Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant

We’re back! The Saintly Sixteen continues with a 7th century monk, bishop, and hermit vs. an 18th century Native American, consensus builder, and British loyalist. The round of Quirks and Quotes continues with Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant.

In Friday’s Lent Madness action, Kamehameha of Hawaii defeated David Oakerhater 61% to 39% to advance to the Elate Eight.

And, finally, some of you may have heard about this other bracket-style tournament that takes place this time of year. We have done a saintly analysis of March Madness to assist you in your water cooler conversations.


Perhaps the most beautiful thing that is said of Saint Cuthbert is, “Cuthbert sought to follow Christ.” In this he is like many of the saints but his pattern of life was uniquely Christ-like in ways that shine forth through the centuries. No fewer than 22 lives of Cuthbert were written in the Middle Ages and his Christ-focused living is an example to all Christians.

In a Kingdom awash in both great violence and wealth, Cuthbert’s counter-cultural simplicity and kindness were a source of powerful spiritual inspiration. Stories were long told of the miracles of his life but also of enduring import were stories of his very human kindness. Upon his death, his legend grew and a significant cult emerged around his memory and relics.

There are a number of legends about the incorruptibility of Cuthbert’s mortal remains that signified his saintliness. Even in the throes of the zeal of the Reformation his body was found to be relatively undecayed and rather than being subjected to ransacking as so many other saints were, his pectoral cross, portable Altar, stole, and the precious fabrics in which his body was wrapped were not hauled off to the pawn shop by Henry VIII’s commissars but were reburied in what remained of his original coffin.

Bishops of the time were renowned for displays of wealth. They levied taxes on villages they had never visited nor even heard of, wielded immense power, and took hearty part in the struggles for it. Cuthbert was once given a gift of silk which he declined to wear when he was vigorous and only asked for it to be brought to him to wear on his deathbed when he wanted to be dressed to receive his Lord.

This may seem a small detail – yet Cuthbert’s dignity and generosity shielded his mortal remains when little else sufficed to protect other holy sites and remains.

The Kingdom of Northumbria, a center for trade and travel, was an immensely wealthy one and there are many stories of churches, courts, and kings bedecked in jewels and arrayed in magnificence. Cuthbert tried to be both in the world and made substantial contributions to the temporal kingdom – but he was far more concerned with being a good citizen of the Kingdom he feared was threatened by ostentation.

Cuthbert’s dilemma was not between the power and wealth of the world or the simplicity of the monastery. Cuthbert’s deep personal struggle was between being a pastor and being a hermit. He desperately wanted to love and serve those who struggled daily but he feared becoming an unwholesome example by falling prey to vanity. His long pursuit was to unite his episcopal and monastic call with integrity. He said, “Even if I could hide myself in a tiny dwelling on a rock, even then I should fear lest the love of wealth should tempt me.”

Bede’s energy, in writing about Cuthbert, was for telling the miraculous stories of Cuthbert. Yet it is his simplicity of life and centered virtue that perhaps are most powerfully resonant today.

Robert Hendrickson

8fdb5086-619a-4ea0-b146-995510eff36cMolly Brant

Even as a young child, Molly Brant exhibited a gift for leadership. In 1754, at the age of 18, Molly traveled with her stepfather and other Mohawk leaders to Philadelphia to contest the fraudulent sale of Native territory. It was there, historians believe, that Molly got her first taste in the art of negotiation and compromise.

Molly continued to put these skills to use when she became a wife, mother (to 8 children!), and tribal leader. She frequently led the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of her common-law husband Sir William Johnson when he was away. Although Molly received an education from Christian missionaries and was a devout Anglican, she retained a respectful devotion to many Mohawk customs, which allowed her to serve as a consensus-builder between two nations. During the Revolutionary War, she also commanded soldiers and organized relief efforts. As one British military official wrote: “One word from her goes further with them [our soldiers] than a thousand words from any white man without exception.” Even after the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War, Molly continued to serve as an advocate for the Iroquois nation as new boundary lines were drawn between Canada and the newly formed United States of America.

Not only was Molly Brant skilled in negotiations and peacemaking, she was a skillful trader and herbalist who often used the herbs in her garden for medicinal purposes, further ensuring her strong ties to her Mohawk community. She continued this practice upon settling in southern Ontario where, in 1791, she financed the building of the first Protestant church in Kingston.

For many years, American historians ignored Molly Brant’s place in history because of her Loyalist leanings. Yet, such an omission fails to account for her remarkable gifts and achievements in the face of massive cultural, social, and economic transformations As one biographer has noted, “Posterity has done scant justice to this remarkable woman. In her lifetime she commanded respect from Indian and white alike. Soldiers, statesmen, governors, and generals wrote her praise. Her life from the Ohio and Mohawk Valleys to Kingston was not easy…She survived this turmoil with dignity, honour, and distinction as a mother and a leader.”

In an attempt to bring attention to Molly Brant’s contributions, composer Augusta Ceccconi-Bates created an opera in honor of Molly in 2003. Two years later, the non-profit Molly Brant Foundation was chartered to provide support for research related to the lives of native people in southern Ontario.

Molly Brant never wavered in her faithfulness to prayer, the study of Scripture, and the transmission of the Christian faith to her eight children. Whether one counts her a Loyalist or a Patriot, Molly’s tenacity, generosity, and cooperative spirit are a legacy to us all.

Maria Kane


At 7:20 p.m. today, we blocked three internet addresses due to excessive voting. So a few folks in St. Paul, MN; New Castle, PA; and Saudia Arabia (go figure) are not going to have access to Lent Madness. Please vote once only! If you are a school or some other institution which will be registering lots of votes, let us know ahead of time. Again: one vote, one person. If you want your saint to win, get more people to vote!


Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant

  • Molly Brant (52%, 3,031 Votes)
  • Cuthbert (48%, 2,852 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,883

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172 Comments to "Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant"

  1. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 16, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Good grief, another tough one. I will have to mull over my choice. I love humble Cuthbert; Molly was an herbalist, so it follows that she was a healer. Hmmmm.

    • Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
      March 16, 2015 - 7:45 pm | Permalink

      After mulling this over all day, I went with Cuthbert. Tough one.

      • March 17, 2015 - 6:44 am | Permalink

        Herbalist an healer made the difference for me. Very tough choice.

  2. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 16, 2015 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Molly!!! a mother of 8, tenacious peacemaker…my choice all the way.

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 16, 2015 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Molly was a slave owner who never freed her slaves. That should be taken into consideration.
      Go, Cuthbert!

    • Rich's Gravatar Rich
      March 17, 2015 - 7:52 am | Permalink

      Mine too Carol!

  3. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 16, 2015 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    My sister is married to a Cuthbertson. He is much like his namesake–a man of integrity. He has recently been through much upheaval, including the loss of one of his sisters; and although I admire Molly Brant, I voted for family today.

  4. Oliver-Seven Years old's Gravatar Oliver-Seven Years old
    March 16, 2015 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    I vote form Molly Brant. She was an Indian and was awesome.

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 16, 2015 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

      I like your logic, Oliver!

  5. Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
    March 16, 2015 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Oh man, it sounds like both saints were highly respected but really: simplicity and humility vs. leadership and greater understanding? I lean toward the woman who shares my name, however, I would have enjoyed a few more quirks (this is the time to share those legends after all) or quotes, even second-hand ones (I haven’t read Bede, so that would have been interesting).

  6. March 16, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Molly won me over with her consensus building skills. If only we could find a modern-day Molly!

    • Linda Hale's Gravatar Linda Hale
      March 16, 2015 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      If you would like there to be a modern Molly, why not look in the mirror?

  7. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 16, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Molly was a good citizen and leader for her people, but I felt like I was reading a biography of a historical figure, not a saintly one. Therefore, my vote goes to Cuthbert.

    • jack zamboni's Gravatar jack zamboni
      March 16, 2015 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      Interesting that you contrast “historical” and “saintly.” In the first round of Lent Madness, I found myself favoring saints of more recent days whose actual contributions are well-documented as opposed to those of the distant past whose stories include many legendary elements. Today, I’m torn between Cuthbert’s simplicity of life (even with some embellishments) and the clearer record of Molly Brant’s accomplishments.

      • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
        March 16, 2015 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I am not convinced that Molly’s accomplishments were all that self-less. It was sin the British interests, which Molly served, to have excellent trade relations w/ the Six Nations. Her husband championed the trade component and Molly used the other major major diplomatic tactic of both the French and the British, which was religion: The missionaries and religious leaders were as much political propagandists as spiritual mentors, and religion became an important tool in serving the ambitions of the imperial rivals in the New World. This is not a Loyalist vs. Revolutionary argument, but a query about how well she actually served her people vs. how well she served the imperial masters.

      • Judy B's Gravatar Judy B
        March 17, 2015 - 12:37 am | Permalink

        I too found it tough to make a call today but went with Molly when I sa the Canadian stamp. My mom was Canadian, and I lov Canada!

  8. Vicki's Gravatar Vicki
    March 16, 2015 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Let’s start with the beautiful icon of Cuthbert holding an eider duck, awesome! Too it seems as if his struggles with simplicity vs. wealth are even more essential today than in his own time, and he loved wilderness and all the creatures in the choir, again a good model for us ‘moderns.’ Yet…. Molly rocks! Bridge builder, healer, wise woman, leader in tough times. I think how the day goes, and which model seems more immediately compelling at the end of the day will determine this one for me. Good people to reflect on.

    • Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
      March 16, 2015 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

      As you note, Cuthbert’s “struggles with simplicity vs wealth” resonate today. We wrestle with this in our affluent culture and can learn so much from him. Beyond this, I must admit, Cuthbert and the duck do it for me!

  9. Lithophyte's Gravatar Lithophyte
    March 16, 2015 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    The agony of making a choice in this round is more intense. I was initially swayed to support Cuthbert, but on reflection and inner feelings, I cast for Molly; she struck a cord that during the time that she did her deeds, it was very difficult for native peoples. Not to say the Cuthbert is unworthy, just another difficult bracket.

  10. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 16, 2015 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Today, I must abstain.

  11. March 16, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Molly had my vote but it was a very difficult choice. She was a consensus builder, mother of 8, and an herbalist. She was able to live in both her Native and English worlds. She was a very wise woman who served in her time and spread the Word of God to both.

  12. Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
    March 16, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    I still really like Molly Brant, but she appears to have lost a child between the first and second rounds; what happened to that 9th child? While she is a very worthy person, Cuthbert struck home with me more today, with his recognition of the need to take care of his people despite his acknowledgement of the temptation of wealth and power and the desire to flee that. Besides, as a birder how can I not go with a saint depicted holding a common eider?

    • Maria's Gravatar Maria
      March 16, 2015 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Good eyes! You’re correct. Molly gave birth to nine children; one died in infancy. I should have made that clearer.

      • Diane's Gravatar Diane
        March 16, 2015 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Why didn’t you include the fact that she owned slaves and never freed them?

        • Maria's Gravatar Maria
          March 16, 2015 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Honestly, I did not know that when I wrote the bio last fall. I have since learned that information on that was on Wikipedia, which, I never consult. My apologies for the omission. It was not intended.

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 16, 2015 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Maybe Cuthbert’s seals got it…..

  13. Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
    March 16, 2015 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    This is the worst match-up ever. As a native of the Mohawk Valley, my regard for Molly is deep and wide, but I love me some Cuthbert. Beautiful writing today, CBs, or as we say in my adopted state of Maine, ‘some good.’

  14. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    March 16, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why folks keep voting for a slave owner-Molly Brant! Do you know she is known for being Pro-British at the expense of the Iroquois, her own people?! Look her up , don’t take my word for it. It’s all there, she was no friend to the Iroquois!

    • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
      March 16, 2015 - 11:47 am | Permalink

      emily, I just looked her up, agree 100%, can’t understand if people know this, how you vote for her?

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 16, 2015 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you, Emily. Why didn’t the blogger include the very significant bit about her being a slave owner? This was a case of picking out the nice bits and NOT revealing the truth.
      Cuthbert should win this one hands down, however there is no predicting what people will do when they don’t know the full truth about the people.

    • Michelle Crull's Gravatar Michelle Crull
      March 16, 2015 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Emily, Thanks for that information. I was already wondering about that before I read your comments. I had gone back and re-read both Cuthbert’s and Molly’s bios from the first round and just couldn’t figure out how Molly was deemed a saint rather than just an influential historical figure.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 16, 2015 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m under no illusions about the slave ownership – and I expressed my disappointment at learning about that in the first round – but the history doesn’t bear out her being “pro-British at the expense of the Iroquois.” The Iroquois had their own reasons for choosing to ally with the British over the Americans who would soon turn on them with such brutal atrocities. Just as I don’t wish to diminish her agency by making apologies for slavery, I don’t want to do so by reducing her complex motivations to a matter of simply being an unwitting British pawn. It’s patronizing and oversimplifying. Molly Brant’s legacy among the Six Nations is contested, so it isn’t a matter of just “looking it up.”

    • Judy B's Gravatar Judy B
      March 17, 2015 - 12:49 am | Permalink

      Most of the founders and early white settlers in the New World owned slaves. Not an excuse. Just a fact. Ugly as it is, our nation became wealthy on the backs of slaves. The legacy of slavery is shameful, something our national conscience must own. Still, if you are going to reject Molly on that particular point, then Washington, Jefferson, all those men who were New World landed gentry, aren’t worthy to note their contributions either. Can’t cut slack for the males then hold a woman to another standard, I think.

      • March 17, 2015 - 1:16 am | Permalink

        Right. And you know, if Washington or Jefferson were in this Saintly smack-down? They wouldn’t get my vote. So being male OR female isn’t an excuse! I do not think anyone is saying Molly isn’t worthy of national, patriotic respect. Just that, as far a being in this competition at this second tier in the event, slave ownership might very well be seen as a not-too-desirable trait.

    • Judy B's Gravatar Judy B
      March 17, 2015 - 1:21 am | Permalink

      Interesting read on Molly and a take on why she may have been ill-represented historically. Wikipedia is much better now than in the days when I did allow my college students to use it as a source. Best part: the references when available st the end of entries I found this

  15. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 16, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    It’s tough–I agree! But here’s some Lent Madness reasoning: Just started watching “Vikings” on the History Channel last night, and the monks at Lindisfarne, led by Cuthbert (a Cuthbert, yes, but THE Cuthbert?) were attacked by those nasty Vikings. So I’m voting for Cuthbert. I’m a sucker for English church history! Even on television!

  16. NJ's Gravatar NJ
    March 16, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    This was a tough choice today, but the next round should be harder, I guess. Molly got my vote today, though I truly admire Cuthbert.

  17. March 16, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Molly Brant all the way. I spent many summers in the Brant Valley in SW Ont. I have made pilgramage to her homestead by canoe. She is a leader that the people need now! May she inspire all in her ways of reconcilliation. This one deserves a Golden Halo!

  18. Bill Hardwick's Gravatar Bill Hardwick
    March 16, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    The story of Cuthbert is much grander than Mr. Hendrickson’s posting, which is long on commentary and short on details. He is revered in England to this day because of his role in the religious history of Northumbria.

  19. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 16, 2015 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert for sure. A man of great sanctity, humility, aware of his own temptations, who fought them and won. Venerated and loved during his life and after his death. Respected by even the horrid henchmen of Henry VIII. An easy choice for me today.

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 16, 2015 - 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Allowing always for the “oh it was a different time” apologia for slave holders in another is impossible to be a slave owner and a saint. Beyond an oxymoron..impossible. Sorry, it just can’t be done.

      • Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
        March 17, 2015 - 12:01 am | Permalink

        Well that eliminates a lot of people from the Bible.

  20. March 16, 2015 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    This lover of all things Celtic and Northumbrian has to vote for Cuthbert. All the way!

  21. Harriet's Gravatar Harriet
    March 16, 2015 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Why I’d Cuthbert holding the duck? Love it but, want to know why. Voted for Molly, hard choice.

  22. March 16, 2015 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert’s struggles with materialism and his kindness are admirable. However, Molly has more going for her. I visited Sir William Johnson’s residence as a kid. He was the English governor of the colony and Molly Brandt’s common law husband. Molly and her eight kids lived in one small room- now that’s true austerity! Living in a cave alone would be a piece of cake compared to that. She must have had the patience of a saint. Her Anglican faith was important to her, and probably influenced her to be a peacemaker. She set an example of loving kindness and respect for all, which is why she was so respected. She achieved peace and relative justice for her people in an era of ruthless colonialism. I vote for her for saint, and wish I could vote for her for president.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 16, 2015 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I understand yr respect for Molly, but I question whether she was filled w/ lovingkindness or self-preservation, in which she and her husband combined trade and religion to use the Six Nations as a pawn in achieving some kind of political balance against the French.

  23. Susie Webster-Toleno's Gravatar Susie Webster-Toleno
    March 16, 2015 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I do wish Molly Brant hadn’t owned slaves. That muddies things for me significantly. In the end, I went with Cuthbert.

  24. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 16, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    A tough one today (Again…). Admire Molly very much, but in the end swayed by the duck and happy memories of visiting the Farne Islands.

  25. March 16, 2015 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert all the way! He will always have my vote unless he is up against Jesus!!!

  26. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 16, 2015 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Molly. Cuthbert had me at the first sentence. He “sought to follow Christ.”

  27. Anne Burton's Gravatar Anne Burton
    March 16, 2015 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    I voted for Cuthbert. I keep thinking about the otters drying his feet after he spent time standing in the sea and praying.

  28. March 16, 2015 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    She had an opera written about her. I can’t pass up voting for Molly Brant…

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 16, 2015 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Did the opera mention her slaves?

  29. Carol Luther's Gravatar Carol Luther
    March 16, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    The miraculous return of river otters to our streams is witness to Cuthbert. Go otters! Vote for the saint who called me to Eco- ministry. Go otters! Go living waters!

  30. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 16, 2015 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    I would vote for Cuthbert in any case, but since I read after the last round that Molly Brant was a slaveholder who apparently never freed her slaves (, I could never vote for her. That’s a deal-breaker for me…..

  31. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 16, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert’s simplicity and faithfulness remind me of St. Francis of Assisi. He gets my vote. I’m so glad I read the comments, because there was additional info about both there.

  32. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    March 16, 2015 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    I had to stay with Cuthbert. I love his humility and can’t forget the otters!

  33. Channing Smith's Gravatar Channing Smith
    March 16, 2015 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    After Mark’s fabulous description of Cuthbert, we should see a resurgence in boys being named Cuthbert for the next decade. Well done!

  34. Dan's Gravatar Dan
    March 16, 2015 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    I did some extra research on both individuals. Although Molly was a devout Anglican, it seems most of the story of her life revolves around her political influence. She was involved in helping the British against the Separatists. Many of her fellow Iroquois ended up dying during the Revolution. She was a great negotiator. But I can’t find a lot about her devotion to Christ, other than that she was a devout Anglican. On the other hand Cuthbert’s entire life was centered and lived around his devotion to Christ, practicing humility and love in all that he did, according to the teachings of Christ. My vote goes to Cuthbert.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 16, 2015 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Even before that, she was involved in helping the British against the French as used her political influence to bring the Six Nations onto the British side.

    • Denise's Gravatar Denise
      March 16, 2015 - 6:13 pm | Permalink


    • Judy B's Gravatar Judy B
      March 17, 2015 - 12:56 am | Permalink

      Dan, different writers bring their own research interests to their work, and I’d guess the majority aren’t int in hagiographic reflection. Could Molly have been both politically astute and also spiritual? I wonder if Wikipedia has information under a search for Molly as a saintly person.

  35. Barbara Tope's Gravatar Barbara Tope
    March 16, 2015 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think it’s worth mentioning that during the Revolutionary period, the British, through their agent Johnson, incited the Indians to murder American settlers. The Indians did attack isolated farms and cabins, burning them & killing the inhabitants. Johnson and Molly Brandt were both remarkable people, who chose the wrong side, unfortunately. They could have been very valuable to the American cause, but they made their living from the British.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 16, 2015 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

      “Wrong” how?

  36. March 16, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Mr. Henderickson’s posting is excellent – heavy on the life and motivations, light on the miracles. My favorite.

  37. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 16, 2015 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    decisions decisions — I hate decisions!

  38. Jennifer B-C Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer B-C Seaver
    March 16, 2015 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    I vote for Molly the negotiator. How did she have time to do this while she was raising so many children?

  39. BAR's Gravatar BAR
    March 16, 2015 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Hurrah. An (eventual) Canadian makes it for your consideration!!
    Remember, Americans, that while the Revolutionary Period was really contentious for both groups — pro- and anti- British, that BOTH sides were similarly nasty just as BOTH sides had good ideas and actions. Please AMERICANS, remember also that all sorts of loyal citizens — and Christians — chose to leave the 13 Colonies and came to Canada rather than submit to something they did not agree with. AND they gave up everything to do so. Your loss was Canada’s gain.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 16, 2015 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      At last someone has said this! Thank you, BAR, for your generosity in not pointing our that we Americans are again doing what we do so well, which is assuming that we’re the only people on earth a and our history is all that matters.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 16, 2015 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I am less concerned abt her Loyalist position in the Revolution than I am abt her support for imperialist goals in the French & Indian Wars and then later. The imperialist goals did not serve her people well.

      • MegN's Gravatar MegN
        March 17, 2015 - 6:21 am | Permalink

        I voted for Molly Brant – who seemed from what I read to be a tough woman in very difficult times, doing what she could to reconcile racial and political divisions, and remaining loyal to her Anglican Christian faith.

        In most other match-ups, I would have voted for Cuthbert. This choice was difficult!

  40. Susan Comer's Gravatar Susan Comer
    March 16, 2015 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I voted for the kindness, devotion and humility of Cuthbert.

  41. Don Stevens-Rayburn's Gravatar Don Stevens-Rayburn
    March 16, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    As an ex=pat Canadian who went to graduate school in Kingston, ON, it has to be Molly all the way. The fact that she was a UEL (United Empire Loyalist) is to her credit.

    The unfortunate fact that her common law husband left her some slaves does not, I think, disqualify her. I am willing to bet that Cuthbert also had slaves (although they were called by other names in medieval England, i.e. serfs). Certainly all the other bishops of the time did.

    • March 16, 2015 - 10:02 am | Permalink

      I’ll take that bet, because you’d be very, very wrong!

  42. jane's Gravatar jane
    March 16, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    I like and admire Molly, but as I read, I see her more as a politician with a spiritual aspect and not necessarily one who put Christ openly into her work. She helped to build a church, so that does sway the vote a bit, but the slave ownership doesn’t help. Cuthbert was focused on his life with Christ and how that influenced all he did in the world. He struggled to remain true to his calling , to God, and to himself. I have to go with Cuthbert today.

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      March 16, 2015 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Jane, you have expressed what should be the point of this exercize: who best shows forth Christ in his/her life? Indeed isn’t that the point

  43. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 16, 2015 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert Cuthbert Cuthbert! A kind and gentle soul.

  44. Ralegh's Gravatar Ralegh
    March 16, 2015 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Everyone’s comments are thoughtful and bring up a lot of good points. I am tossed back and forth. But as a birdwatcher, I will support the man with the eider duck!

  45. March 16, 2015 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    A peacemaker and model of Christ, vs a powerful leader of a dying people in the middle of a (stupid) war. (Are there any non-stupid wars?). But Cuthbert’s gifts strengthen the Church, while though Molly sounds a great leader, that does not necessarily advance God’s kingdom. Besides, otters and eiders! I’ll bet also puffins, and maybe even beavers and wildcats!

  46. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 16, 2015 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    This is a closer vote than I expected. Yay! Molly is a good woman of many accomplishments, but most of them relate to politics and power rather than spiritual advancement. Cuthbert is a straighforward sainty-saint who wouldn’t wear silk, let alone hold slaves. I’m roothing for Cuthbert the Kind, who probably knows how to get down off a duck and certainly demonstrates the value of loving one and otter.

  47. Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
    March 16, 2015 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Tough decision! But I guess life, and fun things, can be tough.

    Cuthbert for me.

    As for Molly being a slave-holder, think of that in cultural context. This did not sway my vote. Rather Cuthbert’ s. Dedication in really difficult times.

    • Eliz.'s Gravatar Eliz.
      March 16, 2015 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

      As heartbreaking as the revelation of inherting slaves pus, I think we have to remember that Molly herself was a kind of concubine, as well as woman and Native American, subject to much fewer choices and less freedom in intimate relationships on both counts. She transcended the limitations of her culture and its prejudices in myriad other ways in service of her fellow man and the faith. If you look at any of our other contenders and Golden Halo winners, I am sure you will find unsaintly behavior and actual sin aplenty. Take Charles Wesley, for instance. Despite the 600 hymns and being related to the abolitionist John Wesley (I am not sure if Charlespartcipated in anti-slavery efforts,; can’t find any evidence that he did or didn’t) , examples of unchristian attitudes and behavior on the part of Charles are well documented.

      • Eliz.'s Gravatar Eliz.
        March 16, 2015 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Sorry: Her slave inheritance of slaves WAS heartbreaking, and she had MANY fewer choices. knead Two Pruufread B4 Pohsting. 😉

      • Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
        March 16, 2015 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

        As we are reminded in the Bill Murray film “St. Vincent” some who deserve the designation have significant flaws. Really recommend the movie.

  48. Max's Gravatar Max
    March 16, 2015 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Considering the assortment of bishops we have in the Church today, we are certainly in need of more St. Cuthberts.

  49. mary ann's Gravatar mary ann
    March 16, 2015 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    Tough choice and this one looks to be a close one!

  50. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    March 16, 2015 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Can’t deny that Molly was a remarkable woman. I voted for Cuthbert.

  51. JES's Gravatar JES
    March 16, 2015 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Oh Great and Powerful SEC …. Process improvement suggestion: include a link to the last write-up of each saint as we progress to future rounds. Makes it easy to quickly go back and see the previous information, rather than having to search for the appropriate post on the sidebar….

    • KLF's Gravatar KLF
      March 16, 2015 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I read in some posting that by clicking on the appropriate bracket there would be a link to that information, but when I click all I get is larger or smaller.

  52. March 16, 2015 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Molly made waves in a contentious world strengthened by her faith that seemed to transcend political and religious boundaries. Her actions have won me over, as they won over many people in her own time.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 16, 2015 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Molly’s religion was used toward political ends, not uncommon in her time (or in many times), but hardly an argument for anything other than pragmatism. I have a hard time seeing her as person who rises above the political ~ and her politics were in service of imperialistic goals which ultimately proved the downfall of her people. I understand that she is held in high regard, but I think that was b/c she was a successful politician and not b/c she led by faith.

  53. Kim Olstad's Gravatar Kim Olstad
    March 16, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    Molly did have 9 children, one which died in infancy. I found her intriguing and gave her my vote…and would like to learn more about her. It was not hard for me to imagine that –as a sophisticated household manager — that her slaves might be likely to be more integral as a family? Difficult to know the true contextual sense of that. Quite an impressive woman!

  54. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 16, 2015 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    What clinched it for me was that Molly has historically been ignored because she was a loyalist, we Americans forget that the times during the Revolution were complicated. Tough choice though!

  55. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 16, 2015 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert’s effort to follow Christ reminds me of Bonhoeffer’sTest of must vote for him

  56. Priscilla Promise's Gravatar Priscilla Promise
    March 16, 2015 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    My Minuteman ancestor may be crying in heaven, but I had to vote for Molly this time. It is a hard road to follow, but I am learning to set aside political judgment. We need more Molly Brants to lead!

  57. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 16, 2015 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    I,too, am curious about the duck? My vote goes to the man torn between being a pastor and a hermit for those of us who have had the same internal struggle in our spiritual journeys.

  58. mjk's Gravatar mjk
    March 16, 2015 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Reading about Cuthbert, my mind kept thinking of Pope Francis and his refusal of many papal luxuries and trappings. Cuthbert for me.

  59. Barbara from St. Barnabas's Gravatar Barbara from St. Barnabas
    March 16, 2015 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Cuthbert. I was moved by his kindness and the simple way he chose to live his life. He sought “to follow Christ.”

  60. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 16, 2015 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    I voted for Cuthbert because his struggle to remain humble before God was so impressive. He recognized in himself what we all need to acknowledge in our own lives, the temptation to be placed on a pedestal over those whom we serve. I so admire Molly, but today my vote goes to Cuthbert.

  61. Russ's Gravatar Russ
    March 16, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Cannot get over how many of my ancestors were killed or lost their lives and or homes in the Mowhawk Valley at the hands of Molly’s friends. A slave owner to boot!
    Come on SEC, next year give us halo candidates we can all respect.

  62. Margaret D's Gravatar Margaret D
    March 16, 2015 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Cuthbert! I have visited Durham Cathedral and seen his pectoral cross there (and was awed by its existence, over a thousand years after his death). His dedication to following Christ, being a pastor, though an introvert, and resisting the temptations of material luxury clinch it for me.

  63. Janis's Gravatar Janis
    March 16, 2015 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    My sincere apologies if I voted twice (for Molly Brandt). I’m in a pre-surgery bay at UCLA awaiting a procedure on my back. The first time I voted it didn’t seem to go through! So to calm my nerves (although I am sedated) I tried to vote again. May the SEC forgive any transgressions this Lentan season.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 16, 2015 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Wishing you a speedy recovery that does not include a visit to the Outer Darkness. Bless you.

  64. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 16, 2015 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling this one’s going to be close!

    We would do well to follow Cuthbert’s example regarding the temptations of wealth and vanity, and that was almost enough to earn my vote. But Molly’s skills at negotiation and compromise are sorely needed in this unsettled world, so – perhaps in hope – I cast my vote for her. Her work as a healer and her dedication to her people also played a role in earning my vote. Since Christianity was so often used as a tool to force indigenous peoples out of their traditions, I love learning about those saints who didn’t use Jesus as a club!

  65. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 16, 2015 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    Once again my history of 33 years with a church of St Aidan of Lindisfarne predisposes me to anyone associated with that place. Plus the fact that Cuthbert was a hermit, and for years I wanted to be a hermit myself (although not for holy reasons); and the underdog usually has my sympathy (even though Brant’s margin over him is very slim at this point).

  66. John the former Lurker's Gravatar John the former Lurker
    March 16, 2015 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    There is a lot more to Cuthbert than the postings provide. My Rector returned from sabattical last year from England and Scotland having learned a great deal about him which he has shared with our parish. We could use a strong does of his Celtic form of evangilism in our world today. While Molly does make this a tough one, Cuthbert is all Elate 8.

  67. Lesley Hildrey's Gravatar Lesley Hildrey
    March 16, 2015 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, Emily is right, Molly Brant was sadly a slave owner, so Cuthbert wins my vote.

    • Valerie Hayes's Gravatar Valerie Hayes
      March 16, 2015 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Ah….this new information, sadly, changes my vote. I was on the fence, but this put me over to Cuthbert. Sorry, Molly. You were – and are – a remarkable woman. But I cannot advance to possible Golden Halodom a former owner of slaves (even if it really was due to your husband). Cuthbert is solid and worthy.

  68. Megan's Gravatar Megan
    March 16, 2015 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    I love them both. How to decide?

  69. Harry Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Moncelle
    March 16, 2015 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    Molly was a slave owner, a Loyalist to the British Crown and thus opposed to the human rights put forward in the Declaration of Independence. My vote today goes to Cuthbert continued to resist temptations of wealth and vanity, something we all need more of today.

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      March 16, 2015 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

      …um, but wouldn’t Cuthbert be a Brit, too?
      And weren’t some of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence supporters of the slave trade?
      Just sayin’…FWIW, I prefer to play trying to look for reasons to vote for, not against (policy statements vs. attack ads — effective though they may be!)

      I do really like both saints in today’s contest and consider them both ‘saints for our time’ – Cuthbert for recognizing the dangers and temptations of love of wealth, and Molly Brant for her ministries of justice and peace-building in the difficult arena of First Nations – Euro North American relations (aside: everyone in the universe who hasn’t done so already should read Thomas King’s “The Inconvenient Indian”, to be both edified and discomfited). Gonna give Molly my vote today, and see what happens. Won’t be at all sad if Cuthbert wins.

      • March 16, 2015 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Actually, Cuthbert would not be considered a Brit. He was at least a millennium removed from the Brits of Revolutionary fame.

  70. Luis Gonzalez's Gravatar Luis Gonzalez
    March 16, 2015 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    What happened to the Collects at the end of each bio? I liked those very much; they allowed for prayer and meditation on the lessons we could learn from the saints.

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 16, 2015 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Oh yeah! That’s right there weren’t any today. Hum. Were there any Friday?

    • Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
      March 16, 2015 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

      The collects were in Round 1. You can go to the Bracket tab on the top of the page to find their first round match-ups and re-read them if you like.

  71. Tom Van Brunt's Gravatar Tom Van Brunt
    March 16, 2015 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t we all like Cuthbert to be our Bishop.

  72. Susan B's Gravatar Susan B
    March 16, 2015 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    To have the opportunity for greater affluence and power (by reason of being a bishop) but to remain committed to “counter-cultural simplicity and kindness” is the kind of saint we all need to be more like. Cuthbert gets my vote all the way.

  73. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 16, 2015 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I debated all morning but finally voted for Cuthbert because he struggled with himself and still ended up in a list of saints!

  74. Anne Tanner's Gravatar Anne Tanner
    March 16, 2015 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    OK, so Molly Brant owned slaves and she lived in one room of her common-law husband’s home with eight children. Does anyone else sense a contradiction here?

    • Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
      March 16, 2015 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Is there a reason that Molly did not get married or is it that her common law husband was a jerk for not marrying her!!! Again I realize the women were considered chattel/property at that time and the fact that she lived in one room with her 8 children (and not the whole house). – may make this a moot point!

      • Eliz.'s Gravatar Eliz.
        March 16, 2015 - 4:54 pm | Permalink

        She was a concubine, essentially, and her partner,s second one. I doubt she had any choice in the matter. Look what she accomplished despite that.

      • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
        March 16, 2015 - 6:29 pm | Permalink

        I hadn’t realized this, but a few of the comments in her first round mentioned that marriages between colonists and aboriginals were actually prohibited at the time.

  75. Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
    March 16, 2015 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    We are fortunate to have so many illustrous saints! To choose one over the other is sheer madness – but I did anyway! Go Molly!!! Oliver the seven year old is correct!!

  76. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    March 16, 2015 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m in with the winning side this time . . . rare. Love the stamp.

  77. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 16, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    My heart was and is with St. Molly, but Robert Hendrickson almost swayed my vote with his beautiful essay on Cuthbert. He and Maria have been blessed with the gift of saintly prose.

    • Maria's Gravatar Maria
      March 16, 2015 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Well, thank you very kindly. That’s one phrase I’ve never heard before!

  78. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    March 16, 2015 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Voted for the person who put God first, not politics. This is about saintliness afterall. Go Cuthbert!

  79. Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
    March 16, 2015 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Cuthbert today since I have a soft spot for the Celtic saints since taking a class on them and reading so many of the original works about them. However I wanted to address the comments about Molly being a Loyalist. This would have turned me off a year ago when I lived in the Western part of the country (go Jackson Kemper!). However at my current East Coast church, our first rector was a Loyalist. I have come to better understand the complex issues facing the Anglican/Episcopal church during those times.

  80. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 16, 2015 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I have great admiration for Cuthbert’s simplicity of life. But I have to vote for Molly. Good heavens she was pregnant a lot of the time and taking care of a raft of kids, making peace among the less peaceful. Awesome woman. She did have slaves and she was a Loyalist but so were a lot of people. Consider the milieu of her time.

  81. Vicky's Gravatar Vicky
    March 16, 2015 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Cuthbert had the advantage in the first round because the saintly Bede was such an excellent advocate for him. Any woman in the 18th century started with a disadvantage and any Indian at all had only the “white man’s” history to speak for him. So, a woman who tried to make peace with all the people, or a man who fought the mores of his time to remain humble? Ouch! I’ll vote for the underdog who yet is remembered…

  82. March 16, 2015 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    “he feared becoming an unwholesome example by falling prey to vanity….” I know more clergy who have gotten into trouble over this, than is at all healthy. We get appointed/elected to some significant parish or post, and start to believe our own press notices… next thing we know, there is big trouble. A simplicity of life, and humility in the right sense… not artificial “aw shucks”, but honest recognition of one’s skills and limitations… goes a long way. Thank you Cuthbert for your still very apropos example… for isn’t that what a named saint is supposed to be? a clearer model for the rest of us.

  83. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 16, 2015 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Before casting my vote for Cuthbert I’d like to suggest that for Native Americans the issues presented by the American Revolution were quite different, and seen from a very different perspective, than was the case with white colonists for whom the issue, at least as presented by the Continentals, was securing the rights of Englishmen. I don’t know enough Canadian history to say which side treated the indigenous peoples better after the war, but my knowledge of my own country’s history suggest that at best it is an open question.

    And as to the slaves: American Episcopalians belong to a church that, in the lifetimes of persons known to persons living today, countenanced and indeed may be said to have embraced slavery, and as an institution remained undivided by it right through the Civil War. We may not understand that, or how moral, much less faithful, kind and devout, people could have owned slaves; but they did, and I question whether that fact should automatically disqualify them from recognition of the lives they led, and the good they did, in the culture they inhabited. Many of us old enough to remember segregation cannot understand even our own collaboration in accepting it at the time.

    • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
      March 16, 2015 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately, nobody attempts to hold up the historical Episcopal Church you describe – leaving aside that description’s accuracy – as particularly saintly or worthy of emulation.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 16, 2015 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Of course not: in a way that’s the point. I was speaking of individual lives led within a flawed institution: not that different from today, except we can’t grasp how they couldn’t have seen that flaw, or saw it and ignored it. Let’s hope that future generations won’t say the same of us.
        Turning to the description, where do you find it inaccurate? The words in “may be said to have embraced slavery” were carefully chosen, though I’d gladly accept “might” for “may” if that would improve it. The rest is factual to the best of my knowledge.

    • TJ's Gravatar TJ
      March 17, 2015 - 2:15 am | Permalink

      Apparently many American Episcopalians really do have no idea the degree to which the Episcopal Church as an institution ignored (and thus tacitly supported) the institution of slavery. Of course not this may not apply to every single individual in the church, but the fact that the church as a whole survived the US Civil War undivided speaks volumes. Still, I remember sitting in a session at Diocesan Convention and hearing a fellow delegate stand up and say emphatically and with no visible trace of irony that he “simply couldn’t believe that the Episcopal Church did not respond in some way as an institution to slavery.” “Like weren’t they involved in the Underground Railroad and stuff?” I smacked my head and thought to myself, “Clearly this dude has us mixed up with the Quakers.”

      I guess I am in the camp who sees Brant as interesting from a historical and political perspective but don’t see her as particularly “saintly.” The “times” and Brant’s many notable accomplishments notwithstanding, I voted for Cuthbert.

      • March 17, 2015 - 6:43 am | Permalink

        There were quite a few Episcopal churches involved in the Underground RR, among them being St. John’s in Cleveland.

        • TJ's Gravatar TJ
          March 17, 2015 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

          Understood, but that was not a top-down response of the church as an institution. That was my point.

  84. Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
    March 16, 2015 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    If we are to ‘dis’ Molly for being a slaveowner, then there goes Abraham, Jacob, and most people with any money at all, in the history of the world. At that time, slavery was the norm for the nations of the world. Look at Molly, and judge her for what she was able to accomplish, in the society that she lived in. However, that being said, I am still have to go with Cuthbert, for his saintly life.

  85. Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
    March 16, 2015 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I like Cuthbert’s spirit and the eider duck on his icon.

  86. Carolyn Sharp's Gravatar Carolyn Sharp
    March 16, 2015 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

    As far as I can tell Molly owned slaves that belonged to her common-law husband. Can anyone document that she owned them herself.

    • Carolyn Sharp's Gravatar Carolyn Sharp
      March 16, 2015 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Or rather she managed slaves that belonged to her husband.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 16, 2015 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I think it was in her Wiki article that I read that he bequeathed them to her and she continued to own them after his death. How common manumission was in her time and place, or what it would have meant to her or the slaves in economic and other terms, are interesting questions.

  87. Elizabeth Brown's Gravatar Elizabeth Brown
    March 16, 2015 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I can’t vote for Molly because she was a slave owner. She also seems much more a historical figure rather than a religious one–how did she get in here? Besides who could vote against Cuthbert’ s duck!

  88. March 16, 2015 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    “Simplicity of life and centered virtue” are resonating most with me today, so I vote in favor of Cuthbert.

  89. Terri Merritt's Gravatar Terri Merritt
    March 16, 2015 - 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Cuthbert’s eider duck does not seem to be part of his picture. The colors are too bright, doesn’t quite match. Are our opinions being swayed by a cartoon duck? It was interesting to learn about both Cuthbert and Molly Brant. I too find the slave owning thing of little concern as it is also claimed she lived in one room with her children. Where would she keep slaves?

  90. Val's Gravatar Val
    March 16, 2015 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Cuthbert <3.

    While Molly seems very much like an influential historical figure in a difficult era, Cuthbert was too, as well as being all the Christ-focused things mentioned. Also, um, Christopher Fry's 'Boy With A Cart' play on Cuthbert's founding of a church is too beautiful to forget.

    • Vicki's Gravatar Vicki
      March 16, 2015 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Much, if not most, of Christopher Fry is as close to perfect as language can get.

  91. Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
    March 16, 2015 - 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for Molly…Had for sons and that is all I did! She was rearkable/Slaves aside, believe they were probably extended family and ‘help’ in today’s vernacular! Tough choice, loved the duck!!

  92. Judy's Gravatar Judy
    March 16, 2015 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

    An impossible contest between two equally deserving saints. I wanted to vote for Molly, given her minority status as both a woman and a Native American, but Cuthbert’s historical significance, as well as his devotion and spirituality won my vote.

  93. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 16, 2015 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

    It saddens me to see all of the comments judging Molly for her slave-owning. Yes, slavery was – and is – a despicable institution, but it wasn’t universally viewed that way during Molly’s time. I daresay some of us would have owned slaves – I know my ancestors did – and wouldn’t have understood those who disagreed. Manumission also wasn’t always an option, so perhaps Molly’s only other choice would have been to sell them instead of freeing them, leaving them to people less concerned with their wellbeing. I don’t know, but it seems no one else here knows, either. Judging previous generations by today’s standards is always tricky and probably shouldn’t be done.

    There’s also been an awful lot of male vs. female, fantastical vs. believable, ancient vs. modern, and now slave owner vs. simplicity (although living in one room with 8 children would certainly have had its own necessary simplicity!), and personally, I don’t see where any of those have an impact on the saintliness (or not) of any of the brackets. People who are off-put by the fantastical must remember that the Bible itself is full of fantastical accounts. As far as the gender wars, I just keep remembering Galatians 3:28.

    I personally voted for Molly, though it’s true that Cuthbert was probably the more saintly of the two. Molly resonated with me this time, but I voted for neither of these two in the first round. I did, however, say that I’d have no problem voting for Cuthbert over Molly in this round, so I obviously have a different perspective today than I did then! I just think we’re creating division where none needs to exist, and I’m in a Molly frame of mind about compromise and conciliation!

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 16, 2015 - 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Once again the dreadful “oh slavery was bad, BUT”….argument.. Remember Nuremberg, there is no justification in that defense of terrible actions.

  94. Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
    March 16, 2015 - 6:21 pm | Permalink

    A very well thought out response. I think one could name countless admirable people of old who owned slaves. Doesn’t make it right, but we need to consider context.

  95. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 16, 2015 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Molly Brant is a much more interesting individual because she was a leader, a wife, a mother, a hero, and a villain.

    Molly Brant sinned. Owning slaves is a sin, and she chose to keep at least one slave (that her husband bequeathed to her) rather than grant the woman her freedom. A very dry but well-annotated article by some archaeologists in Canada says, “It is probable that a number of the servants and slaves from Johnson Hall went with Molly and her family, since Sir William provided generously for them all in his will: a lot in the Kingsland Patent, a black female slave, and £200, New York currency.”
    Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation – “Molly Brant”

    Several Lent Madness commenters have tried to smooth over the issue by saying that “it was the times” or “slaves were treated like family.” Slavery still exists today, so dismissing it as a part of ancient history is wrong. Also, slaves are denied their basic rights and therefore they’re never treated like family. Slavery was never acceptable even when it was accepted. We should try to be mature enough to recognize that some of the people who have shaped history were flawed. They made mistakes. It wasn’t okay. They were wrong.

    In some ways, Brant was awesome. She also sinned.

    She was a Mohawk leader, she was a bridge between the British and Iroquois, she was a church builder in Canada, and she was an herbalist who provided medicines to people. She was also a villain who owned slaves.

    Cuthbert lived a much better life: he ministered to the sick during the yellow plague, tending to both their physical and spiritual needs. He also participated in the Synod at Whitby and helped to repair divisions within the church.

    Should I vote for the easy role model (Cuthbert), or the saint we love to hate (Molly Brant)?

  96. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 16, 2015 - 6:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to read that other birders enjoyed the Common Eider as much as I did! I’m really hoping for a Francis/Cuthbert matchup, but Molly’s diplomacy struck a chord with me today.

  97. Catherine Broatman's Gravatar Catherine Broatman
    March 16, 2015 - 6:49 pm | Permalink

    St Cuthbert’s feast day is four days from now (March 20), and the world he walked in has special meaning for me. At Lindisfarne I’ve walked out (at low tide) to the small island that bears his name, a simple cross to honor him, and North Sea salt-filled breezes. St Cuthbert walked there from Lindisfarne Priory to reflect and pray. It’s a place that has helped me stay grounded and calm, and has helped me pray.

  98. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 16, 2015 - 6:59 pm | Permalink

    So…whats up with the duck? Did Cuthbert migrate to Oregon at the end of his days to take up quackery? Was he the original member of the Duck Dynasty crew? Did he open a Chinese restaurant to cover expenses? Whats the answer?

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 16, 2015 - 7:29 pm | Permalink

      According to the BBC, “Cuthbert’s affinity with nature continues today through his association with Eider ducks, known in Northumberland as Cuddy’s ducks, as a colony nests on the Farne Islands, where Cuthbert had his hermitage.”

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 16, 2015 - 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Here’s a video of ducks on Farne Islands.

      • Catherine Broatman's Gravatar Catherine Broatman
        March 16, 2015 - 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks so much for posting this! I had a feeling the duck in the illustration today was definitely related to St Cuthbert, but didn’t know about these ducks on Farne Islands.

  99. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 16, 2015 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    This cannot be justified. An historical figure who held other humans as property may be admirable in many significant ways but it is not possible for them to be saints.

  100. Wendy's Gravatar Wendy
    March 16, 2015 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Cuthbert. His story in round 1 moved me – and I have acquired a persistent desire, since reading it, to make a pilgrimage to Lindisfarne. I was captivated by the story of his all-night watery prayer, being dried by the otters, and of his struggle to honor his own yearning for the hermit’s life with the pull to go out and serve.

  101. March 16, 2015 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Well, now I really get the “Madness” of Lent Madness. I cannot believe my beloved Cuthbert is behind! Is there no hope?

  102. Carol Justice's Gravatar Carol Justice
    March 16, 2015 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Well, shuckins~~ Hey I am an underdog voter again!

  103. John Medlin's Gravatar John Medlin
    March 16, 2015 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    A tough one. The first I’ve had to refer to Wikipedia for more info–and the comments, as well. I’m going for Cuthbert; he was more spiritual . Molly was more social/political.

  104. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 16, 2015 - 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Let’s have a last minute rally for Cuthbert.

  105. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 16, 2015 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I am honoring my Northumbrian ancestors and voting for Cuthbert.

  106. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 17, 2015 - 1:09 am | Permalink

    I voted for Cuthbert, but it is late & he is trailing. If Molly indeed advances, I hope she loses to Fredrick Douglass. If you have to ask why, you haven’t read the comments about Molly’s slaves.

  107. Michael's Gravatar Michael
    March 17, 2015 - 1:38 am | Permalink

    The fact that Cromwell and his cronies treated him with respect… I had to vote for Cuthbert. During severals trips to the UK, I’ve grown in my dislike of Cromwell and his team. The ruined churches, abbeys and even castles quietly speak the violence they thought was acceptable behavior. Yet today I learned that they also showed respect for a humble follower of Jesus.

  108. Michael's Gravatar Michael
    March 17, 2015 - 2:04 am | Permalink

    Oh, and by the way, thanks for blocking the mulit-voting addresses. There’s something ironic in cheating to get your Saint to the next round??? Seriously?

  109. Carolyn Dorais's Gravatar Carolyn Dorais
    March 17, 2015 - 2:28 am | Permalink

    I visited Lindisfarne 20 years ago and was moved by St. Cuthbert’s story and by the beauty and serenity of what is truly a “Holy Island.” I have to confess, though, that my vote is just as much a vote against Molly Brant as it is for Cuthbert. I hate to see that she appears to be winning this round and can only hope that she loses in the next.

    Molly Brant was very close to her brother Joseph and as a Loyalist presumably approved of his actions in the Revolutionary War. Joseph Brant and the band of Indians he led entered the little frontier school where a lame teacher, my great-great-great-grandfather’s older brother, was conducting class. They scalped this young man, possibly in front of his pupils (who probably included my great-great-great-grandfather), and may also have killed some of the older male pupils. What terrible memories they gave to those poor young children! I understand why the Indians sided with the British against the settlers on the frontier, but I can’t bring myself to vote for a Brant as a “peacemaker.”

  110. shawn's Gravatar shawn
    March 18, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Hard to believe people are so childish to vote twice….Really? Not quite saint-like!

  111. shawn's Gravatar shawn
    March 18, 2015 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Oh…too late to vote for me but I would have voted for Cuthbert again….so like Jesus.

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