Constance vs. Julian of Norwich

112671-glowing-purple-neon-icon-alphanumeric-m04-clearWelcome to the Faithful Four. After weeks of learning and deliberating and voting and eschewing chocolate, we have whittled the field of 32 saintly souls down to four spiritual heroes: Constance, Julian of Norwich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Sojourner Truth. All are worthy of the coveted Golden Halo, yet only one will end up with his or her mug on a mug.

Today Constance (Anna Courie) takes on Julian of Norwich (Amber Belldene); tomorrow Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Beth Lewis) battles Sojourner Truth (Megan Castellan). And on Spy Wednesday the championship round will take place with the Golden Halo announced at 8:00 am EST on Maundy Thursday.

In this round, we let our four remaining Celebrity Bloggers loose as they answer the question “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” In other words, they’ve been charged with letting us know why their particular saint is so awesome. We have also invited them to share their two favorite images of their saints.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Constance dispatched Dominic, Helena, and Vida Dutton Scudder with relative ease. Julian snuck past William Wilberforce, before defeating Roch and Albert Schweitzer.

Maybe one of these remaining four will end up on a future Pocket Lent card. What’s that? Well the SEC released two new ones yesterday for your cutting and pasting pleasure.

Let the voting (once) begin!

Read more »

FREE Bonus: Two More Pocket Lent Cards

Luke cardWe know you love Lent Madness, and we hope you know the Supreme Executive Committee loves you. In fact, the Tim and Scott love you so much that — even though it’s Holy Week and they’re quite busy — they’re giving you two extra bonus FREE Pocket Lent cards.

Luke card backNow, you might be asking, “What’s a Pocket Lent card?” If that was you asking that question, we know you aren’t one of the over 10,000 lucky owners of the 2016 Saintly Scorecard, the essential printed guide to Lent Madness. For those who own the book (now worth a fortune on eBay, since it sold out), you’ll know that Pocket Lent cards are saintly trading cards much like baseball cards only better, holier, funnier, and collectable-ier. The Saintly Scorecard came with six cards featuring the likes of George Herbert, Brigid of Kildare, Mary Magdalene, and more.

See below for your two bonus cards. Just print them out on a color printer and you’ll be all set. Or use a black & white printer and then go crazy with tiny coloring markers. Laminate your new cards for extra credit. If you stick something fragrant on the cards for a while, you can even pretend your printout is scratch-n-sniff!

Read more »

Columba vs. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What a week! With one more battle to go, we will have set the stage for the Faithful Four as the march to the Golden Halo continues. Today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Columba vie for the final spot as they seek to join Constance, Sojourner Truth, and Julian of Norwich.

To make it to this point, Bonhoeffer defeated Athanasius and Barnabas while Columba got past Kateri Tekakwitha and Meister Eckhart.

Yesterday Julian of Norwich skated past Albert Schweitzer 68% to 32. And in 24 hours, we bid adieu to saintly kitsch. We only encountered a few Kitsch Kranks this year and for that, we’re grateful.

The Faithful Four will take place on Monday and Tuesday with the vote for the Golden Halo happening on Spy Wednesday. Onward, Lenten Soldiers!

Read more »

Albert Schweitzer vs. Julian of Norwich

Where else can you find the winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize locked in battle with a 14th century mystic? We’re guessing nowhere. Like, literally nowhere ever. In the history of ever. But here at Lent Madness, today finds Albert Schweitzer pitted against Julian of Norwich with a trip to the Faithful Four hanging in the balance.

Albert made it this far by defeating Lawrence and Methodius while Julian bested William Wilberforce and Roch. Again, if you’re looking for information from the previous rounds, click the Bracket tab and scroll down.

Yesterday Sojourner Truth advanced to the Faithful Four by getting past Absalom Jones 64% to 34%. She’ll face the winner of Columba vs. Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

But the big news involved the Lent Madness 2016 feel good story of the year as Oliver won the Mug Shot contest. You can read all about it here and check out Tim and Scott’s favorite images of the many that were submitted.

Read more »

Mug Shot Winner Announced!

Ever since we announced our Mug Shot contest, we have been inundated with photos of Lent Madness fans and their mugs. While we Lent Madness mugsusually put things to a vote around here, the Supreme Executive Committee is pulling rank and simply pronouncing a winner. Supremity does have its privileges after all.

But before we announce the winner — who will receive the famous cardboard cutout of 2015 Golden Halo winner, Francis of Assisi (as seen on Monday Madness) — we thought we’d share some of our favorite Mug Shots. These are just a few of the many we received! Check out more by searching for “#LentMadness #MugShot” on Facebook or Twitter. We also received quite a few by email. We really enjoyed seeing how creative the Lent Madness Global Viewing Public can be.

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. You may not have won the grand prize but you are, as we understand it, still a winner in God’s sight.

Read more »

Sojourner Truth vs. Absalom Jones

The Elate Eight continues today as Sojourner Truth takes on Absalom Jones. Unfair? Of course! It’s Lent Madness after all.

To make it to this point, Sojourner sojourned her way past Soren Kierkegaard and Frances Joseph-Gaudet while Absalom sailed past Matthias before sneaking by Joseph.

Yesterday, Constance became the first Lent Madness 2016 participant to reach the Faithful Four, defeating Vida Dutton Scudder 61% to 39%. It’s safe to say that, in Constance, we truly do have a Cinderella of this year’s bracket! She’ll face the winner of Albert Schweitzer and Julian of Norwich in the Faithful Four.

And speaking of brackets and Cinderellas, don’t miss our saintly analysis of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Lent Madness meets March Madness. The march to the Faithful Four continues!

Read more »

Lent Madness meets March Madness

BracketApparently there’s some other bracket-style tournament that takes place this month. Who knew? And while the Lent Madness Legal Team considers its options, we thought we’d do a quick bracket analysis of the teams in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament.

Where are the saints? Have they ever appeared in Lent Madness? Do people get upset when mystical teams take on modern teams? The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness dives into the fray.

Obviously OUR bracket is holier than THEIR bracket. But nonetheless, if you look hard enough, there are some parallels.

Read more »

Constance vs. Vida Dutton Scudder

And then there were eight. With Dietrich Bonhoeffer securing the eighth and final spot with a victory over Barnabas 68% to 32%, this is the list of the eight saintly souls remaining in Lent Madness: Constance, Vida Dutton Scudder, Albert Schweitzer, Julian of Norwich, Columba, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sojourner Truth, and Absalom Jones. Quite a stellar list for the Elate Eight!

Veterans of Lent Madness know that 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 and have written about this phenomenon in years past. This is not 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 to our goal. The Supreme Executive Committee addressed this very issue in yesterday’s epic edition of Monday Madness.

Today in a matchup of two modern-ish saints, Constance meets Vida Dutton Scudder. To get to this point, Constance defeated Dominic and Helena while Vida got past F.D. Maurice and Clare (click the Bracket tab and scroll down to see previous battles and read the earlier write-ups). And we’re reminded, as ever, that some saints lend themselves to kitsch more than others…

Read more »

Monday Madness — Kitsch Kranks Edition

Every year around this time, the Kitsch Kranks come out of the woodwork. These are Lent Madness fans who enjoy the first two rounds of the Saintly Smackdown but who do not enjoy the Elate Elate, the Round of the Saintly Kitsch. So they try to toss their humorless wet blanket on everyone else. Well, rejoice, fans, because Tim and Scott take on the Kitsch Kranks in this week’s episode of Monday Madness.

There’s another important reminder. Today is the last day to send us your #LentMadness #MugShot if you want a chance to win your own Ultimate Saintly Kitsch, a life-size cutout of St. Francis of Assisi. Post your photos on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Just make sure they’re public, so the SEC can see them! Remember to double-hashtag them #LentMadness #MugShot.

Read more »

Dietrich Bonhoeffer vs. Barnabas

The last full week of Lent Madness begins right now. But do not despair as there are many miles to walk and votes to cast before we  sleep and/or award the coveted Golden Halo.

Today is the last matchup of the Saintly Sixteen as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Barnabas for the final spot in the Elate Eight. To make it to this point, Bonhoeffer easily defeated Athanasius while Barnabas rocked Elmo’s world.

Tomorrow we begin the Elate Eight aka the Round of Saintly Kitsch. Will the Kitsch Kranks come out in full force? Will it be Kontroversial? Stay tuned as the Saintly Smackdown continues at its usual Krazy pace!

Read more »