Hadewijch vs. Juan Diego

As Lent Madness voting resumes for the week, we encounter Hadewijch and Juan Diego, two outsiders in their own unique ways. In case you’re wondering about the pronunciation, Hadewijch rhymes with hate-a-witch (if you’re either a Wiccan or from Salem, Massachusetts, please don’t get offended). 

In the only Saturday match-up of Lent Madness 2015, Molly Brant sent Swithun back to the proverbial swamp 58% to 42%. Molly will face the winner of Bede vs. Cuthbert in the Saintly Sixteen.

 Yesterday, in case you missed it (and if you did, you should sign up on the home page to receive e-mails every time we post something), we shared some resources to supplement your Lenten journey. We’ve invited folks to add others in the comment section, not because we don’t have all the answers but because we’re lazy. So check out what we’re calling “Lent beyond the Madness” and feel free to add to the list.


In the early thirteenth century, new expressions of religion began to appear in what are now the modern-day countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. The devotions of contemplation and ecstatic mysticism began to be publicly practiced by a group of devout women known as the Beguines. Beguines were not nuns, but women who chose to lead lives of poverty and prayerful contemplation without taking formal vows. Their members were from across all socioeconomic classes; some lived alone, and others formed small groups.

Hadewijch was among these devout women. Other than her devotion as a Beguine, almost nothing is known of her life. What we do know has been distilled from her writings—collections of poetry, letters, and visions. Her writings show a proficiency in Latin and French, with a vast knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments and early Church writers, especially Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Her writings tell of a burning love for the Trinity and mystical love for Christ. In fact, her writings are filled with the theme of love, although a much more diverse sense of the word than English translations can capture. Hadewijch used various terms for love, including karitate (love of neighbor), lief (the beloved) and minne (a feminine word of the language of courtly love). Minne is used most often in her writings, as an experience of the soul in a loving, erotic relationship with God.

While almost nothing is known directly about her that can be pinned down as historical fact, her use of the images of courtly love to describe our relationship with God suggests she was nobility. She took common images of her day—love offered to a lady by a knight, the knight facing dangers to win the love of a woman, the elegant dance of honor, expressions of love, the trials faced to win the love and affection of the beloved — and used the tension, seduction, and longing particular to courtly love to express the relationship between the soul and God. Her poetry brought a holy sensuality to the usually dry theological writings of the time, which were also rife with superstition and threats of eternal damnation.

Her use of courtly love and eroticism to speak of our relationship with God did not find support in the traditional church hierarchy or in the Beguine community. From the content of letters and visions, scholars believe Hadewijch was evicted from her community and perhaps imprisoned for her expression of faith and belief. Other letters indicate she lived her last years homeless, serving the sick and dying in hospitals where she could care for those in need, sleep in a corner when possible, and pray in a chapel.

Collect for Hadewijch

Loving God, we thank you this day for the ministry and mystical experiences of your servant Hedewijch. Grant that we might each discover a language of love to speak to you, and to our brothers and sisters in faith. Give us grace to speak of love and out of love daily, to you and to the world, not counting the cost or considering the risks of speaking and loving boldly, knowing that your love perfects our imperfections, and that mercy and grace cover a multitude of shortcomings. Amen.

Laurie Brock

unnamedJuan Diego

Juan Diego is the first Roman Catholic indigenous American saint. Born in 1474 with the name “Cuauhtlatoatzin” (“the talking eagle”), Juan Diego was a member of the Chichimeca people and lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. When he was fifty years old, he and his wife were among the first indigenous people in the former Aztec Empire to accept baptism and convert to Christianity.

According to tradition, on December 9, 1531, Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to mass. As he passed the hill of Tepeyac, he heard a woman’s voice call him to the top of the hill. There, he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked him to tell the Bishop of Tepeyac to build a church on that site in her honor.

The bishop was skeptical of Juan Diego and demanded proof of the Lady’s identity. On December 12, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac and asked the Virgin Mary for proof. She told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was wintertime, he found roses blooming in the frozen soil. He gathered them in his tilma (cloak) and took them to the bishop. When Juan Diego opened his tilma, dozens of roses fell out. An image of Mary, imprinted on the inside of his cloak, became visible. Having received this proof, the bishop ordered that a church be built on Tepeyac in honor of the Virgin and thousands converted to Christianity.

This was the first Marian apparition in the New World. Additionally, Mary spoke to Juan Diego in Nahua, the Aztec mother tongue. The familiar language and comforting words of Our Lady still prompt thousands of converts to declare their faith in Jesus and love for Mary; this devotion can be seen and felt throughout much of Latin America, including roadside shrines and icons in bodegas, restaurants, and households from South Texas to Tierra Del Fuego.

Juan Diego died on May 30, 1548, at the age of seventy-four and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Pope John Paul II praised Juan Diego for his simple faith and offered him as a model of humility for all Christians. On May 6, 1990, Juan Diego was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Mexico City.

Collect for Juan Diego

Almighty God, you love the least of us and reveal your glor y and blessings to those simple and seeking souls who desire the warmth and vision only you can provide.We thank you for the life and ministry of Juan Diego, who, inspired by a vision of The Blessed Virgin, helped to spread the story of Jesus’ redeeming love throughout his community and into the New World. For the beauty of roses in winter, for comforting words in our own tongue, and the grace to spread the life-changing message of the Gospel, we thank you. Amen.

Nancy Frausto


Hadewijch vs. Juan Diego

  • Juan Diego (57%, 4,069 Votes)
  • Hadewijch (43%, 3,040 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,109

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186 Comments to "Hadewijch vs. Juan Diego"

  1. February 23, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I did not get an email for Saturday!

    • Alan's Gravatar Alan
      February 23, 2015 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      I noticed that you gave a pronunciation guide for Hadewijch, but not Cuauhtlatoatzin. I’d like to be able to call Juan Diego by his given name.

      • Jane's Gravatar Jane
        February 23, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

        According to the Nahuatl orthography page, I think you would pronounce it Koh-wow-chaa-toe-OT-zeen. That’s my flying guess. Try your hand by piecing together the sounds from here http://www-01.sil.org/mexico/nahuatl/24i-OrthographyNah.htm

      • Chief Jim Donovan's Gravatar Chief Jim Donovan
        February 23, 2015 - 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Jim The article doesn’t mention that the tilma of Juan Diego is continually on display in the Cathedral in Mexico City!

        • John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
          February 24, 2015 - 1:52 am | Permalink

          If Jaun Diego makes it into the round of Saintly Kitsch you can be sure it will be mentioned. For the moment, you need to look for some good quotes for the next round. Fredrick Douglass will certainly have a few good ones.

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      February 23, 2015 - 2:42 pm | Permalink

      It would be better/fairer/more interesting if only those who already cast their votes would be able to see the total vote count!

      • Jason Tank's Gravatar Jason Tank
        February 23, 2015 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never been able to see the vote totals before I voted.

      • Nancy T.'s Gravatar Nancy T.
        February 23, 2015 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

        We could restrain ourselves from looking. Consider it a Lenten denial.

      • Robert's Gravatar Robert
        February 23, 2015 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

        I agree, as well. It wouldn’t sway me, but I know people who say they have been swayed after seeing the total.

        • Jeannie's Gravatar Jeannie
          February 24, 2015 - 7:31 am | Permalink

          Yes, posting the vote count throughout the day is causing a big problem for me! My four high school religion classes are competing against each other for the highest score (winner gets a pizza party) and the classes that meet later in the day are starting to figure out that they can check the tally before class. Would be so helpful if the tally is not posted until voting is closed!!!! HELP

  2. February 23, 2015 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’m going to “begin the Beguine” today, impressed by Hadewijch’s monastic spirituality, knowledge of the Old and New Testaments, and her burning love for the Trinity and mystical love for Christ.

    • February 23, 2015 - 8:16 am | Permalink


      • lysbeth Andrews's Gravatar lysbeth Andrews
        February 23, 2015 - 9:14 am | Permalink

        Yes ! For Hadewijch, for her mystical love for Christ and the giving of herself to the sick and dying. In her memory I vote for her.

    • February 23, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      Love “Begin the Beguine!!! But I voted for Juan Diego.

      • Robert M Davidson's Gravatar Robert M Davidson
        February 23, 2015 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Me too!!

    • Robert's Gravatar Robert
      February 23, 2015 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear. Except I voted for Juan, anyway. But Hadewijch certainly has my admiration and respect.

    • Deb Narvaiz's Gravatar Deb Narvaiz
      February 23, 2015 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

      I detect a trend of higher votes for Amrrican saints than those from other areas. Are we stuufing the ballot boxes for Americans?

      • Nancy T.'s Gravatar Nancy T.
        February 23, 2015 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps men more than women, as well, Swithin the exception. St. Swithin’s sounds like a parish in a Miss Marple story, so it may be the lack of gravitas that lost him the round.

  3. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    February 23, 2015 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Voting for Hadewijch today for her imagination and creativity and for being willing to step outside the expectations of society at great cost.

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      February 23, 2015 - 10:40 am | Permalink

      But, really. How are we to consider her on the basis of her ‘erotic’ poetry without some samples?

      • Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
        February 23, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

        Depends on what you consider “erotic.” There are parts of St Teresa of Avila that could be considered erotic. (A sword piercing her entrails … ?)

  4. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    February 23, 2015 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Don’t think these two will make it to the next round

  5. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    February 23, 2015 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    I’m with you, Rodger! I love that she was faithful, despite the pushback from everyone. That must have been incredibly tough and lonely.

    • Jean's Gravatar Jean
      February 23, 2015 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      I agree, Susan. She lived with integrity, and I respect her tremendously for that. It sounds like she had little affirmation from her faith community which, as you said, must have been very lonely. But she was true to her faith and that is a real example to me. She has my vote.

  6. MegN's Gravatar MegN
    February 23, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    A pattern is emerging – the practical, feet-on-the-ground, in-the-world saint is getting my vote. It’s not the man vs the woman (Molly Brant proved that). Let’s see if the trend continues to the end…

    • Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
      February 23, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

      I agree. We seem to be faced yet again with a choice between one who gave up a position of privilege to humbly serve God and one who’s faith empowered him to rise above his lowly circumstances and do great things in God’s name. So far we seem to be supporting the overcomers. Thoughts?

  7. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    February 23, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Oh boy, the SEC continues to show no mercy in its matchups! I must choose between the lady who showed me the way toward a deep and deeply grounded vision of love and the humble peasant to whom I owe devotion as protector of the borderland God has led me to dwell in. Juan Diego, this one’s for you!

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      February 23, 2015 - 9:20 am | Permalink

      Do you remember the video produced once upon a time showing the ferrets at work either in Scott’s office or in Tim’s?
      Blame the ferrets for this. Although I continue to wonder about the way these match ups have been created. They seem to be skewed.
      So far I’ve only gone for the “losers”.

      • Tara Soughers's Gravatar Tara Soughers
        February 23, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

        I agree. All of the people I have supported, except Molly, have lost.

        • Pam Sten's Gravatar Pam Sten
          February 23, 2015 - 11:02 am | Permalink

          I’ve picked losers so far, too. Today’s will probably be another one, from the vote so far.
          So Tim and Scott, start your engines! I guess the complaints have begun, or is that beguine?

          • February 23, 2015 - 4:06 pm | Permalink

            To date, only Brendan won the popular vote among my choices. Today, again, I went with the “loser”.That said, I marvel that St. Teresa of Avila, St. Swithun & Hadewijch were rejected. Encroyable!

          • Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
            February 23, 2015 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Sally, you and I must join forces! Brendan is the only “winner” I have backed as well. It’s hard to believe how so many others can be so wrong! 😉

      • TJ's Gravatar TJ
        February 23, 2015 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

        I also usually vote for the “loser.” I’m not a betting person though so I just go with the saint who resonates with me or whose story teaches me the most critical lesson for my own life. I’ve never done well with games that require me to figure out how “normal” people think so I don’t make a habit of trying.

        • Jim Sliney's Gravatar Jim Sliney
          February 23, 2015 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

          There are no losers in this contest, because we all benefit by participating. Its an honor to participate.

        • Deb Narvaiz's Gravatar Deb Narvaiz
          February 23, 2015 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

          Count me as voting 100% losers other than Brendan. Still, so Mmmmmmmmmm e of t h e Mmmmmmmmmm atchups are difficult to decide.

      • February 23, 2015 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes. When in doubt, by all means, blame the ferret.

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          February 23, 2015 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Having lived with two ferrets, I think that’s reasonable.

  8. Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
    February 23, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego’s simplicity and humility spoke to me. I seem to relate less to people who withdraw from the world, although that is of course a wonderful path to God.

    • jane's Gravatar jane
      February 23, 2015 - 11:26 am | Permalink

      I too thought Juan was a gentle and humble guide and felt comforted by his vision and walk in faith. But, I considered Hadewijch and her suffering for her faith and the end of her life in service to those who needed comfort and care. She had extremes of faith and life while it seems Juan Diego had a more level course to run. Each answered the call of God to witness, but it seemed to cost Hadewijch much more.

  9. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    February 23, 2015 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Juan inspired me!

    • relling's Gravatar relling
      February 23, 2015 - 10:26 am | Permalink

      The story of Juan Diego is abeautiful one, with which I have long been familiar. I am delighted to vote for him.

  10. Sharon Boivin's Gravatar Sharon Boivin
    February 23, 2015 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for vast and infinite expressions of love. Hadewijch.

  11. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    February 23, 2015 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    I’m holding off voting for a bit. Even though I scored a Saintly Scorecard, I haven’t done my homework. Based on the writeups it seems like Hadewijch had a more concrete history of service and writings while she was active, even though her other history is lost, but I’ll see if others can convince me for Juan Diego.

  12. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    February 23, 2015 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    I agree with Joyce although both stories were certainly interesting.

  13. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    February 23, 2015 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I realize it is St. Juan Diego in competition here, not his vision, but…

    It is important to note that not only did Our Lady of Guadalupe speak to Juan Diego in his native language, she also appeared to him. as a brown-skinned woman (hence the practice, common among Spanish-speakers, of affectionately referring to her as “La Morenita”). This was interpreted as an unambiguous sign that Our Lady, and by extension the Church, was not the sole possession of the Spanish colonizers. but could be embraced by the indigenous population as well. (It is commonly thought that this explains the mass conversions that occurred in the wake of Juan Diego’s vision.) The cult of La Virgen De Guadelupe remains very strong not only in Mexico throughout the Spanish-speaking world. She continues to be of particular comfort to the poor, the oppressed, the formerly colonized and women. Among many other excellent sources, see Linda B. Hall, Mary, Mother and Warrior: The Virgin in Spain and the Americas (University of Texas Press, 2004) and Jeanette Rodríguez, Our Lady of Guaudalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican-American Women (University of Texas Press, 1994).

    • Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
      February 23, 2015 - 8:44 am | Permalink

      Yes, thank you!

    • gillian butler's Gravatar gillian butler
      February 23, 2015 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Francis! A group of us from Oregon were in Mexico last December for the feast of the Virgen. It was amazing to see the pilgrims, walking for hours with her portrait on their backs, approaching the Basilica. Some camped overnight on the stone plaza. Many groups of indigenous dancers performed outside. The story of St. Juan Diego and the beloved Virgen is not forgotten there.

    • John Colón's Gravatar John Colón
      February 23, 2015 - 8:56 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Francis, for sharing additional information about Juan Diego. I am learning so much during Lent Madness from both the accounts of the saints as well as informative comments such as your.

    • Kristenza's Gravatar Kristenza
      February 23, 2015 - 9:45 am | Permalink

      Thank you, an excellent addendum for Juan Diegio. We see the results of his vision in much of the Southwest

    • Katie Johnson's Gravatar Katie Johnson
      February 23, 2015 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

      She is also the RC patron saint of the Americas.

      • Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
        February 23, 2015 - 5:54 pm | Permalink


    • TJ's Gravatar TJ
      February 23, 2015 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for verbalizing what I find so compelling about Juan Diego’s vision. For me, it shows that Christianity as a religion of conquest is a human construct placed on the faith not an essential quality of the faith itself.

      • Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
        February 23, 2015 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Very well said. Thank you.

  14. Lea's Gravatar Lea
    February 23, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    I am a mystic, myself, though I live in the world. While I greatly respect for the humble folks who go about living in the world and getting things done, my temperament is towards the cloistered visionary who lives in a deep, abiding love for God. My vote goes with Hadewijch.

  15. Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
    February 23, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Roses in the frigid, snow covered NE do it for me!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      February 23, 2015 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      I’m with you, Sonia. Both have merits, but it’s roses, roses, roses for me.

  16. Deborah Randolph Bratcher's Gravatar Deborah Randolph Bratcher
    February 23, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    “The madness of love Is a blessed fate; And if we understood this We would seek no other: It brings into unity What was divided, And this is the truth: Bitterness it makes sweet, It makes the stranger a neighbor, And what was lowly it raises on high.” – Hadewidch–My vote today goes to Hadewijch de Antwerp, fellow Beguine, of one of my favorite mystic writers, Mecthild de Magdeburg. Like Mechtild (oh, that she would make the Lent Madness bracket one day, Hint: SEC) Hadewijch was a talented writer in the courtly style of love, mystic of the Trinity and the Beloved Christ, and of service to the poor and sick in her community.

  17. Thomas van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas van Brunt
    February 23, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    We worship an “unknown” God, so I voted for the unknown saint: hadwijch.

  18. February 23, 2015 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego’s vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe was so significant because Mary appeared to him, not just dressed as, but embodied as, a woman of his own people. Her skin was brown, like his was. His vision at Guadalupe remains a powerful sign of the universality of the church: an important witness in a church whose sacred art is dominated by European-looking images of Jesus, Mary, and the early Christians.

  19. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    February 23, 2015 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    It’s about time Hadewijch was brought out of the mists of time. For the many unrecognized and unnamed women through the ages who labored devoutedly for their faith and the well being of their neighbor, I vote for her today!

    • February 23, 2015 - 9:02 am | Permalink

      A lovely sentiment, Millie — Hadewijch gets my vote.

    • Susan Boyer's Gravatar Susan Boyer
      February 23, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      I too vote for Hadewijch today. I’m pondering the different ways that their visions were received. Juan Diego’s bishop demanded proof and Mary granted it in tangible beauty. While that is compelling, and I genuinely appreciate her appearance in the body of a Native born brown skinned woman (quite the comeuppance for the Bishop, I imagine), I must contrast that response by church officials to the one that Hadewijch received. Her passion for God was not only disbelieved, but smeared as somehow shameful. Yet she held to her interior knowing and allowed it to move her into unitive love for the poor regardless of the response of her community of Beguines and the larger church. For all of us mystical types who have seen and cannot prove, I must vote for Hadewijch.

  20. Rosanne Riley's Gravatar Rosanne Riley
    February 23, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Oh my what, a choice! Both deserve a vote but alas only one can receive it.

  21. martin's Gravatar martin
    February 23, 2015 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    I voted for Juan Diego because he was the one who saw the virgin Mary in the new life. Also he gathered lots of flowers in winter that were in bloom. (age 7)

    • Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
      February 23, 2015 - 10:56 am | Permalink

      Martin, you rock!!! Thanks for inspiring me!

  22. February 23, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Hmm. Guess I’m just not into visions of Mary. I’ve got nothing against the Mother of God, I just prefer those saints who have had visions of Christ and express them using the language of love.

  23. Julie's Gravatar Julie
    February 23, 2015 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    The lady who lived her life of action out of the love for God gets my vote today despite what others said and did. And when the she is tossed out of community/imprisoned for those actions, she just continues on to love God and others more. Sounds saintly to me…

  24. Frank Jacob's Gravatar Frank Jacob
    February 23, 2015 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego is is indeed “a model of humility for all Christians,” I feel Hadewijch was truly a model of Christian love for God and neighbor. She and the Beguines put the two great commandments into practice. She honestly expressed her true feelings of love for God in ways unheard of, unfortunately not to her favor; she held her ground against great odds. Hadewijch gets my vote!

  25. PhilEsq's Gravatar PhilEsq
    February 23, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    As a poster said about Teresa of Avila, she will be fine (and didn’t need the win). I feel the same about Juan Diego, whose story was told to me throughout my Roman Catholic grade school and high school years. Hadewijch, though, deserves to be remembered for her works and her writings. See http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/Poets/H/Hadewijch/LoveHasSeven/index.html as an example. She (and her works) are worth reading.

    • Susan Boyer's Gravatar Susan Boyer
      February 23, 2015 - 9:46 am | Permalink

      beautiful and stark – thanks for the link

    • Cindy Curry's Gravatar Cindy Curry
      February 23, 2015 - 11:38 am | Permalink

      PhilEsq — THANK YOU for the website!! It reads like the discovery of a gold mine — I wasn’t familiar with Hadewijch, & her spirituality reminds me of Julian of Norwich — and she took her Lover to the least & loneliest — & met Him there…..

  26. Bill Sier's Gravatar Bill Sier
    February 23, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I grew up in a town with a large Mexican-American population, so I am familiar with Our Lady of Guadalupe. Hoswever, it seels to me that all Juan did was act as a messenger. I’ve never heard of him after this incident, and though it was important to the conversion of the indigenous people of Mexico, that was surely ddue to the Virgin Mary, not Juan. Hadewijch was at the forefront of a major movement within the church (the Beguines), without which there may not have been the meeting on Tepeyac hill may not have happended.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      February 23, 2015 - 10:16 am | Permalink

      Indeed, there was talk before his canonization that the miracle came from the Virgin and that Juan Diego was simply the messenger and not a saint. Being the messenger is no small thing, though, and often comes w/ a high cost, as it did for Juan Diego. Juan Diego, though, exemplifies those with a humble faith, who continue to learn and grow. He is reputed to have walked 15 miles to Mass several times a week and he is supposed to have said to the Virgin Mary: I am nobody, a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf. His canonization rested as much on his model of humility as on his role of messenger.

    • babzee's Gravatar babzee
      February 23, 2015 - 10:24 am | Permalink

      well said! I voted for Hadewijch. not to mention that it is wonderful to be able to express the love of God in many different ways. I like that she did not limit her love of the divine to the confounds of worship

  27. February 23, 2015 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Hadewijch probably loved the Song of Solomon

  28. NJ's Gravatar NJ
    February 23, 2015 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Juan gets my vote today.

  29. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    February 23, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    I realize it is early in the game, but this is hands down the toughest choice for me yet! In fact, I haven’t voted yet! I came to the comments seeking enlightenment, and all they do is pull me this way, then that way! I now move on to prayerful contemplation…

  30. Daniel Nieciecki's Gravatar Daniel Nieciecki
    February 23, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    It looks like I’m on a roll for picking the underdogs. Although we don’t know too much about Hadewijch, she has left behind a powerful testament of spirituality in a woman’s voice, something remarkable for her time that is still inspirational today. Juan Diego may or may not have seen the Virgin Mary. That Hadewijch should win this match-up is obvious to me.

  31. Evelyn's Gravatar Evelyn
    February 23, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen the Mother!
    (i can’t believe i just said that)

  32. Mike Fox's Gravatar Mike Fox
    February 23, 2015 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    I feel like a Democrat in the 1980’s. No one that I have voted for has won yet. I fear that Hadewijch will meet the same fate. I sense that my bias toward mysticism is not shared. But there are all kinds of saints
    and, well, I love ’em all!

    • Daniel Nieciecki's Gravatar Daniel Nieciecki
      February 23, 2015 - 10:24 am | Permalink

      I’m in the same situation. At least my pick for ultimate winner isn’t in jeopardy (yet!).

  33. Judith's Gravatar Judith
    February 23, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you Deborah for providing an actual quote from Hadewijch. Was difficult choosing today and planned to google for some insight through her writings. Have cast my vote in her favor plus will try to learn more about her writing as well in the spirit of LM.

  34. Robert Halleck's Gravatar Robert Halleck
    February 23, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    I’m a little concerned about the group favoritism of modern day supposed saints. Guess I need to watch St. Vincent again and see how Bill Murray would fare.

  35. Anthony's Gravatar Anthony
    February 23, 2015 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    This is one of the hardest:

    I AM SO CONFLICTED. i mean as an image maker, and someone who chose Veronica when I was baptised, yes Diego, of course–plus the indigeiious voices problem. But as someone who has been deeply moved by medevial female mystics, plus–she wrote this You who want
    seek the Oneness
    There you
    will find
    the clear mirror
    already waiting.

  36. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    February 23, 2015 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    Really tough choice today! I’d like to vote for both!

  37. Betty's Gravatar Betty
    February 23, 2015 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    When we lived in Belgium, I became aware of the beguines and their wonderful spiritual writings and their lives. On entering a beguinage, even though no beguines are now present, one can still feel the quiet and peace with which their offerings of prayer permeate the atmosphere. Hadewijch, especially for new ways to express our love of God.

    • Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
      February 23, 2015 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      Community enclosure in Amsterdam and buildings in Brugge–beautiful.

  38. Linda Clader's Gravatar Linda Clader
    February 23, 2015 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego was instrumental in one of the recurring explosions into history of the feminine face of God. It is important that the encounter he had with Our Lady was at the site where a pre-Christian, indigenous goddess was worshipped. Juan Diego’s baptism also served to “baptize” that feminine deity, witnessing to the fact that God was already known and worshipped in that place before the Spanish Christianized it. A vote for Juan Diego, then, is a statement about recognizing God’s feminine face, and recognizing that God is already present before missionaries.

  39. February 23, 2015 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    According to Virgilio Elizondo, foremost Mexican-American RC theologian from his book “Guadalupe, Mother of the New Creation” “Juan Diego was biologically fully Indian, but culturally he was a fledgling mestizo, for he was on the way to church to learn about the new religion that the Spaniards had brought…From being a respected wise man of his people, he would become a silent learner. This would make him a despised foreigner among his own people and a mere “mission Indian” for the Spaniards. Never and nowhere would he ever again experience being a full and integral human being; never again would he have a true home. He would be a “coconut”: brown on the outside, white on the inside…By accepting the new religion, Juan Diego accepted being marginated from his own people while not being accepted as a full and mature human being by those of the new religion. I am sure some of his people looked upon him, as most mestizos have been looked upon by their mother cultures, as a traitor.”

    • Mariana Bauman's Gravatar Mariana Bauman
      February 23, 2015 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this! We always perceive people through the lens of our own times and experiences. We forget the price these men and women paid. Both Hadewijch and Juan Diego had experiences which separated them from the people of their historical time. Neither were accepted as ‘full and integral human beings.” Need to ponder this all a bit more to make a choice!

    • Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
      February 23, 2015 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Anthony. I had studied most of this, but you brought it back together for me. “La Virgen” has a similar mixed heritage in Mexico & elsewhere & is understood both as the ealy Aztecc princess speaking for the new Christian religion but also as the Aztec princess coopted by Christia missionaryies to persuade & Christianize the “natives.” Rich & varied heritages indeed. Fially, I had to vote for Hadewijch, mostly because I’ve just read a novel about Beguines.

      • Cindy Curry's Gravatar Cindy Curry
        February 23, 2015 - 9:25 pm | Permalink

        What’s the name of the book,please? Thanks for mentioning it!

    • j's Gravatar j
      February 23, 2015 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Anthony! Fr. Anthony’s new/old parish in Oxnard California, All Saints (Todos los Santos), serves a community of Hispanics who have been here for generations. But it also serves a community of farmworkers, who have come from the mountains of Mexico to pick our strawberries and lemons and avocados. These native peoples do not speak English. They also do not speak Spanish. They are mistreated by their spanish speaking neighbors and classmates, are neglected and discriminated against by courts, schools and medical providers because no one speaks their language or can access their culture. The term “oaxaqita” (native of Oaxaca state in Mexico) is regarded as a racial epithet and is banned in the Oxnard School District. The color of these indigenous peoples skins is also a subject of taunting and discrimination among non-Anglo residents.
      La Señora de Guadalupe is a turning point because not only as others have said, she is a brown skinned virgin; but even more important, her Son is brown skinned, too!

  40. Anthony's Gravatar Anthony
    February 23, 2015 - 9:51 am | Permalink
    • Sr. Brigidssm's Gravatar Sr. Brigidssm
      February 23, 2015 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      I am delighted to meet Hadewijch. I am drawn to her personal experience of love for Jesus.

  41. Laurie Wozniak's Gravatar Laurie Wozniak
    February 23, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Bill Sier’s comment helped solidify my thoughts. Juan Diego was a messenger and I am a communicator—so this really hurts—but Hadewijch and her selfless devotion and actions have won my vote!

  42. Andrew's Gravatar Andrew
    February 23, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    This is my first venture into Lent Madness, and perhaps I am not yet into its spirit, or moved by the Spirit. In any event, Ms. Hadewijch’s position seems tenuous at best. From the brief description provided, the only knowledge of this woman comes from her own writing in the form of letters and poems. Visions are also mentioned, but they, too, presumably come to us from her written descriptions of them. In short, we have a person who has written herself into sainthood. Is there evidence that Ms. Hadewijch was more saintly than other Beguines? More saintly than countless nuns and other religious of her era? Does one earn beatification by declaring one’s love of God and the Trinity? Pity the illiterate!

    • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
      February 23, 2015 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      Our knowledge of many of the saints, the Apostles, the Fathers (and a few Mothers) of the church, comes from their writings or the writings of others about them. The written word, visual arts, and music are our only ways of communication with people of other times and places. Virtually everyone has “earned beatification by declaring one’s love of God and the Trinity”! The illiterate ones have done so through the writings of others. So that is how we know Hadewijch.

    • Anne Burton's Gravatar Anne Burton
      February 23, 2015 - 11:54 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear, Lucy! The same could be said of the Virgin Mary, or of Juan Diego for that matter. I voted for Hadewijch.

  43. Ann Cooper's Gravatar Ann Cooper
    February 23, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    This was very hard. Juan Diego’s faith plus the fact that the miracle of the cloak and roses happened on my birthday almost tipped the scale in his favor. I love knowing about him and the vision of the brown-skinned Virgin and the beautiful roses will sustain me through the rest of this endless winter here in the Northeast. But Hadewijch’s poetry, her mysticism, combined with her life of service to the poor and ill sealed the deal for me.

  44. Lory Garrett's Gravatar Lory Garrett
    February 23, 2015 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hadewijch. Because, as Laurie Brock wrote, “Her poetry brought a holy sensuality to the usually dry theological writing of the time, which WERE ALSO RIFE WITH SUPERSTITION AND THREATS OF ETERNAL DAMNATION.” That seems so very appropriate in today’s world.

  45. Sr. Brigidssm's Gravatar Sr. Brigidssm
    February 23, 2015 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    I am drawn to her sensuality too. And not into the damnation thing of that time…. ( and often now)

  46. Mary's Gravatar Mary
    February 23, 2015 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Roses in winter…don’t we need them this snowy winter? Juan Diego got my vote!

    • Vonelle Kostelny-Vogts's Gravatar Vonelle Kostelny-Vogts
      February 23, 2015 - 3:31 pm | Permalink


  47. Noreen Ramsden's Gravatar Noreen Ramsden
    February 23, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    St Hadewijch is my hero – serving faithfully and sacrificially into old age! As an old person, a ‘silver surfer’, she has my vote!

  48. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    February 23, 2015 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that love was the motivating emotion for both these saints but Juan’s impact, a lasting one to this day tipped the scale for me

  49. Rodney's Gravatar Rodney
    February 23, 2015 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Being a professional horticulturist, my vote goes to Juan Diego – especially so because he is to this day still representing his ‘simple faith’.

  50. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    February 23, 2015 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Todd and I are in agreement! I’m sure that Hadewijche’s copy of Song of Solomon was well thumbed. What an image.
    GO JUAN!!

  51. Marguerite McWilliams's Gravatar Marguerite McWilliams
    February 23, 2015 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    I find Hadewijch’s expressions of love of God and Jesus hard to relate to. Guess
    I need to read more of her writings.

  52. Sarah Gaede's Gravatar Sarah Gaede
    February 23, 2015 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is looking down on me from the wall as I vote–for Juan, of course.

  53. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 23, 2015 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Hadewijch wins my heart!

  54. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    February 23, 2015 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    Hadewijch it is. I admire Juan Diego and appreciate his actions in spreading the Good News in the New World. We all need to hear the words of redemption and salvation in our own language, and Juan Diego shows the way. However, Love is the universal language, and Hadewijch wasn’t afraid to proclaim her love for God, even in ways that cost her the comfort of family and friends. To me, she stands as an example to all of us to boldly proclaim our love of God, despite the cost.

  55. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    February 23, 2015 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    I embrace the Faith and profound reasoning of seven year old Martin. He believes Juan saw the Virgin, he believes in the dozens of roses blooming in wintertime. It served as proof for the building of a Church.
    Thank you, Martin. I’ll vote for St Juan Diego too!

  56. Solange De Santis's Gravatar Solange De Santis
    February 23, 2015 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    The indigenous guy all the way. Go Diego … and your native name.

  57. Lawrence Elliott's Gravatar Lawrence Elliott
    February 23, 2015 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Reading again the story of Juan Diego I cried again as I always do when I encounter God’s love in stories such as these.

  58. February 23, 2015 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    I wish I could vote for both of them (note to SEC-I didn’t). I went with Juan Diego because we need more non-European saints!

  59. Michael A. Stone's Gravatar Michael A. Stone
    February 23, 2015 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    These last two days have been difficult. Firstly, I went with Swithun, being a Hampshire hog. Although I knew more about Molly’s brother, Joseph, than I did her.
    Secondly, I went with Hadewijch having visited the Beguinage, in Brugge, Belgium. But I have also been to Tepeyac.

  60. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    February 23, 2015 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    Hadewijch. She only had her earthly experiences and language to describe the indescribable unitive love of God. She remained faithful to her experience.

  61. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    February 23, 2015 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you , Deborah for the quote! I just found it and it makes me wish to withdraw my earlier comment

  62. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    February 23, 2015 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one. The roses are a truly beautiful image, and I won’t mind a bit if Juan Diego ends up the “winner.”

    But I think I’ll vote for Hadewijch. I’ve always loved the Beguines and all mystics – and the Lent Madness underdog – so that’s the way I’m going today.

  63. Jem Ansuy's Gravatar Jem Ansuy
    February 23, 2015 - 11:00 am | Permalink


    To choose between a woman of the 13th century about whom we know very little (other than her writings), and Juan Diego–the central figure of a Guadalupe tradition who
    many (most?) scholars say never existed.

    With Native peoples on a roll (voters oddly having Oakerhater displace Theresa of Avila within Christian tradition; and Molly Brant’s non-existent legacy trumping Swithun’s), I’ll go with the flow and vote for the mythical Juan Diego.

  64. Mrs. B.'s Gravatar Mrs. B.
    February 23, 2015 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    It seems that Juan was petitioning for a “Chapel of Ease,” and unwittingly did an enormous service to a vast
    Spanish-speaking community. By this he justly earned sainthood. Hadejijch was like St. Teresa of Avila in her erotic mysticism and like Mother Theresa in her attempts to aid the sick and dying. This contest goes to show that grand works and small ones are equal in the eyes of God.

  65. Jaime Sanders's Gravatar Jaime Sanders
    February 23, 2015 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    On the theory that the social role of saints is to inspire people to imitation of holiness, I am voting for Juan Diego in honor of the indigenous Mexican men I have known, in an alien culture, walking the way of faith and honor and creatively blending diverse religious ideas.

    • Anthony Guillén's Gravatar Anthony Guillén
      February 23, 2015 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jaime. Beautiful connection to Juan Diego and the many immigrants who today have chosen to live “in an alien culture, walking the way of faith and honor and creatively blending diverse religious ideas.”

  66. Randall Byrd's Gravatar Randall Byrd
    February 23, 2015 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    I tip my hat, and give my vote to the Lady known as Hadewijch.

  67. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    February 23, 2015 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you,Deborah, for the quote from Hadewijch’s writings. It helps me understand the sensuality described in the biography.
    Nevertheless, I vote for Juan Diego.

  68. Mary Ann's Gravatar Mary Ann
    February 23, 2015 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Today I’m going to follow the native American trend which seems to be developing. He helped spread the Gospel to his people, and besides the roses growing in the winter really got me.

  69. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    February 23, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink


  70. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    February 23, 2015 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Juan’s story is impressive, but I’ve always had a weakness for mystics and been a little skeptic of miracles. I’m for Hadewijch.

  71. Barbara from St. Barnabas's Gravatar Barbara from St. Barnabas
    February 23, 2015 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    I voted for Juan today. I liked that he was trying to convince others to build a church. You have to love a guy who can find and pick roses out of the frozen soil. Also, who when asked for proof that Mary told him to build a church – comes back with an imprint of her on his cloak!

  72. Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
    February 23, 2015 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego for me. Getting up before dawn to walk 15 miles to mass is a miracle in itself, but a visitation from the Blessed Virgin did it for me.

  73. Corinne's Gravatar Corinne
    February 23, 2015 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    I seem to have trouble voting. Any one else? When pick a nominee and click on the vote button, nothing happens. I can’t tell if I am actually casting a vote. Also when I click on the results, nothing happens. Help!

  74. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    February 23, 2015 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    I voted for Love-a-Witch. Appreciate them both. The images add nuance, additional layers of access to meaning beyond my own imagining. Seeing Juan hauling home all those roses makes a prompt for . . . whatever. Prayer writing, conversation, musing as I run.

  75. Anne Burton's Gravatar Anne Burton
    February 23, 2015 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been dubious of the tradition of Juan Diego. I can’t help but see it as a way the conquerors pushed their own agenda. My vote for Hadewijch was a vote for the many women who, being neither virgins or nuns, were/are marginalized in the Church. Her life of service following her expulsion was admirable.

    • Nancy T.'s Gravatar Nancy T.
      February 23, 2015 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Ann, you expressed what I feel perfectly. I only wish we were offered some of the writings of Hadewijch; we could use such inspiration. C’mon, people — Our Lady of Guadelupe is ubitiquous wherever Spanish is spoken in the Western Hemisphere and gets at least the attention she deserves. Juan Diego already has all the kudos anyone could have, or want.

      Remember the first Great commandment tells us to love The Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our minds. Yes, I voted for Hadewijch and implore you all to do the same. There is still time!

      • Nancy T.'s Gravatar Nancy T.
        February 23, 2015 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I just reviewed more of these comments and must thank those who posted links to works by Hadewijch — lovely stuff.

  76. mary ann's Gravatar mary ann
    February 23, 2015 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I can’t find the Monday Madness video. Help I’m going through withdrawal!

  77. Megan Jones's Gravatar Megan Jones
    February 23, 2015 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy to have met Hadewijch – I’d heard of neither her nor the Beguine movement before.
    Even so, I grew up in California and Arizona, so Juan Diego and I are old friends. The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe has always been part of my life and the story is part of my personal faith journey. I can’t vote against an old friend.
    To pronounce Juan Diego’s Nahuatl name, try sounding it out using this guide http://www.native-languages.org/nahuatl_guide.htm . Every letter makes a sound, and once you get it and say it about 50 times, you’ll be able to impress people at cocktail parties.

  78. February 23, 2015 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I love them both but Juan Diego’s visualization speaks to my heart.

  79. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 23, 2015 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    A tough choice today. My first inclination was to Juan Diego. I love the image of the Blessed Mother as an Aztec woman. I have only recently been attracted by mysticism and it is through reading meditations by Richard Rohr. I am by nature a practiical, doing sort of person. But I clicked on the link and read some of Hadewijch’s poems and found this:
    You who want
    by Hadewijch
    English version by Jane Hirshfield
    Original Language Dutch
    You who want
    seek the Oneness
    There you
    will find
    the clear mirror
    already waiting

    And I do want the knowledge and I am trying to seek the oneness within.
    So I am voting for Hadewijch.
    Thank you all for your comments. They really do complete the Lent Madness experience.

  80. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    February 23, 2015 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    My favorite flower is the rose. How could I not vote for Juan Diego.

  81. annette's Gravatar annette
    February 23, 2015 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I love Hadewijch’s writings — but I disagree with Laurie Brock about the pronunciation of her name. My knowledge of Dutch is rudimentary, but I think the “a” is like the “a” in “car,” the “ij” is like the “y” in “wyvern,” and the “ch” is like the “ch” in Scottish “loch.” Altogether a softer-sounding name for a woman who used courtly love traditions to write of the love of Our Lord.

    • February 23, 2015 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t Laurie who wrote that pronunciation or mispronunciation, but the SEC, but thanks Annette for offering this correction!

  82. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    February 23, 2015 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    BTW the RC Cathedral in Dallas, Texas is named for Our Lady of G.

    That said I had to vote for she who, like the Song of Songs in Hebrew Scriptures, taught us that God loves us deeply.

  83. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    February 23, 2015 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    The shrines and icons of Our Lady of Guadalupe can be found not only from south Texas to Tierra Del Fuego, but throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California as well. Devotion to her is as strong among Anglican Latinos as it is among Roman Catholics.

  84. Angie's Gravatar Angie
    February 23, 2015 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Hadewijch because the Collect for Hadewijch is beautiful, calling us to speak in love and out of love daily and boldly.

  85. Jude's Gravatar Jude
    February 23, 2015 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Well, as a librarian, I tend to vote for the writers, anyway, but I was even more drawn to Hadewijch today because of her enduring emphasis on love in relationship with God, especially at a time when condemnation was the norm. I think the world right now could use a bit more focus on what it means to truly and deeply love God and neighbor.

  86. Trudy's Gravatar Trudy
    February 23, 2015 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I read about both of the choices for today and was going to vote for the faithful Hadewijch, but something made me think of roses in winter and a beautiful song came to mind. It is “Bring me a Rose in the Wintertime” and was written by Rev. Carey Landry, a former Jesuit priest who left his RC faith to marry, back in the 80’s. I love his music. I think this song he wrote must have been influenced by Juan Diego. I think I will change my vote for St. Juan Diego.

  87. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    February 23, 2015 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Juan Diego. It must have taken courage to go back to the site of his vision, lay eyes on the Blessed Virgin, and ask her for evidence she was real. Can you imagine: “Um, so, thanks for meeting me here again… Anyway, this is a little awkward, but… I’m going to need some proof…” Sometimes it is hard to ask God for what we need, even if it is for a larger purpose.

  88. February 23, 2015 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with Hadewijch. I visited the Beguinage in Bruges, Belgium last summer and found the whole lifestyle very appealing. She sounds fascinating.

  89. Susie's Gravatar Susie
    February 23, 2015 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

    What happened to the archbishops this year? Are they just stunned by the first round?
    Miss them!

    • Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
      February 23, 2015 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Apparently Maple Anglican is on break. He announced before Lent that his schedule didn’t allow him to produce videos this season. A loss indeed!

  90. February 23, 2015 - 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I went with Hadewijch, she lived true to her calling, in spite of the opposition, and used her love to care for others. Her expression of love for the Sacred, if it took on a sensual expression is perfectly natural as well as supernatural. The problem seems we human types always try to compartmentalize love, to be genuine we must love with our whole being, we are body, mind and spirit. Enjoy and live in all of your being, Hadewijch did!

  91. Dorothee Caulfield's Gravatar Dorothee Caulfield
    February 23, 2015 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

    For many reasons Juan Diego for the halo! I was ordained on May 6, many years later though!!

  92. Celia's Gravatar Celia
    February 23, 2015 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Having just come from the nursery where I bought Hellebores (i.e. Lenten Roses) for the garden a vote for Juan Diego seems appropriate.

  93. Diane Cook's Gravatar Diane Cook
    February 23, 2015 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Today I had to go with Hadewijch in honor of my husbands heritage. I also was deeply moved by her story and her willingness to serve the sick and poor. It seems as though she gave up everything to draw closer to God, a lesson we all need to hear. Thank you for her witness.

  94. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    February 23, 2015 - 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Such a beautiful story of Juan Diego! Hard choice but I voted for Hadewijch–mystic, feminist, lover, rebel–hardly think she’ll take the halo but what an interesting lady, mysterious too since we don’t know much about her. This far all my choices have lost

  95. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    February 23, 2015 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I wish we knew more about Hadewjich. The ones who condemned her for the erotic images in her writings should re-read the Song of Songs.

  96. Mariana Bauman's Gravatar Mariana Bauman
    February 23, 2015 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

    As a Julian person, I find this an extremely difficult choice. However, the legacy of Juan Diego over the centuries, in the empowerment of the indigenous people of Latin America, remains too powerful. I vote for Juan Diego.

  97. February 23, 2015 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Hadewjich – eviction from her neighborhood; at the bedside of the sick and suffering in her last days – amazing, loving sacrifice. Hadewjich rocks!

  98. Melissa Ridlon's Gravatar Melissa Ridlon
    February 23, 2015 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

    A hard choice, but I know what a powerful impact Juan Diego’s vision and faith have on my predominantly Latino worshipping community so he gets my vote today.

  99. Patti Blaine's Gravatar Patti Blaine
    February 23, 2015 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Roses in winter for the win! Although I feel a little guilt about that. I usually go for the ones who give generously, freely of themselves serving the poor. But… well, it’s 5F & falling in Rochester, NY at 4 p.m. Roses in winter for the win!

  100. Alene's Gravatar Alene
    February 23, 2015 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Juan Diego today, but as a volunteer chaplain, Hadewijch calls to me.

  101. Deb's Gravatar Deb
    February 23, 2015 - 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I love that our lady of Guadalupe appeared as a native women and spoke in Juan Diego’s native language. He gets my vote because of this.

  102. Kerowynne's Gravatar Kerowynne
    February 23, 2015 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I am a Companion in Anamchara Fellowship, a new monastic order (http//anamcharafellowship.org) and am drawn to Hadewjich’s example. She gets my vote!

  103. Dorothy's Gravatar Dorothy
    February 23, 2015 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Burning love of the Trinity & she stayed faithful to her calling. She didn’t get much support. I voted for Hadewijch

  104. Lithophyte's Gravatar Lithophyte
    February 23, 2015 - 4:38 pm | Permalink

    The decision was not easy, concur that both were winners worthy of respect and awe. The LM experience is what counts, How many had a clue about these exceptional people a day ago? Thank you

  105. February 23, 2015 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Hadewijch (as she checks off several boxes for me, so to speak) until I realized who Juan Diego was. I just watched Guadalupe: A Living Image as part of the film component of my Lenten observance. I’ll still be second-guessing my choice until the next excruciating vote though…so tomorrow.

  106. February 23, 2015 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Nancy and Laurie for your moving prayers. Are the prayers collected and published separately? What a wonderful resource for intercessions and personal reflection.

  107. February 23, 2015 - 7:19 pm | Permalink
  108. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    February 23, 2015 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I visited Bruge Belgium this past year and we walked thru a Beguine convent garden – the most beautiful, peaceful place in Bruge…..

  109. Myrna Mai's Gravatar Myrna Mai
    February 23, 2015 - 7:37 pm | Permalink

    What a hard choice–as usual! I voted for Juan Diego, mostly because I remember finding the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe when I was about 10. I loved it then, and still do.

  110. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    February 23, 2015 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t read any of the comments every one posted until I voted. I just went with the Bio’s furnished. After reading lot of them, I agree it is a toss up. But I’m not sad that I voted for Juan Diego.

  111. Marilyn's Gravatar Marilyn
    February 23, 2015 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    This is my first time to play LentMadness. I’m having so much fun reading posts and comments (oops, should I say I’m having fun during Lent?). I voted for Juan Diego, mostly because he sounds like a real person even if he isn’t!

  112. February 23, 2015 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Rhymes with sandwich?!

  113. Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
    February 23, 2015 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Hadewijch. I cannot overstate the importance of uplifting this understanding of God as the Beloved. People who have dealt with sexual abuse or exploitation particularly need this relationship to heal those wounds. Not everyone connects to God as Father or Shepherd. Even though some people would rather not acknowledge a God that created us as sexual beings, this image is orthodox, and a long-standing tradition in the church. Teresa of Avila in fact used this semi-erotic language to describe her relationship with God. WE NO LONGER HAVE TERESA TO CHAMPION THIS LOVE OF GOD. LET’S GET HADEWIJCH THROUGH TO THE NEXT ROUND.

  114. Matthew's Gravatar Matthew
    February 23, 2015 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Hard Choice. Juan Diego seems to have had more of an impact, especially here in America. Also, I was born in California, so it made sense.

  115. February 24, 2015 - 12:13 am | Permalink

    Have to vote for Hadewijch, here: too radical even for the Beguines, who themselves were too radical for the church authorities, she had the courage and faithfulness to persist in her relationship with God, grounded in all the forms of love that she knew. Although another female “mystic”, her education in scripture & languages would qualify her as a theologian as well.

    I vote in honor of all the women, today and over the past fifty years and more, who have struggled to authentically live and express and share their faith despite the disapproval of those who don’t find it appropriate, let alone legitimate. Hadewijch, pray for us.

  116. February 24, 2015 - 1:34 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Hadewijch, as women rarely get the same trust and respect as men, even amoungst saints. She gave us a a wonderful new perspective of God’s love, and that is an important contribution which got my vote.

  117. William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
    February 24, 2015 - 2:04 am | Permalink

    Not a factor in my vote for her, but was Hadewijch ever actually canonized or otherwise officially recognized as a saint?

  118. Robert Corey's Gravatar Robert Corey
    February 24, 2015 - 5:47 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for the least offensive to my puritan leanings. Crypto-erotic mystic poetry vs Marian apparition. I voted for the poet.

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