Rose of Lima vs. Brigid of Kildare

Congratulations on surviving another weekend without Lent Madness! If it’s easier to make it through these dark days, just think of it as a Lenten devotion within a Lenten devotion. At least this past weekend you were able to get your Lent Madness fix by reading about it in the Washington Post, Toledo Blade, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. And if you’re among the large contingent of those who prefer to read about Lent Madness in Portuguese, it was featured in Gospel Prime (we think they said flattering things but we really have no idea).

The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness also replied to a letter from a young girl who couldn’t believe that St. Nicholas lost to Evelyn Underhill last week. Read the letter and response in “Yes, Virginia, there is a St. Nicholas.”

After today’s match-up featuring two female monastics, we only have two more battles left before the start of the Round of the Saintly Sixteen. Check out the updated bracket and the calendar of upcoming battles and then go vote!

Rosa de Lima (1586 – 1617) was born in Lima, Peru, the daughter of Gaspar Flores, of Puerto Rico, and Maria de Oliva, of Lima. Her Christian name was Isabel (Elizabeth) and she took her nickname “Rose” at the time of her confirmation.

As a young girl she copied Catherine of Siena in fasting and penances (though unlike Catherine, she didn’t lose to Emma of Hawaii in Lent Madness last week). As she aged and some in her family’s social circle started to comment on her growing beauty, Rose cut off her hair to the great consternation of her father. While her family did not approve of her strong devotion and determination not to marry, her father eventually gave her a room to herself in the family home.

While a young adult, Rose spent her days helping the sick and hungry, selling her fine needlework for others, and growing flowers to support her family. She spent her nights in prayer and, though her father forbade her from becoming a nun, Rose joined the third order of Saint Dominic when she was twenty years of age.

She suffered excruciating agony of mind and desolation of spirit but maintained a strong hope and faith in the midst of this. Rose died at the age of 31 and, in an extraordinary gesture, was eulogized by the archbishop at her funeral in the Cathedral. Rose of Lima was the first person born in the Americas to be named a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Collect for Rose of Lima: Merciful God, 
for love of you
 Rose of Lima took up the cross and embraced suffering;
 may we learn from her 
to regard material possessions lightly 
and to show the radiance of your love to all we meet;
 for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour who is alive with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Bosco Peters

The life of Brigid of Kildare straddled the end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth centuries as well as Ireland’s historical moment when Druidism gave way to Christianity. Born of a slave mother to Dubhthach, the poet laureate of the king, Brigid grew up in a Druidic household, but was herself always drawn to the God revealed in Jesus Christ.

Brigid became a nun and, in 470, founded the nunnery at Kildare. In another straddling of the line between Druidism and Christianity, the site was the location of a cult to a pagan goddess whose sacred fire was constantly maintained. Brigid’s nuns took over the maintenance of this fire and Brigid slowly claimed the flame for God’s use alone. In a remarkable and unprecedented move, Brigid invited the monk Conlaed, along with his brothers, to join her at Kildare, making it the only double monastery of men and women in Ireland. Kildare became a place of learning, and it produced some of the most beautiful illuminations of the Bible ever created; sadly, these have all been lost. In her role as abbess, Brigid had as much power as many men in Ireland, and she wielded it with wisdom and compassion.

Many of the miracles attributed to Brigid happened in her response to the poor and sick. Following the Lord’s example, she cleansed lepers and restored sight to the blind. As her fame spread, she took on the mystique of a folk hero, making the fanciful and factual stories about her difficult to separate. But one thing is sure: Brigid’s contagious Christianity led many to move away from Druidism and toward Jesus Christ. While this process was slow, her influence brought a legitimacy to Christianity superseded only by Saint Patrick’s. In a final straddling of Druidism with Christianity, her feast day is February 1, which coincided with (and then supplanted) the Celtic festival of Spring, called Imbolg.

To this day, she is beloved through Ireland, and is numbered with Patrick and Columba as Ireland’s primary saints. Her remains are buried with these two at Downpatrick. Brigid is affectionately known as “Mary of the Gael.”

Collect for Brigid of Kildare: Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of your blessed servant Brigid, and we give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, world without end. Amen.

Adam Thomas


Rose of Lima vs. Brigid

  • Brigid (83%, 1,371 Votes)
  • Rose of Lima (18%, 293 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,661

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83 Comments to "Rose of Lima vs. Brigid of Kildare"

  1. George Werner's Gravatar George Werner
    March 12, 2012 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    My Mom’s Mother was Brigid of Athy in County Kildare- need I say more….
    When you are in Kildare, the locals (at the Local) will tell you that Brigid is slightly more important than Patrick….

  2. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    March 12, 2012 - 7:47 am | Permalink

    So much of Brigid’s life is mythic, or blended with the mythic — but I think this is something that simply increases her influence in Celtic Christianity. She gets my vote, as much as I revere St. Rosa.

    • March 12, 2012 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      My vote for Brigid mirrors Laurie Atwater’s reasoning .. it was a difficult choice for me.

  3. March 12, 2012 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    Dia daoibh. Tá sé Bríd Chill Dara. Níl aon amhras.

    • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
      March 12, 2012 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      Oh, please translate . . . thanks!

    • Roy Peterson's Gravatar Roy Peterson
      March 12, 2012 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Google translate says:
      “God bless you. It Brigid of Kildare. There is no doubt.”

  4. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 12, 2012 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Again, for my Irish grandmother. And ditto whatever Eric said … Seriously, because Brigid lived in a time of great change and by her presence and faith helped facilitate that change. That resonates with me from my time in Sudan. Rosa doesn’t deserve to have to go against Brigid.

  5. Barbara C. Cockrell's Gravatar Barbara C. Cockrell
    March 12, 2012 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Having spent last evening at a Chieftains concert in Virginia Beach, I must cast my vote for Brigid of Kildare. While her legend may in fact contain a blend of fact and fancy, I as you what saint’s does not? And for that matter, what Irish legend does not. Slainte! to Brigid!

  6. Tom McAfee's Gravatar Tom McAfee
    March 12, 2012 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    I voted for Rosa, though I agree with Lauren, she probably doesn’t stand much chance. But she reminds me somewhat of my daughter, who at this moment is on retreat with an indigenous healer, “Mama Terra”, in the Sacred Valley of Peru just north of Cusco. I guess my vote’s a gesture of solidarity for an adopted “home team”.

  7. March 12, 2012 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    I read about St. Rose after visiting Santa Rosa in California. The city inspired a song by the same name, which you can find here–

    I read that Rose not only cut off her hair, but rubbed pepper on her face to mar her beauty and moved into a stable or shed on her family’s land, in order to identify with the poor and avoid distractions. Does anyone know if this is true?

  8. Joy Cass's Gravatar Joy Cass
    March 12, 2012 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    A vote for Rose of Lima, in solidarity with my sister, Anne, who remained faithful despite suffering “excruciating agony of mind and desolation of spirit.”

  9. don cardwell's Gravatar don cardwell
    March 12, 2012 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Mischiefing in the brackets, Saint Rose vs Holy Force of Nature Brigid.
    Ah, well.

    air do dheagh shlàinte, Brigid !

  10. March 12, 2012 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Ditto what George said. Alas, I foresee a matchup between Bonhoeffer and Brigid in the Elate Eight – a bracket buster if ever there was one!

  11. Brigid Courtney's Gravatar Brigid Courtney
    March 12, 2012 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Brigid is my name in religion! My name Saint! How could I not vote for her!

    • Tristan JN Holmberg's Gravatar Tristan JN Holmberg
      March 12, 2012 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Patron saint?

  12. March 12, 2012 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Come on!!! Vote for Rose!

  13. Barbara A. Caldwell's Gravatar Barbara A. Caldwell
    March 12, 2012 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I understand but do not accept the church’s encouragment of anorexia, hysteria and an abnormal emphasis on virginity in young women. Contrast this with Brigid, abbess of a combined house, keeper of ancient traditions, probably conflated with fertility goddesses. This was a no brainier for me.

    • Eve's Gravatar Eve
      March 12, 2012 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the clarity Barbara! Your comment was the tipping point for me today! Brigid it is!

    • Margaret Pereira Albert's Gravatar Margaret Pereira Albert
      March 12, 2012 - 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Barbara, you nailed it! I taught girls for over 20 years and have 2 daughters of my own – sorry Rose, you meant well but you’re a little behind the times when we’re in need of vibrant spiritual role models for our young women.

  14. March 12, 2012 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Has to be Brigid for me. Love the weaving of fantasy and fact and love that it is said when she was received into monastic life, the bishop used the ordination prayer for a bishop, having recognised the anointing of the Holy Spirit on Brigid.

  15. Mary W. Cox's Gravatar Mary W. Cox
    March 12, 2012 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    And how could I not vote for the name saint of my friend Sister Brigid Courtney–who is also a woman of joyous, generous and contagious faith!

  16. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 12, 2012 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    So vote for Rose, even if only out of revenge for Catherine’s sake. Must I hold this grudge? How unchristian!

    I love both saints and especialy Brigid for the fact that her legends and reverence stretches back into Paganism. That our faith reveres both the mythic Brgid and the sophisticated, modern and documented Evelyn…well it’s all so wonderful, isn’t it?

    Delaying my vote until after lunch. Must examine my conscience.

  17. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    March 12, 2012 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Gotta be Brigid! Brigid’s Well is truly a place of healing, even with some rather odd accessories built over the years. I’ve prayed for healing and found it there, and been privileged to read a lesson at Eucharist in her Cathedral. And I want to know what Eric and Don said!!!

  18. JT's Gravatar JT
    March 12, 2012 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Have to go with Brigid, the first woman to be ordained a Bishop. Her life’s work would be a source of inspiration in modern times; particularly amazing considering the time in which she was living.

  19. March 12, 2012 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Madainn mhath. (OK. That was Scots Gàidhlig, not Irish.)

    I’m for healthy living styles, etc.


  20. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 12, 2012 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    She may be losing right now, but St. Rose of Lima is my patron saint. Go ROSE!

  21. Alec's Gravatar Alec
    March 12, 2012 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Brigid of Kildare–there should be music for this one–Irish music of course!! Our Lord Jesus excercises his influence on an island far from Galilee and include a coed monastery for good measure. Blessed Brigid!!

  22. Dennis Johnson's Gravatar Dennis Johnson
    March 12, 2012 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Maybe I picked a winner at last! I’ve always been a fan of Bridgid and the Celtic view of Christianity so I was glad to see Columba win. Maybe its a comeback for Celtic Spirituality?

  23. March 12, 2012 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    I am holding out hope that either Brigid or Columba ultimately reach for the Golden Halo. Go Celts!!!!

  24. March 12, 2012 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Yes, Rose did take those further ascetic steps as well–very common in her day for men as well as women (Catherine’s self-flagellation was explicitly modelled on Dominic’s). She hardly deserves to be attacked as hysterical, and her choice for virginity should be respected as her personal vocation and a very empowering one in a culture in which married women were the property of their husbands and huge numbers of them died in childbirth. Also, she did not take Rose as a confirmation name; rather, a family member (grandmother, if I recall correctly) bestowed the nickname on her as a very young child. This write-up also seriously downplays (or is ignorant of) the connections between Brigid the saint and Brigid the Goddess–one of the appealing features of the saint for those who aren’t pagan-phobic. The eternal flame mentioned was dedicated to the Goddess Brigid, Brigid and/or her nuns may have begun life as her priestesses, Imbolc is strongly connected with the Goddess as well, and many of the legends and customs (Bride’s bed, Brigid crosses) associated with Brigid are direct parallels/descendants of those regarding the Goddess. It’s a refreshing change from the emphasis on conflict with Druid holy men and the Druid faith in Patrick’s life.

    • Dan's Gravatar Dan
      March 12, 2012 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      Regarding the pagan connections with Brigid, this has been pretty thoroughly laid to rest recently by early medieval scholar Lisa Bitel (whose specialty is early medieval women). She shows that non-Christian Irish people associated the saint Brigid with their holy sites retroactively. It might not be a convenient fact, but as a medievalist I can say the scholarship is impeccable.

      You can preview some of this here:

  25. Margaret Smist's Gravatar Margaret Smist
    March 12, 2012 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Rose of Lima fans better start voting or this will be an upset….

  26. Gian's Gravatar Gian
    March 12, 2012 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    Being Hispanic, I have to vote for Santa Rosa de Lima (Saint Rose of Lima).

  27. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    March 12, 2012 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    AACK! This is a toughie…but I think I have to go with Brighid…I detect a “unseen hand” at work in the initial match-ups…Santa Rosa de Lima offers a witness of faithful dedication…whi knows what she might have become had she lived into middle age?

    On the other hand, we have some idea of what that could look like in Brighid…God bless my Belfast grandparents who would have had nothing to do with either of these women…their loss!

  28. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    March 12, 2012 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Well…..almost a toss-up, if you will…BUT….Brigid has to be admired for weaning the pipple away from or for blending the Druidism and Christianity, a feat of no small measure. I tend to have the “willies” over the extremes of morbid stuff as sometimes exhibited by Rosa but then, who am I to question anybody else’s off-beat, quirky behavior ? Well…not too much of the quirks.

  29. March 12, 2012 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    I’m torn on this one, but have to give props to my Dominican homegirl, Rosa de Lima. Word to the Blessed Mutha!

  30. Michael Cudney's Gravatar Michael Cudney
    March 12, 2012 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    I have to go with Brigid, with all the Irish in my background. Even more, Brigid is a major presence in the mysteries with one of my favorite ‘detectives’, Fidelma of Kildare.

    • March 12, 2012 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Great novels! They were instrumental in forming what it means to me to be a strong, independent Christian woman. Brigid for me too!

  31. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    March 12, 2012 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    My grandad comes from Kildare – not the best reason – but what can I say!

  32. Briony's Gravatar Briony
    March 12, 2012 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    A real ascetic for me, as opposed to one who may or may not be real at all.

  33. Joe Stroud's Gravatar Joe Stroud
    March 12, 2012 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    SEC, not sure whether my ADD just kicked in or not, I may have voted twice, I was so enthralled by the previous Comments! If so, please cancel out the first vote! (Or the second, they WERE the same!) And, someone DO please provide a translation of the Gaelic! I THINK I probably agree!

  34. Claire Woodley's Gravatar Claire Woodley
    March 12, 2012 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Well friends, I have to say it is Brigid hands down for this celt of the diaspora. Also the fact that Brigid, like Martha (of Marth&Mary the orginal M&M fame) takes the road of incorporation versus repression. Depictions of Martha in the So. of France show her with her girdle wrapped around the dragons mouth whom she has subdued with love and always keeps within sight. As with Martha, Brigid took the clear eyed, conscious road that Paul recommends, finding the witness to God in the present place and going forward from there, and while Sts. George and Patrick drove the pike through the heart or drove the snakes out of Ireland to lay festering in the unconscious to rise again in many a sea of troubles, both Sts. Martha and Brigid took the conscious road of knowing and naming with public incorporation leading to wisdom and connection. No wonder she was able to found a double house!

  35. Paul Rosbolt's Gravatar Paul Rosbolt
    March 12, 2012 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Rosa lived a Godly life…but it seems Brigid had far wider influence.

    My vote’s for Brigid.

  36. Mary Sue's Gravatar Mary Sue
    March 12, 2012 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    You know, it’d be nice to have some more choices who weren’t in Holy Orders.

    But that’s kind of my complaint about the entire Kalendar. It sets up this false expectation that to live a truly holy life, you must either be ordained or a monastic.

  37. Jon's Gravatar Jon
    March 12, 2012 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Brigid also wanted to give God a lake of beer, so that the heavenly host would be better able to celebrate for all eternity.

    • Adam's Gravatar Adam
      March 12, 2012 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

      You just wait, Jon…Had to hold some stuff back for Round 2 if she moves on. Oh yes, we will have the lake of beer.

      • Susan Allen's Gravatar Susan Allen
        March 12, 2012 - 9:00 pm | Permalink


        (didn’t know about the lake of beer)

  38. Brianne Willard's Gravatar Brianne Willard
    March 12, 2012 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Gotta vote for sweet Rosa. Her picture is real pretty, and, if there’s one thing our church has enough of, it’s white people!

  39. Beth Ann's Gravatar Beth Ann
    March 12, 2012 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I was led to read more about St Rosa, being attracted to someone who “suffered excurtiating agony of mind and desolation of spirit” and yet was still able to have hope and faith. My experience has been that people in that condition, some who have been huge saints for me, no longer have access to the hope and faith of their healthy selves. The Catholic Church offers two sites, one of which states that it is suitable for viewing by children. Even so, you get a pop-up offering a book titled “Tortured for Christ”. It sounds like St Rosa lived an extended suicide, leaving her unable to minister to others. I can’t see how that is God’s desire. I like underdogs, but I am reluctantly voting for Brigid as a healthier icon for us.

  40. Lori Johnson's Gravatar Lori Johnson
    March 12, 2012 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    To me since saints are often humble and you may not know their influence until much later, while I consider that some it’s more about how the person continued to to draw near to God and pursue the call they perceived and use the gifts and strengths they had… which is different for each. I went for Rose, who seems to be the underdog at the moment. Both did a lot, fascinating bios. But I feel Brigid is more well known thus “popular”. Rose seems to have done a lot at a young age, against family discouragement and expectations by avoiding marriage (which she didnt feel called to) and going ahead and joining an order giving priority to her faith, in addition to her living it out by ministering to the sick and poor. 

  41. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    March 12, 2012 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I agree with those who lament that these two are matched so early in the competition! Hard choice, but I’ve always felt an affinity for the Celtic way (and have no idea what it would be like to be so beautiful I’d have to hide it like Rosa – ha!), so I have to be part of Team Brigid. 🙂

  42. dr.primrose's Gravatar dr.primrose
    March 12, 2012 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

    This is the first bracket that I don’t seem to have a lot of feeling about, for some reason. Poor Rose is being creamed at this point — 83-17. So she needs my vote more than Brigid.

  43. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 12, 2012 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I share Beth Ann’s views on poor Rosa.

    Please, someone, provide translation of the Gaelic and Scots Gaelic comments thus far! It is excruciating to not be able to enjoy all of the conversation. (Are you imposing this on the rest of us a Lenten kind of thing?)

    • March 12, 2012 - 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Feasgar math.

      All I did earlier was to wish everyone a good morning. As we’ve moved on to afternoon, I changed the greating.

  44. March 12, 2012 - 1:51 pm | Permalink

    There are many reasons why I’m a Brigid fan, but the lake of beer story has to be one of the best!

  45. Leigh Hollis-Caruso's Gravatar Leigh Hollis-Caruso
    March 12, 2012 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    we are studying saints during Lent and we just discussed Brigid yesterday! She was an amazing woman and so I just had to vote for her.

  46. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 12, 2012 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I love the phrase “contagious Christianity” and voted for Brigid.

  47. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 12, 2012 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    From an early age, I’ve always felt a sympathy for saints like Rose (and Catherine) who went to extremes to experience God. Certainly not the calling that everyone receives but one that seems especially grace-full.

    • Joy's Gravatar Joy
      March 12, 2012 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Re: health/unhealthy lifestyles
      Hadn’t Abbess Brigid also taken a vow of virginity?

      • March 12, 2012 - 5:28 pm | Permalink

        And, if called to this state, how is it unhealthy?

        • Joy's Gravatar Joy
          March 12, 2012 - 8:22 pm | Permalink


          • March 13, 2012 - 1:13 am | Permalink

            There are other issues involving Rosa of Lima that today we would call abuse.

  48. ann hunt's Gravatar ann hunt
    March 12, 2012 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    This a tough one. I like Rose of Lima on her own merits and thinking she might be the underdog in this one for a number of reasons wanted to vote for her… But in the end the call of “The Great Mother” who shines so strongly and calls forth so persistently in Brigid won out.

  49. Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
    March 12, 2012 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate dr. primrose’s standing in solidarity with Rose. She represents a form of ascetic suffering spirituality I – as a 20th/21st century North American – really struggle to understand. It is a valid stream – perhaps to do with solidarity with the suffering in the world? the understanding that this world is not all there is? but I can’t get over my reaction of suffering as a bad thing, and I see the willing pursuit of same as the antithesis of Jesus’ ministry of bringing healing and wholeness. Brigid’s hospitality may be too “easy” a path, but it’s the one I see Jesus’ invitation in more clearly (despite the ‘miracle’ claims on her behalf, which always leave me cold).

    Rose did a lot of good in alleviating suffering of others so if someone else wants to vote for her to honour that, or as a vote for something the total opposite of “prosperty gospel” (I’m not a fan of that either), God bless you and please do. I’m just wary of the mindset that misery is a hallmark of holiness so am going with Brigid today.

  50. Beth Royalty's Gravatar Beth Royalty
    March 12, 2012 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

    In honor of Mary Duffy, of County Mayo, my great-great grandmother, who came to the United States at age 18, and according to the immigration papers, “could not read.” I guess you don’t need to read to have great courage. Brigid gets my vote today.

  51. Barb's Gravatar Barb
    March 12, 2012 - 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I go for Brigid this time around. I am much less into the self-abuse model of asceticism than I am into the proactive ministrations of Brigid. Someone commented about the choices being ordained or monastic. Queen Emma was neither.

  52. March 12, 2012 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Rose of Lima es Boricua! Que cheveré! But her suffering! I did some further reading about her and it made me so sad. It’s hard to accept in my mind that that type of self mutilation wasn’t uncommon in the day as a road to Christ. It seems so abhorrent now, but then? Difficult to judge, but reading her story brought out the ‘ay bendito’ from me!

  53. Heath Missner's Gravatar Heath Missner
    March 12, 2012 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Brigid gets my vote, as a strong wise woman, able to combine the Druidic roots with the Christian flame, and stepping into her power as an Abbess, able to draw in the brothers to a double monastery. A very cool role model!

  54. Alan's Gravatar Alan
    March 12, 2012 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Rose is one of those saints, like the pillar standing monks of the desert, who’s life made a lot of sense at the time and not so much in the current age. Brigid seems more like us – the monastery of both women and men – but I’m not sure that she really was like us.

  55. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    March 12, 2012 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what the article said:

    The Anglican Church, though not venerate the saints, gives a much larger space to the “heroes of faith” than most other evangelical churches. In your church calendar, Lent, or the 40 days preceding Easter, is respected.

    To encourage devotional readings during Lent, the Rev. Tim Schenck on his blog created a contest where saints are made daily and can be “eliminated” in an online poll, similar to what happens in the “Big Brother”.

    This year the competition was your own website where readers may learn more about the saints and elect “winners” until only one who will win the coveted prize of the “golden halo” on the Wednesday before Easter.

    For three consecutive years, the competition called “Lent Madness” [Madness Lenten] was conducted online as a competition which had the support of many faithful.

    “I was looking for a fun way to celebrate the Lenten season,” said Schenck, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hingham, Massachusetts. His goal, explains the pastor, is to help people “connect with the risen Christ during this time of year” and “have some fun during the process.”

    The competition created by him includes 32 men and women considered “holy” by the Episcopal Church. Schenck explains that the “holy bishops” are “heroes of the church … They are not perfect, but they were faithful.” Unlike the Catholic saints, were not formally canonized.

    The Saints selected are a diverse group of men and women who are in the Bible or had an important role in church history. In each round, they are presented with minibiografias, emphasizing aspects of his life and works.

    “When we think about the saints, we tend to immortalize them in paintings,” said Schenck. “We forget they are human beings with beautiful stories of faith. That’s what we remember in the Lenten Madness. ”

    The initiative has the support of other pastors like the Rev. Scott Gunn. He led the campaign that secured the victory of the priest and poet George Herbert, who lived in the 17th century. Three years later he is still participating and campaigning online for their favorite saints.

    “One of the things that’s wrong with Christianity today is that we take very seriously, but do not take Jesus seriously enough,” said Gunn.

    Pastor Gunn believes the game to eliminate the Saints increase their visibility by using modern means of communication such as Facebook and blog.

    Until now, the main Madness Lenten had more than 150 000 visits, with an average of 2,000 constituents per day. In the first year were only about 100 voters.

    “This year it just exploded,” said Schenck.

    “I am very impressed with what people are saying and writing,” said the Rev. Penny Nash, dean of the Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, who is also a blogger. “People are asking if the Saints have something to do with them today and are taking it really seriously.”

    • Ed Adcock's Gravatar Ed Adcock
      March 12, 2012 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Well stated
      6:57 CDST

  56. Alene's Gravatar Alene
    March 12, 2012 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Patron saint of my diaconal ordination, St Brigid it is for me.

  57. Skye and Hope's Gravatar Skye and Hope
    March 12, 2012 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

    We are still reeling from Santa not making it into the next round. But we think he us super busy with his elves getting all of the toys made so maybe it was a good thing. We like both choices today, but in the end we voted for the saintly woman from Ireland.

  58. Harry W's Gravatar Harry W
    March 12, 2012 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

    My vote is for Brigid of Kildare. Her life was focused on the poor and those who needed help with their life. Her monastery housed men and women; and was a remarkable place of learning. “The abbesses of Kildare had an administrative authority equal to that of a bishop until 1152.” Her life’s work reached far beyond that of her life.

  59. Enrica Fleming's Gravatar Enrica Fleming
    March 12, 2012 - 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again, “anorexia, hysteria, and an abnormal emphasis on virginity”! Must we judge people who lived hundreds of years ago by 2012 standards??? How do you think people will view us 200 years from now? I shudder to think….Wasn’t Jesus tortured before being nailed to a cross? He showed us to embrace suffering, not to shrink from it. The saints have much to teach us, if we would only listen without judging by our narrow minded patronizing ….Go St. Rose of Lima!

    • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
      March 12, 2012 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Well, we are who we are, and we kind of have to go with the knowledge we have — I don’t believe self-induced anorexia is any more a sign of holiness than epilepsy is a sign of possession by evil spirits. . . but those ideas certainly had their heydays.

  60. March 12, 2012 - 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Rose of Lima took our household hands down today. Rachel read about her (and actually, we made a figure of her for a mobile we made for All Saints in Sunday School) this fall and as soon as she found out she was on the bracket– it didn’t matter who she was up against.

  61. Barbara A. Cadwell's Gravatar Barbara A. Cadwell
    March 12, 2012 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

    As Episcopalians, we pitch a pretty big tent. Two of my favorite authors, Laurie R. King and Dorothy L. Sayers are (were) Episcopal theologians. Another favorite author Charlane Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series upon which the television show True Blood is based is an Episcopalian. President Gerald R. Ford was an Episcopalian. Robin Williams is an Episcopalian. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and in fact, with an Episcopalian crowd like this, it would frighten me very much of you did!

  62. March 12, 2012 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got to go with Rose for purely sentimental reasons: she was one of only two saints I had an actual book about when I was growing up. (The other was Blessed Imelda, patroness of first communicants.)

  63. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 12, 2012 - 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Dear St. Rose of Lima, in her short life, overcame her family’s objections to her vocation. She spent her life in prayer and in caring for the sick. Though she lived the life she wanted, it seems she wasn’t particularly happy. Perhaps she overwhelmed by unexplained sadness. In spite of her difficulties, St Rose is still revered by many people.
    St. Brigid lived a longer, apparently happy, life. She founded a community, later inviting monks to live in the same community. She managed to sort of translate Druid religious practices into Christian, thus winning converts to Christ, the true light of the world.
    I see St. Rose as a true servant of Christ; St. Brigid as a true leader for Christ. I voted for St. Brigid.

  64. Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
    March 13, 2012 - 2:24 am | Permalink

    Although I am largely a supporter of Brigid, having studied the colonial era in Latin America and in the interest of including nonwhite voices, I vote for Rose of Lima today!

  65. March 13, 2012 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’m a rebel. I voted for Rose and on the church’s bracket board I’m listing her as the winner! Besides, what do I say to the Latinas I serve if they see that TEC is still overpowered with Anglo sensibilities. And, since there are so many comments, I’m fairly safe in posting this since I doubt anyone except the Madnessmasters will read it.

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