Well, friends, we began this Lent Madness journey over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday.” We started with 32 saints and have now whittled the field down to two: Frances Perkins and Luke the Evangelist.
While there's been lots of talk about modern saints vs. "bedrock" saints and the "fairness" of it all, in the end the Faithful Four was very well balanced. We had a 20th-century lay woman, a 1st-century evangelist, a 20th-century martyred Salvadoran bishop, and a 7th-century abbess. Wow!
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we’ve met some truly remarkable holy people along the way. Perhaps you learned about folks you’d never heard of or maybe you renewed acquaintances with saints who have long offered inspiration. Of course the entire notion of placing saints in a bracket is absurd — each “contestant” has already earned a crown of righteousness in addition to a “golden halo.” But at the heart of Lent Madness is the abiding conviction that encountering those who have come before us in the faith enriches and enlivens our own walk with the risen Christ.
In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we've all made some new online friends, encountered a community of believers who take their faith but not themselves too seriously, learned some things, were inspired by saintly witnesses, and had a lot fun along the way.
Of course we literally couldn’t have done this without our stellar “Celebrity Bloggers” to whom we offer sincere gratitude. Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Penny Nash, Heidi Shott, David Sibley, Laura Toepfer, Neil Alan Willard, Chris Yaw. The unsung hero of this whole operation is former Celebrity Blogger and current Bracket Czar Adam Thomas. And we can't forget the ever mysterious Maple Anglican who brought us the inimitable shenanigans of Archbishops Thomas and John (watch today's video highlighting our final match-up here). You all rock!
Finally, thanks to all of you who participated by voting, commenting, drinking coffee out of Lent Madness mugs, filling in brackets, talking about saints at coffee hour, and allowing us to play a small role in your Lenten journey. We’ve loved having each one of you along for the “madness” and on behalf of the Supreme Executive Committee we wish you a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.
Oh, wait, there’s one more thing before we set our face toward the Triduum. Cast your vote for either Frances Perkins or Luke the Evangelist — the 2013 Golden Halo hangs in the balance! The polls will be open for 24 hours and the winner will be announced at 8:00 am Eastern time on Maundy Thursday.
"The technique of administration in a democracy is not easy…The statute law and the natural law, the law of God, must be somehow or other blended together, and fairness and decency and patience must prevail."
Frances Perkins, 1939
Luke the Evangelist
"Do not be afraid; for see -- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people."