Monday Madness — March 30, 2015

purple tvJust because it’s Monday in Holy Week doesn’t mean Tim and Scott take a break from Monday Madness. This week’s action-packed episode includes a review of the Faithful Four and a hint about how you can learn the meaning of the term Spy Wednesday. Scott and Tim also wish everyone’s favorite voter, Oliver, a happy eighth birthday. They also reveal exclusive details about a mug, soon to be available, to commemorate this year’s Golden Halo winner. Actually, you can pre-order it right now.

Lastly, the Supreme Executive Committee hopes that you will do more than vote in Lent Madness this week. You are encouraged to find your way to a local church for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter.

Don’t forget to make time to binge-watch the entire Monday Madness series at Lent Madness TV.

Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

And then there were four. We started Lent Madness 2015 with 32 saints and now you can count the remaining saints on one hand (and still have a thumb left over). Who will win the coveted Golden Halo? Only a few short days and your voting participation will give us the answer. But it’s come down to this: Francis of Assisi, Molly Brant, Brigid of Kildare, and Egeria.

Today we begin the first of two Faithful Four match-ups as Francis of Assisi takes on Molly Brant. Tomorrow, Egeria will face Brigid of Kildare. Then on Spy Wednesday you, Lent Madness voter, will decide who wins the 2015 Golden Halo. (What exactly is “Spy Wednesday?” Thanks for asking. Click here to read all about it).

In this round we ask our Celebrity Bloggers to briefly answer one question: “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” Today, Laurie Brock (Francis) and Maria Kane (Molly) continue to shepherd these two saintly souls through the 2015 bracket.

Speaking of which, how about a round of applause for our fabulous team of Celebrity Bloggers who toil away in the trenches of Lent Madness without nearly enough recognition? They are truly the backbone of this operation and are worthy of our gratitude. Please do hound them for autographs when you spot them wearing sunglasses and baseball caps just trying to lead normal lives.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Francis defeated John Wycliffe, Cecilia, and Thecla while Molly beat Swithun, Cuthbert, and Bernard Mizeki. (Click on the names of defeated opponents to relive the previous saintly battles and refresh your memory about these two saints).

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Spy Wednesday?

imagesAs the Lent Madness faithful are fully aware, voting for the Golden Halo takes place on the Wednesday of Holy Week. You may have heard the Supreme Executive Committee refer to this day as “Spy Wednesday.” Unlike many terms associated with the saintly smackdown, the SEC did not, in fact, make up this name on a whim. Thus, as several of you have asked us about this unusual name for the Wednesday in Holy Week, we thought we’d shed some light on this.

First of all, Spy Wednesday does not refer to James Bond, the Cold War, or even the famous Spy vs. Spy comic strip popularized by Mad Magazine (though there is an uncanny resemblance here to Tim and Scott).

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Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria

In the last battle of the last full week of the last ever (just kidding!) Lent Madness, the last spot in the 2015 Faithful Four is up for grabs. Who will join Francis of Assisi, Brigid of Kildare, and Molly Brant (who defeated Bernard Mizeki 59% to 41%)? Will it be Frederick Douglass or Egeria? Well, that’s up to you.

To make it this far, Frederick Douglass defeated Dorcas and Juan Diego while Egeria got past Hildegard of Bingen and Thomas Ken.

Lent Madness will continue on the Monday of Holy Week with Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant. On Tuesday Brigid will take on today’s winner. Then it all comes down to Spy Wednesday as the two remaining saints will compete for the right to wear the 2015 Golden Halo. Stay with us, folks, The End is Near!

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Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant

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

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

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

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Brigid of Kildare vs. Kamehameha

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

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

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

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

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Thecla vs. Francis of Assisi

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

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

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

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

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Monday Madness — March 23, 2015

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

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

Egeria vs. Thomas Ken

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

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

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

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Bernard Mizeki vs. Jackson Kemper

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

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

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

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