Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant

With yesterday’s victory for Brigid of Kildare over Kamehameha IV, 55% to 45%, half the Faithful Four is set. Brigid and Francis are in with two remaining spots up for grabs. Today it’s Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant. Tomorrow Frederick Douglass faces Egeria. Things are fast and furious as we race toward the finish line of Lent Madness 2015! Oh, yeah, and Easter.

To get to the Elate Eight, Bernard defeated Margaret of Antioch and Jackson Kemper while Molly bested Swithun and Cuthbert.

Let’s face it, some saints are more prone to kitsch than others. We’re grateful to those Celebrity Bloggers who have not been dealt low hanging saintly kitsch fruit. Like those advocating for today’s saints. Kudos for kitschy kreativity!

mugBernard Mizeki

While not as plentiful as, say, Francis or Brigid saintly kitsch, those seeking South African martyr Bernard Mizeki items are not left completely bereft. If you too want to inspire thousands of people to love God and the Gospel get your Bernard Mcross-carved-tree-12690430izeki t-shirts and mug — find either in this fashionable design.

Although Bernard was known to be sensitive to the ways of the local Spirit religion, he once angered local religious leaders when he carved crosses into some trees sacred to their ancestral spirits. 

bookStart off the day right with a hot cup of coffee in your Bernard Mizeki mug as you plan out the best way to use wood carving tools to carve out crosses on trees just like Bernard! (Caution: this might anger some folks). 

Tree carving not your thing? Then pick up this wonderful book and learn more about an amazing pioneer of the church.bernard-mizeki

Or hang this beautiful tapestry on your living room wall to remind you that true discipleship means that there will be times where your life will be in danger and instead of running away we must stand our ground and proclaim the Gospel at all costs.

mens guildNever be afraid to solicit information regarding your local Bernard Mizeki Men’s Guild or better yet let us start the Bernard Mizeki Women’s Guild so both male and females can sport this033bebccf577efb3ad58b29997e1a44a lovely badge on our blazers.

Not ready to commit to an organization? Then simply carry with you this payer card with Mizeki’s picture and recite the collect for Martyrs to remind you of the courage we all need in order to proclaim the gospel wherever we may be.

Nancy Frausto

Molly Brant

440px-Joseph_Brant_by_Gilbert_Stuart,_1786Long before Sheryl Sandberg wrote Lean In and got the internet all abuzz, Molly Brant was already leaning in.

Long before networking became a skill at which extroverts excelled and introverts avoided, Molly Brant was already establishing connections and making deals.

Long before people turned to HGTV and Architectural Digest for design inspiration, Molly Brant was already wowing British and French nobility.

…And long before Route 5S became an often-traveled highway in upstate New York, Molly Windows-Live-Writer-Augusta-Cecconi-Bates-Willow-Wind_122AE-img081_3Brant was walking and riding its dusty paths as a business leader and a mediator.

In short, Molly Brant defies categorization. As one historian wrote, “Molly Brant…did not typify the acceptable metaphor. She was active and pragmatic enough to adapt to the shifting realities of her day…In short, she grew into her own voice, appropriating a role seen by Europeans as a function of masculinity.”

Unlike some of the other wonderful saints featured this season, Molly has not received a great deal of attention or acclaim in American history. No doubt, she made mistakes and was known for her dogged stubbornness and occasional defiance of political norms. She was, however, a woman who lived beyond the cultural, political, and religious limitations of her era. She faithfully integrated her Anglican faith with her Mohawk heritage without confusing the two.

Johnson_Hall_by_HenryWhile criticized for her support of Great Britain during the American War of Independence, such criticism is based on hindsight. Everyone wants to be on the side of the winner, of course! One cannot disregard how Molly and her family were able to create an alliance with the British that helped preserve what remained of Mohawk land and culture. As one scholar noted: “Viewed as a woman of her people, Molly Brant must be viewed as effective if not ultimately successful because she…understood that the Mohawk Valley would inevitably pass from tribal hands…She sought to carry something of the Mohawk/European past into a future stabilized by British military might.”

UnknownMolly was not without a playful side, though. Legend has it that as an older teen Molly drew the attention of her future husband, Sir William Johnson, by jumping out to surprise him from behind his horse during the militia’s muster. She was also known to intrigue dignitaries who visited the family home with her wit, wisdom, and impeccable graciousness as a host.

Long before it becomes too late, cast your vote for the one-of-a-kind Molly Brant.

Maria Kane


Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant

  • Molly Brant (59%, 3,010 Votes)
  • Bernard Mizeki (41%, 2,056 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,066

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134 Comments to "Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant"

  1. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    March 26, 2015 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    St. Bernard Mizeki, in homage to the Cowley Fathers/SSJE.

    • Frank Jacob's Gravatar Frank Jacob
      March 26, 2015 - 8:13 am | Permalink

      AMEN, Francis!

  2. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 26, 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Ooooooh, I think I just have to sit this one out.

  3. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 26, 2015 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    I find Molly Brant to be very intriguing. She was certainly a woman to be reckoned with and her perseverance of her Anglican faith is very admirable. Ability to mediate between differing parties is unusual. That in the midst of raising a family and managing in her husband’s absence.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 26, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

      I certainly agree that Molly seems to have held fast to her Anglican faith. I am not certain, though, that her mediation was in any way impartial. She had a dog in the fight and is largely credited w/ policies and efforts that, although claiming to be working toward peace, brought about the near eradication of the Iroquois and actual eradication of their lands. She and her brother Joseph were noted for tactics that were brutal even by the standards of a particularly brutal war. I think Molly is a complicated woman ~ I like your word “intriguing,” Judy ~ and over the weeks of Lent Madness have come to think of her as a survivor rather than a saint. I can respect her perspicacity and shrewdness, and her fierce protection of her own, but not her compassion and judiciousness.

      • Mary Lou M's Gravatar Mary Lou M
        March 26, 2015 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

        I agree with you. I see Molly as someone who tried to protect and advance her family. She may have held to her Anglican faith, but it was not her motivating factor. Bernard was driven to share his faith with all at the risk of his life and that of his family, knowing that by losing his life he would gain eternity. Molly was a product of her time. Bernard is a person to emulate for all time. As for carving crosses onto sacred trees, he challenged the powerful people in the area to make a move, by doing what our church fathers did so many years ago and superimposing Christianity on “pagan” beliefs. So, Bernard it is for me.

  4. Oliver--Seven years old's Gravatar Oliver--Seven years old
    March 26, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I vote for Molly because she is beautiful and was a good mother.

    • babzee's Gravatar babzee
      March 26, 2015 - 8:37 am | Permalink

      oliver i have really enjoyed all your comments! thank you for making lent madness even more fun.

    • Miss Liamzon's Class's Gravatar Miss Liamzon's Class
      March 26, 2015 - 9:20 am | Permalink

      Oliver, We LOVED this activity! Thank you for sharing :):)

    • March 26, 2015 - 9:24 am | Permalink

      Oliver, weren’t you eight years old yesterday? Or am I losing my mind (entirely possible). Whatever, I completely agree with Babzee — you have made Lent Madness even more fun!

      • Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
        March 26, 2015 - 9:33 am | Permalink

        I agree with babzee and Tracey, Oliver! Your comments have really helped make this a special Lent Madness for me. You rock!!!!!

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      March 26, 2015 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      Everyone else said it first, Oliver. Thank you for your posts.

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 26, 2015 - 10:49 am | Permalink

        And Happy Birthday!

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 26, 2015 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday, Oliver! Thanks for brightening Lent Madness!!

      • Dorrie Johnson's Gravatar Dorrie Johnson
        March 26, 2015 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

        We need to know more about Oliver. He just might be going places in this world.

    • March 26, 2015 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Dear Oliver,
      I have looked forwarding to hearing your thoughts during this L. Madness as much as I have learning about these wonderful saints! May this new year of your life in Christ be filled with Grace and Joy,

      • Oliver's Mom's Gravatar Oliver's Mom
        March 26, 2015 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Thank you all for your comments!!!!!!!! Oliver and I have LOVED this opportunity to explore these amazing people of history and connect with the amazing people voting on Lent Madness. Every morning it is the first thing he things of and today he shared Lent Madness to his first grade class.

        • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
          March 26, 2015 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

          And you, my dear, are an excellent mom.

    • Jennie Woodring's Gravatar Jennie Woodring
      March 26, 2015 - 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Oliver – I join with the others to say, “thank you!” I look forward to your comments each day as much as to Lent Madness itself.

      • andrea's Gravatar andrea
        March 26, 2015 - 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Thank you for your comments and Happy Birthday Oliver!

    • Mary Winston's Gravatar Mary Winston
      March 27, 2015 - 8:27 am | Permalink

      Happy belated Birthday Oliver! Your comments were great.

  5. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 26, 2015 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Bernard, because he was a champion of the Christian faith who paid the ultimate price and I think the mug is stellar!

  6. Mary Winston's Gravatar Mary Winston
    March 26, 2015 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Why I am in awe of how Bernard Mizeki lived and died, the upstate New Yorker in me has to vote for Molly Brant! I have heard about her since I was little.

  7. Michelle Crull's Gravatar Michelle Crull
    March 26, 2015 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I just have to love a Christian missionary who was respectful of the local traditions and found ways to preach the Gospel that fit in with those local traditions instead of trying to stamp them out. Mizeki for me today.

  8. March 26, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    While Molly seems to have been a faithful Anglican, it’s hard for me to see her as a great saint. Bernard, on the other hand, was (as TJ nicely puts it) a “champion of the faith” and a martyr. He has my vote today.

  9. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 26, 2015 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Molly Brant made deals but Bernard Mizeki was a martyr for his faith. No contest. Saint Bernard for me!

  10. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 26, 2015 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Yep, Bernard’s overwhelming trust in God, care for his people, and ultimate martyrd–plus the dances and celebrations of thousands today compel me to vote for him. Plus he has great kitsch! Love the mug

  11. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    March 26, 2015 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Well spoken, Ann. And the mug and card.

  12. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 26, 2015 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Where is Oliver when I need his voice?
    Because I fear I may not remember in time I must vote now. Despite Molly ‘ s colorful portrait I am choosing Bernard who was martyred (and whose remains are a mystery
    Plus I would love to have that wall hanging as well as to see an African saint represented in the Saintly Four.

  13. John Sorensen's Gravatar John Sorensen
    March 26, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Good people were Tories, too. I lived 16 years in the NY Northcountry. Go Molly!

  14. Noreen Ramsden's Gravatar Noreen Ramsden
    March 26, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Bernard is my hero! He gave his all!

  15. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 26, 2015 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Molly all the way!

  16. Diane Lynch's Gravatar Diane Lynch
    March 26, 2015 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Molly was a powerful and steadfast mediator between the Brits and the Natives. She deserves some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for her abilities to sacrifice and compromise.

    • March 27, 2015 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      As the Canadian author of a soon to be released biography of Molly Brant, I agree that her qualities were admirable but that she was never a saint. While researching her life, I was surprised how little is known of her story, even in central New York State. She was chatelaine of Johnson Hall, Sir William’s manor house, and it was there that their eight children were born, and yet it almost as if she never existed.

  17. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    March 26, 2015 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Oh-oh, Bernard lost my vote when he carved crosses on someone’s sacred trees.

    • Michele's Gravatar Michele
      March 26, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

      Oh, I have to agree on this, sacred trees are not to be messed with, even if you don’t agree with why they are sacred.

  18. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 26, 2015 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    For Bernard…courage,tenacity and martyrdom..can’t pass over that lightly

  19. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    March 26, 2015 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    I just have to note how cool it is that the bracket reflects so much diversity and gender equality. It helps us to see that we truly are all equal in God’s Kingdom and can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

  20. Victoria Logue's Gravatar Victoria Logue
    March 26, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    I have to go with Bernard. I feel as if Molly Brant’s life story shows poor discernment not only as a Royalist but as the consort of a man reputed to have dozens of children by numerous women not to mention the fact he wasn’t particularly liked and purchased lots of slave labor to do his work. That doesn’t make her a bad person, it just doesn’t make her a saint in my opinion.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 26, 2015 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      While I’m kind of blown away by your comment, I appreciate how up front you are about a sentiment that seems to be below the surface of many comments – that good judgment means accepting the American political order, and those of us who are Canadians, Jamaicans, Spaniards, Swedes, Dutch, Thai, etc. and comfortable with our own systems demonstrate “poor discernment.”

      Molly may not have “discerned” which side would win the war – or she may have (as I have been during Lent Madness) made her choices without any such calculation or speculation – but to echo your conclusion, that doesn’t make one less of a saint.

      • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
        March 26, 2015 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

        I think her lack of good judgment (the term used here) has little to do with which side won the war, or whether she was a loyalist or not, or with whom her husband may have consorted ~ in my mind, the negative is lack compassion and judiciousness in dealing with the various Indian tribes (other than her own). She was a pragmatist, and cold-eyed one at that. I don’t find much saintly about her and I find little in her that I want to emulate or that helps me practice my faith a little more . . . faithfully!

  21. March 26, 2015 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Coffe cup kitsch is always a winner for me. That, and Bernard’s holding fast to his faith, guided my vote today.

  22. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    March 26, 2015 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a full set of saintly mugs for Sunday coffee hour!

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      March 26, 2015 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      What a great idea, Gloria!
      Maybe I ought to get a set of Golden Halo mugs for our coffee hours.

  23. Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
    March 26, 2015 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    No offense to the hard-working CBs, but neither of today’s candidates have particularly intriguing kitsch!

  24. Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
    March 26, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Molly’s got my vote! Pragmatic, peace-seeking, and a rebel (the level-headed kind) with a cause.
    At the risk of seeming picky, it must be pointed out here that Maria Kane’s otherwise thoughtful synopsis indicates that Molly was “American”. She was, in fact, a Mohawk. And First Nations people do not fall into “American” or “Canadian” categories. The painting above of the house depicts the ancestral home, Chiefswood, in Brantford, Ontario, where her brother Joseph was the Mohawk chief. And the plaque in the photo is a Province of Ontario historical plaque. “North American” would have been a more inclusive term to use for Molly. That said, she is highly honoured in Canada, unlike in the States where she has only recently been recognized.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 26, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

      Excellent point: the Mohawk of course have never recognized the US-Canada border, which runs right through their community of Akwesasne, and their right of free passage has been recognized in the Jay Treaty, though often disregarded.

    • Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld's Gravatar Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld
      March 26, 2015 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      Good points, Jane C., about being Mohawk and also having Canadian ties. The painting, however, is of Johnson Hall in Johnstown, NY. Chiefswood is Italianate style and was not built until 1853.

    • Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
      March 26, 2015 - 10:38 am | Permalink

      Is there ANOTHER Jane C out there?
      I did NOT post this but will be posting soon.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 26, 2015 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      I respect your vote and especially appreciate the clarification regarding the Mohawk nation, Jane ~ thank you for that! But I gotta say, I don’t share your characterization of Molly: pragmatic ~ yes! Peace-seeking ~ no, indeed quite brutal. A rebel with a cause ~ only her own. I try not to vote against candidates, and to be open to what is said about them as I go along b/c of them have saintly qualities from which I can learn, but I have completely missed the charm of Molly Brant, and her saintliness, throughout LM. Sorry!

      • Jim Bimbi's Gravatar Jim Bimbi
        March 26, 2015 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

        I couldn’t agree more. While the quirkiness of Lent Madness is part of its appeal, the voting patterns often leave me with a serious case of the blahs.

  25. Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
    March 26, 2015 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    They are both great!! But I (still) voted for Molly. Molly with a hallo???

  26. Greg Masztal's Gravatar Greg Masztal
    March 26, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Oh, THIS is a tough one!!! I had to go with Molly, though…

  27. Kathy's Gravatar Kathy
    March 26, 2015 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    I am following young Oliver’s lead today and voting for Molly. Oliver is just too darned cute.

  28. March 26, 2015 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Throwing my vote in for a “like” button in the comment box, btw.

  29. justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
    March 26, 2015 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    I continue to be mystified of the votes for a slave-owning, british- sympathizer, I see in the comments appreciation for her pragmatic, mediating ways. Only if pragmatic=self serving, this vs someone martyred for their faith, again the rationale is completely befuddling. Was she a good person (I am not even sure of that), but against Bernard, no question who should win.

    • March 26, 2015 - 9:39 am | Permalink

      I continue to be mystified by our preference for “dying for the faith.” I would like to believe that if I were ever held at sword point for being a Christian, I would throw my faith back in my captors’ faces as an ultimate act of defiance; but I don’t kid myself that’s a sign of “faith” on my part. In reality, I think I’d wimp out to live another day. In any event, being glorified for dying a martyr’s death holds no attraction, and I am always suspicious about those who are glorified as martyrs. None of which is meant to take anything away from Bernard M.’s faith or his many accomplishments on earth.

      • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
        March 26, 2015 - 11:47 am | Permalink

        It is his willingness to die his faith, that I find to be admirable, to me there could be no more indication of belief, than your willingness to give your life for it.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 26, 2015 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      This is the World Wide Web: not all of us are American and to many of us “British” is not a four-letter word!

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 26, 2015 - 10:57 am | Permalink

        Amen–this is also, and more importantly, the worldwide communion of faith. One’s nationality is not a criterion for sainthood, y’all!

        • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
          March 26, 2015 - 11:51 am | Permalink

          My problem with molly brandt’s sympathizing with the british, was that it was at the expense of her own people, along with the fact, it is in addition to the fact that she owned slaves, together, this illustrates a pattern of less than saintly thoughts and behaviors.

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 26, 2015 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

          And not all of us who are Americans think that British or Iranian or Spanish or Whatever are four-letter words. I’ve been dismayed at the display of other-phobia that has proliferated around Molly matchups.

  30. Sherryl's Gravatar Sherryl
    March 26, 2015 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Initially I thought I’d vote for Bernard but the write up on Molly was so well done, I changed my mind. Both saints were unknown to me and equally admirable. This is getting more fun everyday!

  31. Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld's Gravatar Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld
    March 26, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Jane C—The house in the painting looks a lot like Johnson Hall in Johnstown, NY, complete with the two blockhouses, and the painting appears on the Johnson Hall Wikipedia page. I also voted for Molly Brant because of my Saratoga County upbringing…although well aware that Native American behavior during the pre- and Revolutionary War period was not always exemplary (poor Jane McCrea)…

    • Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
      March 26, 2015 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      Mark–OnceSevenYearsOld–Yes, I think you are correct. Not unusual (but perhaps lacking in architectural creativity!) both Chiefswood and Johnson Hall are almost identical. Chiefswood was in fact the home of George Johnson, one of Molly Brant’s children, who became a Mohawk chief. He and his wife had children of their own, one of whom was E. Pauline Johnson, a celebrated poet who used her native identity to celebrate and promote First Nations cultures. Thanks for pointing out Johnson Hall to me, and allowing me to correct my error!

      • Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld's Gravatar Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld
        March 26, 2015 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Um. If you say so. Johnson Hall is a pretty classic Colonial/Georgian/Federal 5-bay and the pictures of Chiefswood show a 3-bay Italianate with projecting middle bay, much-smaller house. But it’s all good. I learned about a new historical site in Canada of which I had never heard before, and I got to read about Johnson Hall again, which I hadn’t visited since I was a kid. God bless those saints.

  32. Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
    March 26, 2015 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Though I crossed the Mohawk River (and the Erie Canal – “Low bridge, everybody down!”) every day through my 18th year, I’ve going with the one who counted the full cost of discipleship. In May, when I get to Cape Town where our son is studying (or not, according to the FB photos) at UCT this semester, I hope to visit the Bernard Mizeki Centre to offer greetings to fellow diocesan staffers. Dioceses don’t name their offices after just anybody, you know.

  33. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    March 26, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    While Molly’s pragmatism may have served her very well Bernard’s kitsch served him better. I was not familiar with either of these saints before and having been introduced to them both consider myself the winner!

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 26, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Amen – in Lent Madness, we all end up winners.

  34. Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
    March 26, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    PS. Maria, that was a kitsch round write up after my own heart!

    • Maria's Gravatar Maria
      March 26, 2015 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! It’s hard to find Milly kitsch!

  35. PhilEsq's Gravatar PhilEsq
    March 26, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know Anglicans/Episcopalian’s had prayer cards! Really? (I assume there was a typo, or perhaps there’s yet another stewardship technique to explore.)

    Despite the marvelous kitsch, Molly’s pragmatic approach to living in the world is a strong recommendation to advance her in the “Madness.”

  36. March 26, 2015 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Not too kitchy people today… probably because a closer-to-home martyr, and a British sympathizer during the Revolutionary war, don’t immediately translate into cutesy cutout toys.
    Bernard for me.

    • Juli T.'s Gravatar Juli T.
      March 26, 2015 - 11:12 am | Permalink

      Well, Len, once again we vote on the opposite side. Wandering through the Mohawk Valley on our way to the Adirondcks, we visited Johnson’s mansion, which is where I first learned about Molly. The house is well worth anyone’s visit.

  37. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 26, 2015 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Very very tough. I’ve voted for both all the way through. They were both new to me and I fell in love with both for very different reasons. Molly’s a woman after my own heart. Bernard’s a man to be honored and emulated. Oliver not withstanding it’s Bernard for me today.

  38. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 26, 2015 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Bernard Mizecki for me, definitely. Even aside from the martyrdom, I could never vote for Molly Brant because of the slave-holding issue, and I fervently hope she doesn’t advance.

    Prospects look pretty dim, though, I have to say….

  39. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 26, 2015 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    Oops. Bernard Mizeki, that is….

  40. Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
    March 26, 2015 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    This is the original Jane C. I don’t know who the other Jane C is.
    Perhaps there is some Musical Kitsch. Maybe Little Richard was singing about the Molly described above: “defies categorization”, “did not typify the acceptable metaphor, “grew into her own voice.” Good Golly Miss Molly!
    From the early, early mornin’ till the early, early night
    You can see miss Molly rockin’ at the house of blue light.
    Good golly, miss Molly, sure like to ball.
    When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’ can’t hear your momma call.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 26, 2015 - 11:04 am | Permalink

      Oh very good, Original Jane C!!! You gave me a good chuckle, on that one. Still voting for Bernard, but that was funny!

  41. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 26, 2015 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    Both of these saints were new to me this year, so in addition to the fun, I thank you for the education!

    Today, despite my ancestors having fought on the opposite side, I have cast my vote for “Molly of the Mohawks,” just because it rolls off the tongue so easily!

  42. Cecile's Gravatar Cecile
    March 26, 2015 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Molly was bold and determined on behalf of her people; Bernard’s passion was focused on Jesus and the Gospel. Different times and circumstances, and I vote for Bernard.

  43. Deb Farnsworth's Gravatar Deb Farnsworth
    March 26, 2015 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    You got me at “dogged stubbornness and occasional defiance of political norms.”
    Molly is my girl!

  44. Cassandra's Gravatar Cassandra
    March 26, 2015 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    I have to vote for Molly, for her strength as a person, as a leader and negotiator, and as a Native woman who stood tall and proud

  45. March 26, 2015 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Bernard, Molly, and Oliver too make me proud to be a Christian!
    Come Easter, I’m going to miss you, Oliver. I’m a bit confused as to when your birthday is, but I can tell you that your comments make each of these 40 days happier for me! Thank you, Young Mister O!

  46. alynn's Gravatar alynn
    March 26, 2015 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    How clever Ms original Jane C! And little Richard has the emotional tembre in his voice that is befitting for a woman that I’m sure must have been the inspiration for many emotional tirades.

  47. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 26, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Though a staunch believer in women’s rights–and responsibilities–something draws me to Bernard today. And it wasn’t just because Molly didn’t really have any kitsch, poor thing.
    Maybe it was the icon on the mug that did it; I’ve sure seen other icons of modern saints written by this same artist–Martin of Birmingham, Harvey Milk, etc.

  48. Marilyn D's Gravatar Marilyn D
    March 26, 2015 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    I voted for Bernard because I believe I read previously that Molly went over to the British side during the Revolutionary War.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 26, 2015 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      What do you mean “because”? We are voting for saints: nationality or partisan affiliation are not a reason to vote one way or another.

      • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
        March 26, 2015 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Geoff McL, dude take a breath. It’s just for fun!!! 🙂

        • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
          March 26, 2015 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I don’t find much fun about jingoism.

  49. George's Gravatar George
    March 26, 2015 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Slave owner versus African martyr! How ironic is that?! Bernard gets the nod today.

  50. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 26, 2015 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    Those whom I’ve felt most passionate about have fallen by the wayside. I’m struggling with getting up any energy for any still left in the race. This has resulted in my switching some loyalties as we move along. Molly has not appealed to me in past rounds, nor has Mizekei, though I supported him last round. Today, however, I’m more drawn to the “warrior woman”(love that portrait) turned “mother of many” sharing her wit and wisdom with her people as well as with all those dignitaries. I’m glad she found her voice. I love the beautiful church in Kingston, Ontario. She might even give Francis a challenge! So Molly it is. Great write up today! And hooray for Oliver and his neat thoughts each day!

  51. Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
    March 26, 2015 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    I must assume that there is a tournament for choosing the greatest American citizen at some web site with a similar URL, given the number of commenters who have stumbled in here thinking that this is that contest. I would ask them to please leave those of us who are here to learn about the saints for their sainthood to get on with it, and start their own website if they wish to debate their civic virtues.

  52. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 26, 2015 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Molly Brant is a fascinating woman, and learning about her life has challenged me to recognize that even saints sometimes make mistakes.

    I had a college professor who pointed out that in most (if not all) major battles in history, the winning side thought that God was on their side, but the losing side thought the same thing. Maybe God is with everyone.

    Brant chose the losing side in a war, but that merely adds to the tragedy of her life and shows what great character she had in the way she survived that defeat and continued working for her communities, British and Mohawk. Brant also owned slaves, which is a sin, but all of us sin one way or another. She made mistakes, but she also helped navigate the Iroquois through a difficult time in history.

    Brant’s work as ambassador between Mohawk/ Iroquois and British helped to make Canada, and the United States, the great nations that they are today.

    Now we can be friends, and completely forget about the time that the future United States citizens defeated the British in the American Revolution, and we can forget about that other time the United States defeated the British in the War of 1812.

    I have great respect for a woman whose diplomacy skills far surpass my own.

  53. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 26, 2015 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    In the end I chose to vote for Bernard Mizeki, in honor of the lasting, positive Christian influence that his life has had in Zimbabwe.

    The Bernard Mizeki College is named after him, and their website has a brief but interesting biography of him.

  54. Carolyn Dorais's Gravatar Carolyn Dorais
    March 26, 2015 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    I am very sorry to see that Molly is so far ahead of Bernard in the early voting, and I am trying to console myself with the thought that surely St. Francis will prevail in the next round even if Bernard does not prevail in this round. Bernard’s life is much more saintly than Molly’s by any conventional measure, and it seems to me that many voters are letting the romance of a beautiful Indian woman who converted to the Anglican faith cloud their judgment.

    As I noted in my comments on the last round, it is easy to understand why the Mohawks sided with the British, and one can’t let that fact alone disqualify Molly from consideration. Nevertheless, the Mohawks employed means of warfare that are as un-Christian as one could imagine. A band of Mohawks under Joseph Brant (Molly’s brother, to whom she was very close) entered the schoolroom of my great-great-great-grandfather’s older brother, a lame young man who couldn’t fight in the war because of his disability, and scalped him, probably in front of his pupils, who probably included my great-great-great-grandfather. In my mind, this type of warfare, committed after the Brants converted, is far different from killing enemy soldiers with a musket on the battlefield.

    • Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
      March 26, 2015 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Although scalping horrifies most people, it is no more than a way of collecting proof of a killing. Other cultures collected heads or hands. And those who are disrespecting Molly for owning slaves are forgetting that slavery was the world-wide norm until recently. Nevertheless, I am more attracted to Bernard’s saintly efforts.

      • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
        March 26, 2015 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

        We’re not talking about “norms”; we’re talking about saints.

        • Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
          March 27, 2015 - 4:09 am | Permalink

          But saints lived in the society of their day. Although they probably treated their slaves better than we did, the Hebrew patriarchs also had slaves. Do we disrespect Abraham and Jacob? Take them is the society they live in, and see what they do with it.

          • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
            March 27, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

            Abraham and Jacob do indeed get a pass – they lived 3,000 years ago, when slavery was ubiquitous and unchallenged.

            However, the Christian world had been having disagreements and discussions about slavery for 1,700 years by the time of Molly Brant. Slavery had been almost completely eradicated in Europe; religious orders had been formed for the precise purpose of ransoming slaves. The Catholic Church had declared that Christians could not hold other Christians as slaves. Spanish and Portuguese monks were arguing against slavery in the New World.

            And many in the New World were opposed to slavery, too, and had freed their slaves (if they ever owned any, which most people didn’t). The Quakers had been arguing against it for almost a hundred years by this time. So I disagree that it was a “norm” by this time, anyway. Every state that bordered New York was already a free state by this time; New York joined this group in 1799.

            Pretty embarrassing that the light of Christ is reflected better by political entities than by Molly Brant, if you ask me. People are supposed to be changed by an encounter with Christ, after all…..

          • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
            March 27, 2015 - 10:22 am | Permalink

            In any case: I don’t think she’s done anything much that would mitigate the slaveholding issue in the slightest. A saint is a person the church lifts as exemplar or model or icon of Christ – and I personally don’t see a single thing that qualifies her for that status…..

  55. Anne Tanner's Gravatar Anne Tanner
    March 26, 2015 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I guess I’m just an old grump–the opposite of Oliver. The whole idea of voting for kitsch turns me off. There–now I feel better!

    • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
      March 26, 2015 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Anne! This “kitsch” stuff turns me right off!
      And while I’m at it: we were all 7 once I would think! Let Oliver be his own “man!”
      And I can’t decide yet between Molly and Bernard

  56. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 26, 2015 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m part Cherokee but I cannot and will not vote for a slave owner even if she was Mohawk (I might be able to overlook siding with the Brits who did not respect or treat well the residents of the 13 colonies, but never could I overlook slave-owning as I’m also part Irish & both Saints Patrick & Brigid were ex-slaves). So Saint Bernard Mizeki the Martyr gets my vote today, though I suspect the Golden Halo will go to a certain Italian monk and birdbaths everywhere will be sporting a Lent Madness Golden Halo Flying Disc atop his saintly head.

    I would point out that the American Revolution is rather remarkable because the army that lost had a reputation as the best & strongest army of that time. So I can see how some choose the Brits to win, but in the War of 1812 the British burnt D.C., including the Library of Congress! They burnt a Library! A Library! That should be a war crime (and it was not the only bad thing those Redcoats did).

    The modern day Brits (who without us might be speaking German) are much better than those who committed such atrocities, but can some of you from outside the US see how many in this country have good reasons to still dislike royal loyalists circa 1775-1815?

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 26, 2015 - 9:08 pm | Permalink

      The burning of D.C. was revenge for the burning of York (Toronto), where I grew up. I suppose that gives me “good reasons” to dislike American revolutionaries of that era, but it would not affect my vote if we were talking about Seabury or White.

  57. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 26, 2015 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    PS I do not support carving anything on living trees as it is not good for the trees, but carving a cross on a tree created by God is nowhere near as horrid as subjugating to slavery a fellow human created in the image of God.

  58. March 26, 2015 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was the kitsch round. Where’s Molly’s kitsch? For this and a myriad of other reasons, I continue to vote for Mizeki (as in voting each round, not several times in this one!)

  59. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 26, 2015 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I am so surprised Bernard is behind. But he has excellent company if he does wind up on the bench. Molly’s charms are lost on me. If it will help, I could set to work on a Mizeki birdbath or concoct and bottle a liter of hand-labeled Bernard Bubbly Joyful Dancing home brew. I’d even make a tee shirt for a stuffed animal.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 26, 2015 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Ain’t it the truth, Peg S !! Ain’t it the truth!

  60. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 26, 2015 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Molly of the Mohawks, she’s my girl!

  61. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 26, 2015 - 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m grateful to the folks who write these saintly and kitschy bios. Have any of you had to support both of your saints in the same round? I’ve learned to love many of these 2015 saints while still remembering Queen Emma and Christina the Astonishing. Who wouldn’t want to fly up into church rafters?

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 26, 2015 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I loved Christina the Astonishing!

  62. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 26, 2015 - 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Mizeki seems saintly His story lacks the flaws of being on the wrong side of history with British rule and slavery. But Molly’s faith and spirit is halo worthy. I vote time-relevant demonstration of how we should live by Brant over martyr Bernard.

  63. Susan Mattingly's Gravatar Susan Mattingly
    March 26, 2015 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday, Oliver ! I so look forward to your comments. I think the SEC needs to do an interview with you for their blog !

    • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
      March 26, 2015 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

      That sounds like great idea

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 26, 2015 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

        That would be cool.

  64. John G.'s Gravatar John G.
    March 26, 2015 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    As a rookie to Lent Madness, I have to ask what is the schedule for next week? I take it that Monday and Tuesday will knock out the Faithful 4 round, so will the Golden Halo match up be on Wednesday? I am just wondering what in the world I am going to do on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday without a Lent Madness matchup.

  65. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    March 26, 2015 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    All Saints Be Praised! I considered passing on this round because I didn’t feel particularly moved by the candidates. I didn’t want to show favoritism for sex or ethnicity because of the oversimplification of making a Saintly choice, despite the instruction to be as studious or superficial as we might choose. We are focusing on these wonderful, historical, iconic religious leaders and I suddenly felt emotional about it all. The Bernard cross on the tree. I have chosen to have it carved in granite five times now, just to the left and slightly above my dear departed’s inscripted names. It’s beautiful.

  66. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    March 26, 2015 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Are we voting on saintliness or the better politician and the rest of the world be damned? If it’s saintliness, there’s no contest, Mizeki is the one who put his faith first at the cost of his life.

  67. Sandy Matson's Gravatar Sandy Matson
    March 26, 2015 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

    So is there any lent madness Kitsch? Like a mug for my desk?

    • Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
      March 26, 2015 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Yes, click on Lentorium on the website. I am the proud owner of two (2!!) Frances Perkins mugs. I bought one and the next year won one from my church’s bracket contest.

  68. Sue Barnes & Jan Parks's Gravatar Sue Barnes & Jan Parks
    March 26, 2015 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    This may be a bit off the topic, but if you have not purchased, or been given, a Saintly Scorecard booklet you might want to consider it, even at this late date. There are some saintly inspired recipes at the back and my aunt and I vote for the Medieval Gingerbread Cookies. They have been baked and shared and enjoyed by several with a very simple review: delicious! Thanks for including them in the booklet.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 26, 2015 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

      There’s a slight problem with your suggestion. There are no Saintly Scorecards available no except the digital ones. Print ones haven’t been available since about the first week of LM. Not all of us have the digital capacity so we’re SOL.

  69. Wendy's Gravatar Wendy
    March 26, 2015 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Bernard. I am mystified by the troubles some people have with Molly being on the British side and then therefore voting for Bernard. He was in Mashonaland precisely because he was (loosely defined) “on the British side” – having entered the region under Bishop Knight-Bruce one year after the colonizing column of settlers and soldiers that came in to Mashonaland with the British South Africa Company (BSAC). The people who killed him were rising up against the BSAC’s rule there – which was highly extractive of both forced labor and goods, especially cattle. The participants in that rising conflated all Christian missions and their catechists (white or black) with the white colonizers. From the point of view of the people in Marandellas district where Mizeki was working, he was a foreigner. His story is inextricably linked with the larger tale of colonization and the imperial ambitions of Cecil Rhodes. Check out the news for how Rhodes is going down these days in South Africa and Zimbabwe!! All of that said, I voted for Mizeki because I perceive that he himself — whatever larger forces swirled about him — was a man of convicted Christian faith. He was willing to sacrifice his life to make his witness and stay near to the people in his pastoral care even though he surely knew he could be murdered. That to me is saintly. It is more saintly than I imagine I could be, though I would *hope* for that kind of clarity and courage in similar circumstances. I also respect the reverence in which his memory is held by the people in that district of Zimbabwe today, and trust their judgment on his worthiness for being held a saint.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 26, 2015 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the complexity of it all! Thank you, Wendy, for giving this perspective.
      “[T]hey were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one, too!”

  70. Jen Ochsner's Gravatar Jen Ochsner
    March 26, 2015 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    As much as I admire what Bernard made happen in his homeland, I have to go with Molly, our New York State gal! She walked in two worlds and brought the best of each together………………go Molly Brant!

  71. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 26, 2015 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Both today’s candidates for advance to the next round illustrate the inescapable conflict between Caesar’s rule and Christ’s, the two cities of St. Augustine. While we are in this world we live in both. I’m thinking globally but today voting locally, because barring the unforeseen I’m more likely to find myself in Molly’s situation than Bernard’s.

  72. Linda Berg's Gravatar Linda Berg
    March 26, 2015 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I did not vote for Molly in the first round. As a Daughter of the American Revolution, needless-to-say, I felt that I had to be true to the American cause–Molly supported the British. I did vote for Bernard in the first round–you have to admire a man of faith and love who lived and spread his Christian faith in what could only be a hostile environment. However, I did vote for Molly this round. I like a strong woman!

  73. Cindy Curry's Gravatar Cindy Curry
    March 26, 2015 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Weeeeeeeellllllll — after MUCH pondering I actually manually changed my vote to Bernard….to me, Molly is an inspiration, while Bernard is an icon, beckoning us further into the PRESENCE….

  74. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 26, 2015 - 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Starting to slip into LMW…

  75. Rex McKee's Gravatar Rex McKee
    March 26, 2015 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Tough decision… Hover, have to follow my strategy here… Molly it is.

  76. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 26, 2015 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    This time I voted for Bernard, based on his life of service to God and his people, and extended witness even unto death.

  77. Mollie Turner's Gravatar Mollie Turner
    March 26, 2015 - 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Bernard because of the clarity of his saintliness–though after I read Oliver’s post I softened toward Molly. What I really think is that Oliver should get his very own Golden Halo–what a kid!

  78. Diane HH's Gravatar Diane HH
    March 27, 2015 - 7:53 am | Permalink

    How can you resist someone who,disappears in a flash of light and the beating of many wings? Alas, Bernard will also disappear from the next round.

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