Louis of France vs. Thomas Gallaudet

Will the people of St. Louis, Missouri, rise up to support their namesake or will the alumni of Gallaudet University emerge in force? Will the people of France cry “Mon Dieu!” and vote for Louis or will the Deaf community throughout the world come together in support of Thomas? These questions, and probably more, will be answered in today’s edition of “As the Steeple Turns.”

In yesterday’s Battle of the Catherines, Catherine of Siena solidly defeated Catherine of Alexandria 61% to 39%. No word on how Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kate Middleton (aka the Duchess of Cambridge), Katy Perry, Katie Couric, or Katharine Jefferts Schori voted.

lm louisLouis of France

Though other monarchs have been named saints, Louis IX of France is the only French sovereign on the Roman Catholic Church’s divine rolls. Louis IX acceded to the throne when he was just twelve years old. Although he was known for his fiery youthful temper, he was widely viewed as an able commander and generous ruler. He endowed monasteries, abbeys, and cathedrals from the earliest years of his reign. Most spectacular is the Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) in Paris, which housed numerous relics including the Crown of Thorns and relics of the True Cross.

Throughout his reign, Louis was well regarded for his impartiality, even-handedness, and willingness to negotiate rather than go to war. He worked tirelessly to find a fair peace with Henry III of England, though he could have insisted on punitive demands. Instead, he allowed the King of England to retain not only substantial claims to land but also his dignity. In return, the English monarch named himself a vassal of Louis, pledging mutual military support and protection. An able negotiator and trusted arbitrator, Louis was often asked to navigate difficult diplomatic situations between parties across Europe (and was even called upon to make peace between Henry III and his English barons). Louis became known as the ideal of Christian Princedom.

He changed laws to limit corruption and increase transparency. Trial by combat, judicial duels, usury, and more were done away with as Louis sought to create a more humane and responsible system of governance. Had popular voting in brackets been invented in the thirteenth century, we are pretty sure Louis would have supported this particular mode of governance and competition. Louis is not without flaws, though, and was not given to unleavened piety. He struggled with gluttony and always worked to maintain his temper. (He was often most exercised by the abuses of clergy, which he punished with some ferocity.)

Perhaps the most damaging parts of Louis’s legacy are his leadership of the failed crusade in Tunisia, which would prove to be his mortal end. In addition, at the urging of the Holy See, he burned thousands of copies of Jewish texts (this campaign against the Jews was overturned by the succeeding Pope).

At his death in 1270, Louis demonstrated his deep care for his people. He commanded his son to protect and assist the poor, who were the humblest of his subjects. Louis IX was popularly recognized as a saint long before the Vatican declared him as such in 1297.

Collect for Louis of France
O God, who called your servant Louis of France to an earthly throne that he might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave him zeal for your Church and love for your people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Robert Hendrickson

TGallaudetThomas Gallaudet

Along with his father and brother, Thomas Gallaudet played a leading role in establishing deaf education and promoting the advancement of the Deaf in the United States throughout the nineteenth century. (The capitalized “Deaf ” is used when referring to Deaf culture, as opposed to “deaf ” to describe hearing loss). His father, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, co-founded the first School for the Deaf in America. His brother, Edward Miner Gallaudet, became the principal of what is now Gallaudet University, the first to offer college degrees to the Deaf.

Both his mother and his wife were Deaf, and Thomas Gallaudet was fluent in sign language from childhood. At that time, no one recognized signing as a language. Most people considered sign merely crude gestures; it wasn’t formally recognized as a language until the 1960s.

Gallaudet first taught at his father’s school in Connecticut, then at the New York Institution for Deaf Mutes. While there, he began teaching Bible classes to the Deaf as he studied for the ministry. Shortly after his ordination as an Episcopal priest in 1851, he established St. Ann’s Church, the first congregation in any denomination for the Deaf. Services were both spoken and signed and were free to all in a time when pew rent was the norm. Beginning in 1859, he expanded this ministry to other cities.

Throughout the 1800s, a fierce battle raged over whether the Deaf should be allowed to sign or not. The 1880 Milan Conference of Deaf Educators declared oral instruction (teaching speech and lip-reading) superior to sign and voted to ban the use of all manual instruction in deaf education.

Gallaudet managed to maintain a generous spirit, working with people across the spectrum of the issue while continuing his advocacy. Although incorporating oral instruction in his work, he continued to offer signed services and interpreted at churches throughout the country. He promoted Deaf candidates for the priesthood. In fact, the first Deaf priest, Henry Syle, shares Gallaudet’s feast day. And he helped the Deaf establish their own institutions to care for their community. Gallaudet changed people’s minds about what the Deaf can do. Throughout his ministry, he gave his personal testimony, telling those with ears to hear “that signs can make up a real, living language as well as sounds. If this be so, the imparting of the sacramental life, according to our Lord’s appointment, cannot surely be limited to the latter.”

Collect for Thomas Gallaudet
O loving God, whose will it is that everyone should come to you and be saved: We bless your Holy Name for your servants Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle, whose labors with and for those who are deaf we commemorate today; and we pray that you will continually move your Church to respond in love to the needs of all people; through Jesus Christ, who opened the ears of the deaf, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Laura Darling


Louis of France vs. Thomas Gallaudet

  • Thomas Gallaudet (78%, 4,263 Votes)
  • Louis of France (22%, 1,234 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,496

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140 Comments to "Louis of France vs. Thomas Gallaudet"

  1. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    March 19, 2014 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Wow. Sorry Louis….

    • William Osborne's Gravatar William Osborne
      March 19, 2014 - 9:07 am | Permalink

      Having visited Sainte Chapelle several times, I think that Louis’ long term impact mandates my vote for him in spite of Mr. Gaudellet’s contributions to assisting Deaf people.

      • Chris Steinmetz's Gravatar Chris Steinmetz
        March 19, 2014 - 9:55 am | Permalink

        I also visited Sainte Chapelle and was impressed by its beauty, but I had to go with Thomas Gallaudet.

        • Jan Robitscher's Gravatar Jan Robitscher
          March 19, 2014 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

          I have, too, and I agree with you. 🙂

        • Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
          March 19, 2014 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Same here, William, Chris, and Jan. La Sainte Chappelle is exquisite and utterly unforgettable, but my nephew’s struggle with deafness and his parents’ enormous efforts to get him the help and education he deserved force my vote for Gallaudet. Also, Deaf applause is just delightful: raising hands and — how to say this? — “shimmering” them, like “jazz hands” only upright. Love it!

          • Peg's Gravatar Peg
            March 19, 2014 - 3:16 pm | Permalink

            I’m shimmering my hands at the delightful image you create, Mollie!

          • stpatti's Gravatar stpatti
            March 19, 2014 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Shimmering my hands!! What a delightful way to express joy!!

  2. Steve P's Gravatar Steve P
    March 19, 2014 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Louis of France was a man of his times. He wasn’t perfect when operating within his cultural context. But the multiple significant shifts had such an incredible impact on an entire sphere of the globe! He is the Francis Perkins of the 1200s, people!

    • March 19, 2014 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      I never voted for Frances Perkins (although I did buy her mug), but I don’t think she would have destroyed parts of another culture no matter what the Holy See wanted.

      • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
        March 19, 2014 - 9:48 am | Permalink

        Amen, Sister Mary Winifred

      • Margaret Lovett's Gravatar Margaret Lovett
        March 19, 2014 - 11:56 am | Permalink

        That’s what bothered me about Louis……

      • Mary Wueste's Gravatar Mary Wueste
        March 19, 2014 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I agree. The crusade and the persecution of the Jews were too much for me–had to go with Gallaudet. Very impressed with a lot of what Louis did, though!

        • Rodney Dudley's Gravatar Rodney Dudley
          March 19, 2014 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

          I was a set to vote for Louis–a model statesman. But the Crusades and persecution of the Jews was difficult to accept. I vote for Gaullaudet.

  3. March 19, 2014 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    There are first hand accounts of Louis`s crusade and how it was funded. If you read them you might not want to vote for him.

  4. Nancy of Richmond's Gravatar Nancy of Richmond
    March 19, 2014 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    It’s a tough one, but Louis stood up for the right, for peace, for everyday people at a time when his model of Christian leadership was totally unexpected. And he directed his temper especially at those who abused their position of religious leadership. Christ-like Louis gets my vote!

  5. Sheila Wheltle's Gravatar Sheila Wheltle
    March 19, 2014 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    I teach the Boy Scout Religious Emblems program for my local Troop. One of my scouts, now an Eagle Scout, is deaf. He earned both his Catholic Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII emblem. We would start the program with a retreat. For his AAD program, his parents came along-dad is hearing but limited signing. Mom is deaf, signs and lip reads. Combine those two with flip boards, notebooks and bible and he fit easily into the class of 7. I have never met a more dedicated Scout than Jerrod. God Bless the Gallaudet’s.

  6. Nancy Strong's Gravatar Nancy Strong
    March 19, 2014 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Voting in honor of the Central MA Deaf Senior who have been meeting weekly at Saint Matthew’s, Worcester, for over twenty years, and in honor of Richard Mahaffey, seminarian from our Diocese, who hopes to minister in the Deaf community.

  7. Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
    March 19, 2014 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    I agree that Louis was not perfect. But neither was David. or many other saints. They are all real people with real flaws. But I do think that Louis had the heart, not always the vision. And the changes he made were very far reaching and very visonary for his time.

  8. Christibe's Gravatar Christibe
    March 19, 2014 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Thomas for his model of inclusion and generous spirit. Notlouis for Carhar atrocities!

  9. Mary Ann's Gravatar Mary Ann
    March 19, 2014 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Wow, was going to go with Louis of France until I saw that he desecrated and burned Jewish texts. I know this was a product of his age when Christians were intolerant, but I couldn’t vote for him for that reason. Thomas Gallaudet meanwhile tried to incorporate the Deaf into a so-called “normal” world. Sorry Louis.

    • Alison's Gravatar Alison
      March 19, 2014 - 8:56 am | Permalink

      Mary Ann,
      I agree completely. I really admire Louis for his vision and diplomacy in a time when there really was none. Burning Jewish texts though, even if it were an order from the Pope and common for his time, kept me from voting from. On the other hand I have a niece who is severely hearing impaired. It seemed to be an easier choice today.

    • Alan C's Gravatar Alan C
      March 19, 2014 - 9:02 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad Christians aren’t intolerant any more! Fair point about Louis being a man of his time, but I can’t bring myself to endorse someone who engaged in the crusades and in anti-Semitic acts. Louis was certainly a good example of a Christian ruler for his time, but I found Gallaudet’s story inspiring so I’m voting for him.

  10. madamesenora's Gravatar madamesenora
    March 19, 2014 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    The politically correct choice is, obviously, Gallaudet, but Louis gets my vote because of his worldwide historical influence. You must be a good student of history to fully appreciate how important Louis was to peace in Europe during the 13th century. Remember, too, that his mother was Blanche de Castille and had a massive influence on Louis. The Roman Catholic Basilica of the
    Assumption in Baltimore, America’s oldest RC cathedral, displays two massive paintings of St. Louis, gifts of Louis XVI of France on the occasion of the basilica’s consecration. And, of course, it is no small thing that the French new world explorers named the city of St. Louis after their ancestral leader.

    • Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
      March 19, 2014 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

      And San Luigi di Francia in Rome has the most magnificent Carravagios: The Calling of Matthew, and the Conversion of St. Paul. St. Louis was flawed, certainly, but he formed a more cohesive political union in Europe.

  11. Marj's Gravatar Marj
    March 19, 2014 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    As one who managed a library based relay tty-telephone service for the Deaf community in central MD I must vote for Fr Gallaudet.

  12. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    March 19, 2014 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Scott/Tim, you might as well close the voting now as it appears that the same thing that Louis did to those texts is happening to him! Talk about a fiery temper coming back to haunt you.

  13. Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
    March 19, 2014 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Louis is also Patron Saint of the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis, he having been a Third Order Franciscan himself.

  14. Gigi's Gravatar Gigi
    March 19, 2014 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    This was another hard choice, but I ended going with King Louis because he helped all the people under his influence (and I imagine this included some deaf ones). He was a much needed example for succeeding leaders.

  15. March 19, 2014 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    As a Franglican,(Francophile+ Anglican) I had to go with Louis! Mais oui?!

  16. Anne's Gravatar Anne
    March 19, 2014 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting that we capitalize Deaf when referring to the culture, but I do not recall seeing Blind capitalized in the same way. Much of the Deaf culture can be attributed to the Gallaudet influence. To overcome an inability to hear but then go beyond that to insist on a culture based on differences in interpretation of the world is quite a triumph. It’s close, but I have to go with Thomas Gallaudet.

    • March 19, 2014 - 10:15 am | Permalink

      The capitalization of big D vs. little D deaf is particular to the Deaf community. I learned a lot about this from one of my best friends who is considered little D deaf, even though she couldn’t hear from the time she was a very young child until a few years ago when she was able to get a cochlear implant. There is quite the division in the Deaf community between Deaf vs. deaf, and those who sign and those who were mainstreamed to lip read. It’s interesting, but also sad how a minority will create divisions within that minority.

  17. Carol Townsend's Gravatar Carol Townsend
    March 19, 2014 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    As a former sign language interpreter in both school and church, this was an EASY choice. I even “sign” notes and emails to my husband with a modified “I Love You” sign: \,,/_

    For those who didn’t know – the football huddle originated at Gallaudet University so that opposing teams couldn’t read their signs. Go Bison! I’m wearing the Blue & Buff today!!

  18. March 19, 2014 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Having worked at Connecticut’s “Diocesan House” for several years and having to explain why the address was Asylum Avenue, Thomas gets my vote. Plus, gotta love the quote, “that signs can make up a real, living language as well as sounds. If this be so, the imparting of the sacramental life, according to our Lord’s appointment, cannot surely be limited to the latter.”

    • Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
      March 19, 2014 - 8:16 pm | Permalink


    • Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
      March 19, 2014 - 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I found out that The Rev. Gallaudet was associate rector at my church, St. Philp’s Episcopal in Durham, NC. Was going to vote for him anyway in honor of some deaf friends and his quote connecting sign language to liturgical signs. However, I will simply add my sighs to the others who loved Sainte-Chappelle. That was a highlight of my Paris trip (along with Rodin’s Garden and Jardin de Luxembourg). On a sunny afternoon, it was like walking into a magical jewelry box.

  19. KEW's Gravatar KEW
    March 19, 2014 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I think Louis will get my vote because of La Sainte Chapelle. As a child, I was lucky enough to visit with my family — but I was young enough not to appreciate being marched through museums and churches. At Saint Chapelle, however, the sunlight flooded through the stained glass and left pools of vivid color on the floor, which my sister and I ‘caught’ in our hands. It was perhaps my first experience of the beauty of sacred space — a taste, even, of holy playfulness.

  20. Joy Segal's Gravatar Joy Segal
    March 19, 2014 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    Louis may have been a man for his time but Thomas transcends specific eras as he demonstrates not only willingness but determination in insuring inclusion of those others might think of as not worthy of bother, much less inclusion. Makes me think of who it is I might think of as outside the fold. No one, right Thomas? Thank God for such a saint – for his day and even unto today.

  21. Walter Gladwin's Gravatar Walter Gladwin
    March 19, 2014 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    I am a champion of the handicapped. Who would have known about Helen Keller without Gallaudet?

  22. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 19, 2014 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Really tough choice. I’m inclined to vote for Louis because he really did seem to try to get to world peace in a time when that was barely a concept without military domination, but then there’s the whole crusades and burning of Jewish texts. If it were current times, that would be inexcusable. However, cultural evolution happens in baby steps, and you have to get to the point of taking care of your own people before you can branch out to the rest of the world. Given the state of that evolution in the 13th century, I’m going to give Louis credit for that baby step.

  23. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    March 19, 2014 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Louis? Mais non!!

    • William Osborne's Gravatar William Osborne
      March 19, 2014 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      Pour quoi pas?

  24. Barbara Mays-Stock's Gravatar Barbara Mays-Stock
    March 19, 2014 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thomas Gallaudet modeled for the church that we are an organic being, needing to adjust to the ever changing needs of people in their walk of faith. We could use some Gallaudet-ness now! My vote is absolutely for him!!

  25. Daniel's Gravatar Daniel
    March 19, 2014 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Wow. A really tough choice:
    A) A man who dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities or
    B) A man who dedicated his life to killing a lot of Muslims and persecuting a lot of Jews.

  26. Betsy Heilman's Gravatar Betsy Heilman
    March 19, 2014 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    This hardly seemed a fair match up. I know that no one is perfect, but the anti semitism, even if it was a product of the times, was too much for me. Thomas got my vote–he really opened up the world to those who are deaf, and promoted Deaf culture.

  27. Betty Morris's Gravatar Betty Morris
    March 19, 2014 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Even thought Sainte-Chapelle is my favorite place in Paris, Gallaudet gets my vote.

  28. Kristin's Gravatar Kristin
    March 19, 2014 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    As a new Delta Zeta, many years ago, I learned of our partnership with Gallaudet University, and thus the amazing Gallaudet family. Seeing the fruits of their labor is truly inspiring. My vote is wholeheartedly for Thomas Gallaudet.

    • Patricia Blair's Gravatar Patricia Blair
      March 19, 2014 - 10:06 am | Permalink

      I’m an older Delta Zeta but a native Washingtonian, the home of Gallaudet University. My mother, a DZ, took me to dance productions at the University when I was growing up. It’s a very inspiring place. Thanks for posting.

  29. Bob Schneider's Gravatar Bob Schneider
    March 19, 2014 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    An unfortunate pairing of two worthy men, but I had to go with Louis. I’m drawn to intrinsically good people with flaws…just like many of us, and if Sainte-Chapelle isn’t a sublime work of God through human hands, I don’t know what is.

  30. March 19, 2014 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    As an actor who once played in a stageshow production of “Children of a Lesser God” during which time we not only learned a lot of Sign Language but also a tremendous amount about Deaf culture, I had to vote for Gallaudet.

  31. March 19, 2014 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    Thomas Gallaudet is our hero. Both of my children went all through school (Kdg. – HS Graduation) in magnet schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing They are not hearing impaired but are fluent in American Sign Language as are most of their friends who went through school with them. Thanks to Thomas Gallaudet we had Inclusion Ministries before we knew the term!

  32. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    March 19, 2014 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    William, the “why not” is pretty clear to me….among other things, Louis had a nasty temper. Not a,desirable trait in a monarch.

  33. Katrina Soto's Gravatar Katrina Soto
    March 19, 2014 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    The reference to the prohibition of teaching the deaf using sign language reminds me of the idiocy of what’s going on in education today. I worked in special ed, and was always amazed that our kids were expected to be tested by the same standards as typical kids. I guess the powers that be thought we just sprinkle magic fairy dust on them and Poof! away go the disabilities.

  34. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    March 19, 2014 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over this one! Sainte-Chapell is one of the most gorgeous sacred spaces in all of Christendom, and I am amazed to learn of the Christ-like peacemaking and care for the poor Louis practiced in his life. How, oh how, to weigh that against the wonderful work of Gallaudet for the Deaf? I am paralyzed with perplexity!

  35. March 19, 2014 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I’m a fan of Gothic churches and I have a deep interest in the Middle Ages, and understand of the context of the time, but I know too much about Louis to ever vote for him. This was a man steeped in intolerance. He persecuted and murdered people in order to fund a very stupid and wasteful Crusade, and he revitalized anti-Semitism at a time when it had been dying down. Even if I didn’t attend a church with a Deaf community, I’d vote for Gallaudet. Here was a man who fought for the recognition of the *humanity* and competence of a whole group of people — exactly the sort of people the Pharisees (and most ordinary people) in the Bible despised. His influence may still be honoured 800 years after his life, and he didn’t have to persecute or murder people to achieve it.

  36. Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
    March 19, 2014 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Wish we had leaders now that were so committed to the poor and to peace. My vote went to Louis.

  37. JoAnn Lumley's Gravatar JoAnn Lumley
    March 19, 2014 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Thomas Gallaudet. My mom had a deaf brother who at age 14 was attending a school for the deaf in Boston, MA. One afternoon he stepped off of the trolley in Arlington Heights, went to cross in front of the trolley, the driver rang the bell, started up and ran him over killing him. Sad but true!

  38. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 19, 2014 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    My wife’s childhood (RC) parish in Detroit is the only church dedicated to Louis of France. I just had to go with him….

  39. billfleming's Gravatar billfleming
    March 19, 2014 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Thomas is a very special person who helps others who are hard of hearing. We need more like him. b

    • pj's Gravatar pj
      March 19, 2014 - 10:17 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

      • Susan's Gravatar Susan
        March 19, 2014 - 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Hear, Hear? See, See? Thumbs up, Thumbs up?

  40. David+'s Gravatar David+
    March 19, 2014 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    A vote for the King, who is a patron of the 3rd Order of St. Francis.

  41. aleathia (dolores)nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores)nicholson
    March 19, 2014 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    The contributions of the Gallaudets to the deaf are so important it’s hard to even imagine what the world would be like today without the services available. I started classes two times (shame! shame!) to learn signing and communications techniques but didn’t practice enough to keep up and dropped out (Mea culpa!!) This LentMadness focus on services to the Deaf may prod me into trying again and succeeding.

  42. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    March 19, 2014 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    As one who has a disability, though mine is visual rather than auditory, I must vote for Thomas in gratitude for all he did for our Deaf brothers and sisters.

  43. Robin's Gravatar Robin
    March 19, 2014 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    I am deaf and without Thomas Gallaudet, I would not be able to worship. Not only was he a priest for deaf people but realized that deaf people could also be priests. Of course we don’t want to compare but I believe it was about 100 years later before our Roman Catholic brothers decided a Deaf man could be a priest. I can worship, I can even partake in various ministries. Thomas Gallaudet has influenced my life greatly.

  44. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    March 19, 2014 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    A very difficult choice for me…….Louis was responsible for the glory of St. Chappelle and had done a lot of good for his country…..but, he did commit atrocities in the name of Christ……..nothing much has changed, has it? Growing up in Syracuse, we had a deaf congregation within our church, The university has been a blessing to so many……who to choose?

    • Linda M's Gravatar Linda M
      March 19, 2014 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      I lived near Syracuse for 35 years, I was unaware of this church. What was the name of the church? I voted for Thomas Gallaudet because my friend was deaf and I learned sign to talk with him after trying to communicate in other ways-so much easier!!

  45. March 19, 2014 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Arggg…another tough choice. I’m going with Louise because I would welcome anyone with real authority mandating kinder, gentler, inclusive behavior.

  46. March 19, 2014 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Well, I think Louis will be the Big Lou-ser today (if not the biggest of all of Lent Madness 2014). Still, I voted for him anyway, and not just because I share the same name. As the article indicates, he was ahead of his time in many ways – even with his burning of the Jewish texts on order of the Pope (and I share Jewish roots in my family). To define anyone by one act (even if significantly wrong) doesn’t seem just. We can still learn much from his faith and good works. He was a patron of the arts and architecture. He supported the establishment of higher education. He built hospitals as well as houses for those in need (including homes for the blind and reformed prostitutes). As king of one of the greatest nations of his day, he personally cared for lepers and served food daily to the poor. He worked for greater justice in his land. Ultimately, it is consistently reported that he did all of this based upon his deep faith in Christ. He blessed his nation with a Christian legacy much like other English nobles appearing on this bracket. (He probably shared similar biases and sins with them as well, even if not noted in other articles.) I get it. It is hard for us modern folk to understand the power (and threat) of the papacy back in those days even for a king. In addition, we are often blind to our own part in the deep, systemic nature of that many “isms” in our present society, never mind understanding past contexts. Yet, we (me included) tend to project our modern self-righteousness onto these historic, saintly figures. Blind to our own sin, we can tend to see nothing but their “big sin” – ignoring sometimes the redeeming, ongoing power of God’s grace at work in and through their lives and the course of history. I am concerned by this whether it is Martin Luther, Antony of Egypt, King Louis, or whomever is up. We have so much we can learn from them all. Louis’ time in Lent Madness will likely prove even less successful than his crusade, but I believe he’s a saint. Rather than cast a stone, I’ll cast my vote for him. I invite others to consider doing the same to honor all the good that God DID do through his life and witness. Still, I’m glad Gallaudet will get his time to shine and be better known as well. Truly, no losers here. Viva le SEC! Thanks for putting controversial and challenging people in the mix so we can hopefully learn and grow.

    • Jeanne Stevens's Gravatar Jeanne Stevens
      March 19, 2014 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Lou for helping me make up my mind. I won’t be casting any stones here

    • Judith's Gravatar Judith
      March 19, 2014 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

      the best defense of Louis I’ve seen here–but I saw a signed (and spoken) Eucharist celebrated and it was deeply moving. The Gospel was signed, also; I didn’t see that because as (visiting) deacon I was reading it–and all this while in the St. Louis RSCM summer course a few years ago. Gallaudet for me today, for that Eucharist and insistence on inclusion.

  47. Anne Wrider's Gravatar Anne Wrider
    March 19, 2014 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    Burning and desecrating Jewish texts is unacceptable for a Golden Halo wannabe. Gallaudet gets it for sure.

  48. March 19, 2014 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    As a medievalist who’s taught the Crusades several times, I feel for Louis and all that he tried to do. But, for once, personal connections outweigh my love of medieval history–being the granddaughter of a woman born without an eardrum and having recently had major surgery on one of my ears myself, I truly appreciate all that Thomas did to recognize and support deaf folk as people with viable connections and contributions to the world.

  49. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 19, 2014 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    I love it when ordinary people bloom where they are planted and end up doing extraordinary things which they just did because it was there to be done, a cause to be lifted, an injustice less unjust because of their efforts. For me, that’s today’s definition of a saint. “And one was a soldier and one was a priest and one was slain by a fierce wild beast. And there’s not any reason, no, not the least, why I shouldn’t be one too.” They were all saints of God . Hymnal 1982 #293.

    • pj's Gravatar pj
      March 19, 2014 - 11:11 am | Permalink

      Note to SEC: If you’re looking to change the music for the Lent Madness videos, this hymn is a great choice!

      • Susan's Gravatar Susan
        March 19, 2014 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Maybe with a swingier hip hop underscore? That would be cool.

        • pj's Gravatar pj
          March 19, 2014 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Let’s stick to pipe organ; Matthew Corl has done an interesting setting, might be worth a look.

          • Susan's Gravatar Susan
            March 19, 2014 - 6:53 pm | Permalink

            Love the Pipe Organ! My dad was (and still is) an organist. He plays at the Duke Chapel’s Flentrop organ every Thursday for the tourists, at age 86. I used to turn pages for him when I was in high school.

  50. March 19, 2014 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    The Dark Ages were truly dark. A brief scan of Louis’ historical context seems he generously enhance the cause for genocide against Jews. Patient Gallaudet exercised the persistence I generally admire in people with a life purpose. Guess who gets my vote? Duhhhh

  51. George Carlson's Gravatar George Carlson
    March 19, 2014 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    A seeming dilemma at first. The namesake of the city I consider “home” as in where I grew up. Can still see his statue atop Art Hill in Forest Park. But having a son who is profoundly deaf and who has obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree thanks to the broader acceptance of ASL I have to go with Thomas (and indirectly his father and brother) who have allowed so many to both flourish and integrate into the wider world.

  52. Mike S's Gravatar Mike S
    March 19, 2014 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    Gallaudet carried on the family business–not unlike people who work for pay at the local soup kitchen. Good work but not without self-interest.
    King Louis strove to incarnate gospel within the realm–not a popular political move–the implications of which are on a far broader scale than that of the Gallaudet family–whose French ancestry were no doubt influenced by the religious fervor cultivated by Louis (the fruits of which bore humanitarian outreaches such as assistance to the deaf).

  53. March 19, 2014 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    It is wrong to capitalize the word “deaf” as if the hearing-impaired were Armenians or Nigerians, so that bit of PC phoniness on the part of his biographer left me leaning against Mr. Gallaudet. Besides, Louis was a light of civilization in an age prone to savagery – and he gave us the Sainte-Chappelle. He gets my vote.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 19, 2014 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I respectfully disagree. The capitalization is an acknowledgement that there is such a thing as Deaf culture which is defined by more than the experience of hearing impairment. I appreciate our CB using her platform for education to draw that to our attention.

      • Bryan Miller's Gravatar Bryan Miller
        March 19, 2014 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

        No, it is grammatically improper. It’s like referring to uppercase Blacks – and to lowercase whites. “Deaf” is not a proper noun. There are other, better ways to indicate a particular group without resorting to politically correct incorrectness.

        I know that there is considerable disagreement over whether the deaf should seek to build, essentially, their own kind of circle-the-wagons culture, insisting on American Sign Language rather than lip reading, and even fighting the opportunity to give the hearing-impaired the ability to hear through cochlear implants. I respectfully believe that anything that furthers segregation, rather than integration, is truly unfortunate.

        Insisting on capitalizing “Deaf” as if talking about Cherokees or Chinese just helps to build higher fences where fences ought to be destroyed.

        • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
          March 19, 2014 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

          There are indeed many related questions to consider, and you won’t find me arguing a pro-segregation agenda! : )
          It is a complicated question – balancing inclusion and respect for difference (on all sides). My personal position is that I prefer mosaic over melting pot.
          There is a line to be wary of between the positive aspects of integration and negatives of assimilation and cultural annihilation. I DO see parallels, for example, in the experience of First Nations here in Canada regarding language as an essential element of culture (eg the negative effects of residential school policies designed to extinguish First Nations languages for the “good” of assimilation). If big D “Deaf” were a label applied to people to exclude or disrespect members of that culture I’d feel differently about using it but since it comes from within the community as an expression and celebration of who they are, I’m happy to use it too and hope it is seen as respectful.

          Confession: This is not my only grammatical sin – I’m also a huge fan of “singular ‘they'”!

          • Bryan Miller's Gravatar Bryan Miller
            March 19, 2014 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

            I (very reluctantly) accede to singular “they” only because it is better than “he” as the default, and because s/he never caught on. Life is a series of trade-offs.

            I prefer a mosaic, too, but not at the expense of good grammar and the unnecessary Balkanization of groups. I have attended services for the deaf, and appreciate how meaningful that is for those who comprehend ASL. I will still always vote for the inclusive over the exclusive – and against incorrect capitalization! I think we will have to (with mutual respect) agree to disagree on this one.

            As for the patron saint of my adopted city, he is going down in flames in any case. Hélas!

        • March 19, 2014 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Both are grammatically correct, and signify different things. “He is deaf” means “He cannot hear.” “He is Deaf” means “He is part of Deaf culture,” which, believe me, is a very real thing, much as one can be part of the Ibo culture while also being Nigerian. The capital-D Deaf designation comes from deaf people themselves, and was something that was drilled into me while I was studying at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. To be honest, this is a convention that is really varied even within Deaf culture, so you will indeed see both. But I’d rather have you think me a PC phony than disrespect those who taught me about their culture.

          To get a sense of what a big deal this is, take a look at this quiz posted just last week on Deaf Review– Deaf Culture Quiz: Are You a Little “d” or Big “D”? – See more at: http://deafreview.com/deafreview-news/deaf-culture-quiz-are-you-a-little-d-or-big-d/#sthash.jVDuQfqG.dpuf

          I also hope that this isn’t about building fences, but rather understanding. Deaf culture is a varied place. Believe me, I’m not setting up myself as any sort of arbiter. I’d encourage you to learn more about it.

          Oh, and happy Deaf History Month!


          • Carol Townsend's Gravatar Carol Townsend
            March 19, 2014 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

            “Hear, hear!”

            (yes, said with tongue firmly in cheek – but yes, I totally agree with Ms. Darling!)

          • Bryan Miller's Gravatar Bryan Miller
            March 19, 2014 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

            I have several deaf friends, none of whom use that needless and arbitrary capitalization in referring to themselves or others. But I have had my say; I am not going to convince you and I have read nothing here today that persuades me that is is either correct or desirable.

            Accordingly, I will withdraw from the discussion, grateful that we were able to have it in a spirit of Christian love, and in the most enjoyable Christian community to pop up since Ship of Fools. See you next time!

  54. Adam's Gravatar Adam
    March 19, 2014 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    I had a roommate in college who’s sister went to Galludet, and my mom grew up a couple of blocks from the Kansas School for the Deaf (which also claims to have invented the football huddle), so I have always felt a connection with them. So as soon as I saw his name on the bracket I knew I would vote for Thomas Galludet.

    I think the SEC could have made things much more difficult if they had paired the two kings Alfred and Louis and put the musician J.S. Bach with Thomas Galludet, I’m glad they didn’t because those would have been much tougher choices.

    • Adam's Gravatar Adam
      March 19, 2014 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      Just realized I misspelled Gallaudet throughout my entire post. I apologize for this error.

  55. Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
    March 19, 2014 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    In the Diocese of Atlanta, our bishop encourages us to “widen the circle” of inclusion, of listening (or learning to sign!?), of welcoming in imaginative, invitational, and loving ways; Fr. Thomas Gallaudet’s innovative ideas would be heard and acted upon on many levels by priests and our bishop. Thank you to Robin, above writer, for your clear and loving challenge to us to widen the circle to more fully, both to include the Deaf (who have much to teach the Hearing) and to include the Deaf who are discerning a call to holy orders from God and the church.

  56. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 19, 2014 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    Well, even if Louis was the King Your King Could Smell Like– part of me thinks, well, he was trying to be the good king all king should try to be. Then again, you can argue that Gallaudet was mostly carrying on the family business. For me it came down to legacy. St. Chapelle sounds beautiful; the image of a child playing in the light of its beautiful windows is compelling. But I then I think of how Gallaudet helped bring people into all our worship spaces whom the wide world had cast aside, and oh what beauty lives on and grows through this change. Pardonnez-moi, Louis, but it’s Thomas today.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 19, 2014 - 11:58 am | Permalink

      “The King Your King…” LOL.

  57. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 19, 2014 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    OK, went with Thomas Gallaudet, in spite of Louis’s comparatively generous treatment of Henry and other political and social improvements–for his time, anyway.
    Thomas’s work to recognize and include those who are excluded because of their inability to hear tipped the scales.

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      March 19, 2014 - 11:34 am | Permalink

      But I, too, LOVED St. Chapelle. It was like walking into a box of jewels.

  58. Anne Ryan's Gravatar Anne Ryan
    March 19, 2014 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Anti-Semetism and anti-Muslim cannot be simply dismissed as “character flaws” or congruent with the times. As humans, our ongoing practice of genocide through the ages must surely be our greatest tragedy. That Louis could negotiate peace with one people yet slaughter another? Doesn’t sound saintly by any standard.

  59. Valerie DeBenedette's Gravatar Valerie DeBenedette
    March 19, 2014 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    There have been three or four match-ups so far where I had a hard time deciding for whom to vote. This is another one. I came expected to make an easy vote for Gallaudet, but learned about the peace-making skills of Louis. But then I got to the part where he burned Jewish texts. (Sigh)
    One small idea: Can the saint bios include, at the top, the years of their lives, birth and date, even if it is an approximation? I had to read almost to the end to find out when Louis died what century he was in. (Yes, I know that Google and Wikipedia are my friends.)

  60. Rose at Crabtree Cottage's Gravatar Rose at Crabtree Cottage
    March 19, 2014 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    I wish I could vote for both. What extraordinary individuals!

  61. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 19, 2014 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

    A big “like” to Susan’s comment about the saintliness of ordinary people doing extraordinary things that are needing to be done. And I too vote for Hymn # 293 as a theme for Lent Madness. Because “I mean to be one too!”

  62. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    March 19, 2014 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    “Louis…was not given to unleavened piety” and “was often most exercised by the abuses of clergy…”
    Robert, I love your elegant and (dare I say) courtly use of the language. I can just hear your words coming out of Maggie Smith’s mouth!

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      March 19, 2014 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

      One more thing:
      I would like to wish everyone a happy Feast of Saint Joseph (my patron saint).

  63. March 19, 2014 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for Thomas — he helped open the world to the Deaf Community! Just goes to show you that “ordinary people” are the saints among us. I also agree Hymn #293 is a perfect one for Lent Madness — one I learned as a small child in Sunday School eons ago!!

  64. Janis Rosebrook's Gravatar Janis Rosebrook
    March 19, 2014 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    My grandmother Jessie, born in Edinburgh in the 1870’s became deaf as a young girl. She was taught to read lips. Oh how much she missed in life by not by not learning to sign. In her memory, I vote for Galludet.

  65. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 19, 2014 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Louis of France for me. Today’s a toughie, though.

  66. Will Bergmann's Gravatar Will Bergmann
    March 19, 2014 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Not tough for me. Gallaudet all the way.

  67. Cynthia G.'s Gravatar Cynthia G.
    March 19, 2014 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Did Louis punish abuses OF the clergy or BY the clergy?

  68. Rev. Elsa Pressentin's Gravatar Rev. Elsa Pressentin
    March 19, 2014 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Having served as Vicar of Holy Spirit Church of the Deaf in the Diocese of California and worked for the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf as an employee and as a volunteer Board Member, of course I voted for Thomas Gallaudet!
    As noted, Thomas Gallaudet founded St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf in New York City (still in existence today). But he was also instrumental in helping to establish deaf churches in the Eastern and Southern United States, in the Midwest and the West! When I did my field education work at Holy Spirit Church, I invited a deaf woman to accompany me one Sunday. Though she had been raised an Episcopalian, she did not come up for Communion that day. After the service when I asked why, she began to cry and said “This is the first time I have understood what was happening in the service. I need time to think about I’ve just experienced.” You see, the service was in sign language. She was not dependent on her family to point in the Prayer Book/Hymnal. A signed service has a different pace…sort of like a choral Eucharist….easier for the Deaf to follow. This woman convinced me of the importance for the Deaf to have a faith and/or sacramental experience in their own language! Thomas Gallaudet started this ministry and it continues today throughout the United States because of him. Thomas Gallaudet is a beloved man in the deaf community. Some even refer to him as “Apostle to the Deaf.”

    • Sandra Mueller's Gravatar Sandra Mueller
      March 19, 2014 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Dear Rev. Elsa Pressentin, Thank you so much for your words. I have learned a little about deaf children being asked to come play my guitar in their class. One came up and put a hand on the guitar box and another came up and turned the tuning pegs as I played – I just kept playing.
      Someone said it was more difficult to be deaf than blind because one missed the nuance of a conversation, or the punch line of a joke. I loved the sign language used in a lot of John Denver songs at camp. Oh – beautiful.

  69. Linda T.'s Gravatar Linda T.
    March 19, 2014 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I believe one member of the SEC feels there are way too many people in Holy Women, Holy Men and Louis may be an example of someone who should not have made the cut. The SCLM commentary says “Louis’ crusading adventures in the Middle East and in North Africa were of little historical consequence .” That seems like a rather casual dismissal to me. I know he was exemplary compared to other rulers of the age and context is important, but I’m having trouble getting past the “crusading adventures” (and having a bit of hard time with the use of the word “adventures”). But, today’s contest has made me closely examine my expectations for Holy Women and Holy Men. So Lent Madness – mission accomplished!

  70. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 19, 2014 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Both candidates were men of their times. Times separated by hundreds of years so the political & cultural (not to mention geographic) landscapes. It seems Fr. Gallaudet continued and greatly expanded his family’s concern for the Deaf. Then, time traveling back, King Louis IX, had to Make policy. Some of Louis’ actions were brilliant, and some not so much. I vote for Louis because of his handling of the English after defeating them. Perhaps (I really don’t know), but perhaps allowing English to continue developing their culture. And, at the very least, Louis had a political friend, rather than a sore loser, thus freeing Louis to keep his eye on other possible threats. [On the other hand, buring of manuscripts is ALWAYS “tacky”.]

  71. Bowman's Gravatar Bowman
    March 19, 2014 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Another easy choice. Again– Maxime’s vs Max & Erma’s. A best-in-category saint from a foreign category now remembered only by the civilized vs an earnest inclusionist close in time, place and class to ourselves. Both are wonderful, but it’s all in what you want. For a lenten experience, vote for someone deeply revered in a christian, yet unfamiliar culture; to congratulate oneself on being the very flower of all humanity, just vote for the most recent candidate whoever it is. St Louis, obviously.

    SEC– ‘Might it not be more fun (and less prejudicial) to pair nearer contemporaries with each other more often? Say… Anna Cooper v Thomas Gallaudet. Alfred the Great v Louis of France? Less ‘madness,’ maybe, but more Lenten.

  72. Bryan Miller's Gravatar Bryan Miller
    March 19, 2014 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the poster who suggested pairing saints from similar eras, at least in the early rounds. Most of us have a natural human tendency to see the behavior of others through the lens of our own times and preferences. (I did it myself with Antony of Egypt vs Mary of Same.) I suspect that a lot of voters also have a related tendency to go for the socially active modern saints with whom they can identify, rather than the ancients who helped to build and sustain the faith that brought us to this point.

    It grieved me to lose both David and Alfred the Great in the same early round, even though, as a musician, I had to vote for Sebastian Bach on that one. The Egyptian duo forced people to really consider carefully which one deserved to go on. Please give us more tough choices!

  73. Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
    March 19, 2014 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Louis was not an enlightened ruler by our standards (ie. crusade, book burning), but he was for his own time – so, I have rationalized voting for Louis and St Chapelle over the wonderful accomplishments of Thomas Gallaudet.

  74. John Verruso's Gravatar John Verruso
    March 19, 2014 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    When I saw St. Louis in the bracket, I was sure he would get my vote in honor of a certain baseball player. However, the more I learned about Louis, the less I felt inclined to vote for him. Alas, in a perfect world, Stan Musial would have played for the Gallaudet Cardinals!

  75. Lera Tyler's Gravatar Lera Tyler
    March 19, 2014 - 3:50 pm | Permalink

    In honor of the hearing-impaired family (a single mom with three children) in our congregation, I vote for Thomas Gallaudet. They continue in Gallaudet’s tradition, persistently seeking ways to keep education for the Deaf accessible and relative, and allowing children to participate in the “fulness” of life.

  76. Nancy R's Gravatar Nancy R
    March 19, 2014 - 4:06 pm | Permalink

    As a francophone who has lived in Paris and visited La Sainte-Chapelle many times, and even attended the Good Friday veneration of the True Crown of Thorns at Notre Dame, I have to cast my sentimental vote for Saint Louis, despite his flaws. That said, I live in DC, and my sister works with deaf clients, so I probably should have gone for Gallaudet. Sigh.

    • William Osborne's Gravatar William Osborne
      March 20, 2014 - 9:44 am | Permalink

      Merci Mme. Nancy. J’ai la meme.

  77. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 19, 2014 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Louis is a very impressive one but i cannot stomach burning the Jewish texts. I am deeply grateful to Thomas Gallaudet for his work with the deaf and particularly for his work with sign language. Just have to go with Gallaudet.

  78. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    March 19, 2014 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    This was not a difficult choice. I’m not a fan of the Crusades, but the deal breaker for me was Louis’s burning Jewish texts. After 3 semesters of Hebrew, this was too much. Gallaudet gets my vote today.

  79. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 19, 2014 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

    A dear friend of mine became deaf in her 60’s. She learned to lip read and went to her sign language class 3 times a week. She taught the young girl I was then so much about faith and life. My vote today is in honor and rememberance of her.

  80. Marianne's Gravatar Marianne
    March 19, 2014 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Like Elsa, Robin and many others, I also cast my vote for Rev.Thomas Gallaudet. His work was more than the family business. It was a calling. He opened the church doors and let the Deaf inside.

    Generations of Deaf and deaf persons call him an apostle, spreading the word of God in the language of the Deaf.

    Go Thomas G. !

    • March 19, 2014 - 7:41 pm | Permalink

      I don’t get the problem with Thomas Gallaudet working in the family business — Louis IX acceded to the throne when he was 12 . . . now that’s staying in the family business!

  81. Karin's Gravatar Karin
    March 19, 2014 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Galludet, especially since I’m borrowing the current congregation of NYC’s St. Ann’s worship space tonight for my Lenten Small Group. 🙂

  82. Emily Agnew's Gravatar Emily Agnew
    March 19, 2014 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I voted then looked, and see Louis is being trounced…but I felt that the kind of leader he was, is so desperately needed in our world today. It was a tough one though as we have a major school for the deaf here.

  83. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    March 19, 2014 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

    After rereading (?) the bio’s and giving a great deal of thought to my vote, I just cast my voter for Thomas Galludet. Louis certainly was a good leader, but for me the fact that the Galludet family made it possible for an entire population to be able to communicate with each other as well as the rest of the population, made it the easiest choice so far.

  84. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 19, 2014 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I want to say I would be the kind of person who would never burn Jewish writings, never do any of the things that today’s culture abhors – but I’m not that strong. In fact, I’m a great survivor, and would probably do what the times and the culture required – and if burning Jewish texts is what is required to stay alive and keep my kingdom, I might do it. Especially if I convince myself that I can help the people more by staying in a system and working from within than being a martyr, cast out, and killed. Just being honest. I have the luxury of having my own voice, feeling enlightened, and, though others may not have been able to express their own voices in their times, they may have felt good about what they were doing in the context of culture and history. It is so easy to judge from today when we are in a different place and time. I love Lent Madness!
    And I love the ability to express my own opinion, even though different from people voting against my Saint of the Day. !!!

  85. Joanne Gutt's Gravatar Joanne Gutt
    March 19, 2014 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Galludet has my vote because “telling those with ears to hear “that signs can make up a real, living language as well as sounds. If this be so, the imparting of the sacramental life, according to our Lord’s appointment, cannot surely be limited to the latter.”

  86. Lucretia's Gravatar Lucretia
    March 19, 2014 - 9:14 pm | Permalink

    A truly difficult choice. I don’t know if the supreme committee is to be sent to the rack or to be congratulated!
    Anyway despite crusade and book burning i have to vote for Louis as I was ordained to the transitional diaconate on his feast day and in Europe too although not in France. Besides we all need a little more wise reconciliation and peacemaking!

  87. Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
    March 19, 2014 - 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Voting late so I know I’ve voted for the loser,
    but he was the great grandson of my favorite historical figure. So, since Eleanor of Aquitaine will never be included in the race for the Golden Halo, I had to vote for Louis.

  88. Julie McCord's Gravatar Julie McCord
    March 19, 2014 - 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Louis. I try not to hold my current cultural standards against the ancients, but you lost me at the book-burning. Thanks for the other stuff, though!

  89. George Ferrick's Gravatar George Ferrick
    March 19, 2014 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Gaullaudet’s influence continues in the here and now, and benefits more people I actually know and care for know.

  90. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    March 19, 2014 - 11:42 pm | Permalink

    I love “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God,” too–very much. But I don’t think it’s got the right vibe for Lent Madness.

  91. Kat's Gravatar Kat
    March 20, 2014 - 12:29 am | Permalink

    When I get all “Judgy McJudgerson” reading about some of our saints, it’s helpful to remember Jacob was a cheat, Noah was a drunk, Moses had a temper, Joshua committed ‘holy genocide’, David was both a murderer and an aldulterer, Peter was rash and denied Christ, and Paul was…well, Paul.
    They are all ‘heroes’ of our faith exactly because they are so flawed– we are reassured of God’s love through their flaws (often really big ones) and shown that God works through even the worst of us when we open ourselves to him. We are simultaneously transformed completely yet remain ourselves.

  92. March 20, 2014 - 12:57 am | Permalink

    Another easy one for me: I had to vote for Gallaudet.

    I went to college in Rochester, NY, not at RIT which had a large Deaf population, but close enough that a number of my friends learned to sign, two becoming certified interpreters, and a bunch of us learned signed english along with them. I learned primarily by signing church songs and some of the Mass prayers.

    My former parish had sign interpreters at one mass every weekend, plus at all the major liturgies of Holy Week & so on. (I loved watching the Gen 1 creation story especially!) The whole congregation was encouraged to sign the Alleluia, and sometimes the Amen. I’m in a different parish now but I still tend to do that. If she who sings, prays twice, then she who sings and signs prays three times! I am by no means fluent, and I know it’s not “my” language, but I have really been enriched by it.
    In a way, Gallaudet helped to “make the deaf hear and the dumb speak” — a sign(!) of the reign of God.

  93. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    March 20, 2014 - 1:53 am | Permalink

    Sorry, but the football huddle originated at the Texas School for the Deaf in the early 20th Century. My uncle, Raymond Payne, was one of those football players. He started at the school when he was 9, & he rode there the first time from Dallas on the train, with his father standing on the platform in tears, the only time any family member had ever seen “Papa” cry. By the way, Raymond also played in the band at the school (use your imagination!) & was able to tune my ukelele better than I could. Yes, it’s not much of a stretch to believe I voted for Galladet.

  94. Mica VanFossen's Gravatar Mica VanFossen
    March 20, 2014 - 4:44 am | Permalink

    SEC … Help! I can’t vote for Louis or Gaulledet at all.
    There has been something wrong with the voting each day, but until now, I could keep trying multiple times to touch/push my choice. Nog this time. How to fix?

Comments are closed.