Augustine of Canterbury vs. Scholastica

Tightly contested race yesterday! But with a late charge, Raymond Nonnatus took down Moses the Black 51% to 49% (the SEC has certified the election). With this victory, exactly half the Elate Eight is set. Joining Raymond will be Stephen, Florence Nightingale, and Mechtild of Magdeburg. But that means there are still four spots up for grabs!

Today, Augustine of Canterbury faces Scholastica for the fifth spot in the subsequent round. To get here, Augustine defeated his namesake from Hippo (you do recall the Battle of the Augustines, right?) and Scholastica bested Macrina the Younger.

Augustine of Canterbury

Augustine of Canterbury lived in Italy and England more than 14 centuries ago. Most of his sayings or quotes have failed to pass down through the years. Nonetheless, his actions more than his words made an everlasting impact on English history and worldwide Christianity. Along the way, he garnered many monikers during his life.

Despite a few shaky starts, Augustine and his crew of 40 arrived on Isle of Thanet, located off the southeast coast of England, in 597 AD. They were greeted with hospitality and kindness by the pagans and the few Christians living there at the time.

Pagan King Ethelbert, married to a Christian queen, told the newcomers at their arrival: “Your words are fair, but of doubtful meaning; I cannot forsake what I have so long believed. But as you have come from far we will not molest you; you may preach, and gain as many as you can to your religion.” A few short years later, King Ethelbert turned his back on his pagan ways and converted to Christianity.

It is believed that Augustine carried with him on his long treacherous journey a silver cross and an image of Jesus Christ painted on a board, which is considered Canterbury’s first icon. Alas, it has been lost in the ages.

Augustine’s days in England were dedicated to evangelizing, establishing churches and schools, celebrating the sacraments, and baptizing new Christians. Christmas Day 597 was a particular significant celebration as Augustine is reported to have baptized thousands of people on that day.

One of the few quotes attributed to Augustine that survived contained the strong words he is recorded to have strongly communicated to the Celts, a tribe living in England: “If ye will not have peace with the brethren, ye shall have war from your enemies; and if ye will not preach the way of life to the English, ye shall suffer the punishment of death at their hands.”

Augustine was known by many titles and names: aristocrat; Benedictine monk; prior of a monastery; priest; bishop; the first Archbishop of Canterbury; Apostle to the English; founder of the English Church; Archbishop of the English Nation. He is also known as Austin, a derivative of Augustine.

No matter what he is called or how he is known or what he has stated, the marks of Augustine of Canterbury’s witness to faith remain evident throughout the English Isles.

Augustine died on May 26, in either 604 or 605, at his beloved Canterbury, England where he was buried.

— Neva Rae Fox


Scholastica Although Scholastica is considered the patron saint of nuns and in the vanguard of female monasticism, there is only one anecdote recorded about her: the singular story of her miraculous detainment of her twin brother St. Benedict with a storm, which is recorded in Chapter 33 of Gregory’s Dialogues.

The Nun, hearing this denial of her brother, joined her hands together, laid them on the table, bowed her head on her hands, and prayed to almighty God.

Lifting her head from the table, there fell suddenly such a tempest of lightning and thundering, and such abundance of rain, that neither venerable Benedict, nor his monks that were with him, could put their heads out of doors. The holy Nun, having rested her head on her hands, poured forth such a flood of tears on the table, that she transformed the clear air to a watery sky.

At which point, Benedict asks, “God forgive you, sister; what have you done?” She answered: “I asked you a favour, and you refused it me: I asked it of Almighty God, and he has granted it me.” And they spent the evening together in theological conversation, as she desired.

Much is made of this anecdote in establishing both her relationship with her brother and also her divine favor. In 1866, Father Alban Butler wrote in his Lives of the Saints, “The short prayer by which Saint Scholastica gained this remarkable victory over her brother, who was one of the greatest saints on earth, was doubtless no more than a single act of her pure desires, which she continually turned toward, and fixed on her beloved [Lord]. It was enough…to move Him so suddenly to change the course of the elements in order to satisfy her pious desire.”

Known for her scholarliness, she is often depicted with a book and as the patron of reading. Perhaps her care for scholars inspired the St. Scholastica Day riot of 10 February 1355, one of the more notorious events in the history of Oxford, England. Beginning as a bar brawl, the riot lasted two days and took many lives. When the riot ended, academic institutions claimed greater privileges over the town.

Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, and is invoked both against storms and for opportune rain. She is also, for no apparent reason, the patron of convulsive children. But I’m sure that, because this is the Internet, someone will make the reason plain in the comments.

UPDATE: The SEC noticed an irregular surge of votes for Scholastica around midnight. Well over 6,000 votes were found to be cast irregularly in an attack using bots around the world. We have removed what we believe to be the correct amount of votes, and will continue to monitor this race. One person, one vote. If you break this rule, your votes will be removed and you will be cast off into the outer darkness of Lent Madness.

—Amber Belldene

Augustine of Canterbury vs. Scholastica

  • Augustine of Canterbury (51%, 3,455 Votes)
  • Scholastica (49%, 3,284 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,739

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Scholastica: Wikimedia Commons; Ignaz Günther (Germany, Bavaria, 1725-1775); Los Angeles County Museum

265 Comments to "Augustine of Canterbury vs. Scholastica"

  1. March 29, 2017 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    I have great affinity for Benedict and his spiritual heritage within Anglicanism, so I wanted to give Scholastica a chance to pull me over from Augustine. It probably says more about human approach to history than about her that not much survives to be included in her entry today. So, I went with Augustine – who can turn his back on the Apostle to the English who found Christians already in England? And I stumbled over his grave once, not even realizing he was buried there, making him the first saint whose grave I’ve visited. And, Augustine was Benedictine . . .

  2. Kodjo the Great's Gravatar Kodjo the Great
    March 29, 2017 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Moses should have won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
      March 29, 2017 - 8:18 am | Permalink

      I agree

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        March 29, 2017 - 8:50 am | Permalink

        Me too.

        • Suanne's Gravatar Suanne
          March 29, 2017 - 10:00 am | Permalink

          Me 3.

          • Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
            March 29, 2017 - 10:27 am | Permalink


          • Jenny's Gravatar Jenny
            March 29, 2017 - 11:13 am | Permalink


          • Cassandra's Gravatar Cassandra
            March 29, 2017 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

            Another here!

          • Mother and Son's Gravatar Mother and Son
            March 29, 2017 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

            Go Raymond! It was yesterday, GET OVER IT.

      • March 29, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

        Dang. I am really bummed that my beloved Moses lost, especially since he was ahead for much of the day. But I’m grateful that, through this race, so many more people have gotten to know him. Moses is a true example of one who was totally transformed by God’s grace. He went from being a brutal thief and murderer to become a humble, compassionate father to monks, and at the last, he gave his life for nonviolence.

        • John Edgar's Gravatar John Edgar
          March 29, 2017 - 9:40 am | Permalink

          I agree. Moses gives hope that transformation is possible!

        • March 29, 2017 - 9:46 am | Permalink

          Amen, Harlie.

        • Mary Lynn's Gravatar Mary Lynn
          March 29, 2017 - 11:22 am | Permalink

          Agreed! Moses is hope to teach an ol’ dog new tricks. I so wanted Moses to win.

    • Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
      March 29, 2017 - 8:36 am | Permalink

      i agree too!!

    • March 29, 2017 - 9:18 am | Permalink


    • March 29, 2017 - 9:45 am | Permalink

      I am pretty disappointed, too, Kodjo.

    • Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
      March 29, 2017 - 9:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I weep for his loss.

    • Lyn's Gravatar Lyn
      March 29, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

      We need a loser’s bracket with a way back in to the main bracket! 🙂

      • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
        March 29, 2017 - 11:00 am | Permalink

        If I’m not mistaken, you could probably suggest Moses as a candidate again, perhaps not for next year, but for the not-so-distant future. I first read about him in Lent Madness 2014.

      • Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
        March 29, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

        Do you think Joan of Arc has a chance to finding a way back to the Madness in another year?

        • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
          March 29, 2017 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Not for 2018 since no nominee may be repeated in consecutive years, but you could certainly put her name forth for consideration in Eastertide 2018 for Lent 2019. I think she has a good chance.

          Dietrich Bonhoeffer didn’t get far the first time he was on the bracket and went all the way the second time. I think we’ve had David Oakerhater several times, poor guy, he never seems to advance.

          The further the saints get the longer they have to wait for reconsideration. And Golden Halo winners are permanently off the bracket.

          • Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
            March 29, 2017 - 7:11 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the encouragement, Tessa. I was certain Joan would take the Shiny Gold Halo this year, but alas, that was not to be. Joan persisted and so will I. When nominations open, I’ll put forth her name for Lent Madness 2018.

        • Jackie B's Gravatar Jackie B
          March 29, 2017 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

          I’m always hoping for the Lily Maid to take it to the top, so we can gild the Lily (with the Golden Halo)

          • March 29, 2017 - 5:44 pm | Permalink

            ^ That’s funny.

          • Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
            March 29, 2017 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Your comment brought me a smile. I too was rooting for Joan (my heroine since I was a child) to make it to the Golden Halo this year but was sorely disappointed by her poor showing in the first round! Perhaps she’ll be a more popular choice next year or in 2019. When Tim and Scott give the signal to do so, I’ll nominate her . I wonder if they know the late great Leonard Cohen wrote a song about her….

        • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
          March 29, 2017 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

          She went down in flames this year (ouch).

          • Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
            March 29, 2017 - 7:07 pm | Permalink

            Indeed she did! Doing a slow burn about that too!

      • March 30, 2017 - 1:47 am | Permalink

        How about a few “wild card” berths? Perhaps three wild cards in the 16, two in the 8, one in the 4. The SEC could choose wild cards based on those on the previous round who, while not winning their match-up, had significant support. This could involve a slight tweak of the schedule, but it cold work.

    • Carey Harveycutter's Gravatar Carey Harveycutter
      March 29, 2017 - 11:44 am | Permalink


    • J Howard Williamson's Gravatar J Howard Williamson
      March 29, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I also agree. I won’t forget Moses.

    • Eric's Gravatar Eric
      March 29, 2017 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Moses was winning by TWO votes until 12am EST after which within one hour hundreds of people voted for Raymond…I believe people were still voting for Raymond at 6am this morning…

      • Vickie's Gravatar Vickie
        March 29, 2017 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

        I believe you can vote up until about 8am Eastern as the voting is open for a 24 hour period. Perhaps the SEC can clarify that since there appears to be confusion.

        • March 29, 2017 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Yup. Voting is open for 24 hours. 8 am EST to 8 am EST the next day when the polls close.

          • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
            March 29, 2017 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

            EST or DST?

        • Cathy Hamilton's Gravatar Cathy Hamilton
          March 29, 2017 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

          I admit, for the last few weeks, I have been one of those LATE voters. I live, most of the time, in the Eastern time zone, in Wentworth-North of the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada. . It is from that location that I usually vote, during my morning devotion and coffee time. However. For the past 2 weeks I have been touring Spain and France, where (unlike Wentworth North) the orange and pear trees are blooming. So, by 8 am your time, when the new bracket is announced, it was 2 in the afternoon my time, well beyond internet access without using expensive data… So, it seems that for the last two weeks I have been among those who voted for “yesterday’s” bracket at the very end of the voting period. The world is wide my friends, and sometimes Moses loses.

    • Nick The Great's Gravatar Nick The Great
      March 29, 2017 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

      How did he lose he was up by so much

      • Paul's Gravatar Paul
        March 29, 2017 - 8:19 pm | Permalink

        I guess God wanted Raymond to win. He always has His methods. #Godhasaplan

    • Joyce A Gieza's Gravatar Joyce A Gieza
      March 29, 2017 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Preach it!

    • Karolen's Gravatar Karolen
      March 29, 2017 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

      I agree!

    • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
      March 29, 2017 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Moses would have been a contender, had he won, but my preference was with Mr. Nonnatus. He truly walked the walk, and when it came time, he sacrificed himself, expecting nothing in return, and getting nothing in return. He also underwent suffering, expecting nothing in return. What a model for us all.

  3. Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
    March 29, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    I voted for Agustine because he was a missionary just like me!

    • March 29, 2017 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Of course Moses the Black won, by his conversion and life, exemplified in legend by his leaky jug that he used as a metaphor of Jesus’ exhortations “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (NIV John 8:7) and “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (NIV Mattew 7:1), and by his martyrdom in defending against bandits by retreating and making his defense a plea for virtue that was ignored by the bandits.

      Again, Moses the Black won in 2017 because, by virtue of Lent Madness, many more of us are inspired by him.

    • John's Gravatar John
      March 30, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      Tim Cole-French, Well Played, HaHa

  4. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    March 29, 2017 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Stuck with Scholastica for her use of faith to get her brother to do what she thought he needed to do. I think of Augustine of Canterbury more as Pope Gregory’s man on the ground to convert the Celtic Christians to Roman Catholicism. Feels more like a centralizing power play (Imperialism?) to me than real conversion and mission — like President McKinley opting to annex the the Philippines to bring them civilization and Christianity when they were already strong Catholics. Better the family power play backed by God than the cultural power play, for me.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      March 29, 2017 - 8:50 am | Permalink

      Right on, Carolyn!

    • Stuart's Gravatar Stuart
      March 29, 2017 - 9:35 am | Permalink

      Having grown up in England we are taught that Augustine did not bring Christianity to the British, he brought Catholicism! So I went with Scholastica

      • Mindy Duryea's Gravatar Mindy Duryea
        March 29, 2017 - 10:10 am | Permalink

        I mean given that it was the around 600 AD…. what else would it have been? The schism between east and west happened 400 years later… and Luther’s Protestantism was 400 years after that. So what else could he have brought?

        • Stuart's Gravatar Stuart
          March 29, 2017 - 10:21 am | Permalink

          Many are taught that Augustine brought Christianity to the British. The fact is there was a thriving Christian church, including a large monastic tradition, in the British Isles long before he arrived – historians generally believe Christianity arrived in the British Isles in the first or second centuries.

          • Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
            March 29, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

            On one of my trips to England, I visited the church at Bognor Regis, which was founded (and has some surviving stonework from) about 300 years BEFORE Augustine and his monks arrived.
            Btw, I voted for him. Because Canterbury…Anglicanism….

      • Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
        March 29, 2017 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

        There was Celtic Christianity in Ireland and the North, mostly driven to the edges since the Romans left and the pagan Saxons showed up. It was deeply tied to the natural cycle and had been influenced by pre-Christian Celtic spirituality, which it had absorbed and incorporated without violence. It was monastic in focus, rooted in the countryside (there were no large cities in Britain at the time) and led by abbots and abbesses. Leadership by women was not unheard of. Meanwhile in Rome, Western (Latin) Catholic Christianity continued to evolve, and became more centralized, more urban, and more bureaucratic and legalistic. Its power was concentrated in bishops (of urban dioceses), and there was no place for women in leadership. This was the newer, updated church that Augustine brought. The decision of the English church to go with Roman Christianity rather than Celtic was made at the Synod of Whitby, in 664, some 60 years after Augustine’s death.

        • Deacon Mildred's Gravatar Deacon Mildred
          March 29, 2017 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

          My vote was not only for Scholastica but also against Augustine of Canterbury and his role in subjugating Celtic Christianity to Roman Christianity. Not that I find Roman Christianity horrible, but I do love the deep natural spirituality of Celtic Christianity.

    • March 29, 2017 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks for those observations, Carolyn. I’m having a hard time choosing between these two.

    • Barbara Bley's Gravatar Barbara Bley
      March 29, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Hear, Hear!

    • Suanne's Gravatar Suanne
      March 29, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

      And brings to mind colonialism here in the US with the role of Christian denominations as government partners grabbing land, resources, and children out of mothers’ arms … from Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives. Besides – as a Southern Californian — Scholastica is on my short list of intermediaries during drought conditions.
      Besides — the drought we’ve had here in CA

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 29, 2017 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      Goes for me too, Carolyn. I love poached eggs, but poached Christians is just another power play. Dom Gregory Dix says somewhere in “The Shape of the Liturgy” (still a powerful if dated guide to early Christian worship) that Augustine of Canterbury was “a typical Roman monsignor” serving a Papacy seeking an imperium over the whole Church, and I have to regard his role in establishing the Anglican via media as an unintended by-product of his missionary work in the British Isles.

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 29, 2017 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Hahaha! “Poached Christians”! Good one, John!

    • Katharine Graham's Gravatar Katharine Graham
      March 29, 2017 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, the Celts were already Christians.

    • Katharine Graham's Gravatar Katharine Graham
      March 29, 2017 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, the Celts were already Christians, ecclesiastical power play, indeed.

  5. Theresa Merritt's Gravatar Theresa Merritt
    March 29, 2017 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Voting for Scholastica because a girl has to keep her brother in line!

    • March 29, 2017 - 9:26 am | Permalink

      Same reason, and also because She is the patron saint of reading, a favorite activity of mine!

    • Anne's Gravatar Anne
      March 29, 2017 - 11:49 am | Permalink


    • Laura's Gravatar Laura
      March 29, 2017 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

      I have a sneaking suspicion she was the older twin, she seems very “big sister” to me. Iam voting for the Patron saint of reading!

  6. Sean the Great's Gravatar Sean the Great
    March 29, 2017 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I voted for Agustine of Canterbury because he baptized many people at one time

  7. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    March 29, 2017 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Scholastica, of course, over Canterbury.

  8. Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
    March 29, 2017 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know whether all those St Augustine’s in Africa founded by Anglican missionaries are named for this saint or the one of Hippo.? Consider the colonial era and the “Africa” association.

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 29, 2017 - 10:21 am | Permalink

      Hippo is in Africa, and Augustine’s mother Monnica was of Berber descent (hence closely related to the population of present-day Egypt), and the Cowley Fathers’ mission in the Boston was planted in the part of the city which had a large percentage of African-Americans in it (notice a shift in perceptions of ethnicity over the centuries); therefore, it is safe to say that the Augustine intended in all these foundations is of Hippo, not of Canterbury. I hope this reply is helpful to you.

      • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
        March 29, 2017 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. That’s what I thought. My grandfather was the deacon at St Augustine Mission in Zululand, South Africa. This is the reason I voted for this Augustine. Also attended St. Monica’s in Durban. Makes sense.

  9. Elizabeth Neeld's Gravatar Elizabeth Neeld
    March 29, 2017 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Patron of reading! Calling for rain! Protector from storms! Scholastica is the one!

  10. Gloria Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Ishida
    March 29, 2017 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Difficult decision. I love reading but had to go with Augustine for being a missionary and a pastor.

  11. Kelley the Presbyterian's Gravatar Kelley the Presbyterian
    March 29, 2017 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Scholastica had me at “Patron of Reading”.

  12. Ann Cooper's Gravatar Ann Cooper
    March 29, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Patron saint of reading. A no-brainer.

  13. Joyce in Madison. GA's Gravatar Joyce in Madison. GA
    March 29, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Scholastica still gets my vote. I love storms when they don’t cause too much trouble. She was the clever twin. Everyone, especially monastic brothers, need a helpful sister.

  14. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    March 29, 2017 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Augustine, for his role in establishing the Christian church in England. But learning that Scholastica is the patron saint of reading, and with my enduring gratitude for the Adrian Dominican Sisters who taught and formed me for my first 12 years of education, I have to vote my heart for Scholatica. One thunderstorm is an interesting anecdote. Leading the way for reading and the teaching of women (as sisters) and then children is a lasting gift.

    • Stuart's Gravatar Stuart
      March 29, 2017 - 10:22 am | Permalink

      Christianity arrived in what is now the United Kingdom in the first or second centuries and there was a thriving Celtic church long before Augustine brought Catholicism to the British Isles.

  15. Sofie's Gravatar Sofie
    March 29, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    SCHOLASTICA. I must say, the original write-up for her was much more persuasive, which causes me some concern. Anyway, I’m amazed that even after pagan Anglo Saxons welcomed Augustine to England in peace, he then preached “strongly” — really? how about “threateningly”? — to the pagan Celts. Who were, after all, living there long before the Anglo Saxons or Romans came along. This — “if ye will not preach the way of life to the English, ye shall suffer the punishment of death at their hands — is not the kind of missionizing I support. Scholastica all the way.

    • March 29, 2017 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      Sofie, That’s how I read Augustine’s ‘preaching’ to the Celts, too. And I happen to be a Celt. I thought I might vote for him since I was still miffed that Scholastica triumphed over Macrina, but when I read that, it was an easy choice to go for reading and teaching this time.

  16. March 29, 2017 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Gotta go with Scholastica and that two-day riot in Oxford.

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 29, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

      The mother of all town vs. gown riots. The whole story of the St. Scholastica’s Day Riot and its aftermath (the Lord Mayor of the city of Oxford had to do public penance until the 1840’s!) is gruesome and fascinating. You can read it in many places, one of which is “The Oxford Book of Oxford,” which you might be able to find in a public library.

  17. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 29, 2017 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Hymn for Augustine of Canterbury and Scholastica
    Tune: Hymn to Joy, Hymnal ’82, 376, Joyful, joyful we adore thee

    God of grace ‘tis joy to praise you
    For the endless grace you show’r
    On your children for your love is
    All we need in every hour.
    For Augustine you were present,
    Gave him courage, gave him strength.
    To Scholastica gave knowledge
    That your care meets ev’ry need.

    Though his fear made him uncertain
    You gave courage to obey.
    Augustine spoke to the English
    Helped them see your gracious way.
    In your mercy hearts were opened,
    Pagans found the joy of Christ!
    E’en though Celtic church was broken
    You’ve restored their wisdom life.

    For the wisdom of a woman
    Who knew love must trump the rule
    Written by a man whose virtue
    Blinded him to kindness’ jewel.
    For Scholastica we praise you,
    For her faith, her constancy.
    For the gracious gift you gave her!
    You taught Ben priorities.

    So today we have to choose ‘tween
    Two who served in diff’ring ways.
    He who spread the Roman model,
    She who trusted loving grace.
    One has far more fame, tradition,
    One has but one story told.
    Guide us to the right decision;
    To the truth surpassing gold!

    • Amey's Gravatar Amey
      March 29, 2017 - 9:24 am | Permalink

      Hymn awesomeness!

    • Eryn's Gravatar Eryn
      March 29, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      That is an amazing hymn, and works so well with that tune!

    • March 29, 2017 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      Very good, Diana. Thank you.

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 29, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink

      Thank you! Especially for the tune for two saints who brought joy to so many.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 29, 2017 - 11:06 am | Permalink

      “She who trusted loving grace”–OK, I’m going for Scholastica, even though I’ve been to Canterbury and seen the ruins of the old cathedral.

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      March 29, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

      “You taught Ben priorities.” Love it.

    • Patricia from Bar Harbor's Gravatar Patricia from Bar Harbor
      March 29, 2017 - 11:35 am | Permalink

      Many thanks, Diana, for another hymn that lifts up essential features of each saint. I hope that, after Lent, your hymns can be gathered together in one place.
      We, as a country, could benefit from more attention to reading books and other sources from thoughtful, knowledgeable authors: go, Scholastica!

    • Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
      March 29, 2017 - 11:38 am | Permalink

      I love your hymn. And am amused that you trod the via media between the pronunciations of his name…metrically the first verse and the second each yields a different stress!

    • Maggie's Gravatar Maggie
      March 29, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Well done … as usual!!

    • March 29, 2017 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for today’s’s hymn. I love Joyful, Joyful, and I have now become a fan of Scolastica – only partly because I love to read!

    • Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
      March 29, 2017 - 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Love the hymns – look forward to them everyday

    • Marty Vega's Gravatar Marty Vega
      March 29, 2017 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Very nice, Diana!

  18. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    March 29, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Just returned from SW Florida, an area that desperately needs rain. Voted for Scholastica hoping she can help. Also, my brothers and I, and one sister-in-law were teachers.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 29, 2017 - 10:21 am | Permalink

      I wish we in NW Oregon could send those SW Floridians some of our over abundance of rain.

  19. Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
    March 29, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Was a member of St. Augustine’s for many years, until it closed, but Scholastica got my vote. Both are worthy to make it to the next round.

  20. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 29, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Crying to get her way? Really? Have to go with Augustine!

    • Lisa Green's Gravatar Lisa Green
      March 29, 2017 - 9:11 am | Permalink

      Nah, the gift of tears so powerful that even the weather joined in! Patron of the church where I was baptized–go Scholastica!!

    • Cheryl's Gravatar Cheryl
      March 29, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      I love your line of thought :-).
      When voting in Lent Madness, I try to go with the more likely story…which does not always get me very far. Although I love the idea of Scholastica, like so many saints from the early days, there’s not a lot to actually believe in.

  21. Denise Evans's Gravatar Denise Evans
    March 29, 2017 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    These matches are getting tougher every day. I had to go with Augustine again.

  22. Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
    March 29, 2017 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    In memory of my cat Augusta, who was named for Augustine of Canterbury, I voted for the Archbishop.

  23. Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
    March 29, 2017 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    gotta go with the patron saint of reading. Go Scholastica!

  24. Rilla Holmes's Gravatar Rilla Holmes
    March 29, 2017 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Scholastica because READING!!!

  25. Rev. Debbie Graham's Gravatar Rev. Debbie Graham
    March 29, 2017 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Augustine’s quote, “if ye will not preach the way of life to the English, ye shall suffer the punishment of death at their hands.” sounds like conversion through fear, not through love and compassion. So I vote for Scholastica.

  26. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    March 29, 2017 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Despite early votes I think this might be another close one when the final tally is in.

  27. Lucia Robinson's Gravatar Lucia Robinson
    March 29, 2017 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Quite a choice for an Anglican English prof! However, Augustine’s threats made a poor impression, and I have a lifelong commitment to reading and education, especially women’s education, so– Right on, Sister Scholastica!

  28. Laura from Marietta, GA's Gravatar Laura from Marietta, GA
    March 29, 2017 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    In honor of my epileptic cat Angus (plus the love of reading!), I must vote for Scholastica!

  29. March 29, 2017 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    I voted for Scholastica because she is the patron saint of reading, a favorite activity of mine, and also in honor of the gunslinger of a thunderstorm we had here in central Oklahoma, where I’m visiting my mother, last night.

    • March 29, 2017 - 10:05 am | Permalink

      That should have been humdinger, not gunslinger. There should be a patron saint of autocorrect…

      • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
        March 29, 2017 - 10:15 am | Permalink

        What a great autocorrect!

      • March 29, 2017 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Your autocorrect must be a poet at heart. What a great image!

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        March 29, 2017 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Still pondering who the patron saint of autocorrect auto to be. Perhaps we need an election – with parties, nominees, rallies, etc. Or it could be decided by whoever offers the most outrageous and verifiable example of autocorrect. Hey, who is with me? Let’s start with some nominees. Or manatees. or whatever.

  30. Jenny's Gravatar Jenny
    March 29, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    For all those sweet children who live with seizures (like my son), have to go with Scholastica!

  31. PinkProphet's Gravatar PinkProphet
    March 29, 2017 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Scholastic Book Fairs taught me to love reading as a child. Bedtime conversations with my brother are memories never forgotten. #teamscholastica

  32. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 29, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Scholastica, because I still like the story about her and her brother, and besides, how can I not vote for the patron saint of reading!

  33. mefster's Gravatar mefster
    March 29, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    As a meteorologist, I had to vote for a woman who is savvy enough to look out the window, see a roll cloud or line squall approaching, and then use it to convince her brother to stay. Also, although it is sad to learn of the deaths, lending her name to resolving the town-gown eternal squabble through drinking and a forceful tactical approach was an interesting tidbit that I had not known before.

  34. Fran's Gravatar Fran
    March 29, 2017 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    ok, Not doing well in the Saintly 16, however, I am voting for Scholastica…because of her being the patron of reading! Everyone needs to read!!! And it does give me chills thinking that she could “command” the weather the way she did…oooooooo spooky!!!! Anyway, GO SCHOLASTICA!!! 🙂

  35. Bob P.'s Gravatar Bob P.
    March 29, 2017 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Why is it these challenges bring out the child in me? Augustine for me. I also had an annoying sister. Good news is in later life, around age 13 she turned out okay – with my help.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 29, 2017 - 10:09 am | Permalink

      Bob, I had the same experience with my brothers: they turned out okay–with my help. 😉

  36. K8+'s Gravatar K8+
    March 29, 2017 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    All I could think about after reading about Augustine this morning was how SCP has changed my life as a priest and our start in England.
    I want to be like him

  37. Janet's Gravatar Janet
    March 29, 2017 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    The saintliest, warmest, funniest, smartest lady I ever knew was an Episcopal nun named Scholastica. She would not have taken on that name without good reason. So to honor her memory and believe there was much more to The Original than manipulating her brother, my vote goes to Scholastica!!

  38. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 29, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Aaargh! I missed the reading thing with Scholastica! Where were all these commenters at 8:30 this morning to help me with my caffeine-deficient perception?? Oh, well. I voted for Augustine and England. I can still be happy with that.

  39. Michael Merriman's Gravatar Michael Merriman
    March 29, 2017 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Augustine was sent to evangelize the pagan Angles and Saxons. The Celtic people were already Christians. He didn’t come to convert the English to Roman Catholicism. Come on folks, learn your church history better. We with Welsh (Celtic) ancestry often wonder if he really succeeded in converting the English.

    • March 29, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Well put, Michael!

    • March 29, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      Thanks for explaining that, Michael. I generally spend the day reading the comments to learn more, and glad I read yours.

  40. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 29, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    According to the book Patron Saints by Michael Freze, S.F.O., “It is unclear why Scholastica is patron of convulsive children. Perhaps the connection is due to the fact that she once interceded for her brother (St. Benedict) and the heavens “convulsed” with rain, thunder, and lightning.” Raymond overcame the same lead that Augustine currently has as I write. Let’s get the Scholastica vote out!

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 29, 2017 - 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Interesting. I’m intrigued by the mystery of the connection between Scholastica and epilepsy.

  41. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 29, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Scolastica. Main reason this round: she is the patron saint of reading, and I have like hundreds of books in my house, and I write short stories as well. With all of that I realize I should have a Scolastica Shrine or something, in my room!

  42. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    March 29, 2017 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine because we can see the results of his work. Although I love to read, Scholastica’s resumé just didn’t stack. Up next to his.
    I must say calling the UK the English Isles seems a bit politically incorrect. The Scots, Welsh, and Irish, and Manx are there too.

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 29, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      I would agree. British Isles.

    • March 29, 2017 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

      And the Cornish, as well.

  43. Kim, Canada's Gravatar Kim, Canada
    March 29, 2017 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice- this year has truly been Madness!!
    In the end I voted for Augustine, which means of course that Scholastica will win, since every day my choice has been unsuccessful. We have record rainfall here in British Columbia today: maybe Scholastica is shedding tears (of joy!) in anticipation of her win! ?!?

  44. S.R. Niccolls's Gravatar S.R. Niccolls
    March 29, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Someone whose prayers can cause the Almighty to change the weather gets my vote every time. (Sorta the opposite of Jesus calming the seas.)

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 29, 2017 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      A very thoughtful response! I’m going to open a file (start taking notes) on the opposition (raising a storm/calming a storm) in folklore and religion. Again, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  45. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 29, 2017 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Granted there is much to say for Augustine, and though I voted for him in the first round, I still grieve that the wisdom and freedom of the Celtic Christians were suppressed by the Roman traditions. He had to obey the Pope, but could have opened his heart more to his sisters and brothers in the Celtic world and learned as much as he tried to teach. For me, it is Scholastica’s heart, open to the wisdom of love over rule, that sings out today.

  46. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 29, 2017 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I voted for Scholastica because she is the patron of reading. I don’t know what I would do without a good book to read.

  47. Edwina's Gravatar Edwina
    March 29, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    I voted for Scolastica last time and do so again…education and READING….my mother was a Reading Consultant and I so admired her work with children…Do read more than what appears on the cell phone !!!

  48. Lindsay Graves's Gravatar Lindsay Graves
    March 29, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the welcoming King Ethelbet deserves a place in next year’s L M.

    • John's Gravatar John
      March 29, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      Yes, and hia wife!

      • March 29, 2017 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Actually, Bertha and Ethelbert are on the (Provisional) Episcopal Calendar. As I recall, that qualifies them to be in the bracket. Their feast is May 27, the day after the feast of Augustine.

  49. John's Gravatar John
    March 29, 2017 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Gotta go with real history over legendary miracle stories. To the Anglican founder: Augustine.

  50. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 29, 2017 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    She prayed. She persisted. The patron saint of reading! What more could you want? St. Scholastica!

  51. Walker Shaw's Gravatar Walker Shaw
    March 29, 2017 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    I vote for conversion power, Augustine is a good candidate for Golden Halo.

  52. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 29, 2017 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    although being from Austin might have swayed me to go with Augustine, I cast my vote with Scholastica. Because of her connection with the fierce storm and in honor and remembrance of storm chasers everywhere, she gets my vote today. Be safe out there.

  53. Jennifer S.'s Gravatar Jennifer S.
    March 29, 2017 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    I’m vengeance-voting against Canterbury today, in memory of Hippo. Bonus though to be able to support Stormin’ Scholastica. Torrential rain and books not normally a great combination but she makes it work.

    • Grace Kennedy's Gravatar Grace Kennedy
      March 29, 2017 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you. Plus the only quote from Augustine was not at all loving or, in my opinion, godly.

      • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
        March 29, 2017 - 10:40 pm | Permalink

        My sentiments as well.

  54. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 29, 2017 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Having just moved to a new post, and with an assignment to write and a study’s worth of books to unpack, I have to vote for the patron saint of reading 🙂

  55. Anne McCarthy's Gravatar Anne McCarthy
    March 29, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    Scholastica chose love over rules. A model for all time.

  56. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 29, 2017 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    I took the Archbishop’s quote to mean if y’all don’t help me covert these English by preaching the Gospel to them, they will continue to attack you and give you grief, which might not happen if they were also Christians like y’all are. That said, I’m voting for the Patron Saint of Reading! I’ve been a Lector, a Lay Reader, and am currently on the committee that works with the Cathedral libraries. (Yes, I belong to a parish which is also a Cathedral [CofE jaws may drop here] and said Cathedral has more libraries than altars. And the Children’s Library is even endowed as a memorial.)

    Anyone else notice that in her portrait Saint Scholastica is holding a crozier?

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 29, 2017 - 11:36 am | Permalink

      You’re at Trinity on NW 19th, Miss Jan?

    • March 29, 2017 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes, she is holding a crozier because she was an abbess. Abbesses are entitled to carry a crozier, as are abbots.

    • Jim from Independence, Missouri's Gravatar Jim from Independence, Missouri
      March 29, 2017 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Miss Jan, according to, in the icon shown there Scholastica holds a crozier as the pastoral leader of her community. That’s consistent with what I’ve been told at the monastery of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri. In each of the statues of her there, she’s holding a crozier. She’s understood to be the founder of Benedictine monasticism for women. For that as well as the other reasons that others have listed, I voted for her today.

  57. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 29, 2017 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    The Holy Nun, Scholastica for the Golden Halo!

  58. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 29, 2017 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Scoolastica cause of scholastic books and I love books.

  59. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 29, 2017 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    I’m with Ethelbert: Augustine of Canterbury’s words are “of doubtful meaning” to me. But it sure sounds as if he was threatening the Celts. I’ll none of him. Whereas Scholastica is a Rainwoman and the patron saint of books. There’s no more charming picture than reading a good book cozily beside a fire on a rainy day, with or without brother present. Scholastica has my vote today. I dedicate it to the Celts. Not sure they were avid readers, but that’s beside the point.

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 29, 2017 - 11:37 am | Permalink

      Lovely imagery – thanks for your words.

    • March 29, 2017 - 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Actually, the story of Augustine threatening the Celts is even sadder than the bio makes it sound. Long before Augustine, when the pagan Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain they treated the Christian Celtic population with such barbaric cruelty that they earned the undying hatred of the Celts. Most of the Celts fled to Wales and Brittany. After the dust of the invasion settled, the Celts had the opportunity to bring the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxons. But they couldn’t forgive the invaders for their brutality, so they refused to evangelize them. Augustine’s threat seems to say “If ye will not have peace with the brethren (Roman Rite Christians), ye shall have war from your enemies (Roman Rite Christians). And if you will not preach the way of life to the English (the Anglo-Saxons), ye shall suffer the punishment of death at their hands.” So there appears to have been a lack of charity on all sides.

  60. Tara Soughers's Gravatar Tara Soughers
    March 29, 2017 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for another female theologian.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 29, 2017 - 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for filling in the details, Harlie. Sad story any way you look at it.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 29, 2017 - 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Somehow I thought I had replied to Harlie. Oops.

  61. March 29, 2017 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    Augustine all the way. Scholastica has proximity to Benedict and a heady name but beyond at, her heritage seems purely myth.
    Whaaaat happened with Moses yesterday? I really liked that guy!

  62. March 29, 2017 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    ….and that pic of Scholastica. Why is she holding an Executive Order?

  63. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    March 29, 2017 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Boo on him who disses the Celts! School that brother, sista’!

  64. Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
    March 29, 2017 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    On behalf of the wonderful hospitality by the nuns at Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, I had to vote for their patron, Scholastica!

    • March 29, 2017 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been there, too, Miss Jennifer. Wonderful, isn’t it?

      • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
        March 29, 2017 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes it is! I miss them.

  65. Deborah Sampson's Gravatar Deborah Sampson
    March 29, 2017 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    We’re in a draught, so I pretty much have to vote for the saint of rain.

  66. Dr Paul's Gravatar Dr Paul
    March 29, 2017 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Hooray for Saint Scholastica! Anybody who can bring a rain is a hero in Kansas.

  67. March 29, 2017 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Miss Jan noticed the crozier. And what’s under it, by her right foot?

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      March 29, 2017 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Looks like a gold beach ball sized lady nut to me. (A little “The Walking Dead” reference there! Haha!)

      • March 29, 2017 - 3:59 pm | Permalink


      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 29, 2017 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

        I’m betting Scholastica has mastered the world and the flesh, but the “gold nut” also resembles the “little brown filbert” of the world in Julian of Norwich’s vision. Scholastica seems a bit more dominant: a “Type A” woman.

  68. Mary Holland's Gravatar Mary Holland
    March 29, 2017 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Scholastica – because she persisted.

  69. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    March 29, 2017 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    St Augustine’s evangelism and establishment of churches and schools has a personal meaning for me so he easily gets my vote!

    My great grandfather, Joseph John Merry, was the eldest of 5 brothers who became priests in the COE. He was educated at St Augustine’s College, Canterbury in the 1870’s. Their father, also a priest, converted back to Anglicanism after being initially ordained as a Methodist clergyman and serving in Jersey (Channel Islands, NOT “New” Jersey). His father was described as a”hot Methodist”…but that’s another story!

    The family was not wealthy, and with 11 kids, financial resources were scarce. But in about 1845 a project to build a Missionary College to educate and train young men to serve the church was undertaken at the ruins of the old St Augustine Monastery. It specifically targeted those who did not have sufficient financial resources to afford a college education and my grandfather was a recipient of its patronage.

    He was ordained in 1878 and served 60 years in the church, not as a foreign missionary as he married soon after ordination and I suspect his wife (the daughter of a wealthy industrialist) said “no” to that! But he took his ministry into some of the poorest parishes in Yorkshire and as far north as Inverness in Scotland (that’s almost “foreign”, ya? However, two of his brothers carried on the “missionary” tradition of St Augustine in the West Indies; one becoming the Archdeacon of Trinidad.

    Hope that wasn’t TMI, but it wasn’t until I read the info on St Augustine that I understood his direct impact on my family which continues even today with many being social workers, nurses and doctors. Service and Peace!

    • March 29, 2017 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing that story, Louise. Definitely not TMI. A goodly heritage you have.

  70. Tom Dynham's Gravatar Tom Dynham
    March 29, 2017 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Having sent many days with my Benedictine sisters @ Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel, Oregon, Scholastice has won my heart and my vote. Living with them as they go about their daily lives committed to living out a life of simplicity, prayer, study and, most of all, caring for the poor and serving Christ, completely changed my like and way of living. Living in a monastic community, birthed by the Mother House in Engleberg, Switzerland in the 1880’s, was like being wrapped in the arms of Christ’s healing embrace!

  71. Maggie's Gravatar Maggie
    March 29, 2017 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I struggled with this as usual, but reading and rain plus a sister getting her brother’s deserved attention gave Scholastic my vote. Great comments.

  72. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 29, 2017 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m a fan of reading and the occasional bar brawl (spectator only, of course!) So Scholastica it must be.
    Besides, it sounds like Augustine was threatening my Celt ancestors. Silly man!

  73. Gary L Lake-Dylan's Gravatar Gary L Lake-Dylan
    March 29, 2017 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Scholastica reminded me of Storm from the X-Men…Augustine reminded me of the ‘namesaked’ one of Hippo. I liked the X-Men films. Augustine too much like me. Did not want to vote for one who reminded me of my own journey. 😉 no, seriously, i love the context of a woman having favor in God over her brother who–it would seem–did not hold her in like respect. Scholastica, you rock!

  74. Linda Hanson's Gravatar Linda Hanson
    March 29, 2017 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Voted for the patron of reading rather than the man who told Celtic Christians (in effect), ” We have an army and you don’t.” The campaign literature above for Augustine was misleading… that never happens in national politics.

  75. Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
    March 29, 2017 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    The races are getting close. Disappointed about Moses, because although I wasn’t quite the bad-ass he was, I was very far from Grace and could relate to him.
    Today I am in for Augustine because he brought so many to Jesus, and because he was the first AB of C, of course. That was no easy job.

  76. Elizabeth Coombs's Gravatar Elizabeth Coombs
    March 29, 2017 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I love the great humanity of Scholastica: having just one earthly desire for herself, before she joined the Almighty, and trusting God to help her twin listen, when simple concern for her own wishes would not sway him.

  77. March 29, 2017 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    4,672 voters so far, and only 42 votes separate these two worthies. This is close .

    • Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
      March 29, 2017 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Down to a four vote margin. I wonder if there are rules for a tie.

      • March 29, 2017 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

        WOW Christopher!

      • March 29, 2017 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

        WOW Christopher! And, yes, I’m sure the SEC has planned a Holy Coin Toss or some similar sacred rite. 🙂

        • Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
          March 29, 2017 - 4:40 pm | Permalink

          This is excellent. Scholastica’s now up by 21. She was up by as much as 26. Just like in that other March bracket thing, one or two good runs is all someone needs.
          There needs to be some play-by-play here.

          • March 29, 2017 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Can just imagine Scott and Tim doing play-by-play. 🙂 That would be worth a donation to Lent Madness.

  78. Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
    March 29, 2017 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Was going to vote for Scholastica as I am always reading but there seem to be lots of readers supporting her, so voting for Augustine who “carried with him on his long treacherous journey a silver cross and an image of Jesus Christ painted on a board, which is considered Canterbury’s first icon. Alas, it has been lost in the ages.”
    in honor of my spouse, the metal worker, and me, the icon writer, all to keenly aware of how many icons have been lost.

  79. March 29, 2017 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another one where I voted for both on the first round and was scrambling through the comments for a compelling reason to support one over the other.
    I voted for Augustine on the grounds of support for the underdog (based on comments) and for the completely personal reason that his saint’s day is my birthday.

  80. March 29, 2017 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    There are only two votes between them. This isn’t reflected in the number (and passion) of pro-Scholastica comments.

    • Misti Newsom's Gravatar Misti Newsom
      March 29, 2017 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I think Scholastica has a “Silent Majority” as the same thing happened at the vote between her and Macrina… I was astounded because many of the comments were in favor of Macrina, but the votes swung the other way.

  81. March 29, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    5,258 votes now, and it’s a dead heat.

  82. Christine CO's Gravatar Christine CO
    March 29, 2017 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

    As an Episcopalian, I feel as if I should vote for Augustine, but I’m also a librarian, and Scholastica is the patron saint of books, so I had to vote for her!

  83. Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
    March 29, 2017 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I was undecided until I read about the Nerd Riot, inspired by Scholastica. Also, I’m a fan of thunderstorms, so Scholastica it is!

  84. Gary Barker's Gravatar Gary Barker
    March 29, 2017 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I am pretty much a modern Celtic Christian and as a child I was convulsive. Besides, I like books and thunderstorms (watched the first thunderstorm of spring from my porch last evening). Onward, Scholastica!

  85. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    March 29, 2017 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Looks like another very close race! Here’s a vote for Augustine and for his courage & effectiveness as a missionary.

  86. Misti's Gravatar Misti
    March 29, 2017 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Augustine gets my vote because Scholastica beat Macrina the Younger and I had her going all the way to the Golden Halo… boo hiss

  87. Zoey - 6 years old's Gravatar Zoey - 6 years old
    March 29, 2017 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

    My name is Zoey and I am six years old. I like scholastica because I love to read. My teacher says I can read the best in my class. So I like scholastica.

    • March 29, 2017 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Good for you, Zoey. That is great!

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 29, 2017 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Go Zoey! Keep reading, keep voting, and keep up the comments!

    • Beth Owen's Gravatar Beth Owen
      March 29, 2017 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I did to Zoey

    • Shan's Gravatar Shan
      March 29, 2017 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

      If you can read, you can do anything, Zoey! Keep it up the great work!

    • VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
      March 29, 2017 - 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Good reason, Zoey! I’ll vote for her also.

    • Paul's Gravatar Paul
      March 29, 2017 - 10:33 pm | Permalink

      You keep reading those books like an animal. Stay hungry. Stay fierce. Woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof!

      • Zoey - 6 years old's Gravatar Zoey - 6 years old
        March 31, 2017 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Mamas note – hi gang! I’m reading all of your notes to her and she loves them all!

  88. Jan Hubbell's Gravatar Jan Hubbell
    March 29, 2017 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Scholastica because she is the patron saint of opportune rain. I live in the part of California that is STILL in drought and we need her!!

  89. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    March 29, 2017 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    My sister is a Maryknoll Sister. How can I not vote for Scholastica, the patron saint of nuns??

    • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
      March 29, 2017 - 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Love the Maryknolla.

  90. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    March 29, 2017 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Hard to choose again, but Diana’s terrific hymn text pulled me over to Scholastica–I have a brother named Ben and a cat named Benedict, both of whom have sometimes required such discipline/persuasion. And much as I love Canterbury, I love Celtic spirituality even more, and am sad it was so suppressed by Aug’s successors. Scholastica it is. But as I vote, she’s ahead by only 50 votes. We shall see.

  91. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    March 29, 2017 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Gus did some really outstanding work. He certainly ought to go on to the next round.

  92. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 29, 2017 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Scholastica, patron saint of reading.

  93. John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
    March 29, 2017 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness what have I done. Now I am praying for Scholastica to maintain her thin lead. I should have read all the well informed comments. I love that the faith could be found so far afield so soon after Christ’s death, and that it could have evolved in it’s own way apart from central control of mind and matter. I change my vote hereby.

  94. Martha Bains's Gravatar Martha Bains
    March 29, 2017 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Love Scholatica, and that would do it. I’m a very ahppy Episcopalian now, mainly because the new Roman missal and various (clericalist) liturgical changes finally forced me out of the Catholic church about a decade ago. In favor of more liturgical freedom (Boo Agustine!) and against bad scholarship in translation (Yea Scholatica!) – this was an easy one for me.

    • March 29, 2017 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Happy to have you in the Anglican family, Martha.
      I still haven’t been able to make a decision. They both have so much to commend them. Oh, what to do?

  95. Joann's Gravatar Joann
    March 29, 2017 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Patron Saint of Reading AND a famous bar brawl on her feast day! What more could one ask? Go, Scholastica, go!!!

  96. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    March 29, 2017 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Yay! I’m so glad Raymond won yesterday! He’s one of my favorite saints! I was worried about him at first when he was losing to Moses, but he caught back up and came out ahead, parting their vote totals like the Red Sea! (Wrong Moses, but a jokes a joke. Lol :P)

  97. Geri's Gravatar Geri
    March 29, 2017 - 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Having been married in a church called St. Augustine of Canterbury to my wonderful husband, Augustine is the only choice for me.

  98. Shan's Gravatar Shan
    March 29, 2017 - 8:41 pm | Permalink

    My favorite hobby since kindergarten has been reading. I’m lucky enough to teach pre-k reading readiness and we order from St. Scholastica’s book company every month. Easy choice for me.

    • March 29, 2017 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

      They are based here in my pretty-small town. Like many of you, I grew up looking forward to their book offerings. Scholastic Books rocks! Alas, I still haven’t decided whether to vote for Augustine or Scholastica. Sigh.

      • Shan's Gravatar Shan
        March 30, 2017 - 8:00 am | Permalink

        I would beg to work there! All those boxes filled with magical pieces of the world being shipped to children. ~sigh~

    • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
      March 29, 2017 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

      So many of us grew up with those “scholastics.”

  99. Rich Johnson's Gravatar Rich Johnson
    March 29, 2017 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Still going with those that suffered the most or faced the unknown. Is it the right criteria? Well I did it anyway.

  100. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 29, 2017 - 10:37 pm | Permalink

    A note about Scholastica as a Patron Saint of Epilepsy:

    In my opinion, there may be two reasons why Scholastica is associated with epilepsy.

    1. She could control powers of darkness (like thunderstorms and a brother who would abandon her), and epilepsy was thought in olden times to be the result of a person’s struggle with darkness or evil or the Devil, and therefore she may initially have been called on by superstitious people who mistakenly thought that seizures were a sign that the person with epilepsy was losing a battle with darkness. Of course, now no one believes that epilepsy is caused by evil, but people might still believe that if Scholastica could call on God to manipulate something beyond human control such as the weather, then she might be just as effective at calling on God to alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy, which are also beyond our control. Even when medications help, or that new brain stimulation technology, seizures may not be completely controlled, and then people might find comfort in placing their trust in God, something Scholastica would understand.

    2. In olden times, epilepsy was also associated with being overcome with religious fervor, and therefore Scholastica’s intense brief prayer while laying her head on the table might evoke the image of a seizure. Again, people understand epilepsy much better now and know that an epileptic seizure isn’t a religious experience (at least not for most people), but placing our trust in God could help us through both types of experiences, religious or medical. I imagine that praying for a terrible storm and then having that prayer answered would be terrifying, just as losing control during a seizure could be frightening, and therefore Scholastica would empathize with those who have epilepsy.

    According to Edward L. Murphy, whose article about “The Saints of Epilepsy” is on the National Institutes of Health website, “Certainly many saints especially famed for their prowess over the powers of darkness were also invoked for the cure of epilepsy. It is to be remembered that the Church has always taught that saints cannot by their own powers work miracles or cure disease. They act only by mediation with God, who in His wisdom may or may not approve the appeals of the faithful who have approached Him through those whose sanctity is of universal repute.” Murphy doesn’t mention Scholastica, but he discusses other saints who may be associated with epilepsy because they fell down during a religious experience or because they controlled powers of darkness such as disease. In my opinion, Scholastica seems to follow this general pattern.

    Murphy, Edward L. “The Saints of Epilepsy.”

    I don’t have epilepsy, but I’ve tried to be respectful towards everyone, regardless of your situation or beliefs.

    • March 30, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

      You equate St. Benedict with “powers of darkness”? You call him “a brother who would abandon her”. It’s self evident that Benedict was a power of light. The story of his life shows this. As for wanting to abandon his sister, Benedict and Scholastica got together every year. Their visit for that year had concluded and he was intent on returning home. This can hardly be called abandonment. He had no way of knowing (outside of revelation) that Scholastica would soon be dead. Of course, he should have been more flexible when she asked him to stay longer, but he learned that lesson when she prayed and it started raining. So I think it’s inaccurate to identify Benedict with “powers of darkness”.

      • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
        March 30, 2017 - 10:56 am | Permalink

        I was being ironic. Obviously the siblings had a good relationship, for them to see each other face to face as adults when they lived separate lives.

        • March 30, 2017 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Hmm. This is the second time I’ve misunderstood another commenter. Maybe I should be more cautious in my assessment of what others write. Sorry, Kim.

          • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
            March 31, 2017 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

            No worries.

  101. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 29, 2017 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I tried to post my previous comment an hour earlier, but my internet went out for a while because a big thunderstorm is raging through Louisiana right now. I’m sure that has Nothing to do with the fact that I voted for Augustine! LOL!

    • Mary Miers's Gravatar Mary Miers
      March 30, 2017 - 12:13 am | Permalink

      Loved your comments on epilepsy and Scholastica. My late husband had epilepsy and narrowly escaped being hijacked for an exorcism by an ambitious healing team.

      These comments are great but I have to sleep. Will share my favorite description of autocorrect: my worst enema.

      • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
        March 30, 2017 - 11:08 am | Permalink


  102. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 30, 2017 - 12:02 am | Permalink

    Note to SEC: I see 10M votes recorded. That’s a record. While it could be a miracle, I am skeptical. Such a huge swing from one winner to the other has in the past been a sign of “voter fraud.” I hate to call attention to the voting record, but since Scholastica has power over the weather, she doesn’t need other intervention. I hope this massive shift (she was losing earlier in the day and then hanging in there at 50/50, and a win is enough; she doesn’t need to blow the thing out) is legit and not a sign of “maleficent intent.” Just sayin’. I am really skeptical about a shift like this. I voted for Scholastica (once). I want women saints to win. Honestly. I’m sure Scholastica would too.

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 30, 2017 - 12:10 am | Permalink

      I am also skeptical about this sudden and enormous rush of votes for Scholastica.

    • March 30, 2017 - 12:23 am | Permalink

      I’m with you, St. Celia. It’s been nearly tied all day, and now Scholastica has 70% of the vote??? I do not believe it. Somebody check on Putin. LOL.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 30, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

        The Russians have to stop interfering with our elections!

    • Dave in SF's Gravatar Dave in SF
      March 30, 2017 - 12:31 am | Permalink

      Agree!! Scholastica jumped about 2,000 votes in the last 15 minutes. Not plausible.

  103. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    March 30, 2017 - 12:38 am | Permalink

    So many votes! This is a Christmas miracle!

  104. March 30, 2017 - 1:09 am | Permalink

    Ummm, what the heck is going on with the voting?

  105. Bill C's Gravatar Bill C
    March 30, 2017 - 1:13 am | Permalink

    Something smells funny, methinks. Could it be an overstuffed ballot box?

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 30, 2017 - 2:03 am | Permalink

      It is either a whole lot of nuns coming out of the woodwork or Saint Scholastica prayed for a late night landslide or something fishy is going on. I did DM the SEC over on Twitter to alert the good* fathers to Scholastica’s sudden surge.

      *Good with an asterisk though since they persist in refusing Saint Fred of the Neighborhood a bracket spot despite the fact that he has an icon and at least one stained glass window (in an Episcopal parish no less, pretty good for a Presbyterian).

      • Sister Edith, OSB's Gravatar Sister Edith, OSB
        March 30, 2017 - 2:14 am | Permalink

        Well, several women’s Benedictine monasteries around the USA heard Scholastica was in a tight race. So we DID start pulling for our girl on Twitter…

        • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
          March 30, 2017 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

          First they’re on a bus, now they’re on Twitter. The nuns are getting stuff done.

          • JE Kaufman's Gravatar JE Kaufman
            March 30, 2017 - 8:27 pm | Permalink

            My thanks to the nuns!

  106. March 30, 2017 - 1:50 am | Permalink

    Actually, we hear of St Scholatics as a person of love. On her feast day, women monastics read 1 Corinthians 13 at Vespers. We rarely hear St Scholastica as a scholar.

    She is always shown with The Holy Rule of St Benedict, written by her twin brother. It is the book to guide us in following Christ so that “our hearts expand with the inexpressible delight of [God’s] love” (Prologue).

    True story: I entered St Scholastica Monastery on her feast day. My pastor and friends flew in for the event, but only planned to stay one night. A huge storm blew up and all flights were cancelled. They stayed an extra day. Thank you, St Scholastica!

  107. Martha Bains's Gravatar Martha Bains
    March 30, 2017 - 2:05 am | Permalink

    All about Scholastica, as I said before, but this just looks weird. Why would anyone want to hack Lent Madness? Pray for those who persecute you – and also those who mess with your saintly voting – but trust the SEC to fix it, even if Scholastica loses.

  108. March 30, 2017 - 4:32 am | Permalink

    Scholastica is handicapped by history. Not being a MAN, little was recorded about her life. Note that the only anecdote that remains involves her famous brother. This is clearly sexism in action. Augustine, being both a man and famous, has an unfair advantage. Naturally this will provoke cheating just to even the game. Quite understandable. But no one would have to cheat if we all just voted for Scholastica!

    • Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
      March 30, 2017 - 5:07 am | Permalink
    • March 31, 2017 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      Barbara, you may be right when you say that sexism is responsible for the lack of anecdotes about Scholastica (who I voted for). But it’s interesting that the one story that has come down to us shows a woman besting a man.

  109. March 30, 2017 - 4:34 am | Permalink

    Was it a storm of illegal emails?

  110. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    March 30, 2017 - 5:06 am | Permalink

    Russian hackers!

  111. Timothy J's Gravatar Timothy J
    March 30, 2017 - 7:13 am | Permalink

    Augustine lived the Great Commission;
    Scholastica cried cuz she didn’t get her own way.
    Augustine for the win.

    • Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
      March 30, 2017 - 7:59 am | Permalink

      There are a great many supporters of St. Scholastica who voted once – nearly as many as voted for Augustine. No need to throw shade on us.

      • JE Kaufman's Gravatar JE Kaufman
        March 30, 2017 - 10:03 am | Permalink

        Indeed, there was great legitimate support for St. Scholastica. A community of Benedictine Sisters became interested in this match-up and had shared it on its Facebook, which led to a slow but steady increase for St. Scholastica throughout the day. When I last checked yesterday evening. St. Scholastica’s slow and deliberate lead and increased to 500 votes or so — clearly before the 6,000 illegal bot votes came pouring in after midnight. I am so sorry that the illegal votes cast aspersions on the legitimate votes, and led the SEC to disavow St. Scholastica’s run. I’m royally annoyed with those who messed this up, because I believe St. Scholastic would have prevailed with just the legal votes. But one cheater causes pain for the whole side.

  112. March 30, 2017 - 8:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you, SEC, for fixing the hack.

    • Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
      March 30, 2017 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      Very sad to read of voter fraud in Lent Madness. Grateful the SEC was able to corral the bots responsible for this, but such action shouldn’t be necessary in Lent Madness. We are surrounded and subjected to lies every day from our present governmental leaders, who seem incapable of truth sans spin or broadcast outright lies. LM seemed to be a safe haven from this nonsense. It taxes the already-overtaxed agendas of the SEC, whose humor is steadfast and who make Lent a holy hell-raising, inspirational season for those of us who’d be tempted to roll in dust for 40 days and 40 nights. It’s thrilling to read of such close races as those of this past week, and I’m grateful for those commenting who lead me to deeper thought.

      What is the next world coming to?

  113. Eric's Gravatar Eric
    March 30, 2017 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    I am just wondering where the SEC was when the same thing happened the previous night with Moses the Black…

    • Paul's Gravatar Paul
      March 30, 2017 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Did the same thing really happen with Moses the Black? I don’t seem to remember him getting 6000 votes. Don’t be salty.

Comments are closed.