Ignatius of Antioch vs. Ignatius of Loyola

After yesterday’s heart-pounding, back and forth battle between upstart Lucy and favorite John the Baptist, you might have welcomed a weekend off to regroup. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective), today is the one and only Saturday match-up in Lent Madness. If your name is Ignatius or if you’ve ever fantasized about naming your first-born son after one of these revered gentlemen, you won’t want to miss this epic, long-anticipated Battle of the Iggys.

In the end Lucy defeated John the Baptist by the slimmest of margins in a bruising, bracket-busting battle. In addition to a record number of votes cast (5,200), we also saw a record number of comments (240) as passions were running high on both sides. Such is the “madness” of Lent Madness!

We even had our first mini-controversy that didn’t involve a mug. Please know that when it comes to voter irregularities, the Supreme Executive Committee, like Big Brother, is watching. We had to zap 35 votes from John the Baptist last night after we noticed multiple votes from several ISP addresses. Again, please, one vote per person. If you have more than one family member voting — that’s fine. We’re big fans of universal suffrage. If you’re, say, a teacher logging multiple votes on behalf of your students — just let us know. But voter fraud makes the saints weep so don’t risk being cast into the outer darkness of life without Lent Madness (it’s a miserable place that would make even the most hideous medieval gargoyle blush).

In the meantime, back to the task at hand. The great challenge of this battle? Voting for the correct Ignatius!

250px-Ignatius_of_Antioch_2Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius of Antioch (1st century CE) was Bishop of Antioch, located in modern Turkey, near its border with Syria. He is most known for the seven letters he wrote during his journey to martyrdom at Rome. These letters are among the earliest pieces of Christian theology outside of the New Testament, and give Ignatius a place among the “Apostolic Fathers” – those leaders of the church who served as the “bridge” between the Jesus and apostles themselves, and the rest of the early church.

We actually know very little about Ignatius outside of his journey to martyrdom. One pious legend holds that he was among the children blessed by Jesus and taken into his arms. It is certain, however, that around AD 68, Ignatius was chosen to serve as Bishop of Antioch, a see originally held by St. Peter himself. Sources disagree as to whether Ignatius was Antioch’s second or third bishop.

During the rule of the Emperor Trajan, Ignatius was condemned to death for being a Christian. He was led under a guard of ten soldiers to his martyrdom at Rome. It was during this journey that Ignatius wrote his letters. He was received en route to Rome at Smyrna, and there wrote letters encouraging the churches in Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles, and, most poignantly, a letter to the church in Rome commanding them not to intervene with authorities in order to prevent his martyrdom. He went from Smyrna to Troas, and there wrote letters to churches in Philadelphia and Smyrna, and to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna.

Ignatius letters’ portray a man devoted to Christ and Christ’s church. He tirelessly defended the humanity, divinity, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ignatius is an especially tireless advocate for the unity of the church through the community’s participation in the Eucharist – which he saw to be the continuing life of Jesus Christ in the church — “breaking one bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote we take in order not to die but to live forever in Jesus Christ.” Ignatius’ theology of episcopal ministry – most especially his tireless advocacy for the Bishop to serve as a locus of unity for the church – lies at the foundation of our understanding of episcopacy in our church today, where bishops are charged at their ordination to be guardians of the faith and unity of the church.

Ignatius’ letter to the Romans expressed his firm desire to be led to his martyrdom, begging the church in Rome to let him be “food for the wild beasts… God’s wheat… ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may prove to be pure bread” (Rom 4:1).  Around AD 115, Ignatius was granted his wish, as he was martyred in the coliseum, given over to the teeth of lions. Contemporary iconography of St. Ignatius of Antioch represents him as a bearded man, vested in bishop’s regalia, attacked by two lions, one making for his head, the other for his feet.

Collect for Ignatius of Antioch
Almighty God, we praise your Name for your bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present to you the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept, we pray, the willing tribute of our lives and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

David Sibley

StIgnatiusPaintingIgnatius of Loyola

Born in 1491 to a noble Basque family, Ignatius of Loyola was an exact contemporary of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. (TC was two years older but they both died in 1556.)

As a mover and shaker in the Counter-Reformation and the founder of the Society of Jesus, a.k.a. the Jesuits, Ignatius lived during a period of great change in the Christian Church. His written legacy Spiritual Exercises, a set of meditations, prayers, and practices designed to help discern the presence of Jesus and the will of God in one’s life, continues to be valued by Christians to the present day.

He described himself as a young man as a vainglorious soldier. Badly wounded at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, Ignatius was kindly carried by the French on a litter to his family’s castle of Loyola. There, after having his leg re-broken, (with a stub sawn off – ouch!), re-set, and stretched by weights, he had some extended time for reading to take his mind from the pain. The chivalrous romances he requested were unavailable so he read deeply of the life of Christ, particularly De Vita Christi, and the lives of saints. After months of recuperation and reflection, his conversion from a soldier of the realm to a knight of Christ was profound and adamant.

Ignatius resolved to live a life of poverty and self-denial and committed himself to doing heroic deeds and winning converts in the Holy Land.  First he made his confession at the sanctuary of Monserrat where, after giving away his fine clothes to the poor and donning sackcloth, he suspended his sword and dagger on the altar. Then, after spending months in a cave in prayer and mastering the ascetic life, he journeyed to Jerusalem where his pilgrimage quickly turned to deep disappointment. After being received by the Franciscans for a few weeks, he was told he must return to Spain. The pope (one of those who, by the way, didn’t resign) had given the Franciscans the authority to send pilgrims home because of the hot trade in kidnapping visiting Christians and holding them for ransom was too costly.

In Spain — with a heart full of earnest desire to serve God — Ignatius turned to study, eventually spending many years studying and preaching in Paris. His fervor drew the attention of various inquisitors during that period, and he was their special guest on several brief occasions. In 1534 he gathered six particular friends who shared his vision, and they founded the Society of Jesus with Ignatius as its first Superior General. They were ordained in Rome in 1537, and the order was recognized by the Vatican three years later. Ultimately the Society of Jesus, with its motto — ad maiorem Dei gloriam —  for the greater glory of God, sent missionaries around the world and founded many schools, universities, and seminaries. Ignatius and the many Jesuits were prime players in Counter-Reformation efforts across Europe, including England where they nettled the nascent Anglicans.

Ignatius died of Roman fever, or malaria, in a simple cell in Rome in 1556. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV, who also didn’t resign, in 1622.

Collect for Ignatius of Loyola
Almighty God, from whom all good things come: You called Ignatius of Loyola to the service of your Divine Majesty and to find you in all things. Inspired by his example and strengthened by his companionship, may we labor without counting the cost and seek no reward other than knowing that we do your will; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Heidi Shott


Ignatius of Antioch vs. Ignatius of Loyola

  • Ignatius of Antioch (52%, 2,347 Votes)
  • Ignatius of Loyola (48%, 2,197 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,537

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200 Comments to "Ignatius of Antioch vs. Ignatius of Loyola"

  1. February 16, 2013 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget the information video by the Archbishop-Commentors!

    • cam's Gravatar cam
      February 16, 2013 - 8:42 am | Permalink

      I had to vote for Loyola as my Grandfather was sent to Creighton University to study pharmacy in the 1920s as a protest against the Ku Klux Klan in Nebraska. His father and grandfather had attended Northwestern in Chicago. The Klan hated the Catholics and persecuted them like they did black people here in KY. My family belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church and also knew the value of a Jesuit education. I see where I get my protest roots.

    • February 16, 2013 - 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Pretty much have to go for Loyola, as I entrusted my daughter and her education to the Jesuits.

    • Norris's Gravatar Norris
      February 17, 2013 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

      How wonderful to have the opportunity to vote for a Saint who wrote emphatically about the humanity, divinity, and resurrection of Christ! And in 2013. And on an Episcopal website. Deo Gratias!

  2. Mary-Elise Haug's Gravatar Mary-Elise Haug
    February 16, 2013 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    I am hoping my vote for Ignatius of Loyola ups my odds for being admitted into Creighton (doctorate in leadership).

  3. February 16, 2013 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Ignatius of Antioch. Those who are voting for the martyrs over the non-martyrs will have to pick Ignatius of Antioch. Those who are voting the Anglican ticket will have to go for the theologian of episcopal ecclesiology over the counter-Reformation man. The Spiritual Exercises are interesting, and the Jesuits have done good work in education and social justice, but this Anglican is going with the martyr whose writings are treasured by the whole catholic church, not simply the Roman part of it. Ignatius of Antioch gets my vote.

    • Robin Walker's Gravatar Robin Walker
      February 16, 2013 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      Chris’ comments sealed my decision.

    • Charlotte Webb's Gravatar Charlotte Webb
      February 16, 2013 - 11:45 am | Permalink

      You echoed my thoughts exactly on the Anglican ticket. My vote is for Ignatius of Antioch. It’s the whole participation in the counter reform that swayed my vote against the Iggy from Loyola.

    • February 16, 2013 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Yep, that’s why I can’t vote for Iggy of Loyola, either. Well said!

  4. DPH's Gravatar DPH
    February 16, 2013 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Another toughie, martyr or missionary? As a career missionary and “monk who hasn’t left his day job,” I finally voted for Ignatius of Loyola. I relish his motto “God in all things,” his example of a “contemplative in action” and a “missional mystic.”

    It was very hard to pass up Ignatius of Antioch and I wish I could vote again for him but the Supreme Executive Committee is exercising strict control over ISP fraud.

    • Jan Robitscher's Gravatar Jan Robitscher
      February 16, 2013 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, a very tough vote, but I went for Ignatius of Loyola.

    • Thomas's Gravatar Thomas
      February 16, 2013 - 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Ignatius of Loyola, definitely! Ad Majorum Dei Gloriam, brothers and sisters!

      As a former member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, I learned much about Ignatian spirituality and working toward justice with the hope of peace–and the Prince of Peace, of course. Even as an Episcopalian, I was welcome to encounter “God in all things” in this program, and the Jesuit examen has been a valuable spiritual discipline for me.

      Although Ignatius himself was not a martyr, his legacy, the Society of Jesus, has produced countless martyrs, particularly in South America.
      Their incredible testament towards Christ’s concern for the poor and marginalized impresses me much more than an elder’s attention to church structure–and I say that as someone who esteems the episcopacy.

      Obviously, Anglicans have often not appreciated the presence of the Jesuits, but they accomplish amazing work for the Church, and I am thankful for their witness.


  5. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    February 16, 2013 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    The really great thing about Lent Madness is that just when you’re totally sure who should get your vote, you read the hagiographies and start to waver. I was a big Iggy 1 supporter going in – but now I’m nuts for Iggy 2, too.

    Fervent Iggys, pray for us….

  6. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    February 16, 2013 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Would have gone for Ignatius of Antioch, but just spent several months in a group working through Margaret Silf’s “Inner Compass” — a study of Ignatian spirituality. Loyola wins for me, now, Jesuit or no.

  7. Tom Van Brunt's Gravatar Tom Van Brunt
    February 16, 2013 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    This is what a bishop should be. Antioch all the way.

  8. Anne Lane Witt's Gravatar Anne Lane Witt
    February 16, 2013 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    I served at St. Ignatius of Antioch in NYC during seminary and also am a fan of Iggy A’s writings. His writings on unity mean a great deal to me.

    • Jay's Gravatar Jay
      February 16, 2013 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      I served at Ignatius of Antioch in NYC also as a seminarian and for three years after my ordination!
      Nonetheless, this is a tough pick for me. Because I also love L’s work on discernment, the Jesuit ministry in education (as an educator myself), his use of the imagination in prayer (as a performing artist myself)…. Yet I also find the witness of martyrs so important, and A’s writing about the Church, unity, ministry… And all those years I spent looking across the nave at that window with his hands raised to heaven as the lions approach… What to do?!

  9. K. Jeanne Person's Gravatar K. Jeanne Person
    February 16, 2013 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I wish the bio of St. Ignatius of Loyola had mentioned his understanding of the power of imagination to deepen a relationship with God, an idea that would later influence Anglican theologians and poets, including C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot. Ignatian imaginative prayer has been a blessing in the spiritual lives of millions.

    • February 16, 2013 - 9:19 am | Permalink

      Good point, Jeanne. However, last year I learned the hard way that a wise celebrity blogger holds a good deal back for the future rounds.

      • February 16, 2013 - 10:16 am | Permalink

        Experience matters! Heidi’s writeup convinced me to cast my vote for Loyola.

    • Relling Westfall's Gravatar Relling Westfall
      February 16, 2013 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the input, Jeanne. This will sway my vote.

    • Lisa Green's Gravatar Lisa Green
      February 16, 2013 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Yep–it was Iggy 2’s imaginative legacy that earned my vote too, and I’d add J.K. Rowling to the inheritance list. Expecto Patronum!

  10. February 16, 2013 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    From the arms of Jesus to the jaws of the lions in the Coliseum? While holding an image of his body as communion bread (as part of the body of Christ which is the church). Breathtaking! My kind of martyr. While I have long admired the Ignatian exercises and their spiritual gift of imagination, my vote goes to Bishop Iggy of A.

  11. February 16, 2013 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    With his devotion to the Eucharist and his unwavering courage in the face of death, it has to be Antioch. Also, as one serving in a diocese where the bishop’s seat has been controversial before being vacant for a time, I so appreciate the ministry of a bishop whose leadership is accepted!

  12. Brendan's Gravatar Brendan
    February 16, 2013 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I had planned on Antioch yesterday, but today, based solely on the recent bold witness of the Jesuits in America Magazine, gotta go for Iggy L.

  13. Russ's Gravatar Russ
    February 16, 2013 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Tough call! Ended up doing an “Iggy Shuffle” (Old Bengals fans may remember it) to decide.

    • Timothy Rich's Gravatar Timothy Rich
      February 17, 2013 - 12:44 am | Permalink

      that was icky shuffle, but close enough I guess.

  14. Debs's Gravatar Debs
    February 16, 2013 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    For my sister, Ignatia, OJN as was…

  15. Michael Cudney's Gravatar Michael Cudney
    February 16, 2013 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Antioch for me. Ig of Lo was not a friend to the reformers, and even though Daniel Berrigan, S.J. was a major hero of mine back in the day, I have to go with Antioch.

  16. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    February 16, 2013 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    This was a tough choice. Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises is a practical gift that keeps on giving. However, Antioch’s writings are a gift of another sort – a nod to the value of the ancient extra-canonical. I voted for Antioch.

  17. Dorothee's Gravatar Dorothee
    February 16, 2013 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I am very fond of the Jesuits, having had a marvelous retreat in Gloucester. But I must vote for my first favorite Iggy!

  18. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    February 16, 2013 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I am in the midst of a year-long Ignation retreat (19th annotation) which has been profound. Loyola gets my vote. BTW, why was he brought before the Inquisition? Why for preaching to women. FYI.

    • K. Jeanne Person's Gravatar K. Jeanne Person
      February 16, 2013 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      In Rome, he opened a home (shelter) for women who had been victims of domestic violence and abuse. A model for One Billion Rising! Iggy Loyola!

      • February 16, 2013 - 10:24 am | Permalink

        This is so educational. It’s a tough choice because I love the Eucharist but that info about the women’s shelter tipped my vote to Iggy L.

      • Mary Eileen's Gravatar Mary Eileen
        February 16, 2013 - 10:35 am | Permalink

        This is a piece of info I didn’t know, Jeanne. Good to know, since I ultimately voted for Iggy Loyola.

  19. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    February 16, 2013 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Laurie, I loved “inner compass”

  20. Nina Nicholson's Gravatar Nina Nicholson
    February 16, 2013 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    This was a toughie, but I ended up voting for the Ignatius who DIDN’T “nettle the nascent Anglicans.”

    • Denese's Gravatar Denese
      February 16, 2013 - 9:10 am | Permalink

      I’m with Nina here and despite the wonderful papal references in the information on Ignatius of Loyola, I had to go for Ignatius of Antioch as he didn’t “nettle the nascent Anglicans” or participate in any way in the Inquisition!

  21. George Nickel's Gravatar George Nickel
    February 16, 2013 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    At first I thought Loyola was a stretch(a small reference to the Jesuits mechanical abilities back in pre water boarding days) in this madness. However, being a Jesuit he should be able to have the strength to make it into the home sttt….tretch!!!

  22. John Clemens's Gravatar John Clemens
    February 16, 2013 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Love them both (truly) but finally had to press the button on the Jesuit. Education is the key to alleviating poverty in the world and they win my heart for ‘faith in action.’

    • Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
      February 16, 2013 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

      I like the work of Loyola’s followers in establishing educational institutions so that swayed my vote. Oh we’ll, education is still the way to a better life for all. I think their influence is greater than the IG of Antioxch.

  23. Maryann's Gravatar Maryann
    February 16, 2013 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    St Ignatius 14 Rules of discernment have been read, discussed and applied to our lives over and over again. Fr Timothy Gallagher’s book DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS is an invaluable tool for us to use in figuring out what is from the evil one and what is from the good spirit-all that leads us more closely to our God and His will. I love St Ignatius and am so grateful he said YES to God in writing and teaching the rules. Centuries later, they are still being studied and used to combat evil. St Ignatius, pray for us!

  24. February 16, 2013 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    St Iggy of Loyola! While Jesuits have, over the centuries, been as deeply flawed as MIB, they’re currently a shining corrective to the tsunami of stupid.

    • David's Gravatar David
      February 16, 2013 - 11:47 am | Permalink

      There is no like button. So I will just say I like this comment 🙂

    • Laura's Gravatar Laura
      February 16, 2013 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “tsunami of stupid.” I like that! (It may find it’s way into some of this Dominican’s preaching….) [with correct credit, of course!]

    • Mark D.'s Gravatar Mark D.
      February 16, 2013 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Tsunami of stupid FTW.

  25. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    February 16, 2013 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Iggy L. all the way. I am a graduate of a fine Jesuit institution, Marquette University in downtown Milwaukee, where some of my Jesuit profs were liberation theologians tossed from Latin America by the pope. They taught me well how to get around minor obstacles like papal injunctions. And I am a missionary, going out into the world, at times to places no one else wants to go (or so I presume, since many ask me, “Are you nuts?!?!”) Iggy L is one of my heroes for tossing over a previous life and undertaking a new one. Go, Loyola!!!

  26. Lore Yao's Gravatar Lore Yao
    February 16, 2013 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Ugh! This is a tough choice and on a weekend! But I have decided after much, much cogitating to go with Ignatius of Antioch. He is a great representation of unity in Christianity.

  27. February 16, 2013 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Ignatius of Antioch wisely urged Christians to “reverence the deacons as the commandment of God,” so he’s already a winner in my book. Yes, I’m talking about the Gospel Book.

    • Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
      February 16, 2013 - 10:08 am | Permalink

      I don’t get reverenced NEARLY enough! Antioch it is!

  28. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    February 16, 2013 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Ignatius of Antioch, because of his teachings on the Eucharist. In post-Reformation Christianity, the idea that the Eucharist unites us all in Christ has gotten lost in the shuffle, and we’re all poorer for it.

  29. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    February 16, 2013 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    “Nettled the Anglicans….”! That’s putting it mildly!

    Antioch wins my vote hands down. An early Christian — 68 AD! I can’t even begin to imagine the courage, faith, and sacrifice it took to be a Christian in 68 AD; a second generation apostle in the footsteps of Paul, who urged unity in the early church, already plagued with dissension, then committing himself to a grisly martyrdom for his beliefs!
    A Roman Catholic (establishment) 16th century teacher, writer, and missionary, a Mr. Holier-Than-Thou, who “nettled Anglicans” (and others)? How hard is that?

    • Timothy Rich's Gravatar Timothy Rich
      February 17, 2013 - 12:47 am | Permalink


  30. February 16, 2013 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    While I deeply appreciate Meredith’s comments about the Jesuits, nothing beats a cheerful dispotion while being nommed to death my Cranky Roman Lions. My vote goes to His Grace of Antioch.

    • Jill's Gravatar Jill
      February 16, 2013 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

      This is awesome!”nommed to death”.. Haha!

  31. JAG's Gravatar JAG
    February 16, 2013 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I went with St. Iggy of Loyola. I think kids today should hear more about him: his early days in the army, his recovery and his “gang” . I think it might show a few of them a way to “turn” their lives around.

  32. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    February 16, 2013 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    You say Ignatius but I say Ignatius.
    Iggy is jiggy, Ignatius is gracious.
    Martyr? Pray-er?
    Way to stump the player!
    Let’s call the whole thing Lent.

    • February 16, 2013 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Brilliant…and so early in the day. Thank you.

      • Peg's Gravatar Peg
        February 16, 2013 - 2:39 pm | Permalink

        I owe it all to my Lent Madness Coffee Mug.

  33. February 16, 2013 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    I found my confirmation name because of Ignatius of Loyola. My first stirring for a call to the priesthood began as I researched the lives of saints in sixth grade and found St. Francis Xavier. Francis was one of the six who founded The Society of Jesus and went on to serve as a missionary first in India then Japan. He died just 14 miles off the coast of mainline China while awaiting admittance. Pretty exciting stuff for a twelve-year old boy! So due to this personal link, Ignatius of Loyola gets my vote.

  34. Meredyth's Gravatar Meredyth
    February 16, 2013 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’m a graduate of Holy Cross and the Jesuit School of Theology at Chicago (closed in the late 70s for beig too liberation theology oriented and having too many women students…). Loyola has my vote. While I long since left the counter reformation behind, his discernment of spirits and use of imagination in the spiritual life continue to shape me. Give another Hoya…

  35. Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
    February 16, 2013 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    I believe present day Antioch is in Turkey, not Syria, as the borders changed, although the Bishop of Antioch now resides in Damascus, Syria. You might want to check on this Mr. Madness. This is what your blogger said: Ignatius of Antioch (1st century CE) was Bishop of Antioch, located in present-day Syria.

    • David Sibley's Gravatar David Sibley
      February 16, 2013 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      You’re correct – it sits right on the border. When I wrote the biography, I was thinking in terms of biblical geography, and, recalling that the Patriarch of Antioch is in Damascus, didn’t double-check for modern geography! I’ll get in touch with the SEC to update it.


      • Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
        February 16, 2013 - 11:53 am | Permalink

        Dear David: I noticed that you are in Brooklyn. Perhaps you know that St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in on State Street. If you haven’t visited it, maybe you might like to take a Pilgrimage there. Robert

  36. February 16, 2013 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    Although as a non-traditionally-aged student who went back and got late degrees, I have called upon IgL more than once for assistance, I had to vote for IgA. That precious bridge between the apostles and the early church… that theologically pregnant eucharistic death… I think Loyola would agree that without IgA’s gifts of grace, Loyola could never have been.

  37. February 16, 2013 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    Tough call but going for Iggy of Loyola. Like all saints he wasn’t perfect, but his lasting legacy is almost unparalleled. I spend a week in silent retreat every year at Eastern Point with an Ignatian spiritual director, and have become so grateful for them and for the Exercises. Always had a lot of respect for Ignatius of Antioch, his commitment to unity and the Eucharist, not to mention his willing martyrdom. But Loyola it is.

  38. February 16, 2013 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    I gotta go with Antioch here. First of all, Loyola was a great spiritual master, and we’re all indebted to him for the revival of the Christian meditation in the early modern period. But he was, in just about every regard, an Imperialist, IMO.

    Secondly, I didn’t know or remember that Antioch wrote one of his letters to Magnesia. So, in addition to the many honorifics and acclamations he deserves: Martyr for Christ, Seed of the Church, Grain for the Teeth of Wild Beasts; he also deserves to be acclaimed the Holy Milk of Magnesia!

    Hail, Ignatius of Antioch! Bishop, Martyr, Evangelist, Saint, and Holy Milk of Magnesia!

    • John Clemens's Gravatar John Clemens
      February 16, 2013 - 11:02 am | Permalink

      good one!

  39. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    February 16, 2013 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Being fond of those who ‘bridge’ generations, I go with I. Antioch… and, even though she may be apocryphal and was likely a few centuries later, Margaret of same city is a family favorite.

  40. Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
    February 16, 2013 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Although Heidi Shott definitely wins in Snark Wars, I had to go with I. of Antioch. The Jesuits may be ok now, but they’ve got a lot of bad history, and that influenced my vote.

  41. Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
    February 16, 2013 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    I have a graduate degree from a Jesuit university (St. Louis University) and received a great education. Ignatius of Loyola has had a huge impact on Christianity which continues to this day. There was also an independent spirit of the Jesuits that other orders did not have (or at least not in such quantity), that made them a nettle in the side of the Pope as well as the Anglicans. Iggy of Antioch, while a worthy opponent, has nothing on Ignatius of Loyola.

  42. Paul J. Lane's Gravatar Paul J. Lane
    February 16, 2013 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one. I went into it “knowing” that I was going to vote for Iggy A. After reading the hagiographies, I must now vote for Iggy L. The ability to keep an open mind and listen to the arguments is something that I learned from the Jesuits. (It’s also what led me out of Rome to Canterbury.) Having come from a typical barely post Vatican II R.C. parish, the Jesies at Fordham taught me that there is another way to be a Christian. A Christianity where it is permissible to think. So I am voting for the legacy as much as for the man. (Off to the Church of Iggy A later today.)

  43. Dorine Houston's Gravatar Dorine Houston
    February 16, 2013 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    *Nobody* whose order has been known for persecuting Anglicans and Protestants will ever get my vote. Ignatius of Antioch, on the other hand, showed kindness to all and cared about unity among Christians by loving, shepherding leadership rather than force.

  44. Lee's Gravatar Lee
    February 16, 2013 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Ignatius of Loyala… the Jesuits have a lot of bad history (Christendom as a whole does) but they also have good history… I think of the six Jesuits of the Universidad de Central América in San Salvador (Antiguo Cuscatlán), martyred on 16 November 1989 for their speaking out against the governmental repression. Their brains were blown out as if their assassins could kill their ideas but their ideas live on. (No surprise that I am going to vote for Oscar Romero, San Romero de las Américas.)

    On a lighter note, if Ignatius could survive the running of the bulls in Pamplona, well…

  45. Hope and Skye's Gravatar Hope and Skye
    February 16, 2013 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning, This is Skye – my sister is playing Paper Monsters on the other computer so I’m doing the family voting today. I clicked the button for the Iggy lion-tamer Saint. I really liked the picture of those two lions that are pictured with him – he looks so kind and gentle – and he has a golden halo already so maybe he’ll win the whole thing by the end of Lent. The other Iggy person looks rather scary with the skull on the table and a dead person on the ground.

    • Susan Chacon's Gravatar Susan Chacon
      February 16, 2013 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Skye,
      I just wanted you to know that I always look to see what you and Hope think before I cast my vote. I don’t always vote for your choice, but you always offer something worth considering as I make my decision.

  46. February 16, 2013 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Loyola. I can’t blame him for the anti-Anglican actions of the Jesuits.

  47. February 16, 2013 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    Iggy A. for me. gotta go with the 68 AD witness. too powerful to IGnore.

  48. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    February 16, 2013 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Another difficult choice. I had to go with Ignatius Loyola SJ since my Lenten reading is “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life” and ” The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living”.

    • Mary-Elise's Gravatar Mary-Elise
      February 16, 2013 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

      My Life with the Saints is great too.

  49. Aileen Ryder's Gravatar Aileen Ryder
    February 16, 2013 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Educated by Jesuits for 8 years. This one was easy. Ignatius of Loyola all the way.

  50. February 16, 2013 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    I came to post my thoughts and I just saw Dorine’s. Ironically as a Lutheran, my theological ancestors were among the favorite targets of the Jesuits. Still, I am voting for Ignatius of Loyola despite the persecutions that happened. People suffered wrongly on both sides of those religious wars, and I admire his story. Like him, I have a military background and relate to his own conversion in some ways. “God in all things” is a compelling spiritual view in my book. I have found the Spiritual Exercises whether formally directed or adapted less formally to bible studies quite helpful in opening up scripture and my heart. Further, the Jesuits have done good some incredible work in education and social justice. As a former Catholic, I personally experienced some wonderful mentoring from Jesuit priests, especially two in my parish as a teen. Yes, as one of my former history teachers proclaimed, the Society of Jesus sometimes acted like “Stormtroopers of God,” and they historically have been involved in palace intrigues, but I think context matters in evaluating the founder’s legacy. I see a lot of fruit among the brambles. So, I enthusiastically voted for Ignatius of Loyola and hope others will too.

  51. February 16, 2013 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Eucharist+Bishops=Episcopalian=Ignatius of Antioch. Lust for martyrdom, not so much.

  52. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    February 16, 2013 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Again, tough call, but finally went with Loyola. So many gifts in my life from teachers formed by Jesuit colleges and other institutions, the profound impact of the Jesuits murdered/martyred in various places of mission around the world, and the continuing grace of the Exercises…plus my parish sits at the foot of Mount Saint James (where Holy Cross is located)…so, pray for us all, Iggy L.!

  53. cdcrosby's Gravatar cdcrosby
    February 16, 2013 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Really wish we didn’t have to choose…but where would the game be then? Studied with the Jesuits, find Ignatian spirituality to be amazing. Gotta go with Loyola.

  54. Anne's Gravatar Anne
    February 16, 2013 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one for me and I have to confess that I turned from Ignatius A because of the actual martrydom – just makes me a bit ill. (The mother of a friend of mine read Lives of the Saints aloud at the dinner table – put my friend right off structured religion!) On the other hand, missionary zeal has so often led to abuses against those being “guided.” Still, the Jesuit dedication to learning and their deep spirituality drew my vote for Ignatius L.

  55. Albert Krueger's Gravatar Albert Krueger
    February 16, 2013 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    Ignatius of Loyola is one of my faves, but reading the letters of Ignatius of Antioch in an undergraduate class in the philosophy of religion when I was an astronomy major was instrumental in bringing me to the Christian faith. I have to vote “Antioch.”

  56. jon rinnander's Gravatar jon rinnander
    February 16, 2013 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Voted for Ignatius of Antioch, partly to honor him and partly to honor the memory of the recently (2.5 years ago) martyred (horribly decapitated)RC bishop of that area, Luigi Padovese, whom i knew personally. Mr. Sibley is using outdated books of reference. Antakya (Hatay) has been part of the Republic of Turkey for 70 years or more!!!! It is not far from Iskenderun (formerly Alexandria) and Tarsus. Antakya is currently harboring thousands of refugees from nearby Syria, so this is an occasion to reflect and pray for Syria.

  57. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    February 16, 2013 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Ended up voting for IggyA after all; ever since I first heard it, I’ve loved the “pious story” that he was one of the children Jesus called to him. And then there’s the martyrdom.

    I’ve definitely been voting the early (and earlier) church so far anyway. And anyway: there’s always another Lent Madness….

  58. michelle's Gravatar michelle
    February 16, 2013 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    This is much harder than yesterday. I admire the emphasis on education and imaginative prayer, but the whole inquisition association leaves me cold. But the passion for martyrdom makes me leery as well. I think I may have to go with Loyola for valuing the life of the mind.

  59. February 16, 2013 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    As an Ignatian spiritual director and female Catholic priest formed by Jesuits I’m all about Inigo de Loyola. I also officially protest on his behalf the gloomy icky picture highlighting the Counter Reformation context that already makes him the dark horse in this contest, while the gorgeous lions in Iggy I’s probably upped his vote by ten percent! I couldn’t find a way to link to the awesome Rublev inspired “Three Companions of Jesus” that shows Iggy II with Francis Xavier and Pierre Favre but here is Robert Lentz’ version https://www.trinitystores.com/store/art-image/st-ignatius-loyola-1491-1556. Other appealing Ignatian features are an online Lenten retreat http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-spiritual-exercises/an-ignatian-prayer-adventure/ and Margaret Silf’s time travel novel about him http://www.amazon.com/Just-Call-Me-Lopez-Ignatius/dp/0829436685.

    • Mark D.'s Gravatar Mark D.
      February 16, 2013 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

      thank you for the links!

  60. Sheri Blume's Gravatar Sheri Blume
    February 16, 2013 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, but I had to go with the first Ignatius based on his ideas about the Eucharist. I did however bookmark Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola as a book I want to read.

  61. February 16, 2013 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    OK, normally I would vote for a Patristic saint over a Counter-Reformation saint. However, the Jesuits were the first missionaries to Japan and made a faithful and courageous Christian witness there, along with many Japanese converts. For two hundred years Christianity went underground in Japan after that persecution, but faith continued until Japan was opened again to the West. Given my sojourn in Japan, I am voting for Ignatius of Loyola.

  62. Frances's Gravatar Frances
    February 16, 2013 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    This is the first year I have participated and find I am enjoying this Monty Pythonesque Lenten study immensely. As a veteran, I had anticipated voting for I. L., but am now wavering towards I.A. I think I will eventually vote for L., but at this point….

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      February 16, 2013 - 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the madness! You plan to vote one way, but then you read blogs and comments and think maybe the other, and…yup. Me too.

  63. February 16, 2013 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    I suspect the “celebrity blogger” is trying to throw this one for Ignatius of Antioch. To use the archaic and tendentious term “Counter Reformation” and to draw a direct connection between Ignatius of Loyola and the recatholicization efforts in Elizabethan England seems to me like waving a red flag in front of bulls. It’s pretty clear from Ignatius’ own biography and writings from the early Jesuits that he wasn’t particularly concerned with Protestantism. In fact, he himself was arrested and interrogated by Spanish Inquisitors on more than one occasion. And early on, he advised his order not to engage in anti-Protestant polemic or activity. Perhaps the SEC needs historical consultants.

  64. David's Gravatar David
    February 16, 2013 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    Tough call!
    I am a proud product of Loyola University Chicago and a big fan of the Jesuits… But that whole Inquisition thing is troubling to me.
    Ignatius of Antioch wrote some of my favorite letters from the second century… And glorified martyrdom to an unhealthy degree.
    What to do, what to do.

  65. Dennis Coughlin's Gravatar Dennis Coughlin
    February 16, 2013 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Although I attended a Jesuit university for a business degree, I also attended an Episcopal university (YSR) and have voted for Ignatius of Antioch. Voting in Lent Madness is made easier when there is a connection. One just has to find the connection or be good at making one up.

  66. Emma's Gravatar Emma
    February 16, 2013 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    I’m just hoping my vote for Loyola brings me good luck as I wait to hear back from a Jesuit university!

  67. Jill's Gravatar Jill
    February 16, 2013 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    What tipped the vote for Ignatius of Antioch for me was this, ” … an especially tireless advocate for the unity of the church through the community’s participation in the Eucharist – which he saw to be the continuing life of Jesus Christ in the church — “breaking one bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote we take in order not to die but to live forever in Jesus Christ.””

    • Timothy Rich's Gravatar Timothy Rich
      February 17, 2013 - 1:02 am | Permalink


  68. Glennda Hardin's Gravatar Glennda Hardin
    February 16, 2013 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’ve made a number of retreats to the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau, LA. Each one has brought me into focus and enabled me to make a significant change in my life. In thanksgiving to Ignatius of Loyola for making possible the eventual establishment of that holy place, I’ve voted for him.

  69. celia clowe's Gravatar celia clowe
    February 16, 2013 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Loyola! Eternally grateful for my son’s education at Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, TX.

  70. Rex Van Alstine's Gravatar Rex Van Alstine
    February 16, 2013 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for the Ignatius who wrote letters once considered for inclusion in the New Testament and died for the faith. There are other sickly intellectuals up for consideration further down the line and they didn’t think the only choice was to be Catholic or dead.

  71. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    February 16, 2013 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Jesuits are too crafty and sophisticated in a real brainy way…too smart for MY own good! MAPLE ANGLICAN, your commentators are a hoot with those accents as if we don’t recognize them. Jeez Luize! Onward and upward with Antioch…so far, so good. Can’t resist…have the JtheB aficiandos recovered yet and sorry they felt the urge to cheat..Holy Moly !!! Give it up guys! Lucy won fair and square!!!

  72. Diane Amison-Loring's Gravatar Diane Amison-Loring
    February 16, 2013 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I worked for the Jesuits at one of their high schools. I have a deep respect for them and their founder. They truly raise up “men and women for others”. I love the way that the Jesuits are sharing the riches of their tradition with their secular faculty. Go, Loyola!

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      February 16, 2013 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Diane doesn’t mention that she was an Episcopal nun at the time; we used to call her the world’s only Anglican Jesuit nun. I share her respect for the order an its founder; but Antioch really belongs to the whole church, and provides a basis for our ecclesiology and sacramentalism, that wins my vote.

  73. February 16, 2013 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the “vote fraud” issue, you should look up Network Address Translation (NAT). Many people access the Internet through a school or other shared connection. This means that even if they are on separate computers/smartphones, a web server will log them as all having the same IP Address. It might be hard to figure out a way to distinguish between a multiple-voter and a bunch of people voting from the same network. You could ask people to make individuals accounts and log in. You could encourage people on smartphones to turn off wifi and use their phone’s data connection while voting.
    Or, perhaps you know all this and are on top of it. I just posted this in case you weren’t aware that this might not have been attempted vote fraud.

    • February 16, 2013 - 12:14 pm | Permalink


      Thanks, we’re all over it. For the most part, we’re pretty adept at spotting the difference between a family who all vote on separate devices and a house where someone tries to game the system. As I’ve said elsewhere, we sometimes see upwards of 20 (and last year, a couple of notable cases in the hundreds) votes from a single residential house. In our effort to keep things fair for all, we close down addresses where suspicious voting is found. While the SEC is not infallible, our percentage of mistakes on this is pretty low.

      Those who are honest — who vote once, even in families — should not have to worry about being cast into the outer darkness of Lent Madness.

      • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
        February 16, 2013 - 11:37 pm | Permalink

        God bless the SEC for its omniscient and just administration of the voting process. Please know that if any multiple votes come in from my IP that’ll be the cats logging in after we’re asleep to vote for Ignatius of Antioch (or “Cat Food”, as they like to call him).

  74. Edna's Gravatar Edna
    February 16, 2013 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius of Loyola all the way! He gave us the spiritual exercises still widely used (at least in my circles) by Spiritual Directors today. Countless seekers have discovered their deep relationship with God through his writings and witness. I am all for a “soldier of the realm” turned “Knight for Christ.”

  75. Katie's Gravatar Katie
    February 16, 2013 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    LOYOLA!!! Is there anyone who thinks the Jesuits are one of the most important, enlightening groups with in the Catholic Church? I mean seriously!! Christians are always making each other angry but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to learn from the other side. Plus I go to USF Law School, across the street from St. Ignatius (of Loyola) Catholic Church. . . .

  76. February 16, 2013 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Nice. Glad to hear you’ve got it covered, oh most wise SEC! 🙂

  77. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    February 16, 2013 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    While I can’t deny the historical (and ecclesial) importance of Iggy A, I think it’s Iggy L who is the more likely to be able to reach today’s world with its focus on the subjective. As a fanatic of the New Evangelization, it’s Ignatius of Loyola for me!

  78. MaryBeth's Gravatar MaryBeth
    February 16, 2013 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    As a Catholic and grad of a Jesuit Univeristy, I have to go with Loyola. Tough one though, since I teach Sunday School to 2nd graders, and Antioch believed so strongly in the Eucharist…

  79. Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
    February 16, 2013 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Silly reason to vote for Ig of A – My dad worked at Antioch College, and I went there very briefly.
    Real reason – not fond of Jesuits.

  80. Gian's Gravatar Gian
    February 16, 2013 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius of Loyola was a Spaniard and my blood is Spanish. In addition, I have a good friend who is a Jesuits Priest. I think I have to vote for him, even if the Jesuits were the one who educated the Dictator from my motherland (Cuba). However, their missions in South America were fabulous and they protected Indians and that is the reason why today they still speak Guarani in Paraguay.

  81. Kathy Tolf's Gravatar Kathy Tolf
    February 16, 2013 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m loyal to Loyola; despite (or perhaps, because of) their relationship with the persecution of the Reformation, the Jesuits have brought much good and more education into the RC world than many give them credit for. As a total non-believer back in the day. I was quite keen on my daughter going to Fordham. I wasn’t so much interested that she be inculcated as a Catholic, but with Social Responsibility, and the Jesuits were and are preaching that well beyond the choir. I will agree there are a lot of things to hold against the Jesuits, but I think, far more goes to their credit. They have sometimes been used as an instrument of Papal conformity, but much more often they have been a light shining onto what they perceive as the wrongs of faith and society. They were also the only place in my lifetime where questioning and education were not heretical. In that respect, I’d say they have more in common with the Reformers than not. Learning to defend one’s beliefs by forcing critical examination of same isn’t a bad way to operate. And that is what Jesuits do in their educational forum- they encourage thought, they uphold service to the marginalized, and they believe in a mature commitment to faith. Not too shabby!

    • Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
      February 16, 2013 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Ignatius of Loyola understood humanity’s deep yearning for God and how to help them to recognize, embrace, and defend that yearning in a lifelong quest to fire both the brain through education and to fire the spirit through finding “God in all things.”

  82. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 16, 2013 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This one is really a toughie. My saintly knowledge is limited and I am using Lent Madness to improve it – so I have no prior knowledge to base my vote on. Both Iggys give me hope and inspiration as well as turn offs – the quest for martyrdom from Ig A and the anti reformation inclinations from Ig L. I loved reading the comments today. Thank you all. Still can’t decide though.

  83. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 16, 2013 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    After reading the collects for each again I voted for Ignatius of Loyola.
    It was the collect that decided me.

  84. De's Gravatar De
    February 16, 2013 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I read about this website in our local newspaper and thought it was a wonderful idea. Even though I’m Catholic, I’ve been reading along and truly enjoying what has been written so far. I was very interested to read about Jonathan Daniels, not a saint that the Catholics recognize, but a truly holy man who I was happy to learn about.
    That being said, I was a little insulted at the jab at the pope in today’s writing. While he may not be your Holy Father, the disrespect for a decision that had to be extremely difficult and has been a serious matter for a lot of people seemed unnecessary to me.
    Also, I’m not defending Catholics in the Reformation, but many Catholics have died at the hands of Anglicans in England as well.
    All that being said, I will be back on Monday to read about Absalom Jones and Luke.

    • Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
      February 16, 2013 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

      As an unfortunate expert of “open mouth insert foot” communication, I also spotted what seemed to quickly pass from a tacky comment to tasteless attempt at humor with the repeat mention of a pope who did not resign.

      Everything I’ve read about Lent Madness indicates levity and quirkiness, so deliberate hurting I cannot imagine was meant, but I am very sorry for your hurt, De, and for anyone else who cannot entirely enjoy today’s posts.

    • February 16, 2013 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

      I too was surprised at the references to papal resignations. But at least the second one, referring to Gregory XV, can be seen as “informational” because it’s hard to keep the names and numbers all straight; it was Gregory XII who resigned, in 1417. I did not know that Benedict XVI is actually the eighth to be counted as resigning. http://atheism.about.com/od/popesandthepapacy/a/resignations_2.htm

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 16, 2013 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for staying with the Madness, De. The Lads (one of whom is my Rector) do get a little boyish now and then, but overlooking their occasional excesses is a small price to pay for the fun and enlightenment they bring us.

      My guess is that they and most Anglicans join the consensus that in resigning Benedict has shown unprecedented courage and exceptional wisdom and wish him, and his and your Church, every blessing.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        February 16, 2013 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Oops, Heidi, I should have read the byline first. Didn’t mean to call you a lad.

      • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
        February 16, 2013 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

        I really doubt it was any kind of jab at the Pope! Don’t forget that the Archbishop of Canterbury also resigned last year, so I don’t think Anglicans find a resignation to be a negative thing. Nobody once criticized him, that I can recall.

        I took it as merely “being topical” in a sort of whimsical way – and maybe even a jab at the modern media, if anything, who couldn’t get enough of the “first Pope to resign in 600 years!” angle.

  85. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    February 16, 2013 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    You know who else was a Jesuit? Gerard Manley Hopkins, he of “Divinely Superfluous Beauty”.

    • Timothy Rich's Gravatar Timothy Rich
      February 17, 2013 - 1:09 am | Permalink


  86. Claudia Koczka's Gravatar Claudia Koczka
    February 16, 2013 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    IggyA v IggyL — a tough call; but IggyA defends the full humanity/divinity of JC, & promotes the fullness of church unity in Holy Eucharist. He’s everything you could want in a saint, and he gets eaten by lions to boot. Hard to top martydom by wild beast, I always say. My father, brothers, and nephew, receiving good Jesuit education via an apparently hereditary association with Their School (which doesn’t admit women btw) would probably think me disloyola (get it???) for not voting the family party line, but they certainly outnumber me and if they think IggyL should win, they can go ahead and vote for him from their own ISP addresses. Mine’s for IggyA.

  87. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    February 16, 2013 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I do like Iggy L, however I feel more inclined to vote for Iggy A, who seemed to be less about himself and more about unification of the faithful.

  88. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    February 16, 2013 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m assuming the references to popes who did not resign were meant to be funny. I can read them that way. I can also read them as jibes, which could be anywhere on a continuum of meant-to-be-funny (definitely falling flat) to disapproval of someone else’s decision (definitely rude and not necessary). Just all around, they are words that could have been left out.

    Information on the saints, I appreciate. A chance to read the names of people long gone, thus bringing them to “life” again for a time, I do love. Please, please leave things at that.

  89. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    February 16, 2013 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I am thinking also of the present day martyrs i am honoring and voting for Ignatius of Antioch

  90. James Gibbons Walker's Gravatar James Gibbons Walker
    February 16, 2013 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    After six years of Jesuit education, and exposure to the social justice work of the order in the 60s, my vote goes to Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius of Antioch is known only to students of church history. That said, Ignatius of Antioch does urge the model of bishop as shepherd/servant which I find particularly important in these times of authoritarianism/triumphalism among church leaders. See

    Brent, Allen. Cultural Episcopacy and Ecumenism: Representative Ministry in Church History from the Age of Ignatius of Antioch to the Reformation. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992.

    _____. Ignatius of Antioch: A Martyr Bishop and the Origin of Episcopacy. London: T&T Clark International, 2007.

    Foster, Paul. “The Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch (Part 1).” The Expository Times 117, no. 12 (2006): 487-495.

    _____. “The Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch (Part 2).” The Expository Times 118, no. 1 (2006): 2-11.

    Hoffman, Daniel. “The Authority of Scripture and Apostolic Doctrine in Ignatius of Antioch.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 28, no. 1 (March 1985): 71-79.

    Howell, Kenneth J. Ignatius of Antioch & Polycarp of Smyrna: A New Translation and Theological Commentary. Zanesville, OH: CHResources, 2009.

    Lohr, Hermut. “The Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch.” In The Apostolic Fathers: An Introduction, edited by Wilhelm Pratscher, translated by Elisabeth G. Wolfe, 91-115. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2010.

    Lotz, John-Paul. Ignatius and Concord: The Background and Use of the Language of Concord in the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch. New York: Peter Lang, 2007.

    Maier, Harry O. The Social Setting of the Ministry as Reflected in the Writings of Hermas, Clement and Ignatius. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1991.

    • Claudia Koczka's Gravatar Claudia Koczka
      February 16, 2013 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Maybe if Iggy A wins the vote, he will no longer only be known by students of church history.

    • February 16, 2013 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Whee, a bibliography! Thank you!

      I confess I’m a bit uneasy with IofA’s emphasis on the mono-episcopacy, which was just emerging. But your point about bishop as shepherd/servant is a very good one.

  91. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    February 16, 2013 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    As another graduate of a Jesuit university (the University of Detroit, before it became UD-Mercy), I came to today’s bios fully intending to vote for IggyL. And I did.

    But it was harder than I thought it would be. MUCH harder.

    I’ve loved reading all of today’s comments, but felt a special pull toward those that have praised the Jesuits’ educational, spiritual, and real-world accomplishments. My college education—and I was the first in my family to attend—has enriched my life beyond measure.

  92. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    February 16, 2013 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Since the abuse I have failed to place trust in the bishops. Don’t think iggy if Antioch meant for this dismiss among the hierarchy. Therefore I am voting for the education and social justices of the Jesuits. Go Iggy of Loyola!

  93. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    February 16, 2013 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Have to vote for Iggy A for his teaching of the full unity of the church through the Eucharist. Bringing the children of our worship community into full participation in the Eucharist is central to my work as children’s ministry director . So go Iggy A !

  94. Cindy Selby's Gravatar Cindy Selby
    February 16, 2013 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I must admit that being martyred by lions for one’s faith is worthy of much veneration, I have much respect for the Jesuits and voted for Ignatius of Loyola. However the vote turns out, though, we can’t go wrong with the Iggys.

  95. Molly R's Gravatar Molly R
    February 16, 2013 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Iggy of Loyola is my man: he started out as a romantic ladies’s man who won the respect of his foes in battle by taking them on when he was hopelessly outnumbered (OT style). He encountered God when he realized that his fantasies about the saints left him feeling filled up as opposed to his romantic and sexual fantasies that left him dissatisfied. And THEN he decides to give God some quality time in a cave. He quieted his mind and opened himself to God. My favorite line of his, “I spent these days as a school child, taught by God.” And THEN he created his Spiritual Exercises, which are amazing, transformative, and life-changing. AND that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ignatius of Loyola!

  96. Alan Medsker's Gravatar Alan Medsker
    February 16, 2013 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    This one was not nearly as difficult as previous contests (including Play-ins!) were for me. The unity thing puts I of A over the top!

    And, as someone with precious little history, culture and religious education, I’m happy to be even aware that there are more than one Ignatiuses (Ignati?)…

  97. Molly R's Gravatar Molly R
    February 16, 2013 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I like all the romantic saints: Ig of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Margaret of Cortona…hmm, something to bring up with a therapist or spiritual director…oh, was that out loud? 😉

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 16, 2013 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Margaret of Cortona — a rare and discerning choice! Do you suppose we can get her onto the bracket one of these Lents?

  98. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    February 16, 2013 - 3:16 pm | Permalink

    In reading about I of A I was struck by how much of what I most prize in the Church and Indeed in the Anglican tradition is found in his thinking. In I of L I find, along with much that is good and holy, a different vision. His Wikipedia article quotes him, I trust accurately, as having written in Rule 13 of the Spiritual Exercises:

    “That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity with the Church herself, if she shall have defined anything to be black which appears to our eyes to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black. For we must undoubtingly believe, that the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of the Orthodox Church His Spouse, by which Spirit we are governed and directed to Salvation, is the same; …”

    Not exactly your three-legged stool.

    Quite a few people seem to be voting for the Jesuits as we know them, rather than for their founder. While we may give thanks for the grace by which they have become so largely a force for good, and the grace by which I of L was led to establish them, they’re not on the ballot; and the mixed nature of his legacy suffers when compared to the apparent purity of his opponent’s.

  99. Margaret Smist's Gravatar Margaret Smist
    February 16, 2013 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    My liberal RC upbringing leaned me towards Loyola but now asa recovering RC :-), I bristled at his anti-Reformation zeal and voted for Antioch.

  100. Murray's Gravatar Murray
    February 16, 2013 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    One of the highest compliments I’ve ever had from my Jesuit-trained husband is “very good! That was a distinction almost worthy of the Jesuits!” I wish I had had a Jesuit education, alas! One more thing about the historical info on Iggy A: studies have shown that no Christians were ever martyred in the Coliseum. At other places in Rome, but not the Coliseum. So after reading all the comments so far, I’m going to . . . uhm . . . I really want to vote for the guy who keeps the Eucharist at the center of our lives. Well, I think I’ll keep my decision secret.

  101. Judy Austin's Gravatar Judy Austin
    February 16, 2013 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I voted for IofL because of the modern Jesuits (and I am a Presbyterian). He set the tone and the spirit for a remarkable group of people whose influence on young people is extraordinary. It’s a bit unfair to compare the two Is closely because they were of such different times.

  102. Harry W's Gravatar Harry W
    February 16, 2013 - 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius of Loyola gets my vote, a man who knew the value of an educated
    mind and helped many to find and get that education.

  103. Beverly's Gravatar Beverly
    February 16, 2013 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Gotta go with Ignatius of Antioch – we are reading about him this week in EfM – and I admit his approach to Jesus’ divine nature vs human nature!

  104. Frances Rudy's Gravatar Frances Rudy
    February 16, 2013 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    My vote is for Ignatius of Antioch since he was a martyr for Christianity. Ignatius of Loyola almost got my vote for his theology and his starting of Jesuit teachings, but Ignatius of Antioch did create many ideas Episcopalians follow.

  105. Deacon Lisa's Gravatar Deacon Lisa
    February 16, 2013 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

    As we here at ECIM struggle with the consolidation of our three churches here on Guam I must go with Ignatius of Antioch. Unity through Eucharist, Body, mind and spirit. It’s our siren call.

  106. Joan's Gravatar Joan
    February 16, 2013 - 4:49 pm | Permalink


  107. Heidi E's Gravatar Heidi E
    February 16, 2013 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    This one was tough, but Iggy A’s love of the Eucharist got my vote-

  108. Zac's Gravatar Zac
    February 16, 2013 - 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Iggy of Loyola. Someone who asked to be martyred “so that I may prove to be pure bread” sounded a touch too arrogant for me. I much more relate to to the playboy turned devoted Christian is much more relatable.

  109. Gary47290's Gravatar Gary47290
    February 16, 2013 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    The Jesuits have been the source of so much pain and error in Church history. How could I vote for Loyola?

    • Thomas's Gravatar Thomas
      February 16, 2013 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

      If Ignatius of Antioch had inspired his own order, I’m sure the same charge could have been leveled against him.

      Forgive, be reconciled, and vote for Loyola!

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        February 16, 2013 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

        The example of the Franciscans suggests that orders do differ when it comes to pain and error.

  110. Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
    February 16, 2013 - 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Gotta go with Loyola…all about the Jesuits baby!!

  111. Johannas Jordan's Gravatar Johannas Jordan
    February 16, 2013 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Iggy of Antioch, he had sound views or Bishop’s and knowing what God was calling him to do and be.
    And then I got to the collect for Iggy of Loyola, seeing God in all things. That spoke to my heart in a new way. Out of gratitude I’m casting my vote for Iggy of Loyola. And I have great respect for the Jesuits.

  112. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    February 16, 2013 - 6:12 pm | Permalink

    The lions did it for me, and the Eucharist! The symbolism is impeccable!

  113. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    February 16, 2013 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing fair about Lent Madness, the contest that pits one saint against another.
    How can one choose the more saintly saint? Separated by centuries (sometimes), by culture, by geography, and by political and social realities, how can any-21st-century-one select a holy person from a pair of holy persons?
    Impossible. Madness.
    So, we study the saints, reflect on our own life experiences, wonder at their accomplishments, and, finally, vote.
    Lent Madness is not for the faint of heart—nor for the entirely rational. One needs courage in the form of hot cocoa in a Lent Madness mug, of course.
    So, I sigh and vote for Ignatius of Antioch for his episcopal idea, his letters & his sacrifice.

  114. ChurchLady's Gravatar ChurchLady
    February 16, 2013 - 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I do have great respect for the Jesuits, but I confess the art history buff in me was swayed by that gorgeous icon of Iggy of Antioch. Maybe that’s why I also pick football teams based on their uniforms??

    • John Clemens's Gravatar John Clemens
      February 16, 2013 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

      The comments on ‘unity’ are interesting to me because of the potential context. I’m not sure of Iggy I but suspect in his era factions were developing long before Constantine. Gnostics come to mind that may have been of concern in the early church. They were possibly seen as “breakaways” from the fledgling established church. The concern for unity was an effort to preserve the establishment. In fact the Gnostics may have called the ‘establishment’ loyalists. Modern “unity” issues surfacing in the diocese of South Carolina could be compared to this ancient threat to unity but a mirror image of the ancient context. In modern times, the established Episcopal Church is seen as drifting away from established “tradition.” The breakaway churches are seen as preserving and protecting established tradition. I wonder if the Gnostics saw it the same way?

    • John Clemens's Gravatar John Clemens
      February 16, 2013 - 9:43 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t mean for this to come up as a ‘reply’ to your comment. Sorry.

  115. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    February 16, 2013 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

    What’s up with the PC abbreviation “CE” (“Common Era”) instead of good old “AD”?

    • John Clemens's Gravatar John Clemens
      February 16, 2013 - 9:41 pm | Permalink

      I revere science too. Dating is a secular function. “AD” is pc.

    • Gary47290's Gravatar Gary47290
      February 16, 2013 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Since scholars have concluded our Lord was born several years before the year 1, it seems incorrect to use Anno Domini for a misnumbered schema. I’m all in favor of C.E. / B.C.E to secularize the global numbering system.

      • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
        February 16, 2013 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

        I vote for CE/BCE too! Where’s the button…?

  116. Winnie's Gravatar Winnie
    February 16, 2013 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I would not normally engage in suh shenanigans on a Saturday evening, but for this vote, I am informing my Oriental Orhodox family and friends. Jesus’s preference is clear.

  117. Nancy Evanste's Gravatar Nancy Evanste
    February 16, 2013 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Speaking as one of the “nettled Anglicans” I think I had to vote for Iiggy of A since we here in Pittsburgh PA have had such controversy in our bishopric. Our hopes for unity lie in our new bishop. Let us hope that he not only can preserve unity but God’s true word as well. No I’m not a progressive, but I do believe we need to live to what God intent.

    All I know is that I have a great need to know that my bishop can hold the line when it comes to what the scriptures truly state!! I also plan to find the writings of Iiggy A as I feel a need to learn more.

  118. Gary's Gravatar Gary
    February 16, 2013 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone else noticing that the 53-47% margin mirrors the presidential election?

  119. Bev's Gravatar Bev
    February 16, 2013 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I have to vote for the person who lived for Christ and not the person who died for Christ. Loyola got my vote.

  120. DWF's Gravatar DWF
    February 16, 2013 - 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I just love the name Ignatius and its various spellings throughout the languages of Christendom. Ygnacio. Ignatz. Ignace.

  121. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    February 16, 2013 - 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Iggy L certainly is currently having a sub-par performance in today’s voting. I am wondering if “Gods Marines” failed to get the memo to vote today or is it possible that the tens of thousands of people attending Jesuit schools are busy today cheering on their respective sports teams? Perhaps a call should be made to either the Vatican or to ESPN to see if either of these factors is in play.

  122. Deakswan's Gravatar Deakswan
    February 16, 2013 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Looks like another close call!

  123. Marianne's Gravatar Marianne
    February 16, 2013 - 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Iggy of A for me. I am taking a class with a cohort of Native Americans and Canadians–I am a token white colonialist among them. They are not fans of those Jesuits. Thinking of Lenore Three Stars and the memory of Richard Twiss, I vote no on Iggy of L.

  124. February 16, 2013 - 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what to make of so many descendants of the Protestant Reformation supporting a staunch Counter-Reformation figure. I didn’t expect Loyola to do as well as he has. He might still pull ahead. The Lent Madness voting public never ceases to amaze me.

  125. Allison's Gravatar Allison
    February 16, 2013 - 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Who would I rather hang out with: Someone who likes to sit around reading novels of chivalry, or someone who goes around begging to be martyred?
    Genteel introverts for Loyola!

    • February 16, 2013 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

      ROFL!!! This comment made my night.
      Another Genteel Introvert.

  126. Kurt's Gravatar Kurt
    February 16, 2013 - 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I voted for the saint who died at the teeth of the fierce wild beasts (in the words of Lesbia Scott).

  127. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    February 16, 2013 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I have to vote for the Iggy who was passionate about unity of the church! It’s Antioch for me!

  128. February 16, 2013 - 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Iggy of A is my man and I ain’t lion.

  129. Lauren M's Gravatar Lauren M
    February 16, 2013 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    This business about Iggy A’s martyrdom – give me a break. Iggy of L surely lost his life for the Cross as much as Iggy of A – only Iggy of L lost his worldy life, and his loss was thoughtful, mystical, and wrought from experience, not something he gave himself over to simply because he knew it was coming. And the anti-Counter-Reformation stuff – give me a double break. The Counter-Reformation was at heart a rejection of all-out rejecting, and an attempt to find the soul of the Church within its existing principles, instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water. All of us who remain within an established church should embrace the Counter-Reformation just as much as the Reformation. Sometimes it’s worth not starting over.

    Give me the mystic any day, but I bet both of the Iggies are praying for Christian Unity.

  130. Cheribum's Gravatar Cheribum
    February 16, 2013 - 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Death by lions much cooler than malaria. Nod to Antioch.

  131. JoLynn's Gravatar JoLynn
    February 16, 2013 - 11:02 pm | Permalink

    No joke: my firstborn is named Ignatius after Ignatius of Loyola. Needless to say where my vote had to go…

  132. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    February 16, 2013 - 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I was a little taken aback by the comments on popes not resigning. I am sure the current pope has his reasons which we are not privy to and besides who are we to cast aspersions.

    • February 17, 2013 - 12:57 am | Permalink

      And why were those comments taken as a criticism of the current Pope’s resigning? Talk about jumping to conclusions . . .!

    • Timothy Rich's Gravatar Timothy Rich
      February 17, 2013 - 1:23 am | Permalink

      Really, it was just a statement of facts. They didn’t resign. I don’t recall them saying anything about the present day Pontiff quitting?

  133. Patty DeMaria's Gravatar Patty DeMaria
    February 16, 2013 - 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Eaten by lions vs. having your leg re-mangled and finding God? Hmmm. I can’t vote for someone who begged the powerful to not get in the way of his demise, so I of L gets my vote today!

  134. February 16, 2013 - 11:50 pm | Permalink

    It’s too hard to decide which one I dislike the least. Ignatii, thank you both for your service but I’m going to abstain.

  135. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    February 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Permalink

    Just under the wire…whew! And this was so hard, because I never met a Jebbie I didn’t admire, and Ignatian meditation on Scripture is so richly rewarding. But Antioch gets my belated vote.

  136. jen's Gravatar jen
    February 17, 2013 - 3:23 am | Permalink

    First of all, whoever created the @LionsofRome Twitter account is freaking awesome.

    Some of the people I respect most are Jesuits (or at least former Jesuits) so I went with Ignatius of Loyola. I’m a fan of his spiritual exercises and the people who run Sacred Space have helped me with my prayer life when I’ve needed it.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      February 17, 2013 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the steer. Not on Twitter but now following the Lions anyways. Also Solemn Hulk twitter feed for Lenten spiritual discipline and help with rage smashes.

  137. Sun Down's Gravatar Sun Down
    February 17, 2013 - 6:16 am | Permalink

    Tim, You mentioned Popes who have not retired. Does retirement from the Papacy lessen or increase the importance of the their standings in history?

  138. Murray's Gravatar Murray
    February 17, 2013 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Sigh. Someone had to mention the fierce wild beasts. Now I’ll be humming that silly hymn all day. Meeting at shops and at tea, indeed. How about at school in the hall at Mickey D’s and the mall?

  139. Shelly Merrick's Gravatar Shelly Merrick
    February 17, 2013 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius of loyola

  140. Earl Higgins's Gravatar Earl Higgins
    February 17, 2013 - 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius of Loyola inspired many great men of science and literature. Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, theologian Karl Rahner, scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and theologian Avery Dulles were all Jesuits. Ignatius of Loyola is also the patron saint of one of the great buffoons of literature, Ignatius Reilly of “A Confederacy of Dunces.” My grandson’s middle name honors both Loyola and Reilly.

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  1. on February 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm