Harriet Tubman vs. Hilda of Whitby

The ever-kontroversial Saintly Kitsch Week continues with a tough choice between Harriet Tubman and Hilda of Whitby. Harriet made it thus far by storming past Nicholas Ferrar and Martha of Bethany. Hilda of Whitby made it to the Elate Eight by overwhelming Samuel Seabury before holding off a pesky Ignatius of Antioch. The winner of this match-up will earn a spot in the Faithful Four and a date with Frances Perkins. Get a preview of today’s match-up from the hardest working video blogger this side of the Yukon Territory, Maple Anglican.

Yesterday we bid farewell to a valiant Florence Li Tim-Oi as she was soundly defeated by Oscar Romero. The martyred archbishop of El Salvador will now face the winner of tomorrow’s battle between Luke and Dorothy Day.

We’re halfway through the Elate Eight! By the weekend there will be just four saints standing. Is your favorite still in the bracket? Do you have someone you’re passionately pulling for? Are you out campaigning and driving all of your friends and relatives crazy with this little churchy game you’re playing? Has Lent ever been so awesome? Have you ever dreaded the approach of Easter? These are some of the questions hanging out there as you prepare to face more kitsch.

37991_12555_4625_XTPLBSTKR1_-1853363819Harriet Tubman

Harriet Ross Tubman, abolitionist, activist, soldier, spy, visionary and all-around fighter for justice, has much paraphernalia to her illustrious name.

First of all, there is an elementary school named after Harriet. They have much merchandise for the purchasing, and they are the Harriet Tubman Frogs. No clue why, but hey, frogs are intrepid little amphibians with their transforming and their adaptiveness! So, you go Harriet Tubman Frogs of Washington DC! Hop with bravery!

keep_going_mico_the_bearWhile you’re hopping, you might get scared. In this case, why not get a cute Harriet Tubman-quoting teddy bear? YES. These exist.

(Ok, it would appear that this bear is quoting Hilary Clinton, who is quoting Harriet Tubman, at the ’08 DNC, all in support of Obama in 2008. Which is a heck of a lot for one small bear’s tummy to do, but still. Behold a multitasking teddy bear!)

If the idea of a politically-affiliated plush toy upset you, I have a solution. Behold, Harriet harriet_tubman_steinTubman barware! We have several options here:harriet_tubman_bff_drinking_glass

One, if you are assured of your closeness with Lady Moses, and one if you have some humility about you, somewhere.

(These are also available as wine chillers, for you die-hard Episcopalians.)

pl_harriet_tubman_throw_pillowBut if you are inspired, and want to fully decorate your abode in this theme, this can be done. Here, Tubman-themed throw pillows, and Tubman-quoting messenger bags.

(You thought the bear was confused on his message — I don’t know what the throw pillow is communicating. But you can get that message on a teddy bear too, so if the earlier teddy bear confused you, here’s a viable alternative. You can also get this message on a pet bowl, which I’m not even going to attempt to unpack.)

Then, we have the usual dizzying array of t-shirts. Again, we have ones for those who want to take on the saint’s identity:hello_my_name_is_harriet_light_tshirt

And finally, we have my personal favorite:have_a_harriet_moment_womens_long_sleeve_tshirt

As for me, I am totally ordering one of those glasses.

Megan Castellan

Hilda of Whitby

Hilda, the great Abbess of the double monastery at Whitby, is more appropriately known as Hild of Streaneschalch (this proper Old English form of her name). However, since most of us can barely spell Episcopalian without spell-check, she is known in the church and throughout the world as Hilda.

whitby_abbey_england_uk_hat-r7c5cc4609cd94da391a654b73f85537e_v9wfy_8byvr_216Whitby is seaside town in the English county of North Yorkshire. The actual monastery was sacked by the Vikings in the 9th-century and dissolved under Henry the VIII’s reign, eventually falling into ruins. The Abbey ruins inspired Count Dracula’s castle and served as a prominent landmark for sailors. So, if you’re looking to meld God and the current vampire fad together, you can purchase this stunning hat that shows you are hip and holy, all at the same time. Especially tasteful is the elegant “trucker cut” of the hat, sure to be flattering on clergy and laity alike.

Being a coastal town, the beaches of Whitby are home to ancient ammonite fossils. To the mere novice, they might simply lookSilver like the fossilized remains of prehistoric predatory squid-like creatures (hey, I wonder the Sy-Fy Channel has considered a “The Horrors of Hilda” movie, pitting predatory squids against Dracula? But I digress…). To the knowledgeable readers of Lent Madness, you know that these are in fact the skeletal remains of the plague of snakes that Hilda turned to stone after they messed with the wrong abbess. Scientists even named the genus of these particular ammonites Hildoceras. Hilda’s ammonites exist today, commonly known as snakestones. You, too, can order any number of jeweled settings such as this lovely silver cuff bracelet. Because trust me, it’s the classiest thing in this post.

marmionIf you’d like to read more about this particular snakes-to-stone account, Sir Walter Scott wrote all about it in his epic poem Marmion, filled with accounts of lust, betrayal, dishonest nuns, duels, being walled up alive, heroism, and love. Hilda’s involvement in the plot of about the locale only, in case you’re wondering if she and John Donne had more in common than being Anglican saints.

Hilda’s monasteries became havens for those looking to worship God, live in community, and be educated. Hilda saw the poetic skills of Caedmon 007and urged him to write poetry in his native tongue. Her efforts as Abbess led to her being named the patron saint of learning, culture, and poetry.  Several schools are named in her honor, including the College of St. Hild and St. Bede, which has produced many scholars, artists, musicians, politicians, religious leaders, and not one, but two – two, I say — of the actors who portrayed James Bond.

the_abbess_hilda_offering_iphone_4_covers-p176838253281781588en7lp_216Historian JoAnn McNamara says of Hilda: She assumed a prestige usually reserved for bishops when she presided over the Synod where the Irish and Roman churches compete for the allegiance of the Northumbrian king. Hilda is likely most remembered for her presence at the Synod of Whitby. Hilda, along with St. Colman, lobbied for the Celtic expression of Christianity. Wilfrid supported the Romanized expression of the faith. In the end, Wilfrid and his supporters won. Hilda graciously accepted defeat and implored all present to conform to the Synod’s decision. Hilda may have conformed, but legend holds that she remained a critic of Wilfrid for the remainder of her life, even challenging his decision to withhold part of his diocese from one of Hilda’s protégé’s who was establishing a new monastery by sending her personal ambassador to the Holy See. Hilda, it seems, may have conformed to Romanized Christianity, but she still had Wilfrid’s number and may have used her very own iPhone case to call him out on occasion.

Some criticize Hilda’s actions at Whitby. Perhaps if she had lobbied harder, Celtic Christianity would have heldWhitbyshirt the day and produced a very different Church. Maybe. Maybe not. Hilda, we may surmise, was personally not pleased with the outcome, but she did realize the value of community unity over personal opinion. But one does wonder if, had this nifty shirt been available in the Whitby gift shop, she would have made it part of her regular monastic fashion.

Laurie Brock



Hilda of Whitby vs. Harriet Tubman

  • Hilda of Whitby (54%, 1,828 Votes)
  • Harriet Tubman (46%, 1,574 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,402

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126 Comments to "Harriet Tubman vs. Hilda of Whitby"

  1. March 21, 2013 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Today’s update video from the Archbishops:

    • March 21, 2013 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Seems to end a tad abruptly? Enjoyed what I heard as always.

  2. Cynthia's Gravatar Cynthia
    March 21, 2013 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Seen in DC: Harriet Tubman finger puppets. But the best about Hilda is my church St. Hilda St. Patrick in Edmonds WA! Check us out: http://www.sthildastpatrick.org. I clearly must go with Hilda, who has the classiest kitsch around.

    • March 21, 2013 - 9:11 am | Permalink

      Here’s another Cynthia who’s going with Hilda. Not only is her kitsch classy, she’s another “she-ro” worthy of our emulation today. Once we find our voices, sisters, keep speaking up for a kinder, gentler, more inclusive Church as Hilda did!

    • Anne McCorkle Garrett's Gravatar Anne McCorkle Garrett
      March 21, 2013 - 11:09 am | Permalink

      Dear SEC, it appears that both thumbnails for posting on Facebook are of kitsch from the same saint! I love them both, but I want to post the one for whom I voted!

      • Anne McCorkle Garrett's Gravatar Anne McCorkle Garrett
        March 21, 2013 - 11:11 am | Permalink

        Excuse me, there are three thumbnails, all for one saint! Not fair! Please correct, and I will re-post.

    • Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
      March 24, 2013 - 2:42 am | Permalink

      Cynthia from St. Hilda St. Patrick in Edmonds WA, St. Hilda is going to need our help against Perkins! Be sure to remind folks at church (although I am sure they don’t need a reminder) about her face-off on Monday. Christ Church New Haven (home to St. Hilda’s House-Episcopal Service Corps Program) is behind St. Hilda all the way!!!

  3. Anne Wrider's Gravatar Anne Wrider
    March 21, 2013 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Harriet, but this is a tough one. Maybe I’ll order a “Whitby Was Wrong” shirt!

    • Susan Shaw's Gravatar Susan Shaw
      March 21, 2013 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I agree…this was the toughest one yet. I had to go with Harriet, though, because she’s of my century and still obviously a saint.

  4. Advocatus Diaboli's Gravatar Advocatus Diaboli
    March 21, 2013 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    So I really respect Ms. Tubman, and what she went through was unconscionable. Also it is hard to judge people from our context when they lived at a different time and in a different context. That being said, in this age where violence and threats of violence is such an issue does it make sense to vote for a gun carrying holy woman who would threaten to shoot any and all people who got scared and wanted to turn back citing, “dead men tell no tales”? I’m just saying.

    • Craig Clere's Gravatar Craig Clere
      March 21, 2013 - 8:42 am | Permalink

      What an excellent point! My vote goes to Hilda.

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      March 21, 2013 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      Your “just saying” is well said.

    • March 21, 2013 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

      She was not shy about using force to correct a wrong, that’s for sure. Hence, her support of John Brown’s Raid (recruited for him).

    • Lucky Sparky's Gravatar Lucky Sparky
      March 21, 2013 - 6:46 pm | Permalink

      What’s wrong with a pistol packing Mama? Makes sense to me and I wouldn’t bet that Hilda wasn’t packing something. After all, Jesus made sure that the Disciples were armed before they went to the Garden. He later chose to not fight but he wanted them to be ready to defend themselves and him, if that had been the right thing to do at the time.

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      March 21, 2013 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Hilda for many reasons, but thanks to the gun it was NOT a vote against Harriet.

  5. winifred Tickel's Gravatar winifred Tickel
    March 21, 2013 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    All this is too silly for me. I started out to learn more about the saints,but now I find my time is wasted with all this madness. Ya’ll have fun— I’m done.

    • Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
      March 21, 2013 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Have to say I agree w WT..but will not be done..voted for Hilda with the classiest kitsch..Ya’ll have fun w/your madness…I’m staying! Kitsch Krank #1

      • Peg's Gravatar Peg
        March 21, 2013 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Yay for you, Blair!

    • Russ's Gravatar Russ
      March 21, 2013 - 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Getting close, myself!

    • Alice's Gravatar Alice
      March 22, 2013 - 12:06 am | Permalink

      Agreed — the kitsch stuff is yucky and unLenten.

  6. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 21, 2013 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Well…..Whose feelings will be hurt to the point of leaving LENT MADNESS today? I am so sorry the kitsch offends some of our folk. It’s all meant in a positive spirit to just lighten up things during the 40 days of Lent that were torture for me during my formative years. I couldn’t leave the Episcopal Church due to threats from my father: “Well, you can walk to St. Philip’s just around the corner but if you decide you’re going to just up and leave,how do you plan to get to Soldiers’ Memorial AMEZ downtown when you can’t drive and are too lazy to even contemplate walking?” That’s all it took! I welcome kitsch but poor Harriet doesn’t have much compared to Hilda but Harriet still got my vote! More kitsch! Better kitsch! That’s what I say. Am I the first today?

  7. Debbie's Gravatar Debbie
    March 21, 2013 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t it be Henry VIII?

  8. John's Gravatar John
    March 21, 2013 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    I think it may have been the Dracula reference that swayed me this time. Or possibly the ammonites. But though I voted for Hilda, I really want a Harriet Tubman Frogs mug since the frog is my totem animal, given me by a Unitarian shaman. Like those folk among whom Hilda lived and worked, I am only a partial convert from paganism. Well, there’s a reason they call it Lent Madness!

  9. Gary Goldacker's Gravatar Gary Goldacker
    March 21, 2013 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Henry XIII? Seeing into the future?

  10. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 21, 2013 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Voted for Hilda. I like that she caved, speaking as a world class caver myself. And a world class ruer-of-the-day. Lord have mercy upon us.

    • March 21, 2013 - 5:50 pm | Permalink

      In church circles, this is usually referred to as “compromising” rather than “caving” — it’s a virtue. So congratulations to you and to Hilda!

  11. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    March 21, 2013 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Love the kitsch! and especially the “Whitby was wrong” T-shirt. Another challenge, but today my vote goes to Hilda…

  12. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 21, 2013 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Well, again my longwindedness kept me from even 2nd or 3rd but I’m after one who has left our ranks. It always distresses me when people are offended by attempts to just provide some lightheartedness in the contest. I just hate to see people get offended by interjections of fun and lightheartedness. As to the “gun and the holy woman”, you can’t have it both ways…the “paddyrollers” would have returned them all to slavery had they been captured so Harriet’s solution was to let them know there was no other alternative..whose state license plate displays the slogan: LIVE FREE OR DIE ?

  13. Bookwoman's Gravatar Bookwoman
    March 21, 2013 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    And on the subject of kitsch, let’s not forget the Harriet Tubman doll set: http://www.girls-explore.com/servlet/the-22/Harriet-Tubman-Doll-Set/Detail. Please note, I became so enamored of the Lent Madness kitsch concept, that I started doing my own searching last week, to see what might come up.

    • Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
      March 21, 2013 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Now that is really great kitch. I am sorely tempted to order that doll. Comes with her own cape and satchel too. Really well done. I’m still on the fence for today, but if we have to have kitch then ya gotta love kitch that teaches..

    • Wanda's Gravatar Wanda
      March 21, 2013 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I want a Harriet Tubman doll to go with my Desmond Tutu doll. Thanks for the post.

  14. Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
    March 21, 2013 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    So this “Saintly kitsch” stuff is really funny. Thank you LM bloggers for spending so much time digging all this stuff up. In my own internet searches I recently learned about the Hildoceras from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildoceras Who knew?! So I guess if you are still struggling on who to vote for you should ask the ancient cephalopods the ammonites and they will say (in tiny voices) “Hil-da, Hil-da, Hilda!” 😉

  15. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 21, 2013 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad we can be silly Christians even in Lent. Hooray for kitsch! These kitschy blogs are furthering my knowledge of the candidates in a delightful way! Sorry that some can’t be “silly for Jesus” (a little like the disciples at Pentecost, maybe?). Possibly we would be more able to display this joy if the Celtic Way had won out at Whitby! Hilda gets my vote, even though I do like the Harriet frog!

  16. Julie's Gravatar Julie
    March 21, 2013 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    As to the complaint involving the gun-carrying holy woman — I feel that one must use one’s whole being in following the Lord — good sense and strategy along with a very strong heart. So it must be Harriet Tubman — she followed the drinking gourd and brought her people to safety. Besides, you know that Frances would beat up on Hild, but Harriet might have a chance.

    • March 21, 2013 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      Neither one has a chance if Maine and the Dept. of Labor vote as a bloc.

      • Liz V.'s Gravatar Liz V.
        March 21, 2013 - 11:46 am | Permalink

        Unfortunately too true.

      • Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
        March 21, 2013 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you on this one Sr. Winifred!

  17. Diane Cook's Gravatar Diane Cook
    March 21, 2013 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    As much as I honor Harriet, today I am voting for Hilda. Not only was my grandmother named Hild, but the snakes and stones did it for me. Where can we get one of those T-shirts? LOVED that! Go Hilda!!

    • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
      March 21, 2013 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

      The link on the post should take you there, but if not, you can go to Zazzle and search for Hilda of Whitby. They come in a variety of colours. I thought pink was appropriate for Hilda.

  18. Jill's Gravatar Jill
    March 21, 2013 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    “Have a Harriet moment. Don’t look back.” Now, THAT, my friends, is an awesome shirt! I agree, the kitsch round is always my favorite. It inspired me so much last year, that I chose joy for my Lenten discipline this year. I bought a copy of James Martin SJ’s wonderful “Between Heaven and Mirth”, and all of it together has refreshed and invigorated my faith journey. Cheers to all!

    • Salemmom07's Gravatar Salemmom07
      March 21, 2013 - 10:44 am | Permalink

      My daughter sent that book to me. I am also reading it through it right now. Enjoying it very much….still haven’t decided who to vote for today. Doing some more investigating and mulling.

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 21, 2013 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Jill, I rejoice that you said that!

      Torn, but my heart says to go with Hild, since I desperately want one of those iPhone cases. Maybe I should change my birthday present request from a new watch to an iPhone. Would my Microsoft employee husband get me one if he knew I had a snazzy case for it featuring one of the saints of his beloved Celtic church? Would this be an appropriate use of petitional prayer? I guess I could go with the snakestone bracelet too, but it’s not as versatile.

  19. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 21, 2013 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    The blogs for both of these today were top notch. I totally giggled through them both. Thank you guys for making Lent meaningful and funny!

    I voted for Harriet but I get the feeling Hilda is going to win the day.

    Shalom, y’all.

  20. Millie Hart's Gravatar Millie Hart
    March 21, 2013 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Part of learning about the saints, is seeing how we perceive them today and what better way to do that than to see what is available in our consumerist society? For those who feel they have wasted their time because of the kitsch of the Elate 8, I pray you at least learned something new in the first two rounds.

    As for today’s match up, it is a tough choice. My daughter has been representing Harriet Tubman in our parish follies but I have been for Hilda all the way. Harriet Tubman was awesome but I think I would prefer to emulate Hilda in my daily life. Besides, how can you argue with a woman who can pray snakes to stone?!

  21. Greg's Gravatar Greg
    March 21, 2013 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Snakestones and James Bond, Hilda is the kitschiest! She may even trump my other favorite for the halo.

  22. Dana's Gravatar Dana
    March 21, 2013 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    Go Harriet…and btw I’m honestly so confused about the kitsch issue. Because you have a bobblehead of your favorite quarterback – does that make him any less of a professional sports player? Because you have a sweatshirt with —>Your Alma Mater Here<—-, does that make it any less of an accredited university? These items may be funny or serious to some as well – but all represent and continue to remind us of these people and/or things that we like…love…worship. May the reminders prevail. As Christians let us use all that we have in our positive toolboxes (including humor) to spread the word and teach others about our history. Even those who may just come to vote for FP (another issue voiced yesterday)…I can't help thinking: Isn't more learning better than less…?

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 21, 2013 - 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Good points, Dana. Those insights will be helpful in my on-the-fence times about the kitsch.
      Still deciding on my vote in today’s contest. I thought Harriet had the best rallying cry — “Hop with bravery!” — until The Ammonite Chorus started chanting Hilda’s name with their tiny little fossilized voices.

  23. Alan's Gravatar Alan
    March 21, 2013 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Harriet and Hilda may seem to be poles apart but they aren’t. They represent different ways of being courageous in different times. Sometimes you have to “stick to your guns” (Remember Iron Sky Woman from last year?) and sometimes giving way is the most courageous thing to do.

  24. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    March 21, 2013 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    I appreciate the opportunity to learn something of the life of Hilda. I must confess to my total ignorance of her prior to becoming part of Lenten Madness. While I am drawn to Celtic spirituality, and admire Hilda’s accomplishments as well as her humility, I must still vote for Harriet Tubman, who risked life and limb for freedom for her brothers and sisters. Follow the drinking gourd!

  25. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    March 21, 2013 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    I can’t find an opportunity to vote! Did I forfeit my ballot by skipping to “See all comments”?

    • Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
      March 21, 2013 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

      My system doesn’t allow voting directly either. What you do is go to comments and then back up into the day’s cb posts and your vote will be open. This gave me so much exasperation until I got it down. I must go into the comments sectionin order to vote and you may have to also.

      • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
        March 21, 2013 - 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Ditto here.

  26. March 21, 2013 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    In truth, I’m not a kitsch fan, but I know others are. It’s no biggie. (Besides, it washes right off.) I would no more abandon LM because of it than I would abandon my parish because a few of her folks bug me.
    I’ve learned a lot here and am grateful to have done so at such an affordable price. Accept my thanks, all ye who labor here, as we head into the home stretch.

    Oh yeah – I voted for Hild-da-beast – who may have lost a skirmish (stacked deck?) but, like most women I know, continued to walk her talk and fight the good fight.


  27. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 21, 2013 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Turning snakes into stones – and then getting the bracelet – that’s good. But I like the beer glass and the T-shirt better. I have Harriet moments all the time … So Harriet gets my vote! And Lucy – scroll up to vote, above the comments.

  28. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 21, 2013 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry for people who drop out. I hate for them to go away with sour feelings about their participation and/or about the other participants. But Lent Madness is optional (unless, like me, you’ve become addicted and cannot resist checking the vote counts, comments, videos, and blogs) and it’s better for some people to opt out than to feel hurt or frustrated. The kitsch round is amusing and in its own way, thought-provoking. But I don’t base my votes on the tschotskes–or lack thereof. I’m thinking about who should advance, and why. It’s like the dessert round of a cooking competition show–it counts, but you also have to consider the appetizer and the entree rounds in picking a winner.

  29. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 21, 2013 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    I love the kitsch, but I’m not using it as a basis for my voting choice. I missed Harriet in the first round, and seem to keep voting against her in the subsequent rounds, which is funny because I’ve always greatly admired her. That being said, I went with Hilda, who I also admire tremendously and know less about (and who knows that she didn’t threaten novices if they wanted to leave!), but like yesterday, won’t cry if Harriet wins.

  30. Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
    March 21, 2013 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    The kitsch is amusing. The person is what counts.

    My only complaint: even enlarging the image as much as possible it is stil hard to read the words on some of the items. What does the bear have on his tummy? And what’s written on the Harriet stein? Captions please!

    Also, while the shirt is wonderful, I would prefer it to say “Wilfrid was wrong”!

  31. March 21, 2013 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    First, *finally* a decently kitchsy round.
    Second, I am pretty sure there’s a goth festival at Whitby every year! Yup: http://www.whitbygothweekend.com/

    That’s gotta count for something. Voted Hilda today.

  32. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 21, 2013 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Loving the Harriet Moment T-shirt and the Hilda iphone cover — oh no, stumped again! But I shall go for Harriet. She was brave, brave, brave and did the only thing I suspect her faith would allow her to do. Oh, if only we were all so brave. And to those who are leaving out of exasperation … please come back. Really. How can you stand not to see how this will all turn out after the madness you have suffered thus far?

  33. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 21, 2013 - 10:40 am | Permalink


    Please forgive me for that utterly shallow moment, my momentary Lenten lapse. But it is way cool…..

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 21, 2013 - 11:16 am | Permalink

      I agreee, but first I have to get an iphone!

  34. Adrian's Gravatar Adrian
    March 21, 2013 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    Living in Yorkshire I had to vote for Hilda of course – and perhaps I might make a mini pilgrimage to Whitby over Easter to visit the Abbey

  35. Beth Erickson's Gravatar Beth Erickson
    March 21, 2013 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    Tough choice but I feel Hilda is doubly a fit candidate for this year’s Golden Halo. First, she was baptized in the River York on Easter Sunday, April12, 627, along with her uncle King Edwin and the other members of his royal household.

    Saint Wilfred aside, Hilda wisely acceded to the wisdom of “happy wife, happy life.” Sexist, I know, but a likely extension of that was “happy king, happy abbess”.

    King Edwin’s successor, King Oswiu — a Celtic Christian, married Eanfled — a Roman Christian. He quickly realized that his early merry-making and jelly bean imbibing was not sitting well while Queen Eanfled was still longing for a bite of a fruit & nut chocolate egg.

    So Oswin called for the Council to debate which tradition would be followed. Wilfred drew the affirmative straw: “Resolved: Easter Should Be Observed According To The Roman Tradition.” Hilda was left with the the oppositional task. (how those debate terms float back into memory). No matter what rebuttals Hilda offered, Queen Eanfeld — that is Wilfred — won the judgement.

    I wonder if the stoned snakes suffered that fate before or after the Council? Could it have been a case of, “Don’t get mad, get even?” I wonder how fond of snakes was the Queen?

  36. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    March 21, 2013 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Snakestones and James Bond and Iphone covers (I have a droid, sob…is there one for me?), plus The Rev. Mother Ruth,a small lady who somehow was always able to look down on everyone, continues to (shutter!) haunt me, a graduate of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School, NYC, so I must be all about Hilda, Hilda, Hilda! And folks, loosen up! In the midst of kitsch and laughter we continue to be moved by Harriet and Hilda and all those who have gone before to light our path. (What about St. Hugh for next year? Mother Ruth would be so happy!)

    • Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
      March 21, 2013 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Joy, I used to live in an apartment house within shouting distance of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s in Manhattan. Studying for my graduate classes at Columbia, I heard the joyful noise of its students at recess. What a coincidence!

      • peggy's Gravatar peggy
        March 22, 2013 - 9:50 am | Permalink

        Rev. Lucy,

        So glad to hear that you found the “noise” to be joyful. We made quite a racket — and had great fun doing it. The best years of my lives were spent at that school.

    • March 21, 2013 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

      The CHS Sisters at St Hilda’s House go for Hilda!

      • March 21, 2013 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Ascension Hermitage & Sanctuary definitely with Hilda . . . not least of all our cat Hilda!

    • Diane Amison-Loring's Gravatar Diane Amison-Loring
      March 21, 2013 - 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Ah, yes, a great description of Mother Ruth. She did tend to “tower” over everyone. As a former sister, I have to cast my vote for Hilda. I hope the students at St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School will be alerted to vote when the time comes in the next round.

      • peggy's Gravatar peggy
        March 22, 2013 - 9:52 am | Permalink


        Greetings, Sr. M.V. Hope you are well.

    • peggy's Gravatar peggy
      March 22, 2013 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      Here, here! Another H&H graduate here, and of course I voted for Herself, the Abbess of Whitby. Perhaps St Hugh stands a chance next year. Or will they have canonized a Ruth by then (shudder)?

      • March 22, 2013 - 9:20 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t have immediately thought so, but now that I see some of the people who have made it into Holy Women, Holy Men I believe there is hope for all of us!
        I hope everyone connected with St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s will vote for Hilda on Monday.

  37. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    March 21, 2013 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    Before we get any further into the madness of Lent Madness I should like to point out that today, which is the feast of Thomas Cranmer, Justin Welby is enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. So, the Romans have a new Pope and we have a new Archbishop. Congratulations to us all!

  38. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 21, 2013 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    Tough round. I do know one thing, though: go Tubman Frogs!

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 21, 2013 - 11:04 am | Permalink

      (Normally I’d vote for the earlier-in-time individual; they seem to get lost in the shuffle sometimes and I like trying to imagine what their lives were like. But I admit a real fondness for Harriet Tubman, so I’m having some real trouble today. On the other hand, if I had an iPhone I’d surely want that Hilda case.

      Pray for us, quarterfinalists….)

  39. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 21, 2013 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    So this time I went with Hilda. Anyone who can run not one but two double monasteries–I like to think of them as co-ed–could probably figure out some way to keep some Celtic spirituality going covertly. (Would the smart-phone cover work with my reasonably-intelligent phone?)

  40. Eve's Gravatar Eve
    March 21, 2013 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks SEC and bloggers for reminding us not to take ourselves so seriously! Lent Madness Rocks!

  41. Martha's Gravatar Martha
    March 21, 2013 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    Barbara Pym went to St. Hilda’s! So Hilda has my vote.

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      March 21, 2013 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

      I love Barbara Pym! I have been debating all day how to cast my vote, which I usually do at 8 am. This may help.

  42. Amy B.'s Gravatar Amy B.
    March 21, 2013 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    Being a parisioher of St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA… I have to vote for Hilda because of their connection in that region of England.

    PS. Suggest St. Bede be included in the 2014 brackets.

  43. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    March 21, 2013 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    There was a later Harriet Tubman: Corrie Ten Boom, a devout Dutch Reformed. She ran a very successful underground railroad helping Jews escape Nazi occupied Holland. She consciously refused a resort to violence.

  44. Anne of Memphis's Gravatar Anne of Memphis
    March 21, 2013 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Hilda Hilda Hilda! I love her!! A seaside town in North Yorkshire, the Abbey, Vikings, Henry VIII, Count Dracula’s castle, sailors and snakes. Who could ask for more? I want the iPhone case and pink Whitby t-shirt. Whatever will I do after Lent?

    • Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
      March 21, 2013 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

      In addition to the model for Dracula’s castle, we have the harbor of Whitby, which is where Dracula’s ship put in with all hands on board dead! I won’t speculate on what sort of guidance got the craft to the harbor …

  45. March 21, 2013 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    The patron saint of learning, culture and poetry!! My little heart is going pitter pat!!

    • Anne of Memphis's Gravatar Anne of Memphis
      March 21, 2013 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      My little heart goes pitter pat as well! Hilda gets my early decision vote for Golden Halo.

  46. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 21, 2013 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you commenters! This is a tough choice. I am voting for Harriet. Thank you Harlie for the Corrie Ten Boom connection. I had not thought of that & have long been a fan of hers.
    If I had an I phone I sure would want that case though!

  47. Cindy Selby's Gravatar Cindy Selby
    March 21, 2013 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Where are all the voters today?! My students all wanted to vote for Harriet today, since they know more about her from history and social studies classes. So our vote goes to Harriet Tubman.

  48. michelle's Gravatar michelle
    March 21, 2013 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Harriet is absolutely amazing. I can only pray to have her courage and commitment to justice. But Hild is one of my own.

  49. Sudie B's Gravatar Sudie B
    March 21, 2013 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I do love the “kitch” round–one poster likened it to “dessert” in a meal. Good analogy. We’ve gotten the biographical “meat and potatoes” in earlier rounds. Time to lighten up a bit–one of God’s greatest gifts is a good sense of humor. I couldn’t decide who to vote for today–until I saw the Hilda iPhone case. Swayed by the kitch, it’s Hilda for me–and the case is available for £24 on Zazzle.co.uk–it’s one of quite a number of Whitby-related iPhone cases (there are some Whitby-related cases for Samsung and Motorola phones–not the Abbess, but Goth versions of the Abbey…)
    Go Hilda.

  50. Susan Chacon's Gravatar Susan Chacon
    March 21, 2013 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Classy kitsch = oxymoron

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 21, 2013 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Heh. 😉

  51. Mary-Eileen's Gravatar Mary-Eileen
    March 21, 2013 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    It makes my heart bleed not to vote for Hilda again. But Harriet survived and triumphed over the quadruple-whammy of being born into slavery, black AND female, as well as sustaining severe head trauma. Harriet it is.

  52. Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
    March 21, 2013 - 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Anne of Memphis and MizPickles, I love your lists. Add to them
    Hilda’s CROSIER, and She Who Must Be Obeyed 🙂 gets my vote too!

  53. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 21, 2013 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I can’t get my VOTE key to bring up the site so will you earth angels put in one more for Hilda? Many thanks for your help! I hope in the days following Easter you will find a way to amuse and instruct us. Kudos to you!

    • JaneC's Gravatar JaneC
      March 21, 2013 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Have you been trying to vote from your email? I can’t do that either but click on the url above “see all comments” to go to the web. The voting selection is at the bottom of the write-ups.

    • March 21, 2013 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Have you watched the helpful video on voting that the SEC created? It is at

  54. Cathy Wilson's Gravatar Cathy Wilson
    March 21, 2013 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

    This truly is madness! The kitsch round is shifting my shopaholic tendencies into overdrive – I’ll be broke before this is over! That iPhone case is a must-have, but I’d go for Hilda in any case!

  55. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    March 21, 2013 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Been to Whitby, it is Hilda for me!

    • Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
      March 21, 2013 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Me, too–gorgeous place, incredible woman! Hilda, Hilda, Hilda (but Harriet is amazing, too…)!

  56. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    March 21, 2013 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering why no one was saying anything about Justin Welby today. THEN I watched Maple Anglican’s video. Very nice bit on our new Archbishop.

  57. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 21, 2013 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Had to go for Hilda because I thought she might be an underdog (but perhaps not) and because I LOVE the iPhone case. Suitable for gift giving too! Very classy kitsch.

  58. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 21, 2013 - 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m delighted to see St. Hild holding her own but this will create quite a dilemma when my two top picks, Hilda and Frances, have to face off in the Faithful Four. Such madness!

  59. chaplain tom chapman's Gravatar chaplain tom chapman
    March 21, 2013 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Hilda was a real pioneer in and for her day I feel. I use a celtic prayer book for my daily devotions and I wish she had carried the day in the council! Pax TNC

  60. March 21, 2013 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Hilda has better kitsch but Harriet is still the brassier saint. Go Harriet!!!

  61. Skip's Gravatar Skip
    March 21, 2013 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I am voting for Hilda. I also want to thank Jill for her comments. I will have to purchase Martins’ book “Between Heaven and Mirth”

    • Jill's Gravatar Jill
      March 21, 2013 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Skip. And, I hope you enjoy Fr. Martin!!

  62. Robert Craig's Gravatar Robert Craig
    March 21, 2013 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Hilda hasn’t failed me through 2 rounds. I’m riding that Saintly horse into the Faithful Four! What am I gonna do after Lent Madness is over? I’ll have to get out my trusty “All Saints (Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets and Witnesses for Out Time)” by Robert Ellsberg. Highly recommended–with real human goodness tested by life for every day of the calendar.

  63. March 21, 2013 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Its not about the bracket (this section was busted long ago), or that Harriet wasn’t a pacifist (I can’t claim to be one either, although I hope I am a person of peace), or any deep seeded connection to Hild of Streaneschalch (cool name, but just learned of her in Lent madness), or even the fact that I’m part Celt (one of the not-so-many Italian-Irish Lutherans in the world)…Hilda just strikes me as having the more profound impact on the church as a whole. So, Hild of Streaneschalch it is.

  64. JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
    March 21, 2013 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Harriet’s awesome and I don’t have a problem with her strong take-no-prisoners-especially-not-us ethos. Today, though, I decided for Hilda: double monasteries, example of staying in community even when important votes didn’t go her way (no, SEC, since you asked – my favourite is NOT still in the bracket!), and because those were probably ‘my people’ that came over on the boats and sacked everything and wrecked all her stuff so I owe her one. Sorry about that.

  65. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 21, 2013 - 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Lots of women religious voting for Hilda. As the saying goes “sisterhood is powerful.”

  66. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 21, 2013 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    After weeks of serious study, it is no wonder one gets a little “punchy”. Giggling over nothing is sort of a coping mechanism for dealing with all that thinking Madness. (This year’s kitsch was rather mild, I thought, in comparison to some of last year’s kitsch —which was of questionable heritage.)
    Voting for Hilda of Whitby because of her organization of dual abbeys, evangelism, and general Celt–ness. (Also, I’m just reading Absolution by Murder by Peter Tremayne recommended by one of the LM community. You know who you are (and I THINK I do…)).

  67. March 21, 2013 - 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Awesome place, the Abbey. Mystical, holy, strikingly beautiful.

  68. March 21, 2013 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    True Madness! I got hooked on the fossil, Hilda’s namsake will be a birthday gift for my wife. As a card carying marine biologist what was I to do with this opportunity! This was unfair and I protest. The UK economy has benefited. I did cast my ballot for Hilda, but love Harriat and wish her well for all her miraculous deeds. Gosh this is a fun Lent learning experience. Blessings to all.

  69. March 21, 2013 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

    And a third Cynthia goes for Hilda!

  70. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 21, 2013 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I do like Amy’s suggestion of St. Bede for next year and Harlie’s suggestion of Corrie Ten Boom (required reading at my high school).

    How *does* the bracket get created? It was in place when I discovered Lent Madness this year.

    • March 21, 2013 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

      During Eastertide, the SEC will receive nominations. And then every cardinal under 80 goes to the Sistine Chapel…. Oh, sorry. That’s something else.

      Once the SEC has nominations, we have our annual Bracket Discernment Retreat. You can watch video highlights of last year’s retreat here:

      Bottom line: stay tuned to Lent Madness during Eastertide to make suggestions.

  71. March 21, 2013 - 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve actually visited part of the underground railroad. I’m also a human rights minor and descendant of someone who picked the wrong side in that no-so-Civil War, so I feel compelled to vote for the one who helped lead her people out of bondage into freedom.

    And though it isn’t yet Eastertide, I think C. S. Lewis, Saint Caedmon (the first poet to write in English), the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, William Wilberforce (who lead the sucessful battle to abolish slavery in the British Empire), and the Episcopal lay woman who pretty much single-handedly wrote and pushed into being the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt (she also famously quit the Daughters of the American Revolution in protest when they wouldn’t let Marian Anderson sing at Constituion Hall solely because of her skin color) all deserve a place on the bracket next year!

  72. Katie's Gravatar Katie
    March 21, 2013 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Hild surprised me with all of her awesome kitsch! The throw pillow kind of freaked me out. 🙂

  73. William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
    March 21, 2013 - 11:31 pm | Permalink

    How very prescient of the SEC (or was it the ferrets) to plan the brackets so that If Harriet Tubman made it this far she would coincide with the reading of Exodus 7:25-8:19 at Evensong (using 2 lessons of course).

  74. Marianne's Gravatar Marianne
    March 22, 2013 - 1:18 am | Permalink

    Whatever on the kitsch, it just means I can’t really use Lent Madness as a vehicle to accomplish my Lenten “meditation on lives of saintly people” commitment because of the silliness. But who said Lent was about efficiency? I’ll keep voting, but meditation on kitsch not being on my Lenten list…gotta go do some study.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 22, 2013 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Are you sure? Can’t ‘how their legacy has been interpreted and enacted by people over time’ be part of a serious meditation?
      On the serious side of kitsch, check out the work of some of the foundations posted as sources and listen for a call to action. Part of my LM meditation is also to look for connections between saints’ lives and now…even the FLORENCE Y’ALL water tower can be fruitful fodder in that regard (hint: Judeo-Christian themes of hospitality…also the huge salvation-history theme of God always finding a “Plan B” when original plan seems to be going awry…) : )

  75. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 22, 2013 - 5:42 am | Permalink

    Barbara Pym went to St Hilda’s? Why didn’t you say so. Vote Hilda!

  76. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    March 22, 2013 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I know this is a bit late in asking, but can anyone enlighten me on the difference between Celtic Christianity and Roman Christianity as referred to in the latest information about St Hilda. We are told that she supported Celtic Christianity in the Synod vying for support of the Northumbrian King. It makes me wonder how different the church in England would have been if St Hilda had won out. Thanks.

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