Hilda of Whitby vs. Ignatius of Antioch

Welcome back, friends, to Lent Madness and the third match-up in the Round of the Saintly Sixteen. We’ll continue all week with this round featuring quirks and quotes from our saintly contestants. Today Hilda of Whitby takes on Ignatius of Antioch in a clash of influential figures about 600 years apart. To get to this point, Hilda routed Samuel Seabury and Ignatius came out victorious in the Battle of the Iggys by slipping past Ignatius of Loyola.

We did our best to help keep your weekend bout with Lent Madness Withdrawal (LMW) at bay. Because we care, we…

1. Shared some creative ways parishes are using Lent Madness in a post titled Creative Juices Overfloweth.

2. Linked to an article about Lent Madness taking over the entire state of South Dakota (we’re still waiting on confirmation that the members of the Supreme Executive Committee will be added to Mount Rushmore).

3. Found out from the conservative website The Daily Caller that Lent Madness is part of a liberal conspiracy and may be responsible for the downfall of the Obama Administration. (Don’t read the comments that follow if you have a weak stomach).

Our goal for this week, in addition to the usual Madness, is to get over 5,000 likes on Facebook. There’s no reason, with your help, that we can’t achieve this milestone. If you’re on Facebook but have’t yet liked us, you’re missing some bonus material and links to get you through the day. (It’s kind of like getting the deleted scenes on a movie DVD). We’re hovering in the low 4,700’s right now. Come on, people!

icon_st_hilda2Hilda of Whitby

Hilda (614-680) was the founding Abbess of the Monastery in Whitby, England. The source of our information about Hilda’s life is from the Venerable Bede’s The Ecclesiastical History of the English — we have no surviving direct quotes from Hilda herself. According to Bede, Hilda was brought up in the court of King Edwin of Northumbria after her father, the king’s brother, was poisoned when Hilda was an infant. She was baptized along with King Edwin and his entire court in 627.

Bede tells us that Hilda’s widowed mother, Breguswith, had a dream in which her daughter’s destiny was foretold. In this dream she suddenly became aware that her husband was missing and, after a frantic yet fruitless search, she found a valuable necklace under her dress. When she gazed upon the jewel it brilliantly illuminated all of England. This vision was interpreted as foreshadowing the light Hilda was destined to shine on British Christianity.

As a young woman Hilda entered a convent, influenced by St. Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne. In 657 she founded the monastery in Whitby, where she remained until her death. Bede describes her as a woman of great energy, wisdom, and a skilled administrator. Many kings and princes sought her council and it is no accident that the Synod of Whitby was held at her monastery in 664. It was here that the church in England decided to follow the Roman rather than the Celtic path, a decision that would impact the course of Christianity in Great Britain.

Legend has it that when snakes infested the town of Whitby, Hilda’s prayer turned the snakes into stones. Here’s a verse by Sir Walter Scott commemorating this event:

When Whitby’s nuns exalting told,
Of thousand snakes, each one
Was changed into a coil of stone,
When Holy Hilda pray’d:
Themselves, without their holy ground,
Their stony folds had often found.

As Bede writes in his hagiography of Hilda:

Thus this servant of Christ, Abbess Hilda, whom all that knew her called Mother, for her singular piety and grace, was not only an example of good life, to those that lived in her monastery, but afforded occasion of amendment and salvation to many who lived at a distance, to whom the fame was brought of her industry and virtue; for it was necessary that the dream which her mother had, during her infancy, should be fulfilled.


Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch, and was martyred during the 1st-century. His series of letters, written as he was carried under guard to his death at Rome, provide key insight into the Early Church’s understanding of church unity, ecclesiology, and the sacraments.

Even as he was facing the near certainty of his death at Rome, Ignatius appears to have kept his own unique sense of humor as he wrote his letters. While writing to the Church at Ephesus, he opined on a few newly found fashion accessories:

Let nothing appeal to you apart from Jesus Christ, in whom I carry around these chains (my spiritual pearls!), by which I hope, through your prayers, to rise again.

While his letters show no sign that Ignatius ever owned any pets of his own, one of Ignatius’ statements reveals that he might have had great sympathy for any cat owner who just can’t seem to get their pet to act nicely:

I am fighting with wild beasts, on land and sea, by night and day, chained amidst ten leopards (that is, a company of soldiers) who only get worse when they are well treated. Yet because of their mistreatment I am becoming more of a disciple; nevertheless I am not thereby justified.

Among the common threads uniting Ignatius’ letters is his plea for unity within the church. In his letter to the Ephesians, he presents a stunning image of the church as a choir:

In your unanimity and harmonious love Jesus Christ is sung. You must join this chorus, every one of you, so that by being harmonious in unanimity and taking your pitch from God you may sing in unison with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father, in order that he may both hear you and, on the basis of what you do well, acknowledge that you are members of his Son. It is, therefore, advantageous for you to be in perfect unity, in order that you may always have a share in God.

Legends also abound about Ignatius; one holds that he was among the children taken into Jesus’ arms in Matthew 19. Another says that even as Ignatius was tortured before his death, he never ceased to proclaim Jesus. His tormenters are said to have demanded why Ignatius insisted, to his own detriment, to continue to preach Jesus Christ. Ignatius responded: “Know for certain that I have this name written in my heart, and therefore I cannot proclaim any other name.” After his martyrdom by lions, the legend holds that Ignatius’ body was opened and that Jesus’ name was found inscribed, in letters of gold, on his heart.

Legend or not, it is certain that Christ and the church never were far from Ignatius’ heart, for it was in service of both that Ignatius ultimately gave his life.

David Sibley


HIlda of Whitby vs. Ignatius of Antioch

  • Hilda of Whitby (54%, 2,049 Votes)
  • Ignatius of Antioch (47%, 1,781 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,829

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135 Comments to "Hilda of Whitby vs. Ignatius of Antioch"

  1. March 11, 2013 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget to watch the Archbishops in their Lent Madness update video.

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      March 11, 2013 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Did someone omit the link, or am I looking in the wrong place?

      • Peg's Gravatar Peg
        March 11, 2013 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

        If you click on “Maple Anglican” in the post above, it takes you to the Maple Anglican web site. Click on the word “here” in the paragraph about YouTube, and that will take you to the video.

        • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
          March 12, 2013 - 12:02 am | Permalink

          Thank you, Peg. I got as far as the web site, but I have a congenital dislike for 2-step searches when one will do (as it has done in the previous postings) and dropped it. Maybe Maple will go back to putting the direct link right in the posting.

  2. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 11, 2013 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    Still Hilda. That is all.

    • March 11, 2013 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Scott. She continues to have that “A” Game with me.

    • Anne McCorkle Garrett's Gravatar Anne McCorkle Garrett
      March 11, 2013 - 11:31 am | Permalink

      Dear SEC, we would like to have our thumbnail choices back! This is twice where I have only been able to post on Facebook with the face of the person for whom I am not voting!

      • Laura Thewalt's Gravatar Laura Thewalt
        March 11, 2013 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

        I have this problem with FB, too and have very recently been told it’s due to the way Facebook aggressively caches content.

        Facebook has something they call the URL Debugger, which Lent Madness (and perhaps we) can use to clear the cache so the most recent version is used instead: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/. Try using this tool and plug in the address for the Facebook campaign, it should be able to resolve the issue.

      • March 11, 2013 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

        I hit no thumbnail for that reason. I voted for Hilda. It’s her icon or no icon.

      • March 11, 2013 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Hey, if you don’t like the way Facebook works, yell at Mark Zuckerberg. We place two images on the page (one for each saint). What Facebook does with them is up to Facebook. Sorry.

        If you want to buy the SEC a controlling interest in Facebook, we assure you that many things will change about how Facebook works.

        • Anne Rein's Gravatar Anne Rein
          March 12, 2013 - 1:47 am | Permalink

          Lots of fun to contemplate: Saintbook 🙂

          • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
            March 12, 2013 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Okay…but if pop-up ads for relics appear in the sidebar there, I am out. Eww.

            (There may be a “Saints preserve us!”/’preserved saints’ joke in there somewhere, but I don’t have time to find it right now — perhaps by the kitsch round.)

    • Anne McCorkle Garrett's Gravatar Anne McCorkle Garrett
      March 11, 2013 - 11:42 am | Permalink

      I love the icon of her with her Crozier!

      • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
        March 11, 2013 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but in her day abbesses were much more likely to have mitres than croziers.

    • Courtney Reid's Gravatar Courtney Reid
      March 11, 2013 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Our household voted for Ignatius. My seven year old twins liked the martyrdom by lions – that sealed the vote today.

  3. Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
    March 11, 2013 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    While searching youtube and the internet I came across an Anglican school in Australia-St. Hilda’s School. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBc9arY_XbA&list=PL3713D26B9071E83F&index=9 These bright young women are singing their hearts out. Now I’m not saying that a vote against St. Hilda is a vote against this amazing boarding school for girls…or is it?

    • March 11, 2013 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

      1,544 great reasons to vote for Hilda. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    March 11, 2013 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait for this week’s edition of Monday Madness…

  5. Mary Ellen's Gravatar Mary Ellen
    March 11, 2013 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Ignatius’ metaphor as the church as a choir along with the martyrdom by lion win my vote. And today this quote will come in handy as I face consistent pressure to convert to the Muslim faith: “Know for certain that I have this name [Jesus Christ] written in my heart, and therefore I cannot proclaim any other name.” Amen!

    • Relling Westfall's Gravatar Relling Westfall
      March 11, 2013 - 8:30 am | Permalink

      I am sorry to read that you are facing “consistent pressure to convert to the Muslim faith.” I hope you will find much support for your ownd wishes and desires.

    • CB's Gravatar CB
      March 11, 2013 - 9:20 am | Permalink

      Sing it sister!

    • Judy's Gravatar Judy
      March 11, 2013 - 9:42 am | Permalink

      This also drew me to Ignatius. To stand so sure and firm in faith in the face of certain death……WOW!

    • Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
      March 11, 2013 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Mary Ellen, my sister, thank you for sharing the difficult struggle you are enduring. As you face the pressure to convert, please know that you are loved and supported by your Christian brothers and sisters; please continue to speak of this struggle to a priest and within a Christian community.
      As you say “convert” may I assume you are baptized? As a baptized child of the infinitely-loving God, you are safely “marked as Christ’s own forever,” “sealed by the Holy Spirit,” forgiven and raised to a new life of grace. With an ” inquiring and discerning heart,” a heart that is open to God’s grace and truth through Jesus, you have freedom. And I say again you are not alone in your struggle with what appears to be unwelcome pressure on you to convert to the Muslim faith. Those among us who hear your concern are your fellow baptized Christians. All are a part of the Baptismal Covenant in which promises are made as we are fully initiated into “Christ’s Body the Church.” As your brothers and sisters in the Covenant, it is our duty and pleasure to help you and each other to “grow in the knowledge and love of God.” Thus we say, “persevere in resisting evil” that would pull you against your will away from God in Jesus Christ, and “whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord”, living freely in the “fullness of -God’s- peace and glory,” continuing “in the breaking of bread” and “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.”
      But there is more…you yourself will find strength by proclaiming to others “by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.” “Respect the dignity of all human beings”, serve Christ! Follow, obey, and share Jesus as our Lord. I believe it was our Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori who wrote, “The [Baptismal] promises remind us we are not yet perfect, that we are called to move deeper in our faith and make a difference in the world.” (TEC website, 1/16/12) (source on “Holy Baptism” in the Book of Common Prayer, 298-314)
      A prayer: “Almighty God, comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them to the joy of your salvation.” We pray especially for Mary Ellen. “Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.” (BCP, 389)

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      March 11, 2013 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

      God bless you, Mary Ellen, for your faithfulness to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
      You will continue to be in our prayers. We also pray for those who are pressuring
      you, that they too may embrace the Truth.

  6. March 11, 2013 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    There’s a pub in London called the “Prospect of Whitby”. I like the food and atmosphere there. Hilda reminds me of Hildegard of Bingen whose music I love. And … “it was necessary that the dream which her mother had, during her infancy, should be fulfilled.” by her ultimate triumph in Lent Madness. Pax ya’ll.

  7. Mark D.'s Gravatar Mark D.
    March 11, 2013 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Ignatius, in support of Mary Ellen, above. Blessings and courage, sister!

  8. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    March 11, 2013 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    A nailbiter…and I love the witness of both.

    • March 11, 2013 - 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes, indeed, both are worhty of praise, but for his writings on the sacraments showing how the very Early Church viewed and practiced them I have to give more than a nod to Ignatius of Antioch.
      And, also since I am still being perfected but not perfect old wounds sometime reopen. If Hilda had anything to do with taking on Roman ways and losing the Celtic Way in the Church in and of the British Isles besides the synod happening at Whitby then I have a bone to pick with her.

  9. Lynda Moses's Gravatar Lynda Moses
    March 11, 2013 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    It looks like Hilda was so busy doing, she didn’t have time to write, so others wrote about her – and made her sound pretty sound.

  10. Brendan's Gravatar Brendan
    March 11, 2013 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    I like both quite a bit. But the fact that Hilda’s mother was named Breguswith (what a name!) swayed me.

  11. Geraldine Kennon's Gravatar Geraldine Kennon
    March 11, 2013 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    How interesting that today’s front page news story is about Sheryl Sandberg writing about women in leadership positions and then I open Lent Madness to read of Hilda of Whitby,(680 – 614),and her great influence on Kings, Princes and general society. Hilda was described as “a woman of great energy, wisdom and a skilled administrator.”
    One wonders what advice Saint Hilda might offer us if she could do a TED talk.

  12. Joanna Dewey's Gravatar Joanna Dewey
    March 11, 2013 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Ignatius going to Rome wanting to be eaten by lions! not for me. Also it was because of Ignatius calling eucharist the medicine of immortality that the liturgy revisers for the 1979 prayer book shifted from saying “bread of life” to “bread of heaven” – I’m for Hilda!

  13. March 11, 2013 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Have to go with Hilda again. I visited Whitby for a couple of days in July 2011 and found the site of the medieval monastery to be a peaceful and blessed place, one of the best preserved monastic ruins in Britain. I’ll vote for Hilda in honor of that visit.

  14. Barbara Mays-Stock's Gravatar Barbara Mays-Stock
    March 11, 2013 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Nice to know that you are getting press form every corner of the 4th Estate– even the ones who support by trying to make you look bad!

  15. Dennis Perkins's Gravatar Dennis Perkins
    March 11, 2013 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    I swing toward Ignatius since he speaks clearly to my condition today. The cat, once afraid of every human noise, now won’t get out of my chair. Also, anyone eaten by lions has the edge in my contemplations.

  16. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    March 11, 2013 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Sticking with Hilda. Go sister!

  17. kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
    March 11, 2013 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    With apologies to folks who have pet snakes, I voted for Hilda because she immobilized the ones that were bothersome. A skill I wish I possessed when walking through midwestern woods.

  18. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    March 11, 2013 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    My fear and dislike of snakes, puts Hilda in the vote column for me. I have to admit that even with this it was tough decision.

  19. Mike Spring's Gravatar Mike Spring
    March 11, 2013 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    Didn’t ignatius invent presbyters? After that, the whole church expects all the church’s work to be done by the ordained. That makes him, along with Augustine and Constantine (concentration on heaven and property respectively) one of the great villains of Christianity.

  20. faye's Gravatar faye
    March 11, 2013 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Pope Hilda I… what’s the difference between Celtic. And Roman Catholicism? . Respect for women?…

    • March 11, 2013 - 11:45 am | Permalink

      um, the date of Easter and the way the monks cut their hair. Srsly. I can see the Easter date being a big deal, but it could explain why there are several (maybe even 10s) of different Queen’s Birthday holidays throughout the Commonwealth. Kind of a post-Reformation neener-neener….

  21. March 11, 2013 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    “Reverence the deacons as the commandment of God,” said Ignatius. This deacon returns the favor by voting for him in Lent Madness.

    • Susan Chacon's Gravatar Susan Chacon
      March 11, 2013 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

      As the wife of a deacon, I’m torn as to whether this quote should sway my vote for or against Ignatius. 😉

  22. Diana Wilcox's Gravatar Diana Wilcox
    March 11, 2013 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    I have to go with the humble Christian whose wise counsel was sought out by many to the volunteer martyr who seemed more focused on his own immortality. Go Hilda!

  23. Mariclaire Buckley's Gravatar Mariclaire Buckley
    March 11, 2013 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    Always a sucker for a martyr. Keep the faith, Mary Ellen

  24. The Holy Fool's Gravatar The Holy Fool
    March 11, 2013 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Good to have Lent Madness back. Can U believe I watched basketball this weekend. No replacement for the “nail biting ” excitement, and anticipation of Lent madness. The Holy Fool…..Goes with HILDA…..

  25. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    March 11, 2013 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Hilda all the way!

  26. Diane Amison-Loring's Gravatar Diane Amison-Loring
    March 11, 2013 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    I can think of some snakes that Hilda could deal with today.
    Go, Hilda!!!!

    • Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
      March 11, 2013 - 10:52 am | Permalink

      good one, Diane

  27. Cynthia Espeseth's Gravatar Cynthia Espeseth
    March 11, 2013 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Every year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of Hilda (Nov. 18), we have a Celtic-inspirited service of Holy Eucharist to honor our matron saint. I’ve always believed Hilda was more concerned with the welfare of her community and the body of faithful than she was tied to her personal prayer style. Go Hilda!

  28. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 11, 2013 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    It’s Hilda all the way for me!

  29. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 11, 2013 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Hilda was a wise woman who managed an abbey, and provided spiritual guidance through the centuries to millions. She has my vote.

    • Sally Hanlein's Gravatar Sally Hanlein
      March 11, 2013 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

      PLUS she got rid of snakes – that gets my vote every time!

  30. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 11, 2013 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Another hard decision. These match-ups are getting grizzly. I went for Hilda again and am praying for Mary Ellen.

  31. Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
    March 11, 2013 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    After a glance at the CROSIER in Hilda’s hands, I cast my vote, here under the oak trees, for Hilda.

    • Diana Wilcox's Gravatar Diana Wilcox
      March 11, 2013 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      I hadn’t noticed that at first. Good catch Gwin! I am so often left wondering, especially during Lent Madness (of course), how many other women saints went unnoticed through the centuries. And even though it is likely that Iggy will close the gap and win this, at least Hilda will have had her day a bit.

  32. Anne of Memphis's Gravatar Anne of Memphis
    March 11, 2013 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    No contest. Hilda of Whitby. Anyone who can turn snakes into stones. You go, girl!

  33. Corinna Olson's Gravatar Corinna Olson
    March 11, 2013 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    I was planning to vote for Hilda when I signed on, but Ignatius call for unity won my over.

  34. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 11, 2013 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    Hilda all the way. BTW was the SEC trying to sway the vote by not even giving Hilda’s CB credit???

  35. JE Kaufman's Gravatar JE Kaufman
    March 11, 2013 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    In honor of my own spiritual director — it is Hilda.

  36. March 11, 2013 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    I cannot decide. Both are shining examples of Christ-like authority and leadership. Ignatius is one of the great apostolic successors who led by the ultimate example. Hilda led by teaching, and by the example of seeking reconciliation.

  37. March 11, 2013 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    I will gently point out that contemporary documents have her as Hild, not Hilda.
    During her administration of Whitby, Bede tells us, a certain lay brother used to leave the Friday night gebeorscipe or beer-drinking session because he couldn’t for the life of him compose a song as one was supposed to do; head hanging, he’d go hang with the sheep he herded. On one such occasion an angel visited him and said, “Sing me something.” The brother protested that he couldn’t sing a thing. The angel insisted: “Sing me Creation.” And, to his own vast surprise, he did.
    In the morning the lay brother’s astonished foreman took him to Abbess Hild. She had him recite the poem, questioned him, then sent him off with instructions to see if he could come up with another poem by the next morning. He could and did. Hild, correctly surmising that that this was a gift from God, admitted him to the community, which set about filling the gaps in his education. For the rest of his life, when Whitby needed a poem on a religious theme, this brother would be instructed in the necessary points of doctrine and sent off to think about it, and in the morning, “like a cow chewing its cud”, he’d produce a gem of a poem in the Old English alliterative-stressed style. For this lay brother was Caedmon, first poet in Old English whose name we know. Bede, alas, preserves only the first eight lines of his considerable output, beginning “Nu sculon herigean • heofonrices weard” ‘Now shall we praise • Heaven’s Guardian’.
    Bright lady, Hild. She gets my vote.

    • Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
      March 11, 2013 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I LOVE this!

  38. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 11, 2013 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    Love Hilda – but voted for Iggy. Could easily have supported either – but the slams in the comments about Iggy A. tipped the scales for me in his favor.

    Can’t stand those negative ads….

  39. Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
    March 11, 2013 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Ignatious – The teaching on unity even more important today. Also, this was my grandfather’s middle name so I have to vote for him!

    • March 11, 2013 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t in today’s post on her, but Hilda’s example of speaking her truth at the Synod of Whitby, then accepting the outcome, is also an outstanding example of unity.

      • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
        March 11, 2013 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Agree wholeheartedly. One more reason I’m finding it hard to decide between these two!

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

    Hilda! Hilda! Hilda! (Chant and stomp on bleachers)

  41. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 11, 2013 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    I was going to vote for Hilda, the founder of a couple of co-ed monasteries, until I read Ignatius’s metaphor of the church as a choir. This alto votes for the unity that comes from harmony.
    And puts forth the idea that a bell choir is an excellent example of the Body of Christ–each person does something different, but each is vital to the whole piece.

  42. Rachel K's Gravatar Rachel K
    March 11, 2013 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    I do wish y’all would update the bracket as we go along and put a link next to the current voting page. It might help some of us undecideds if we could anticipate upcoming matchups.

  43. March 11, 2013 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    I came here determined to vote for Hilda, but ended up voting for Ignatius. I love me some snark, and well, I sing in a choir. How easily I am moved…. *sigh*

  44. Sally from Magnolia's Gravatar Sally from Magnolia
    March 11, 2013 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    I have been waiting to hear something of Caedmon, the first known English poet (and a singer.) He was recognized by Hilda and her Abbey. Is the Hilda blogger so certain that she will advance (as I am) that he/she is waiting to post this info later?

    • Diana Wilcox's Gravatar Diana Wilcox
      March 11, 2013 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      I would not be so certain. Iggy is advancing rapidly. I do hope she continues on.

    • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
      March 11, 2013 - 5:35 pm | Permalink

      I included this in her first round information, and had it ready to go in this round with the cow chewing cud story before my weekend respite derailed my Hilda plans. Stay tuned for how this Celebrity Blogger spent her weekend when she should have been writing. I do hope she makes it to the next round, though. Thanks to Tim for doing a great job as a pinch-hitting celebrity blogger!

      • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
        March 11, 2013 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Ah-that explains why no byline for Hilda article this week. Hope all is well, or will be.

  45. Sally from Magnolia's Gravatar Sally from Magnolia
    March 11, 2013 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    OK, so I missed Lagerquist’s wonderful post. Another fan of Caedmon and Hilda!

  46. Phil Harrington's Gravatar Phil Harrington
    March 11, 2013 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    So, Ignatius had pearls, too? If I recall correctly, the 1st round description of Hilda had her clutching her pearls. “And all the saints with pearls in hand…” Now there’s a first line to get Caedmon going, don’t ya think? Or do we also have to provide him some pub brew?

  47. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 11, 2013 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Voting for Hilda for many reasons. She led a community of men and women, four men who became bishops trained under her (the Celtic cross in Whitby has a lovely carving of Hilda with four mitred bishops peeping out from behind her.) She argued for unity at the synod of Whitby, she encouraged Caedmon in his gifts. Oh and her feast day in the C of E has been moved to allow Hugh of Lincoln her day. The least we could do for her is redress this wrong.

  48. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 11, 2013 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    According to All Saint’s Parish in Brookline, MA: “Hilda remained a peacemaker to the very end-her greatest concern was that her monastic family should be one in the Lord, and her last recorded words were: ‘Have evangelical peace among yourselves.'” What an amazing woman. Of course I voted for Hild!

  49. March 11, 2013 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    In the end I’ve decided that Hilda’s example of finding unity in dialogue tips the scale in her favor, at least for moi. But to play a little bracketology, I expect whoever wins here to eventually lose to Martha of Bethany.

  50. Amma Lera's Gravatar Amma Lera
    March 11, 2013 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s so difficult to decide.
    Perhaps Ignatius is the greater martyr and traditional witness, but women who serve the Church in leadership roles now see Hilda’s wisdom and tremendous gift of leadership as a witness to the many women have lead Christian communities but whose names are not remembered.

    • Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
      March 11, 2013 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of bracketology David, I think who ever wins this side of the bracket will have to go up against Romero or Li-Tim-Oi, if we put Iggy up it will not be a fair fight, at least Hilda has a fighting chance…or Martha. 🙂

      • March 11, 2013 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

        I suspect you’re right about the other side of the bracket, Sarah, though I’ll be voting for Benedict as long as I can.

  51. Cornelia+'s Gravatar Cornelia+
    March 11, 2013 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    What treasures we might have had from Hilda if more of her own words and actions had been committed to history and passed down to us! Here’s to all the amazing but unknown, voiceless women ministering through the centuries. Hilda has my vote!

  52. Doug Knowles's Gravatar Doug Knowles
    March 11, 2013 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Hilda is really a vote for the work of the Venerable Bede. Ignatius of Antioch letters survived, more of an original source, if you will, therefore making Ignatius a better choice for Saint de Jour.

  53. Kathryn Galicia's Gravatar Kathryn Galicia
    March 11, 2013 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Of all the places in England that we visited a few years ago, my son, Chris and I put Whitby and Lindisfarne in the top ten of our list of Most Inspirational. The ruined cathedral is amazing!

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      March 11, 2013 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

      What ruined cathedral? Did you mean abbey? On second thought the abbey at Lindisfarne did served as a Cathedral for a time though apparently be default more than by intent.

  54. Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
    March 11, 2013 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I hope we are not assuming that just because Hilda did not write anything that we have found yet-or survives she is some how a lesser saint. What documents did Jesus write? Oh that’s right nothing because he was too busy being awesome.

  55. March 11, 2013 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I miss the choice of thumbnails. Yesterday and today I posted with no thumbnail because the only choice was the st. I was not voting for. Bring back the choices.

  56. Cindy Selby's Gravatar Cindy Selby
    March 11, 2013 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Ignatius of Antioch because of his plea for unity within the Church. His image of the Body of Christ as a choir, with everyone taking his pitch from God and singing with one voice, is a lovely one, and one we should strive to achieve. My own parish is beginning its search process for a new rector, the national Episcopal church will be electing a new Presiding Bishop in the next 2 years, and the Catholics will be getting a new Pope soon. A prayer for chuch unity seems quite timely.

    • March 11, 2013 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

      But Hilda was a perfect example of unity when she agreed to accept the date of Easter — we would all be fortunate indeed if we had religious leaders with Hilda’s gifts and holiness.

  57. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 11, 2013 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Hilda!! Unfortunately, I was unable to fulfill my Celebrity Blogger obligations this weekend for Hilda (stay tuned for more info as to why, Lent Madness style), but thanks to Tim for getting it done. I’d add that Hilda has a college in England named after her (and Bede, but since this is all about Hilda…) that produced not one, but TWO actors who played James Bond. Changed the church, got rid of the snakes in Whitby, and gave us two James Bonds. All without being martyred. Winning, by church friends. Winning. Vote for Hilda!!

    • March 11, 2013 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Hilda is the patron of many schools, including St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School in NYC.
      Definitely voting for Hilda!

    • Jim's Gravatar Jim
      March 11, 2013 - 2:45 pm | Permalink


      Great to see that you are up and posting and please know that we miss your blogs, no insult to Tim’s efforts of course. Please know that we are all hoping that you are back to 100% soon. In the spirit of Lent Madness I trust that you have forgiven the horse.

      • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
        March 11, 2013 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Up and around. Working on my post for tomorrow. Nina the horse has nothing to ask forgiveness for, as she was being a happy, exciting horse outside for spring. The fence, however, has much to ask forgiveness for.

        • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
          March 11, 2013 - 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Liberal (Fence-al? Corr-al?) Conspiracy Responsible for Downfall of Lent Madness Celebrity Blogger. Quick, someone call The Caller! (or not)

  58. Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
    March 11, 2013 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Also, this is not a battle between a martyr and a non martyr. This is a match up between a “red martyr” and a “white martyr.” It is said that Hilda suffered for 7-9 years with illness and fever and still continued to work in the service of God until she died. By definition this makes her a white martyr, poor long-suffering soul that she was.

  59. Cathy Koch's Gravatar Cathy Koch
    March 11, 2013 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    “When her own community was divided over the differences between the practices of Celtic and Roman Christianity, a synod was called at Whitby. Hilda was personally sympathetic to the Celtic tradition, just as some of us have loved various aspects of our own tradition like the prayer book or certain hymns or particular styles of worship. But the synod did not choose the Celtic tradition; they opted for the Roman position. Hilda adapted to that decision and was one of the strongest proponents of peace.” From “Brightest and Best; a Companion to the Lesser Feasts and Fasts” by Sam Portaro. Thanks, Sam for this reference book for me during Lent Madness! Go Hilda!

  60. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 11, 2013 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I think I will have to go with Ignatius today. This line got me just like the window in our church where Jesus is standing with the children … “Legends also abound about Ignatius; one holds that he was among the children taken into Jesus’ arms in Matthew 19.” If only we all held onto the capacity to wonder and experience mystery like children!

  61. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 11, 2013 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Despite Ignatius’s generous decision to become the ultimate cat treat, Hild won me over today with her nurture of harmony, generosity, and creativity.

    • Diana Wilcox's Gravatar Diana Wilcox
      March 11, 2013 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

      That is hilarious Peg! Now my cat wants me to petition the SEC for a re-vote to Ignatius. No way, I say – but then I gave him a cat treat, so he is good with it (the vote has been bought, as they say). =^..^=

      • Peg's Gravatar Peg
        March 11, 2013 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Pounce for everyone!

  62. March 11, 2013 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who can get rid of the snakes in Whitby AND give us two 007s has my vote! Hilda all the way!

  63. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 11, 2013 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    My cats are urging me to vote for Ignatius.

    • Diana Wilcox's Gravatar Diana Wilcox
      March 11, 2013 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I am sensing the development of a Cat Caucus. SEC – pay attention or the fur could fly. =^..^=

  64. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 11, 2013 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

    By the time of Hilda it was a question of discerning what place in the body of Christ your path would follow, with Ignatius it was still a question of holding the body of Christ together period. He gets my vote.

  65. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 11, 2013 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Why are Archbishops J&T not linked in the comments, Maple Anglican?

  66. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 11, 2013 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Hilda today.

  67. March 11, 2013 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Vote for Ignatius of Antioch. He was the cat’s meow! Literally!

  68. Cole's Gravatar Cole
    March 11, 2013 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

    In that image, Ignatius gets a lion _and a hyena_. A hyena. That is hardcore.

  69. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 11, 2013 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius for me today. I love the choir metaphor.
    Saying a prayer for Mary Ellen! May God strengthen you and fill your heart with peace and with His love for those who are pressuring you. Amen.

  70. March 11, 2013 - 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m sticking with Hilda (or Hild) of Whitby. Unifier, wise, faithful, and snakehandler. The Celtic side of my ancestery compelled me. Of course, our cat, Gutterball, will snub me now. (As if he didn’t already…)

    • March 11, 2013 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh no, he’ll be fine . . . he knows mice and cat food taste better than people any day!

  71. Cindy Selby's Gravatar Cindy Selby
    March 11, 2013 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Come on, Iggy! Don’t tell me you were torn apart by lions only to be beaten by a girl! (sorry, Mother Hilda, I mean no disrespect). There’s still time for Ignatius of Antioch to pull ahead and win this contest. Vote for Iggy!

  72. Debby's Gravatar Debby
    March 11, 2013 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I miss being able to post the icon of the one for whom I voted!

  73. chaplain tom chapman's Gravatar chaplain tom chapman
    March 11, 2013 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Good ole Hilda! But what concerns me is all this talk about conversion! I am only responsible for my own conversion which I deal with on a daily basis! Have a beautiful week everyone! Hugs Chaplain TNC

  74. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 11, 2013 - 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Voted Ignatius. After all, he “was slain by a fierce wild beast”…just like in the hymn. I mean…if you make it into the hymnal… you should at least make it into the Elate Eight, no?

  75. JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
    March 11, 2013 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Tough one. So much to admire in both candidates, and nothing in comments so far from most excellent tie-breaker consultants Hope and Skye to help me choose. Rats.

    You can’t seriously expect me to decide between these two, so I’ll decide very unseriously.
    I have asked the cats. They said “Antioch” for his tenderness — renowned in feline circles. https://twitter.com/LionsOfRome

  76. Cheribum's Gravatar Cheribum
    March 11, 2013 - 5:35 pm | Permalink

    In the horrible parlance of today’s generation “Jesus’ name was LITERALLY on his heart?” Um. No. Not literally. You had me up to that point. Snakes of stone gets Hildy the vote.

  77. Heath's Gravatar Heath
    March 11, 2013 - 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ve gotten into Peter Tremayne’s mysteries about the 7th century monastics. Absolution by Murder is about the Synod of Whitby, under Abbess Hilda’s protection. I have a very soft spot for all monastics, as I believe they’ve kept the world in balance for centuries. Go Hilda!

    • Mariana Bauman's Gravatar Mariana Bauman
      March 11, 2013 - 5:58 pm | Permalink

      For all those being pressured to convert to Islam and to all those being persecuted around the world for their Christian faith – I vote for Ignatius. “Know for certain that I have this name written in my heart, and therefore I cannot proclaim any other name.”

  78. Stewart's Gravatar Stewart
    March 11, 2013 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    As I worship at St Hilda’s church in Hartlepool (incidentally where she was Abbess before going to Whitby which isn’t mentioned above) how could I vote any other way!

  79. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    March 11, 2013 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Still hanging in there with Hilda.

  80. Florine's Gravatar Florine
    March 11, 2013 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    So, given that Hilda is a benefactor of all those martyred, such as the likes of Ignatius, she still sits pretty in her position of affluence, being the niece of the king and wealth. How does one not notice a valuable necklace has gone lost? Not so impressed by nepotism– my vote is for the martyr with a wit of sarcasm. Reminds me a little bit of our own rector. 🙂

  81. Evelyn Piety's Gravatar Evelyn Piety
    March 11, 2013 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

    FWIW — Hilda had to choose between Celtic and Roman. In Ignatius’ day, the choice was between Antioch and Jerusalem. To quote the brilliant and ever-delightful Phyllis Tickle, “In Jerusalem you had to be circumcised; in Antioch you had to be kidding.”

  82. Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
    March 11, 2013 - 8:14 pm | Permalink

    @ Cynthia Espeseth “Matron saint”! Love it!

  83. Georgia Giacobbe's Gravatar Georgia Giacobbe
    March 11, 2013 - 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius of A. got my vote before. But now with this tough call, I am still swayed by anyone who could turn snakes into stone.

  84. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 12, 2013 - 12:04 am | Permalink

    The bicameral abbey, establishment and administration, swayed my vote between these two favorites. Hilda of Whitby!

  85. Betz's Gravatar Betz
    March 12, 2013 - 12:34 am | Permalink

    Our discussion group, after voting for Hilda had an aha moment. Lent Madness really had its beginnings in the middle ages when a choice had to be made between two saints, John,revered by the Celts, and Peter, the Roman Catholic rock.

  86. Hope and Skye's Gravatar Hope and Skye
    March 12, 2013 - 6:12 am | Permalink

    We had to sleep on this one. After dreaming about Hilda and the Iggy guy, we decided to vote for Hilda. With that done, it is time for swim practice before school. 🙂

  87. Hubert Addleton's Gravatar Hubert Addleton
    March 12, 2013 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    The guest house on the Lahore (Pakistan) Cathedral’s compound is named St. Hilda’s. I’ve stayed there several times when traveling through
    Lahore. However my votes goes to Ignatius.

  88. March 13, 2013 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Hello i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also make comment
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