastness in faith and of the importance of spreading the Gospel in the context of who receives it. In honor of the present time’s increasing number of martyrs, I vote for Bernard “George” Mizeki, with prayers that the dragon of violent religious intolerance shall be slain.

  24. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 10, 2015 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    My Mother Margaret, my daughter Margaret…Margaret for me.

  25. March 10, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    As much as I admire George’s ministry and courage (and the flash of light thing is cool too), I had to vote for Margaret because she just basically kicks a$$!

  26. Jim Bimbi's Gravatar Jim Bimbi
    March 10, 2015 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    I hesitate to be critical of the dedicated work of the celebrity bloggers, but I feel that Bernard got short shrift in today’s bios. To fill in a few details, here’s a link to the website of Bernard Mizeki College in Marondera, a town in Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe

    • Harry Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Moncelle
      March 10, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

      Call him George, Bernard, or whatever, He is my brother in Christ and I am voting for him!

    • Anne Tanner's Gravatar Anne Tanner
      March 10, 2015 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      That’s an excellent link for more information on Bernard Mizeki–thanks! I was impressed by his mastery of English, French, high Dutch, and at least eight African languages, which allowed him to be instrumental in the Anglicans’ translation of documents. He must have been a remarkable man. He got my vote.

  27. Mary Robert's Gravatar Mary Robert
    March 10, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    I was ordained deacon on June 18, Bernard Mizeki day, 44 years ago. Lesser Feasts and Fasts was pretty new, and Bernard pretty unkown. My ordaining bishop (may he rest in peace) tsk-tsked over recognizing Bernard in the service (and for other reasons – you can do the math). But only eight years ago, a family of refugees from Congo landed in our parish – themselves victims of a vicious middle-of-the-night attack that killed over 200 members of their tribe who were sleeping in their tents in a refugee camp. They were well-acquainted with Bernard and celebrated him with great joy each year. My vote and my heart go to him and to that family and tribe.

  28. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    March 10, 2015 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    I always seem to vote for the underdog! Margaret for me today. She was a strong woman and independent thinker.

  29. Maggie's Gravatar Maggie
    March 10, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    I think Bernard Mizeki may take the Golden Halo.

  30. Vicki Fantozzi's Gravatar Vicki Fantozzi
    March 10, 2015 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Though I love Margaret’s ability to crush a dragon, throw a man to the ground and convert thousands – truly a powerhouse – I had to vote for Bernard because I think we need more people like him right now

  31. Ralegh's Gravatar Ralegh
    March 10, 2015 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    As I work for a Catholic Mission organization with missioners in Africa (not in Zimbabwe, but we did have some for awhile there), I feel I must vote for Bernard Mizeki!

  32. March 10, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    Though my respect and awe for early Christian martyrs knows no bounds, the stories of young virginal women being tortured again and again seem, to me, to have been a reflection on a disturbing fascination of violence toward women that echoes down to Netflix offerings of today. I’ll go with verifiable historical, so George it is, though I do love the comment above about how the wings heard at his death could have been another dragon.

    • March 11, 2015 - 12:41 am | Permalink

      “the stories of young virginal women being tortured again and again seem, to me, to have been a reflection on a disturbing fascination of violence toward women”

      Yes, this. “Oh, another virgin who was tortured to death.” (By the man who wanted to marry her, forsooth!)

  33. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 10, 2015 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    It was Bernard all the way to the flash of lights and beating wings. But I have a fondness for dragons so I’m troubled. In spite of the last minute pyrotechnics I think it’ll be Bernard. Maybe.

  34. Patti's Gravatar Patti
    March 10, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    While many of these modern day vs ancient match-ups have made me lean towards the ancient in order to learn more about someone who is more difficult to find info on and in fact, I have votes nearly every time for the ancient day woman, today I vote for Bernard (George?) for his sensitivity to differing cultures. And I felt bad for the dragon

  35. Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
    March 10, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Love Margaret’s story and dragon is way cool but gotta go with Bernard. Being true to the gospel without decimating people’s culture is no mean feat. In light of the fact that Christians are still being martyred for the faith Bernard’s story of courage and faith resonates more strongly than ever. We need to know the names and stories of modern martyrs, when we are feeling persecuted in our own lives. Besides SSJE rules.

  36. Marty Garwood's Gravatar Marty Garwood
    March 10, 2015 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    No matter which way you vote, you have to admit the phrase “fourteen holy helpers” just rolls off your tongue.

  37. Greg Eischeid's Gravatar Greg Eischeid
    March 10, 2015 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    This struggle we all go through, fantastical or more recent “real” history? Does the parable/story/moral matter as much as the real person? Yes! But I still voted for Bernard.

  38. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 10, 2015 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Both these saints are amazing, and I do not want to have to choose one over the other! But I am also a small woman (5 feet tall), and having labored with the dragon of a long, protracted 33-hour birth of my little miracle daughter, I think I will vote for Margaret. I love her tenacity and courage. (But I also love the gentleness and strength of Bernard! This one is soooo hard!!)

  39. Daniel's Gravatar Daniel
    March 10, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Didn’t know much about either of these saints. Excited to learn about them. Thanks, Nancy, for introducing me to Bernard Mizeki!

  40. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 10, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    This is a difficult choice between two remarkable, brave souls who remained steadfast in the face of horror. I voted for Margaret today, for setting such an example of real faith as to inspire legends. I’m sure Bernard will prevail, and I will cheer his courageous example as he advances.

  41. Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
    March 10, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    My mother and my daughter are both named Margaret, BUT I voted for Bernard. I am always a sucker for practical, realistic evangelism. What can I say?!

  42. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 10, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    The SEC has certainly worked hard this year to bring forward so many of these ancient saints with fantasimical stories! I’ve found them fascinating and disturbing. Margaret of Antioch included. Why did the early writers need to create such unbelievable stories around these people? The only way a faithful follower could become a saint was for a wild story to be built around them? It will be interesting to learn more behind the creating of these hagiographies.

    As far as voting, I’ve voted for some, not for others of those with unbelievable stories. I was pleased Irene held up as well as she did but the crazy legends turn me off and I only voted for her after reading the comments and putting her in a better perspective than my first reaction. I also like to support the women in the bracket, particularly when they seem to have been an important influence in their time but ignored by patriarchal history!

    Today, I just can’t go with another Dragon slayer (or otter, viper, beheading survivor). It’s getting to be too much! Even though Bernard was whisked away by something with wings, I will vote for him for his wise cultural sensitivity.

    • Megan's Gravatar Megan
      March 10, 2015 - 10:24 am | Permalink

      I think if you consider those stories in terms of figurative/metaphorical language, they become more comprehensible or at least acceptable. They may never have been meant to be taken literally, but rather to illustrate the immensity of devotion, fortitude, etc. Which for me puts Margaret and Bernard on about the same level of saintliness and makes this voting thing an awful lot like struggling with dragons…

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 10, 2015 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Megan!

  43. March 10, 2015 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    Both are incredible people. However I went with Margaret for her fights with dragons, men, and commitment to Christ against all odds. The collect really spoke to me.

  44. john miller's Gravatar john miller
    March 10, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    As noted, both persisted in incredibly difficult circumstances. But Margaret’s story looks to me like a Hollywood script, lots of action, colorful battles, and a surprise ending for someone who survived worse attacks. Bernard just plugged away for the most part, something I can relate to.

  45. Marilyn McGaw's Gravatar Marilyn McGaw
    March 10, 2015 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    another tough choice. St Margaret is also the Patron saint of Nephrology. I’ve had a nephrostomy for almost 4 years. I often call on her for help.

  46. Margaret D's Gravatar Margaret D
    March 10, 2015 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    I had to read both stories twice, because even though my brain was favoring Bernard, I really, really wanted to vote for my namesake. Finally decided I should back her for her courage.

  47. March 10, 2015 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    Once again I will go with the documentable and more recent Bernard Mizeki over the ancient and perhaps more allegorical Margaret of Antioch. Though I so wanted to vote for the woman small of stature and formidable in her faith and strength, I have to go with the person who seems more realistic. I love the fact that he was sensitive to his own culture yet had such dramatic transformative results. Myth vs fact….no real contest for me. I like the earlier suggestions that, ferrets aside, the match ups might be chosen for their similarity, or even the idea that one year the match ups be ancient, the next, more modern. Discuss it with the SEC, please. Even still, I love reading about these people of whom I have known little other than their names. Thank you.

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 10, 2015 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Leamarie,
      You made my point for me.
      Ancient vs modern just isn’t fair.

  48. Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
    March 10, 2015 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    Bernard for his ability to create bridges between cultures. Would that there were more with that gift.
    I must say that this year I’ve been finding particular pleasure in the comments – a thoughtful forum among people who strive to balance saintly actions, steadfast belief that leads to martyrdom and a poor dragon is a wonderful change from most current public discourse! I agree the someone several days ago who said it would be great to have a ‘Like” button for the comments.

  49. Carol Ingells's Gravatar Carol Ingells
    March 10, 2015 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    I voted for Bernard, but found I was disturbed by references to the good work of “his wife”, a nameless person who also expressed love for God. See this so often, so and so and his wife. I want to know her and have her known, too!

  50. Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
    March 10, 2015 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Went with St. Bernard. I was moved and encouraged by his witnessing, and especially by his respect for the culture of the people to whom he witnessed. I was momentarily drawn to Margaret because of the patron saint of expectant mothers (since my daughter is expecting within the month) but nowhere did I see an explanation of why she is that patron saint. Or maybe I didn’t read well enough. Anyway, Go Bernie.

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      March 10, 2015 - 11:33 am | Permalink

      I believe the expectant mothers connection comes from her bursting forth from the belly of a dragon.

  51. Jennifer B-C Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer B-C Seaver
    March 10, 2015 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Having suffered more than my share of intestinal distress symptoms, I vote for Margaret, patron saint of the Sisters of St. Margaret whose work in Haiti our church supports with prayers and donations.

  52. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 10, 2015 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    The dragon went Judas Iscariot one better (“all his bowels gushed out,” Acts 1:18), so we can’t say that no dragons were harmed in the story of Margaret of Antioch. Valiant lady though she was, there’s just too much of the imaginative in her story, so I’m going with Bernard Mizeki, even though the “flash of light and beating of wings” might be apocryphal.

  53. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 10, 2015 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jim Bimbi for the link to more info on Mizeki. Yes, it’s always difficult to compare someone for whom we have a recent historical record with more ‘facts’ to someone who lived in a time where there was a paucity of accurate records. However, the memories of more ancient saints have somehow survived through a thousand or more years. Because of that, their stories have grown and much myth and legend has been built up around them. However, there must have been some kernel of truth for that legend to have grown in that way. Thus it is not a simple choice between the ‘real’ Bernard Mizeki and the ‘mythical’ Margaret of Antioch for me. I’m still going to go for Mizeki in this case, but it’s not a slam dunk for me.

  54. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 10, 2015 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Margaret’s dragon is exciting (who doesn’t enjoy a good dragon story?) but (George) Bernard (not Shaw) Mizeki has captured me. He’s an example to all of us that “they lived not only in ages past,” and his sensitivity to the customs of the indigenous peoples touches me. Would that all Christian missionaries across time had cared more about the cultures of those they sought to convert.

  55. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    March 10, 2015 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    My name is Margaret and I attend Antioch Lutheran Church. I can’t go with anyone except Margaret. Besides dragons are cool.

  56. Jc's Gravatar Jc
    March 10, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    St Margaret for me. She is patron of SSM and a wild woman. That’s enough right there but more than that she never gave up. She’s the one for me.

  57. Wilma Jakobsen's Gravatar Wilma Jakobsen
    March 10, 2015 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    This one was easy – I am South African and Bernard Mizeki is huge in our church! The men’s guild in the church is named after him, The Bernard Mizeki Guild. Grateful to have an African saint in the mix!

  58. March 10, 2015 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    I saw a quote once–maybe Marcus Borg?–that the people who wrote these stories would think us ridiculous for taking them so literally, just as we think them ridiculous for writing such fantastical things. The story is not about facts–indeed, facts only became important in reading within the last 200 years. The story is about the truth beyond the words, and we are the ones who are blinded by our insistence that everything be literal. We cannot understand the story through our own modern western lens any more than we would insist on understanding a First Nations story through our own colonial lens.

    And again I note…if we refuse any ancient saint based on historical iffiness, we’ll need to chuck out pretty much all of scripture.

    Having said that…I think Bernard’s story is more compelling, but Margaret’s collect more meaningful…so I have no idea what to do.

    • Bruce's Gravatar Bruce
      March 10, 2015 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Contrariwise, here’s a vote for the dragon burster, in anticipation of the start of the new season of Game of Thrones.

  59. Poppaart's Gravatar Poppaart
    March 10, 2015 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    Yet another endangered species (the dragon) lost due to Devine intervention.

  60. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 10, 2015 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    Fantastic tales of stomping the devil, surviving torture unscathed and exploding dragons are awfully difficult to assess against a (relatively) modern-day good guy with a knack for teaching Christianity in the context of existing culture. Against my first inclination, I went with Margaret, choosing to interpret her fantastic tales as evidence of a woman who knew her mind and was willing to overcome social, physical and spiritual battles for her faith.

  61. Jc's Gravatar Jc
    March 10, 2015 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Wait a minute. The dragon is harder to believe than the flash and he’s gone? Give me a break.

  62. KLF's Gravatar KLF
    March 10, 2015 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    I voted for Bernard, and was intrigued by one comment that he might take the Golden Halo. [I’m looking forward to the contest between St. Francis and St. Cecilia!] However, in response to the many comments about historical vs mythical biographies. I’d like to share this idea: A story does not have to be factual to be true.

    • Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
      March 10, 2015 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      In teaching History of Mathematics I made the distinction between a true story and a good story. A tale may not be factual (or entirely so) but may still be “good” if it illustrates the character and personality of the subject. Conversely, even an event that truly happened may constitute a bad story if it portrays the subject in a light that is contrary to the actual personality. The classic example is a claim that Euler confounded Diderot by calling out, “[True mathematical equation]; therefore, God exists!” Even if Euler said that (which I greatly doubt), it’s a silly tale. Oh, and by the way, this Associate of the Society of St Margaret is still cheering for our patron.

    • March 10, 2015 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

      I’d like to echo KLF. Some stories are true on the inside rather than or along with being true on the inside. Going with St Bernard today for the same reason many have cited–his sensitivity to the cultures of the people he was ministering to. Grateful to learn about them both and there can never be too many dragon stories.

    • anita's Gravatar anita
      March 10, 2015 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, there is truth and then there is Truth.

  63. Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
    March 10, 2015 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    Margaret story sounds to much like the other maiden stories of the time.

  64. Sue's Gravatar Sue
    March 10, 2015 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    Having recently seen The Convert by Danai Gurira, I had to vote for Bernard Mizeki.

  65. Dianee Lynch's Gravatar Dianee Lynch
    March 10, 2015 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    he seems to have believed that there are many paths to the one truth.for this, he deserves your vote.

  66. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 10, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    The mention of Margaret as a comforter to Joan of Arc reminded me of her role in the Honegger/Claudel oratorio on Joan of Arc at the Stake. But, callous as it may sound, martyrs were a dime a dozen back then and almost always endured their tortures with the help of miracles. Martyrs in the late 19th century were less common (though perhaps more so in Africa), and Mizeki just sounds a bit more down to earth as well as culturally sensitive. I could have done without the veiled suggestion that his body was carried away by angels, though.

  67. Charlie's Gravatar Charlie
    March 10, 2015 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    You had me at dragons !!! Go Margaret !!!!

  68. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 10, 2015 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    My mother was a Margaret and I have many friends and family members who have served in Africa. What to do? His work with bringing the reality of Christ into their culture won me over. So important to know that He came for every culture.

  69. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 10, 2015 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    True confessions time: Until today, I thought that Bernard’s name was of Slavic origin and that he was a European missionary. When I saw his picture, I felt genuinely embarrassed to discover that I was wrong on both counts. Mea culpa for making those unconcious assumptions. Perhaps”Holy Women, Holy Men” could include photos / pictures in its next edition to help me/us avoid such assumptions in the future?

    As a white American Christian, I have no idea of what it is like to confess my faith in Christ, much less evangelize others, when facing persecution and the threat of death on a regular basis. While Margaret lived in similar circumstances and was martyred as a result, Bernard’s more recent witness is more real to me, especially in the light of the current racial tensions in our own country. Thank you, SEC, for making me more aware of my cultural conditioning and privilege. Lent has struck again.

  70. Audrey's Gravatar Audrey
    March 10, 2015 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I burst out laughing at the comment “Providing us with one of the most lasting and impressive stories about intestional upset’s” Jonah beat this one by hundreds of centiries. Both are wonderful fictioanal accounts.

  71. Sister Teresa Irene's Gravatar Sister Teresa Irene
    March 10, 2015 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear. ….I am a friend of both SSM and SSJE….so now what? My vote has to go with Bernard….less myth…but both are amazing witness. ….and myth can speak more Truth than “reality”. This is a tough one.
    Maybe I should change my mind !!!

    • March 10, 2015 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

      So you get Sr. Barbara to vote for the other. (-:

  72. Doris's Gravatar Doris
    March 10, 2015 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The bibliography of Mizeki was stood out to me because he “(took) special care to explain the Christian faith in ways that used the indigenous culture to under gird the primacy of the gospel of Jesus.

  73. March 10, 2015 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    These votes get harder each time with the ancient and modern pairings. I, too, think we should separate the 2 sets in annual contests – or at least ancients vs. ancients and moderns vs. moderns in all contests for a year. We must remember that Christ often spoke allegorically, so why dismiss the idea of dragons+ when we read about the ancient “saints” ?

  74. VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
    March 10, 2015 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    As a “vertically challenged” female, I must cast my vote for Margaret, a small woman!

  75. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 10, 2015 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    For those who find the witness of those in ancient times hard to swallow, remember–“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet come to believe.”

  76. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    March 10, 2015 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    An interesting match-up . . . I wonder how many saints honored by our faith tradition have first hand experience with dragons. Once again I have cast my lot in with the losers – my briar patch it seems.

  77. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 10, 2015 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Margaret was gutsy, no doubt, but my vote went for Mizeki. I could not help but think of Chinua Acebe’s “Things Fall Apart” when I read about Mizeki. The history of Anglicanism and imperialism is so much more complicated than Mizeki’s worthy, faithful, and culturally sensitive story. Even so, because there were Mizeki’s, he won my vote.

  78. Snacktime's Gravatar Snacktime
    March 10, 2015 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    The beating of wings and flash of light thing- why not take it as reported? Why let scientific materialism get the best of us as the hermeneutic for saints’ lives?

    As a religion scholar, I noticed that today’s matchup features two snapshots of holy people who convert during a time of intense cultural trauma as Christianity enters the scene. Tales of dragons, snakes, beheadings, and supernatural disappearances of corpses speak to that trauma.

  79. Janet Robinson's Gravatar Janet Robinson
    March 10, 2015 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    My former church (now closed) is St. Margaret’s of Antioch -Fleming Island Florida. WE have a most beautiful window of Margaret , and her dragon discreetly lying at her feet. As the church docent, I would often ask, “Do you see the dragon in one of the windows?” Kids as well as adults thought it was pretty cool. Because of “bursting from the belly” the Catholics include her as one of the Patron Saints of childbirth.

  80. Noreen Ramsden's Gravatar Noreen Ramsden
    March 10, 2015 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    As an African, and one of Archbishop Tutu’s many many children – and having great respect for the SSJE – I am voting for our “own” saint, Bernard Mzeki!

  81. Alec clement's Gravatar Alec clement
    March 10, 2015 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Myth vs history….dragon vs beating wings..I still have a vague uneasiness every time I cross a wooden bridge over a little stream…you know..trolls…legend tells us a tale no less important than history..but
    Bernard was just too powerful

  82. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    March 10, 2015 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m coming around on the saints with legends attached to their lives (and deaths). I agree with Megan and Peg S. and the other commenters that we don’t have to accept the fantastical stories at face value– maybe those stories helped keep the “dime a dozen martyrs'” memories alive. Real faith and courage in the face of real persecution have kept the church going since its infancy. Both Bernard and Margaret had those qualities in abundance. Tough choice.

  83. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    March 10, 2015 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    His difficulties are the same that we have today……….but he spoke out for what was right in spite of threats. Trying to imagine myself in his position. Can you imagine being taken up to heaven by angels? A kind gentle yet powerful man at work for the Lord!

  84. Christianne McKee's Gravatar Christianne McKee
    March 10, 2015 - 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Another difficult choice! A saint honored from antiquity and with miracles accredited to her vs. a modern martyr from Africa. Despite the fact that I have three dear friends who bear Margaret’s name and are themselves faithful followers of Jesus (though one hopes they will never be martyrs!), I have to go with Bernard for his faithful witness and courage and his willingness to use, rather than reject, the local culture in his proclamation of the gospel.

  85. Sr. Candace, OSL's Gravatar Sr. Candace, OSL
    March 10, 2015 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Despite the dragon and my fondness for the Sisters of St. Margaret, I had to go with Bernard. His cultural sensitivity while sharing the gospel won my vote. Not to mention the angelic transport to heaven!!

  86. Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
    March 10, 2015 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Great choices today!

  87. Luci's Gravatar Luci
    March 10, 2015 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I lived & taught school in South Africa recently. I met Desmond Tutu! However, had I brought him to my house for tea my landlady would have evicted me & thrown him out! Although Aparthide is illegal in ZA, it is still alive and well.
    May Bernard win the Golden Halo & may my landlady …..fill on your own thoughts here.

  88. Kris Austin's Gravatar Kris Austin
    March 10, 2015 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

    So tired of watching women with mystical gifts being voted down in favor of men. Margaret it is.

  89. Mrs. B.'s Gravatar Mrs. B.
    March 10, 2015 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    “Margaret died with a single stroke of the blade.” Did anyone else notice history repeating itself? Margaret and Bernard, some days it just does not pay to be a Christian!

  90. March 10, 2015 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    in support of selfless and tireless Christian educators everywhere and in all times, I cast my one vote that surely counts for Bernard!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 10, 2015 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

      This Christian educator thanks you. Often I’m very tired but it’s worth it. GO BERNARD!

  91. Sr. Brigidssm's Gravatar Sr. Brigidssm
    March 10, 2015 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

    St. Margaret of Antioch, she is the Patron of our Community!!

  92. Bill Nelson's Gravatar Bill Nelson
    March 10, 2015 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

    voted for St. Margaret because my daughter’s name is Margaret, my mother’s name was Margaret, and her mother’s name was Margaret.

  93. ABroomell's Gravatar ABroomell
    March 10, 2015 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Having attended the 100th Anniversary of Bernard’s death in Zimbabwe with 50 pilgrims from the Diocese if MA I recall the strong beliefthat Bernard was bodily assumed into heaven after he had been attacked as a result of carving crosses on trees in a grove sacred to local gods. I hope that if he is in the next round a more detailed bio might be offered. An deeply faithful evangelist.

  94. Tarheel's Gravatar Tarheel
    March 10, 2015 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Wild horses, dragons, otters, vipers–has anyone notified Noah that the ark has come to rest in Tim’s front yard? Enough with the beasties, long leggity or otherwise! My vote is for Bernard.

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 10, 2015 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I quite like the beasties! Didn’t vote for them today but I do like ’em.

    • March 10, 2015 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget the ravenous seals!

      When do you publish the Lent Madness Bestiary? Perhaps you should start working on it and put it out as a tenth anniversary celebration in a few years!

  95. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    March 10, 2015 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

    For my namesake, Margaret – who had the good grace to expire upon being beheaded!

  96. March 10, 2015 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Bernard, historicity winning out over a pious ancient legend once again.

  97. March 10, 2015 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I started to vote for Bernard, and then at last moment switched to Margaret. How do we choose between martyrs both, who stood for the faith in very different times and climes? Something about standing for her faith in a time when she had little choice, spoke to me. God bless you Margaret. Say a prayer for us. {And Bernard? bless you too.]

  98. Randall Byrd's Gravatar Randall Byrd
    March 10, 2015 - 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Margaret. Bernard is fine, being carried off by heavenly angels. I have to smile at the thought of Margaret sharing war stories with Jonah, and debating which is worst; the belly of a dragon, or a big fish.

  99. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 10, 2015 - 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for Margaret, patron of pregnant women, have two children having babies.

  100. Antony's Gravatar Antony
    March 10, 2015 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

    As an Associate of the Society of St Margaret I have to vote for her. The Sisters are fantastic & such witnesses, too

  101. Camp Steiner's Gravatar Camp Steiner
    March 10, 2015 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Here we have another example of a hard-working, deeply believing man against a mystic woman. I think those ferrets have it in for us!!

  102. A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
    March 10, 2015 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I am untroubled by having to choose between “historical” and more fantastic saintly candidates. One of my Lenten practices is a made-up e-fight that lives in the etherwebs and imaginations of a pair of autocratic madmen, and has a ferret sitting on its oversight/advisory committee (and sometimes on the keyboards). I voted for Margaret because sometimes the fantastic is…fantastic!
    But that sits right alongside reading Scott Gunn’s blog from his pilgrimage in Africa ( I invite anyone voting for Mizeki today to check it out esp those expressing a preference for real world opportunities, to make a difference and continue the work of the saints (if they haven’t already). And of course everyone else should, too.

  103. Kay Richardson's Gravatar Kay Richardson
    March 10, 2015 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Mizeki’s narrative is far more complex and impressive than the sketch here. His work as a catechist and translator gives insight into the racism in Anglican missions of that era. Oxford University Press published a book about him. Dragons are fun when one is young. In my dotage I prefer the miraculously real.

  104. Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
    March 10, 2015 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

    As a genetic Lutheran, I am impressed with Mr. Mizeki’s steadfastness in the face of peril and hardship. Truly, a saint for modern times.

  105. Eileen Fisher's Gravatar Eileen Fisher
    March 10, 2015 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Jim Bimby, for the excellent reference and brief summary of Bernard Mizeki’s life. I wish the SEC had included some of this information in their discussion of his life. I cannot understand why people vote for a saint just because they have the same name as the saint. That’s Lent Madness for you.

  106. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 10, 2015 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Bing has a dazzling group of images relating to Margaret of Antioch, from paintings to sculptures.

  107. Megan Thomas's Gravatar Megan Thomas
    March 10, 2015 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I was ordained a priest on the feast day of Bernard Mizeki. He got my vote.

  108. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 10, 2015 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Is there a way to tell whether or not my vote was recorded? I voted, then tried to leave a message, but got the message that Safari could not access the server. Did the new server gone down earlier? I’m getting through now, but don’t want to be accused of voting twice (illegal)! We’ll see if this comment went through. I voted for Margaret of Antioch.

  109. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 10, 2015 - 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Bernard’s story is inspirational. Margaret’s is just weird.

  110. Ann B's Gravatar Ann B
    March 10, 2015 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Such a tough choice, but a great job on even matches, if one can put aside ancient v modern. I too was leaning toward Margaret, but in the end it was the “respecting cultural integrity” that cinched it for me. 24 weeks of this year’s theme for EfM has made me more mindful. Thanks SEC for another inspiring day.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 10, 2015 - 11:01 pm | Permalink

      We did a TR tonight in my EfM group on the “weird” and the “less so” we met in LM so far. Ravenous seals, otters and dragon wings were mentioned frequently and it was a really good TR.

  111. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    March 11, 2015 - 1:43 am | Permalink

    According to Wikipedia, Margaret is also the patron saint of those with kidney disease. As someone with polycystic kidneys (lots of dragons there to fight) and a recent kidney transplant, she’s my choice.

  112. Joe Stroud's Gravatar Joe Stroud
    March 11, 2015 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    SSJE and Cowley Fathers!

  113. Harriet Thompson's Gravatar Harriet Thompson
    March 11, 2015 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Margaret! Go SSM!!

Comments are closed.