Monday Madness — Faithful Four Edition

As we enter into the high excitement of the Faithful Four, Tim and Scott are back with the last in-season episode of Monday Madness. That’s a lot of pressure, but they rise to the occasion with another “action-packed” show. This time, they wax nostalgic about Lent Madness 2020, as well as looking ahead to the championship round on Spy Wednesday.*

The Supreme Executive Committee also recognizes an excellent fan film from the good people of the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. Make sure you watch their great work. It involves peg dolls, which is more than we can say for Monday Madness.

Oh, and it’s never too soon to pre-order your Lent Madness 2020 Golden Halo Winner mug! Since you’re stuck at home and can’t get your mall fix, why not enjoy the thrill of waiting for a new mug while browsing through the Lentorium. Sorry, no food court.

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Harriet Tubman vs. Hildegard of Bingen

Welcome to the Faithful Four! From an initial field of 32 saints, we are down to a holy four: Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth Fry, and Joseph. In just a few short days, one of these saintly souls will be awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

To get to this point, Harriet took down Julie Billiart, James Solomon Russell, and Herman of Alaska, while Hildegard got past Romanos the Melodist, Elizabeth the New Martyr ,and Brother Lawrence. (note: click on the name of the vanquished saint to read that round’s write-up)

Throughout Lent Madness, our saintly heroes have battled via basic bios, quirks and quotes, and event kitsch. In this round, we let our 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.

And as a side note, not that our wonderful Celebrity Bloggers are competing against each other per se, but this matchup does contain an interesting twist as our two newest Lent Madness contributors work to advance their respective saints. Both Sandra Montes and Miguel Escobar work at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Sandra as Interim Worship Director and Miguel as Executive Director of Anglican Studies. Talk about in-house bragging rights!

Well, it’s time to vote. Go do your thing!

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Margaret of Castello vs. Elizabeth Fry

Congratulations! We’ve collectively (almost) made it through another whole week in unusual times. Lent Madness-wise, we’ve nearly completed the Elate Eight. One more matchup to go to round out next week’s Faithful Four as we continue our march to the 2020 Golden Halo.

Today, Margaret of Castello meets Elizabeth Fry as they vie for the last remaining spot in the Faithful Four. To get here, Margaret got past Simon Gibbons and Eva Lee Matthews, while Elizabeth bested Florian and Clare of Assisi. Who will join Harriet Tubman, Joseph, and Hildegard of Bingen (who narrowly defeated Brother Lawrence 52% to 48%) to make it to the next round? Well, that’s up to you.

We’ll be back on Monday morning as Harriet Tubman faces Hildegard for a shot at the Championship round. Stay safe everyone!

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Hildegard of Bingen vs. Brother Lawrence

Hey, guess what? We’re halfway through the Elate Eight! Yesterday, Joseph swept past Joanna the Myrrhbearer 69% to 31% to join Harriet Tubman as the first two saints to make it to the Faithful Four.

Today Hildegard of Bingen squares off against Brother Lawrence for a shot at Harriet. To get to this round, Hildegard got by Romanos the Melodist and Elizabeth the New Martyr, while Brother Lawrence upset both Patrick and Margery Kempe.

So, how’s your bracket going? For those of you who filled out brackets in advance, are you thriving, surviving, or dying? We want to know! But first, go do your civic Lenten duty and cast today’s vote.

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Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph

Congratulations! You survived the first go-round of saintly kitsch. Which is more than we can say for Herman of Alaska who lost to Harriet Tubman 61% to 39% to claim the first spot in the Faithful Four.

Next up is Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph as they vie to represent the Biblical quadrant in the next round. To make it to this point, Joanna defeated Junia and Bartimaeus, while Joseph took down Joshua and Elizabeth. Now, some saints have lend themselves to kitsch more easily than others. Today’s matchup is a perfect example of the feast and famine nature of the Elate Eight. But this is why we employ such talented Celebrity Bloggers who, at times, must tap into their unceasing creativity to bring the kitsch.

Oh, and PLEASE don’t forget that you can read all the great information posted by our Celebrity Bloggers in previous rounds by heading over to the handy Bracket tab. Time to vote!

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Excitement Builds Over Elate Eight

We’re just getting started in the Elate Eight, as the field of competitors vying for the Golden Halo has narrowed to just eight saints. Excitement is high, and if you want evidence, look no further than the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. They’ve made a fantastic trailer to promote voting in the Elate Eight. We love our fans, and we wanted to share with you this great work from ardent fans.

Turn up your sound, make the video full screen, and enjoy!

Lent Madness 2020 – 'The Elate Eight' from Cathedral of Saint James on Vimeo.

If you haven’t voted yet, go do that. And tell all your friends and neighbors to take part in the World’s Greatest Online Lenten Devotion. We are also the longest-running global bracket competition now at eleven years, since that other basketball bracket thing suspended this year.

Who will win the Golden Halo? That’s up to you, the Lent Madness public. It will all be decided in the next few days.

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Herman of Alaska vs. Harriet Tubman

And then there were eight. Over the course of the past several weeks, we have successfully narrowed the field from 32 saints to eight. One of these holy people will be crowned with the coveted 2020 Golden Halo: Herman of Alaska, Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Brother Lawrence, Margaret of Castello, Joanna the Myrrhbearer, Joseph, or Elizabeth Fry. What a fascinating collection of holy women and men!

In yesterday’s saintly action, Elizabeth Fry snagged the last spot by upsetting Clare of Assisi — trouncing might be an appropriate word, actually — 75% to 25%.

The Elate Eight is also known the world over as the Round of Saintly Kitsch. After basic biographies, quirks and quotes, what else could there be? To kick things off, Herman of Alaska faces Harriet Tubman. To get to this point, Herman defeated Elizabeth of Hungary and Thomas More, while Harriet took down Julie Billiart and James Solomon Russell. To read up on these earlier matches, click the Bracket tab and scroll down.

In case you missed yesterday’s episode of Monday Madness, you can watch it here. Also, you should go to confession.

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Monday Madness — Kitsch Krank Edition

As we post this video, the last battle of the Saintly Sixteen is under way. Which can only mean one thing: tomorrow begins the Elate Eight. With this round, as Tim and Scott remind us, we move from basic biography (Round of 32), quirks and quotes (Saintly Sixteen) into the nether realms of saintly kitsch.

If experience is any guide, this means we will soon meet the inevitable Kitsch Kranks — people who (for some reason!) do not appreciate this round of Lent Madness. The good news is this week’s episode of Monday Madness has all the answers as we once again recall the Great Commandments of Lent Madness.

As a bonus, you’ll get to see a bit of Tim’s personal killer kitsch kollection. Speaking of kitsch, it’s not too early to pre-order your 2020 Golden Halo Winner Lent Madness mug or other items from the Lentorium. Even though the Lentorium is closed to in-person shopping, operators are (safely!) standing by to take your order.

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Elizabeth Fry vs. Clare of Assisi

Hey, today marks the very last matchup of the Saintly Sixteen! Elizabeth Fry faces Clare of Assisi in an attempt to join Herman of Alaska, Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Brother Lawrence, Margaret of Castello, Joanna the Myrrhbearer, and Joseph in the Elate Eight.

As hinted at above, on Friday Hildegard of Bingen took down Elizabeth the New Martyr 57% to 43%. This means that of the quartet of Elizabeths in the 2020 bracket only Elizabeth Fry remains. Will a single Elizabeth continue on in this year’s tournament? Or will the four be barred from further Lenten glory? That’s the decision you’ll make today, friends. Now go vote — it’s the last full week of Lent Madness!

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Elizabeth the New Martyr vs. Hildegard of Bingen

In case you lost track (again?), today is FRIDAY. The only thing that really means is that this is the final Lent Madness battle of the week! We finish things up with Elizabeth the New Martyr facing Hildegard of Bingen for a shot at Brother Lawrence, one of the Cinderellas of Lent Madness 2020.

Yesterday, Joanna the Myrrhbearer slipped past Bartimaeus 65% to 35% She’ll face Joseph in the Elate Eight.

We’ll be back first thing Monday morning for the last matchup of the Saintly Sixteen as Elizabeth Fry and Clare of Assisi vie for the final spot in the Elate Eight. Stay safe out there, everyone, and go vote!

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