Oscar Romero vs. Lucy

The Saintly Sixteen continues with this year’s early Cinderella, Lucy, taking on another modern martyr, Oscar Romero. Lucy made it this far by upsetting John the Baptist while Oscar Romero trounced Elizabeth Ann Seton. Will the “eyes” have it or will the assassinated archbishop carry the day?

In an emotional match-up (get used to it) yesterday, Jonathan Daniels bested Janani Luwum. He’ll go on to face the winner of Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. Frances Perkins in the Elate Eight.

Despite the effects of Lent Madness Withdrawal (LMW) we all might need some time to catch our collective breath this weekend before a full week of Saintly Sixteen match-ups.

Romero 2Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero, Roman Catholic archbishop in El Salvador, used his position to advocate for the rights of the oppressed, and for his advocacy, was assassinated while saying mass in 1980.

Archbishop Romero was orthodox to the core; he even went to Opus Dei for spiritual direction. To his mind, giving voice to the voiceless was advocating for the Church in its truest sense:

You and I and all of us are worth very much because we are creatures of God…and so the church values human beings and contends for their rights, for their freedom, for their dignity.  That is an authentic church endeavor. While human rights are violated,…while there are tortures, the church considers itself persecuted, it feels troubled, because the church…cannot tolerate that an image of God be trampled by persons that become brutalized by trampling on others. The church wants to make that image beautiful.

Sadly, his fellow bishops and the Vatican hierarchy did not agree. When he had an audience with Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Romero used the opportunity to present the pope with a list of the names of the desparacidos that he had gathered, and urged the pope’s immediate intervention. But due to his continued, and fruitless, lobbying of the Vatican, by March 24, 1980, the pope had signed the order to replace him as archbishop. He never got the chance — Romero was assassinated that evening[1].

Romero’s preaching, because it was broadcast throughout the country, was a powerful persuasive tool in the bloody civil war, and Romero took full advantage of it. In his last Sunday sermon, he directly addressed the members of the death squads:

Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brother peasants when any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God which says, ‘Thou shalt not kill’. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. …it is high time you recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. … In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you — I beg you — I order you — in the name of God: stop the repression.

Until the end, Romero thought martyrdom was a fate too honorable for him; “If God accepts the sacrifice of my life, may my death be for the freedom of my people. A bishop will die, but the Church of God, which is the people, will never perish. I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I will rise again in the people of El Salvador.”

Megan Castellan


It’s great that this round features quirks and legends, since much of what we know about Lucy is legendary. Aside from the important fact that she suffered martyrdom (during the Diocletian persecution of Christians in the 4th-century) after distributing her dowry to the poor, little is known of her life. She has always been a very popular saint, appealing to Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Anglicans alike. Major feasts for Lucy abound, from Sweden to Italy to Omaha, Nebraska, plus she has an island in the Lesser Antilles named after her.

Legend has it that Lucy’s eyes were torn out, either by her own self or by her torturers, but God supplied her with new eyes. Thus, she is often portrayed holding a platter with a pair of eyes on it, and she is the patron saint of the blind and those with eye diseases.

Another legend explains why in Scandinavia Lucy carries a tray of coffee and saffron buns shaped like cats with raisin eyes (lussekatter): during a 19th-century famine,  a glowing Lucy arrived in a Swedish village by boat, bringing food to the starving residents. She wears the crown of lighted candles so that her hands are free to distribute nourishment to the hungry as she represents the Light of Christ in the world.

A similar 16th-century legend comes from her hometown of Syracuse, Sicily, where she appeared in the harbor, wearing her halo of candles, directing a flotilla of ships delivering wheat to famished Sicilians on her feast day (December 13). The people were so hungry that they simply boiled the wheat, rather than taking time to grind it into flour, hence the eating of wheat berries (cuccia) on St. Lucy’s day in Sicily.

Not many saints have their own soundtrack. Lucy inspired the traditional Neapolitan song “Santa Lucia” which Elvis Presley liked so much that he recorded it on his album “Elvis for Everyone” AND sang it in his movie “Viva Las Vegas.” It was also sung by Barney on “The Andy Griffith Show,” by the Robot and Will Robinson on “Lost in Space,” as well as featured in a Tom & Jerry cartoon, an episode of “Hogan’s Heroes,” and The Marx Brothers movie “A Night at the Opera.”

In all seriousness, though, Lucy’s steadfastness in her faith despite the violence done to her and her selfless generosity to the poor and hungry have inspired people in all times and places (see her photo here with Baby Jesus). With this plethora of stories (and more but I’m going over the word count!), it is clear that there are many reasons why Lucy is so universally beloved. I invite our dear readers to add theirs in the comments below.

Penny Nash


Oscar Romero vs. Lucy

  • Oscar Romero (70%, 2,523 Votes)
  • Lucy (31%, 1,108 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,628

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101 Comments to "Oscar Romero vs. Lucy"

  1. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    March 8, 2013 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    My Liberation Theology prof will berate me thoroughly should I not vote Romero.

  2. Thomas van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas van Brunt
    March 8, 2013 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    Lucy! All the way!

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      March 8, 2013 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Lucy for me – especially since eye surgery.

  3. Russ's Gravatar Russ
    March 8, 2013 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    I remember Romero and what he stood for in Central and Douth America.

  4. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 8, 2013 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    With a quite vivid imagination, I love fantasy and fairy tales as well as the next delayed grown-up but Lucy stretches it a tad too much. And to top it off, the very thought of Barney Fife singing SANTA LUCIA

    • March 8, 2013 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Aleathia – So far, this is the funniest mental picture I’ve had all day. Thank you.

    • March 8, 2013 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

      SANTA LUCIA is more euphonious than SANT’ OSCAR which just doesn’t work musically at all.

  5. linda of new orleans's Gravatar linda of new orleans
    March 8, 2013 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    why /who decides who is written about 1st? so much to read about romero and all his goodness while Lucy seems like she did nothing. it seems one sided this time. but i voted for lucy. penny nash-i met you at st. margaret’s. i lived in athens after hurricane katrina and often visited carrollton….good write up about lucy altho she is getting trounced …

    • March 8, 2013 - 9:24 am | Permalink

      Hi Linda! Thanks for voting for Lucy! The quirks/quotes/legends round is always a trip.

  6. Mike Spring's Gravatar Mike Spring
    March 8, 2013 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    THIS is the hard one.Romero is so obviously a child of God- but LUCY AND MUSIC
    get my vote today.

  7. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 8, 2013 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Well…..cut off in mid-sentence! That’s the penalty for low-rating Barney Fife..I know Aunt Bee was responsible. Anyhow, the reality of Romero’s strident pursuit of truth even in the face of the Pope’s written order to depose him failed to stop his stance for the poor and defenseless. Pure martyrdom…to
    give one’s life so selflessly.

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      March 8, 2013 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the Pope intended to save Fr. Romero’s life by removing him from the ‘hot seat’. May be so. May be no.

  8. Aileen Ryder's Gravatar Aileen Ryder
    March 8, 2013 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I love the stories of Lucy. But Romereo is such an example of loving humanity in the face of oppression. My vote goes to him.

  9. March 8, 2013 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Love the Lucy legends and music, and hate to disappoint my beagle LucyLu, but I’m voting for Archbishop Romero.

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      March 8, 2013 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I understand, and certainly support Romero’s claims, but my mother grew up near Naples which meant that I grew up with SANTA LUCIA, so I’m honoring your beagle and my memories today.

  10. Marj's Gravatar Marj
    March 8, 2013 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Liberation theology and Romero are my vote today.

  11. slfiore's Gravatar slfiore
    March 8, 2013 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Romero not only confronted the repressive authorities of his country, he chose to follow his conscience in spite of the collusion of the highest Church authority by its indifference to suffering. He stood alone with ‘the least of these.’ This is an easy voting decision (thank heavens: most have been agonizing!).

    • Cricket Cooper's Gravatar Cricket Cooper
      March 8, 2013 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      We need the calm, firm, visionary voice of Romero in our lives every day.
      I salute him with this vote!

  12. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 8, 2013 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Romero is my pick today because of his powerful words to the members of the death squads, his dedication to his people, his faithful efforts to enlist his church in overcoming evil, and more. Santa Lucia (whose song was taken up by Gomer Pyle, much to Barney’s chagrin) was a brave, generous girl who set a wonderful example, but even with her fashion forward flaming chapeau, she is no match for the archbishop.

  13. March 8, 2013 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    There is no way I will ever vote against Oscar Romero!

  14. Amelia+'s Gravatar Amelia+
    March 8, 2013 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    I certainly appreciate Oscar Romero’s devotion to the poor. It is, however, his going to Opus Dei for spiritual direction that makes me a bit queasy. Someone who is “orthodox to the core” doesn’t work so well for this Episcopalian.

  15. Diane Cook's Gravatar Diane Cook
    March 8, 2013 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Today Lucy gets my vote. I think that Romero will win easily, but I have to vote for the patron saint of the blind. My husband is totally blind and we have a picture of Lucy in our living room, need I say more!

  16. Carolyn Sharp's Gravatar Carolyn Sharp
    March 8, 2013 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    I am sad that Janani Luwum did not go forward, for I was abashed not to have know the name of this saint martyred in my lifetime. Why was I not paying attention? I cannot help but thinking that the Golden Halo played backwards gives us the Golden Community and for this I rejoice.

    • March 8, 2013 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

      What a beautiful image! Starting from one exemplar of holiness, one shining beacon of light, that lights another, then the two candles light two more, and on and on until we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses! The playback in reverse may be an even greater blessing than the bracket.

  17. Martha's Gravatar Martha
    March 8, 2013 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for Romero for something I don’t think has been mentioned: he changed his mind. Initially somewhat removed and isolated from the struggles of the oppressed, the death of a friend made him aware of their suffering. His heart and spirit were moved. He made their struggle his own.

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 8, 2013 - 11:21 am | Permalink

      Martha, what a perfect way of expressing it. I voted for Archbishop Romero, as well. A friend who helps me care for my elderly grandfather was confirmed by Romero in El Salvador shortly before his death. I see the example of his strength and goodness in her. Though I have always felt a connection to Lucy, Romero’s movement closer to his people and to God made it easy for me to cast my vote for him.

  18. Cindy Coward's Gravatar Cindy Coward
    March 8, 2013 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Love ya Lucy but I think I have to go for Romero as I think he knew his death was coming just like Jesus.

  19. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 8, 2013 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Oscar Romero … For his courage, and for the courage he gives me to live the Gospel as best I can.

  20. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 8, 2013 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    By the way, I need to check … but didn’t Martin LUTHER defeat Martin Luther KING JR? Is not the young Mr. Daniels going up against the senior Reformer?

    • March 8, 2013 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      MLK, Jr. bested the elder Martin Luther 55% – 45%.

  21. Gian's Gravatar Gian
    March 8, 2013 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I’ve always admired monsignor Romero. Some people argue that he belong to the Liberation Theology group trying to discredit him in the eyes of conservatives and more neutral people, but he was just a fair man with a tendency actually to the right. I admire people who stands over their political conventions for justice.
    Siempre he admirado a monseñor Romero. Algunos lo tildan de haber pertenecido al grupo de la Teología de la Liberación para desacreditarlo entre los conservadores y otras personas con tendencias políticas más centristas, sin embargo, monseñor Romero simplemente fue un hombre justo que supo poner a un lado sus convicciones políticas, porque en verdad él tendía más a la derecha para luchar por lo que es justo y estas personas son dignas de admiración en mi cosmovisión.

  22. Susan Elliott's Gravatar Susan Elliott
    March 8, 2013 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that today’s contest strikes at the conflict between legend and history. We have a lot of verifiable information about Bishop Romero and a collection of stories about Lucy, some gruesome and some that inspire faith and good works. So will it be the power of legend or of relatively contemporary history that moves the majority today? I’m interested in seeing how this turns out.

  23. Kate Murray's Gravatar Kate Murray
    March 8, 2013 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    While I come out of the liberation theology school, I have to vote for Lucy, one of my favorites, in my book “Field Guide to the Saints”

  24. Glenn Brown's Gravatar Glenn Brown
    March 8, 2013 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Went for Oscar Romero but the cat-shaped pastries almost sold me 🙂

  25. March 8, 2013 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    This one was … nevermind. Romero y Galdámez. bendiciones

    • Vicki Hesse's Gravatar Vicki Hesse
      March 8, 2013 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Oscar all the way!

  26. Catherine Schiesz's Gravatar Catherine Schiesz
    March 8, 2013 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    come on, good people! Lucy trounced John the Baptist. Surely to goodness she can take Oscar Romero!

  27. Mark D.'s Gravatar Mark D.
    March 8, 2013 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    This round iis where the brackets go to die….. I’m voting for Lucy because COFFEE and KITTY BUNS!

  28. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 8, 2013 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    “The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. ”

    This quote brought tears to my eyes, as it could no doubt be applied to the Catholic Church’s too-recent history in dealing with pedophile priests. My vote goes to Oscar Romero because I admire his ceaseless, albeit fruitless, nagging of the pope to assist in the plight of his people, despite the fact that the church at large did not want him to make such comments. The church needs more priests and bishops willing to call out those in power for looking the other way!

  29. David's Gravatar David
    March 8, 2013 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    Voted for Lucy. After all she inspired a blog post: http://dyingsparrows.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/on-heavy-and-hairy-virgins/. I will be happy to see Romero advance, though.

    • March 8, 2013 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Great blog post David. I was going to vote for Romero, because I thought his quote about “being worthy because we are made in the image of God” and working to stop brutality and heal those who had been victimized. Then I read your blog post, and realized that Lucy’s story of being protected from rape reminded me of the “Good Shepherd” parable, that God cares and protects. In my mind, that was protection of her beauty and innocence, but I’ll get into that more on your blog post. Both give us hope in a world filled with violence, especially sexual violence. Not sure who to vote for now!

      • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
        March 8, 2013 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

        After reading the story of how Lucy would not be victimized even if she were raped, it no longer mattered to me that the stories are as much legend as fact: Lucy’s story requires attention that is still not often paid. I’m for Lucy! –which does not mean against anybody else, just that today she has my vote.

  30. Heath's Gravatar Heath
    March 8, 2013 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    As a spiritual director, I like to think that the spiritual direction Oscar Romero received from Opus Dei helped him to hold the space within to withstand the abundant power of the Pope. What a model he is for all of us, and he helps us question the height and depth of our own courage.

  31. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 8, 2013 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    I’d be happy with either. Almost voted for Lucy; she’s a very traditional martyr who cared for the poor and died under persecution (and BTW, here’s Enrico Caruso singing “Santa Lucia”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX4SzE_GDRE – nice!).

    But then, Oscar Romero also cared for the poor and died under persecution- all while holding an “orthodox” view of Christian faith (perhaps not much different from Lucy’s, in fact?). Which is one reason I’m leaning towards him; another is that people in the world today may be better able to identify with him.

    Both are wonderful witnesses to courage, steadfastness, and love through faith….

  32. The Holy Fool's Gravatar The Holy Fool
    March 8, 2013 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    L egend U nderdogs C reate Y ore. Lucy all the way.

  33. Anne of Memphis's Gravatar Anne of Memphis
    March 8, 2013 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Saint Lucy gets my vote. Opus dei makes this Episcopalian squirm! Coffee, kitty buns, music and patron saint of the blind. Who could ask for more? I Love Lucy!

  34. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 8, 2013 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    Voting for Oscar Romero for his conversion as a bishop to serve the oppressed and poor, and for being very irritating to his seniors. We need people able to challenge the hierarchy of the church and call it back to serving the gospel.

  35. Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
    March 8, 2013 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Oscar Romero directly addressed the death squad and the pope. Neither listened.

    • Billie Jo's Gravatar Billie Jo
      March 8, 2013 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

      God, indeed, works in mysterious ways. I also voted for Oscar Romero.

  36. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    March 8, 2013 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I lead an “Old Swedes” church and we have one of the biggest LuciaFest weekend celebrations in the world so please no none tell the Swedes, but I have to vote for Oscar Romero. He stood up to all authority, all terror, every evil he encountered, braved the world to live as Christ and challenged us all to do the same. In the name of the poor, the hungry, those suffering injustice, in the name of Christ he lived out loud Matthew 25:31-46.

  37. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 8, 2013 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    (Besides: Lucy beat my man John the Baptist. Can’t quite forget about that one, Lu….)

  38. Chris Carter's Gravatar Chris Carter
    March 8, 2013 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Well, Romero probably would have gotten my vote, but I used today’s match-up as my homily in Chapel today at St. Mark’s Cathedral School. In a near landslide, the students went for Lucy, and I promised to cast my vote for their winner, so Lucy it is. I think it was the eyeballs–Lower School boys loved the gross-out factor! After Chapel many parents were enthusiastic about the idea of Lent Madness and want to continue with it for the rest of the “season”!

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 8, 2013 - 11:06 am | Permalink

      Love this! 😉

    • March 8, 2013 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

      I love it, too! Thanks for sharing this!

  39. Mary-Eileen's Gravatar Mary-Eileen
    March 8, 2013 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Another impossible choice—you people are diabolical! But finally went with Lucy to on this, International Women’s Day.

  40. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 8, 2013 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    I think I shall stand with Lucy in honor of all young women who are victimized throughout the world with no voice to speak for them. I think Romero would speak for them, too. I am also a bit squeamish about Opus Dei, but I so respect his nagging of the Pope and others in power.

  41. March 8, 2013 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, what a dilemma. I voted for Romero and Lucy in the previous round.

    Much as I love the story of Lucy and her fortitude, for me it has to be Romero. His public stance against what he knew to be wrong fully knowing what the likely consequences might be.

  42. JaneC's Gravatar JaneC
    March 8, 2013 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Vote for Lucy to lighten up this bracket! The abundance of modern martyrs is getting heavy. Having problems with vision, she’s an obvious choice for me. Selfish on my part but there it is. A family cat is named Lucy and quite proud of it. At mealtime she calls out to her saint who always responds by having the humans fill her dish and end her famine. I only wish that St. Lucy had put her foot down and not let that odd assortment of “stars” record her song.

  43. Albert Krueger's Gravatar Albert Krueger
    March 8, 2013 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    I had to go against all of my convictions and vote for Lucy, because I am afraid of what my friend K. Jeanne Person might do to herself if Lucy loses.

  44. michelle's Gravatar michelle
    March 8, 2013 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    Gotta go for the underdog on the International day of women. I remember and honor Oscar Romero, but have been feeling more than a little embattled as a Liberal woman christian these past 6 months, especially when it comes to issues of what happens to a woman’s body.

  45. March 8, 2013 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    This is International Women’s Day. Lucy must come first today–Oscar tomorrow.

  46. Jay's Gravatar Jay
    March 8, 2013 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    The world (maybe the Vatican in particular?) so needs to hear what Oscar Romero has to say to us today and every day. Lucy is lovely – but Romero is absolutely urgent! (And my forecast…. he just might end up with the Golden Halo…)

  47. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    March 8, 2013 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    There is just way too much fairy tale in the Lucy story for my taste including her supposed martyrdom at the hands of Diocletian, something that could not have happened since Diocletian did not have jurisdiction over Sicily at the time. Her story is a beautiful one and I too remember Barney singing Santa Lucia but for me it ends there.

    Oscar Romero on the other hand speaks to me in a powerful way. His opposition to authority both within the church and from without is a powerful witness to his love and compassion for the people. Oscar Romero gets my vote today.

  48. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 8, 2013 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    It’s International Women’s Day.
    I have deep reverence for Bishop Romero, but I am voting for Lucy. I’m voting for her to honor my courageous 11 year old daughter, whose middle name is Lucy, and also to honor all girls and women who have struggled and still do to hold onto the integrity of their bodies, dreams, and faith- often in the face of tremendous pressure from family, church and culture.

  49. Hugh Matheson's Gravatar Hugh Matheson
    March 8, 2013 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    One of my first churches, a small stone building on the Canadian prairie was dedicated to St Lucy, affectionatly known by the Rural Dean as “St Lucy Four Eyes” Pay attention everyone this is Lent – MADNESS. Go a little wild and give Lucy her place under the golden halo.

  50. Skip's Gravatar Skip
    March 8, 2013 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    What a fantastic job by Penny Nash describing Lucy. Reading the comments extolling the virtues and rationale for voting for Lucy I am almost convinced to vote for her as I did in the first round but as someone mentioned the saintly round is where brackets go to die alas it is where legends go to die. Oscar Romeo stood tall against oppression. He provided a beacon against tyranny and injustice. I vote for Archbishop Romero.

  51. Julie's Gravatar Julie
    March 8, 2013 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

    My vote went to Lucy. Our dear niece is dying of ocular melanoma that’s spread to all her major organs and Lucy has been a great comfort and support to her. If late voting provides a rally for Lucy and she somehow wins this round, I’m asking for a celebratory miracle.

    • JaneC's Gravatar JaneC
      March 8, 2013 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I’m hoping Lucy comes through for your niece, too.

  52. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 8, 2013 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    This one was actually easy. I voted for Lucy and Elizabeth last time, so it’s time for Oscar. (Am I going into LMW too early?)

  53. Diane Amison-Loring's Gravatar Diane Amison-Loring
    March 8, 2013 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Here is yet another instance of a person put forward too soon.
    Romero is a worthy man, but enough time has not passed to put him forward for consideration.
    I am concerned that Lent Madness is really becoming more of a popularity contest than a learning experience.

  54. Cindy Selby's Gravatar Cindy Selby
    March 8, 2013 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m off my groove apparently, as I’ve voted for the “loser” for 2 days in a row (not that any of these folks is really a loser). My students will be disappointed that they’ve missed out on 8 points as a result. I voted with my emotions today, thinking of how young Lucy was… oh well.

  55. John's Gravatar John
    March 8, 2013 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I had to vote for Lucy despite a deep enthusiasm for the martyred Abp. Romero and all the rest who have put themselves at risk by embracing liberation theology. Why? The accretions to Lucy’s legend, especially the weird Sweden to Sicily connection, appeal to the anthropologist in me. I trust folk religion to get the Way of Jesus right much more than I trust the official theologies spun by the elites. Either saint embodies the theme of Power to the People!

  56. Jason's Gravatar Jason
    March 8, 2013 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Me inspira Romero, pero tengo una hija que se llama Lucy…

  57. March 8, 2013 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    And the captain asked: Have you made up your mind who you will vote for in today’s Lent Madness battle? She replied, “Eye Eye, Sir!”
    I was convinced I would vote for Oscar Romero before this round began but, after reading Penny’s write-up, had to change my mind. Go Lucy!!!

  58. Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
    March 8, 2013 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    It was always going to be Lucy for me. Beside the fact that I have soft spots for Barney Fife and the robot from Lost in Space. And a rather hard spot for Opus Dei.

  59. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 8, 2013 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Follow God’s will, not the will of those who chose to ignore it – both saints in contest here today did that, but I had to vote for Bishop Romero – at this moment in time it is hard to treat this like a game or just a learning experience. Lent is within this as a serious devotion more than I realized – mug aside.

  60. Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
    March 8, 2013 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    In spite of the fact that my dear husband’s birthday is on St. Lucy’s feast day, and because I didn’t read any postings before I voted, AND because I’m stunned by the courage of Oscar Romero, I did vote for him…but I’ve always loved the candles-on-the-head custom of eldest daughters bringing breakfast buns to their parents…I’ll be happy with whomever advances!

  61. Jerome Buescher's Gravatar Jerome Buescher
    March 8, 2013 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I belong to the same “Old Swedes” church already mentioned and I’ve done every conceivable task through 8 3-day Lucia Fests. I’ve been to Central America and have met people who knew Archbishop Romero. Lucy and the Archbishop are both incredible people. But John the Baptist was also an incredible person as was Mother Seton. And I did vote against Jesus’ grandma, as someone expressed it. I’ll go with Lucy … but I’m nearly sure she won’t win.

  62. Lucia Ann McSpadden's Gravatar Lucia Ann McSpadden
    March 8, 2013 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

    My vote goes to Oscar Romero but this is difficult since my name is Lucia and living in Sweden for many years added celebration to the name. However, Romero continues to witness for justice both in the face of brutality and in opposition to authorities who side with the institution rather than the people. Romero Presente

  63. Lee's Gravatar Lee
    March 8, 2013 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

    ¡Romero presente! For me, it was not even a struggle to determine my vote. Romero’s commitment to being la voz de los/las sin voz, speaking out against the fratricidal war and repression in his country still is an example of someone whose heart was broken, consequently set on fire and who became a prophet. A popular song about Romero says, ‘Prophets, you cannot silence them.’ Romero’s tomb still is a place where el pueblo prays, weeps and sings. His voice still speaks and we, el pueblo, are to be God’s microphones and continue to proclaim the gospel message of justice. For me, Romero is such an important figure that I cannot treat today’s vote as a game. ¡Presente!

    • Sarah Lawton's Gravatar Sarah Lawton
      March 8, 2013 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Right there with you, Lee. San Oscar Romero de las Americas is a saint who lives today in the hearts of so many across Latin America and the world. A voice for those without voice.

      For those concerned about his conservative past (which was how he got the post of Archbishop) — this is part of the story: he changed. Heartbroken and shocked by the murder of his dear friend, Fr. Rutilio Grande, along with two others, by paramilitary forces in 1977, he listened intently to the stories people brought to him of their imprisoned, tortured, disappeared and murdered family members. Then he used the means he had — the cathedral pulpit, the Catholic radio station, the Archdiocesan human rights office, his access to the world press the Church beyond El Salvador — to amplify their voices and to call for justice. He was a deeply prayerful man who carried the suffering of his people, even unto death.

      Oscar Romero, Presente!

      • Lee's Gravatar Lee
        March 8, 2013 - 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Gracias… and in this case, I really do not think that this is a popularity contest… how can on e say that having seen how deeply San Romero touches people’s hearts, not just in El Salvador, not just in Central America, but around the world? Rome will never beatify him, we know that, but he already is a saint in the people’s hearts.

  64. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    March 8, 2013 - 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Disappointed that Lucy wasn’t by Charles Shultz, otherwise she would have had my vote. 🙂

  65. March 8, 2013 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    On International Women’s Day, I’m going with Lucy.

  66. March 8, 2013 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Me, too! On International Women’s Day I am voting for Lucy. I love that the tradition said that she wore a crown of candles so that her hands would be free to distribute food to the poor.

  67. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 8, 2013 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    So glad to see the legend of Lucia saving all of Sweden from starvation included.

  68. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 8, 2013 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping Lucy would have a better showing after her impressive victory in the first round. I stuck with her today out of respect for my Scandinavian heritage and her wonderful legend if bringing light to a dark world. However, Archbishop Romero’s witness is worthy of the win. I was especially impressed that he stood in opposition to the Vatican and upheld what he knew to be right!

  69. Nancy Mott's Gravatar Nancy Mott
    March 8, 2013 - 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Oscar Romero is especially remarkable in that he was born and raised in his country’s privileges aristocracy. He was appointed bishop during times of political conflict because he was considered to be a “safe” choice, one who would most certainly not rock the boat or take up for the poor and disenfranchised. Instead he became deeply convicted by their plight and stood and spoke up bravely on their behalf, continuing to do so under threat of his life. Which it cost.

  70. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    March 8, 2013 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Lucy has been one of my favorites but wrapped up in so much legend and lore, its hard to distinguish the facts from fiction. This can be the case with many of the stories of the martyrs. I love all the folklore around Saint Lucy but I will have to go with Oscar Romero. He certainly can boast of no romantic miracles, doesn’t appear as harbor traffic director in the middle of the night to allow access for wheat shipments to a city under siege but he spoke for the voiceless, stood up and spoke up for the voiceless, the poor, the weak…and for this he sacrificed his life. If that’s not Christlike and a martyr then I don’t know what is.

  71. Hope and Skye's Gravatar Hope and Skye
    March 8, 2013 - 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Both tugged at our collective heart-strings. Hope got the family vote today and decided on Lucy!

  72. Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
    March 8, 2013 - 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Loved loved LOVED Penny Nash’s writeup, but alas, Oscar Romero is more real to me.

  73. Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
    March 8, 2013 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

    El Salvadoran history of that period was so grim, but Archbishop Romero’s witness still speaks today. He got my vote.

  74. Laura G.'s Gravatar Laura G.
    March 8, 2013 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Is recency a factor in today’s vote? Many of us remember Oscar Romero’s death; none of us remember Lucy’s – unless Shirley MacLaine is voting. I voted for Lucy in solidarity with and commemoration of the untold numbers of women marginalized, victimized, abused, raped, and murdered over the centuries. Is the death of a woman less offensive because it is less well known?

  75. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 8, 2013 - 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Another heavy Lenten week. Need a little light. Voting for St. Lucy.

  76. Janet Irvine's Gravatar Janet Irvine
    March 8, 2013 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Thought the write up on Lucy was a bit trivialized, for shame! Have always loved Lucy and on All Saints Dress-Up Day there was invariably someone glamorously dressed in old curtains carrying a plate of olives…St Lucy of course. Voted for Oscar, Lucy has not been helping out with dry eye syndrome or my eye doctor sufficiently enough these days.

  77. Barbara Mays-Stock's Gravatar Barbara Mays-Stock
    March 8, 2013 - 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Archbishop Romero, the Boff Brothers and priest friends from South America– Liberation theologians, all. They were my role models growing up. Proudly casting my vote for Oscar Romero.

  78. Melissa C-L+'s Gravatar Melissa C-L+
    March 9, 2013 - 12:30 am | Permalink

    Megan, love the write-up, and totally Romero presente! My almost birthday saint and despite the hokey film someone who has so informed my priesthood.
    Just a slight Spanish correction: desaparecidos.

  79. Jim Oppenheimer's Gravatar Jim Oppenheimer
    March 9, 2013 - 12:57 am | Permalink

    Well, Romero actually existed, which has to count for something.
    However, a member of our church asked us to do a Saint Lucia celebration in traditional Norwegian style in memory of his wife who was from that region.
    Seeing that young blond girl in the procession with candles in her hair was a choke-up moment, and even today, years after, it still brings a strong emotional response.
    I voted for the Bishop, but not without a thought of the beauty of the myth of Santa Lucia.

  80. Nancy Powell's Gravatar Nancy Powell
    March 9, 2013 - 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Very tough choice as I’m of the Scandinavian persuasion. But in the end Oscar gets my vote.

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