Brigid of Kildare vs. Elizabeth

A choice between two women today, one from 5th century Ireland and the other from Biblical times. Brigid of Kildare, whose theme song, based on her penchant for giving material possessions to the needy, may well be the Red Hot Chili Peppers’Give it Away Nowfaces Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, whose theme song would presumably be that early hit known as the Hail Mary.

In yesterday’s Madness, Francis of Assisi stormed to victory over John Wycliffe 66% to 34% and will face the winner of Balthazar vs. Cecilia in the next round.

In case you missed yesterday’s edition of Monday Madness you can catch it here. Then readjust your Lenten priorities to insure you never again miss Tim and Scott’s hard-hitting commentary.

brigid-of-kildare-icon-from-blog-eternal-fire-in-uk-could-be-an-aidan-hart-iconBrigid of Kildare

Brigid was born into slavery in 453 CE in what is now known as Ireland. She was born out of wedlock to a Druid high priest named Dubhtacht and an enslaved woman named Brocca. Dubhtacht promptly sold Brigid off, since he was hoping for a boy.

This plan didn’t work; Brigid arrived back at her father’s house when she came of age — and had freshly converted to Christianity as well. (Saint Patrick was already active in Ireland by this point, so her conversion was not surprising, but it really annoyed her father).

What further irked her father was Brigid’s practice of giving away every single thing in his house to any impoverished person who asked. Food, clothing, silver — Brigid gave it away without a second thought in order to aid the poor who flocked to her generous spirit. When Brigid gave away his jewel-encrusted sword, her father reached the end of his rope and was determined to sell her to the king.

The king didn’t share Dubhtacht’s frustration — and as he was convinced that she was a holy person, the king promptly gave Brigid her freedom.

Brigid had one goal in mind. She marched across Ireland, from Leinster to Connaught, to find and buy her mother’s freedom. After this, Brigid became a nun, and established a monastery at Kildare, where she lived for the rest of her life.

The Kildare monastery was a double monastery —meaning men and women monastics lived together — and Brigid was the abbess over both houses. It was the first such establishment, but others soon followed throughout the Celtic countryside. As abbess,Brigid was sought out for her advice and counsel, and Kildare became a great cathedral city in Ireland and a center for the arts, learning, and spirituality.

Ever the consummate hostess, many of the miracles associated with Brigid had to do with food — especially dairy foods. Her cows were rumored to give milk three times a day. In one of the most mystical stories of Brigid’s life, we find her miraculously whisked through time and space to be the midwife to Mary and wet nurse to baby Jesus. It’s easy to see why Brigid is celebrated as the patron to both dairy farmers and lactating women.

Brigid was known for being wise and generous and good at explaining the gospel in the people’s language and culture. Legend has it that she went to visit a dying man who was out of his mind with fever. She sat beside him to console him, and as she sat, she started weaving together rushes from the floor into a cross shape. The man saw what she was doing and asked what the cross meant. She explained it, and the man was moved to ask for baptism. To this day, Saint Brigid’s cross is omnipresent in Ireland.

Brigid died at Kildare in 525 CE, but her life and her presence echo still across Ireland and throughout the world today.

Collect for Brigid of Kildare

Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of your blessed servant Brigid, and we give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Megan Castellan


We are introduced to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, in Luke’s Gospel. Elizabeth was said to be a descendant of Aaron, Israel’s first priest. She, like so many of the great mothers of the Jewish faith (for example, Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah), was old and barren. Luke is clear that her sterility was not on account of impiety; she was described as “righteous before God” and said to live “blamelessly according to all commandments and regulations of the Lord.”

Her husband Zechariah was serving as priest, offering incense in the temple, when he was informed that Elizabeth would bear a son in her old age. Zechariah expressed disbelief and was rendered mute until the day John the Baptist was presented in the temple. Elizabeth, on the other hand, modeled trust in God’s promises and was rewarded with a pregnancy entirely free of snarky comments about the amount of pita and hummus she consumed.

Elizabeth lived in seclusion for five months until she was visited by her relative, Mary. At Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in Elizabeth’s womb, leading her to praise Mary proclaiming, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” In this moment she acted as prophet, a role her son would take up when he prepared the way of the Lord in the desert. After the boy was born and when he was presented at the temple, since Zechariah was mute, Elizabeth was obedient to God’s command and named her son John. He would later be described by Jesus as “more than a prophet” and that “among those born of women no one is greater than John.”

The Protoevangelium of James narrated how during Herod’s murderous rage, Zechariah was killed for concealing Elizabeth and John. God led Elizabeth to a mountain and miraculously protected her and her young son so that John could grow and fulfill the mission God had prepared for him. Elizabeth, now an elderly widow with a young child, faithfully raised John, who was later recognized not only as a great prophet and the forerunner to the savior but also as a holy figure to be emulated in his own right.

Collect for Elizabeth

Lord God, we remember before you today Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. May we be so convicted of the presence of Jesus that, like her, we would proclaim as blessed those who bear him into the world. Grant that we would have the deep faith and abiding peace to rest in your promises for this life, no matter how incredible those promises seem to us, and to have the grace and will to proclaim those promises to the world, for the sake of Jesus. Amen.

David Creech


Brigid of Kildare vs. Elizabeth

  • Brigid of Kildare (68%, 4,649 Votes)
  • Elizabeth (32%, 2,204 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,853

Loading ... Loading ...

196 Comments to "Brigid of Kildare vs. Elizabeth"

  1. March 3, 2015 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget the legend of Brigid being consecrated as a bishop!

    • Megan Castellan's Gravatar Megan Castellan
      March 3, 2015 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      It’s coming….it’s coming…..I actually have a story about that. 🙂

    • Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
      March 3, 2015 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      I ‘m Irish what can I do but vote for Brigid!

      • Gail Renborg's Gravatar Gail Renborg
        March 3, 2015 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Yes, me, too. Those Irish roots run deep. I don’t mean to be irreverent, but this whole Lent Madness thing seems rife with humor; I think St. Francis and Brigid would have made a lovely, fun couple had they not lived in different centuries. As for Elizabeth, God Bless her. The last thing I want is to be bearing children in my old age!

        • Lea's Gravatar Lea
          March 5, 2015 - 7:27 pm | Permalink

          I’m a quarter Irish so Brigid got my vote. And I agree completely that bearing in old age would be, um, not wonderful. But then, that is why Elizabeth is a saint and I’m not. 🙂

      • Robert's Gravatar Robert
        March 3, 2015 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Exactly! Brigid vs. Brendan in the finals, I say! : )

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 3, 2015 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

          OH DEAR! A Donahay who became a Devlin — I couldn’t vote that day for sure!

        • Harriette's Gravatar Harriette
          March 3, 2015 - 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Exactly Ole Boy!

  2. Barbara from St. Barnabas's Gravatar Barbara from St. Barnabas
    March 3, 2015 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    I vote for Brigid. I love her perseverance!

  3. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 3, 2015 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    This one’s EASY!! Go Brigid!

  4. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    March 3, 2015 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    Brigid! Who can’t love a saint whose cow gave milk three times a day!

    • Chris's Gravatar Chris
      March 3, 2015 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Only those who had to milk them.

  5. March 3, 2015 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Though I’m no longer in the market for a “lake of beer,” my vote goes to Brigid today.

  6. Lollybee's Gravatar Lollybee
    March 3, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    This is a really tough one!!!

    • Kim's Gravatar Kim
      March 3, 2015 - 10:55 am | Permalink

      This is the toughest decision yet for me…my inquiring mind won out over my heart. Brigid it is.

  7. Robert Corey's Gravatar Robert Corey
    March 3, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Aunt Lizzie sensed his great worth
    But had not attended his birth
    While Brigid crossed time
    Knelt in manger’s grime
    Of those bent in prayer, very first.

    I’d rather believe time travel then ravenous seals. And I want the elate 8 to teach me to make one of those crosses.

  8. Carolyn Roper's Gravatar Carolyn Roper
    March 3, 2015 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I have always wondered about Elizabeth’s age. Was she considered ‘old’ while in her 30s? 40s? 50s?

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      March 3, 2015 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Whatever, it is much more likely that SHE needed Brigid’s birthing and nursing help than Mary did.

  9. Matthew's Gravatar Matthew
    March 3, 2015 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Brigid.

  10. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 3, 2015 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Anyone who recognized Christ before he was even born gets my vote any day, any time!! Plus, you have to feel for a Jewish mother whose grown son lived in the wilderness and ate bugs, instead of settling down, marrying and producing grandchildren.

    • Kris Austin's Gravatar Kris Austin
      March 3, 2015 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

      ^^^ LOL! Amen, sister, amen!

      • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
        March 3, 2015 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

        LOL, Kris Austin! And as the guys on “The Best of Car Talk” said the other day, All mothers are Jewish!

      • Vonelle Kostelny-Vogts's Gravatar Vonelle Kostelny-Vogts
        March 3, 2015 - 4:44 pm | Permalink


    • Carol Friendly's Gravatar Carol Friendly
      March 4, 2015 - 2:39 am | Permalink

      the patron saint of our church is St John the Baptist, so of course, i voted for Elizabeth. It is said that John ate locusts, but it was not necessarily bugs. The carob pods that grew around that region were also known as locusts. I think carob pods and wild honey would be yummy.

      • Nancy Gilmour's Gravatar Nancy Gilmour
        March 5, 2015 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I so appreciate bits of info like this that open up further possibilities and insight into our Biblical understanding. SO MUCH still to discover and learn. Thank you!

        • glenda woodward's Gravatar glenda woodward
          March 5, 2015 - 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Locust ( the insect ) are very high in protein. Dates were another item stashed in the travelers bag.

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 5, 2015 - 10:46 pm | Permalink

            Have a date with a locust and go on a trip. Sounds wonderful.

          • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
            March 6, 2015 - 12:50 am | Permalink

            And as food resources get hit by global warming and skyrocketing pooulations, we’ll all be turning to locusts and other insects, which are actually rather tasty. John the Baptist was a forerunner in more ways than one!

  11. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 3, 2015 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I have always enjoyed and admired Brigid. She must have been pretty feisty and strong minded. We have visited her town and had to bring home a small “Brigid” cross.

  12. March 3, 2015 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Have Brigid going all the way to the finals [won’t say who I’ve got her up against, or who’ll win]. She is one of my favs!

    • Art's Gravatar Art
      March 3, 2015 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

      If she wins, we all drink a glass of milk in her honor.

  13. March 3, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    I hope one of our esteemed bloggers will, in the next round(s), tell the story of Brigid converting, through prayer, of course, an entire bathtub of water into an entire bathtub of beer. The beer was for the bishop, who was to be visiting soon.
    Here’s looking at you, Brigid!

  14. Hannah Wilder's Gravatar Hannah Wilder
    March 3, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    This is the hardest one for me so far. They’re both awesome.

  15. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 3, 2015 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    As one of the Three Patron Saints of Ireland, Brigid has my vote. Her connection with the cow, which has totemic status in Ireland, makes her a symbol of Irish identity. But she is also an icon of self-forgetting charity, and we can never have too much of that in God’s household.

    • Chuck from All Saints's Gravatar Chuck from All Saints
      March 3, 2015 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      Favorite Brigid story: Bishops were often dropping in unannounced to the abbey with entourage.
      Perhaps being a little short of vittles for her guests she served them her bathwater as beer.
      Gets my vote!

    • Tammy's Gravatar Tammy
      March 3, 2015 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

      This was difficult, but your comment moved me to tears. I chose Brigid! The image of self-forgetting charity in God’s household is so lovely. It’s what the world needs to be reminded of.

      • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
        March 3, 2015 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Tammy! I often think that tales of the saints, especially the most extravagant ones, remind us of what the practical meaning of following Jesus involves. Only when we die to self, as Bridget did, can we look Jesus in the face (Matthew 25). As one writer put it, “The Son of Man must suffer death upon the cross before we can know the Son of God.”

  16. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 3, 2015 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I came today ready to vote for Elizabeth (similarity in names, after all), but Brigid’s spirit made me think of my mom so much, and laugh over how she had some of the same forcefulness of spirit, that the radio button click went right to Brigid 🙂

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 3, 2015 - 8:41 am | Permalink

      Debbie Bruen-Wilson — please tell us more about Bishop Brigid!

  17. Ruth Paulus's Gravatar Ruth Paulus
    March 3, 2015 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Brigid it is! I wonder if I served my Bishop beer from a bathtub if he would care? Don’t think I will attempt that! A nice glass of milk might suffice! Go Brigid!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 3, 2015 - 8:44 am | Permalink

      Pretty sure a nice glass of milk wouldn’t make it with my bishop.

  18. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    March 3, 2015 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    I voted for Elizabeth because she doesn’t get nearly enough respect – she isn’t even in our Kalendar, and she should be.

    • Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
      March 3, 2015 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Well stated. And she had to put up with her community tysk tysking her for being barren.
      She should be the patron saint of women who cannot conceive, or go through all sorts of
      pain and indignity because of infertility.

      • andrea's Gravatar andrea
        March 3, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Maybe she could also be one of the patron saints for moms?

        • Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
          March 3, 2015 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

          As someone who is pregnant right now and has been taking a great deal of comfort from the joyful positivity of both Elizabeth and Mary, Elizabeth has been my patron saint of the moment! I’m sorry to see her behind – she’s been very special to me lately.

      • michelle's Gravatar michelle
        March 4, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

        John announced the coming Savior. he had the spirit of Elijah. he danced and praised Jesus before he was born. His Mom gets my vote!!!

    • Russ Johnson's Gravatar Russ Johnson
      March 3, 2015 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Elizabeth too, because without her, there would be no John or even more, no Brigid of Dr. Kildare!

  19. BAR's Gravatar BAR
    March 3, 2015 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    I’d love to see what the statistics are on the winners, as to the placement on the website. Are the people who are listed first (at the top) winning more often than those below?
    Just asking.

    • JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
      March 3, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      Well, the 2nd row was consistently the winner – I mean 100% of the time! – all the way from day 1 to day 8! This week has begun with Francis, who was in the top row…

      • Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
        March 3, 2015 - 10:38 am | Permalink

        One exception in the first eight: Molly Brant (first row) defeated Swithun (second row). What’s consistent for me is that I’ve “lost” on all ten so far! As Charlie Brown says, “Sigh.”

        • Susan's Gravatar Susan
          March 3, 2015 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Having only one win, I feel for you. And my guess is that I’ll lose again today. But really: recognizing Christ in the womb? And living with infertility? And remaining gracious? That’s HARD.

  20. Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
    March 3, 2015 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    I love Brigid’s generosity! No one should go hungry ever! What a world this would be if we all shared!

  21. Phil Matthews's Gravatar Phil Matthews
    March 3, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Bridget lead an e employ life in the spirit of Jesus and gets my vote for her wonderful labors on this earth. But I am very fond of her Lake of Beer view of heaven. she wrote of the afterlife–

    I should like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
    I should like the angels of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.
    I should like excellent meats of belief and pure piety.
    I should like the men of Heaven at my house.
    I should like barrels of peace at their disposal.
    I should like for them cellars of mercy.
    I should like cheerfulness to be their drinking.
    I should like Jesus to be there among them.
    I should like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
    I should like the people of Heaven, the poor, to be gathered around from all parts.

    • March 3, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

      This is very convincing. Cheers to her! I found other (slight) variations of the poem with the ending:
      I’d sit with the men, the women of God,
      There by the great lake of beer
      We’d be drinking good health forever,
      And every drop would be a prayer.

    • March 3, 2015 - 9:51 am | Permalink

      Suggesting very strongly how importance a full belly is to right and peaceable though.

  22. Lucy Alonzo's Gravatar Lucy Alonzo
    March 3, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    I think Elizabeth’s support of Mary was extremely important! Let’s remember that under the strictest Jewish laws, Mary could have been executed for being an unwed mother. When her fiance Joseph found out she was pregnant, he “unwilling to expose her to public disgrace , planned to dismiss her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19) The three months she had spent with Elizabeth must have been a great help to Mary in facing the reactions of everyone once her pregnancy became evident. So I am proud to have a daughter nnamed Elizabeth, and proud to vote for Saint Elizabeth for the golden halo!

  23. Don's Gravatar Don
    March 3, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Brigid was sold off by her father in infancy, and later returned to his house and cleaned the place out, giving the stuff to anybody who asked. Daddy issues maybe? LOL! I’m still voting for her.

    • Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
      March 3, 2015 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

      She was no prodigal daughter that’s for sure. Instead of looking for favor, she went in to the house, took all the treats and gave it away! Quantum leap of thinking! I vote for Brigid.

  24. George Werner's Gravatar George Werner
    March 3, 2015 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    My grandmother was Brigid, family from Kildare- when you visit the County, you’ll hear locals consider her namesake Saint Patrick’s equal.

  25. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 3, 2015 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one! Usually the fantastic aspect of some saints puts me off but the way time travel was presented in this one didn’t knock Brigid out of the running for me. And when pitted against the single mother who first said “Hail, Mary.” Choices, choices!

  26. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 3, 2015 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    A tough one. My heart went to Brigid, but how could I not honor the difficulties Elizabeth overcame? Brigid is gutsy enough to wrestle her way through without the Golden Halo.

  27. John Sorensen's Gravatar John Sorensen
    March 3, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Elizabeth ought to get it, because her actions form a pivotal foundation for the Life of Jesus and the story of Salvation. And, she had to act with much faith because she didn’t have the benefit of how the story would turn out. She had no real idea, except a hunch, about the importance of John or Jesus. However, interest of freshness and a less familiar story, I voted for Bridget.

  28. Tom Van Brunt's Gravatar Tom Van Brunt
    March 3, 2015 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    If Brigid midwife to Mary at the birth of Jesus, she was transported there by Dr. Who in the Tardis.

  29. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    March 3, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Well, there is also the thought that Brigid was actually a Celtic goddess whose identity was changed to make her a Christian saint. We do know that Elizabeth existed.

  30. Mindy's Gravatar Mindy
    March 3, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    I love –but I spent 2 years at St. Patrick’s Pontifical University in the county Kildare, and I have to go with Brigid. One of my favorite corners of Ireland is a little place in Co. Clare where there are 2 holy wells feet away from each other–one for the goddess and one for the saint Brigid. Hmmmm.

  31. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 3, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    As a midwife who regularly wears Brigid’s cross, I knew immediately who I’d be voting for!

  32. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 3, 2015 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Although I have utmost respect for Elizabeth, I adopted Brigid as my personal saint a long time ago, so I have to vote for her.

  33. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 3, 2015 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Bridget as I gave my granddaughter Bridget’s cross several years ago because as a young girl of 8 she started raising money for cancer and she was and is always helping people.

  34. Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
    March 3, 2015 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” The visitation is one of the most joyful stories in the entire Bible. Mary and Elizabeth both had miraculous pregnancies, and were part of this huge moment in salvation history. Instead of being alone, God gave them the companionship of each other. Also in general, I really like the stories where God makes new life happen in barrenness, or where something shouldn’t happen. “For nothing is impossible with God.”

    • Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
      March 3, 2015 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      I know this is not the first time this has come up, but it is frustrating nonetheless: when the author, in an attempt to be factual/matter of fact, fails to bring a beloved saint to life or spark the imagination. Oh well, different day in Lent Madness, same story.

      • Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
        March 3, 2015 - 10:21 am | Permalink

        I think that will happen in subsequent rounds. Hang in there.

  35. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    March 3, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    An Irish woman once told me her reasons for revering St. Brigid.
    1. As both a Christian saint and a pagan goddess, she united Ireland’s spiritual traditions.
    2. She had it all over St. Patrick for miracles.
    I’m also good with St. Brigid’s pro-choice tradition.

  36. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 3, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Well, I win some, I lose some. Yesterday I voted for loser Wycliffe and today, uncharacteristically, I’m going for another hands-down winner. Any Celtic saint has my vote because, as I think I mentioned earlier, I spent 33 years at a church of Aidan of Lindisfarne, and another church in Boulder CO has a mission of St Brigid (which they spell “Brigit”).

  37. Toni Bailey's Gravatar Toni Bailey
    March 3, 2015 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    As a member of St. Brigid’s Guild at Trinity Hattiesburg, I have to vote for St. Brigid. I hope she wins The Golden Halo!

  38. Mary W. Cox's Gravatar Mary W. Cox
    March 3, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Brigid gets my vote–though I do understand how her dad might have been perturbed by her giving away all his stuff.

    Generous daughter
    proved costly–Dad was mad, cows
    were tired. The poor? Fed!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 3, 2015 - 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Lovely poem. Wish I’d written it.

  39. Jennifer B-C Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer B-C Seaver
    March 3, 2015 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to Elizabeth. Without her, we would not have John the Baptist and without his baptizing Jesus, we might not have Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God.

  40. KLF's Gravatar KLF
    March 3, 2015 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    I voted for Bridget, in solidarity with the poor and enslaved, but I did want to share this reflection about Elizabeth. Has it ever occurred to anybody else to wonder how Elizabeth knew that the baby’s name was to be John? Zechariah was mute — he couldn’t tell her. Everybody was surprised by the name — it wasn’t just coincidence. I think Elizabeth must have been taught to read and write. Maybe Zechariah taught her himself during their long, childless union. That notion has always intrigued me.

    • March 3, 2015 - 9:44 am | Permalink

      Why ever not? She’s the wife and daughter of a priest, after all. Luke tells us Zechariah ‘writes on a slate,’ to confirm the baby’s name is John. He must have spent 9 long months talking to Elizabeth on that slate. Very good lesson in patience for both of them.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 3, 2015 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Interesting thought. Just one mor reason why I LOVE LM.

  41. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    March 3, 2015 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    You had me at “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

  42. Priscilla's Gravatar Priscilla
    March 3, 2015 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    When I read Brigids story one word came to mind–spunky!

  43. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 3, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    In honor of my precious granddaughter, Bridgette, I am casting my vote for Brigid.

  44. Jimmy's Gravatar Jimmy
    March 3, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    This one was a tough choice! Elizabeth was wonderful in her support of Mary, but my vote went to Brigid for her dedication to helping those in need

  45. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    March 3, 2015 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    Elizabeth all the way!

  46. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    March 3, 2015 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Oh the difficult decision! Elizabeth has my heart as an older mother and mentor to Mary. Today I put my Irish heritage aside and vote for Elizabeth.

  47. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 3, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Such a hard decision! Both such worthy women. Had to go with St. Elizabeth.

  48. David M.'s Gravatar David M.
    March 3, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    This morning is a contest between folklore and legend. Neither should survive the next round.

    • March 3, 2015 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      oooo…..get Mr. Crankypants some coffee, stat!

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 3, 2015 - 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Something sweet to suck on also might help.

  49. Mike Fox's Gravatar Mike Fox
    March 3, 2015 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    There is a relationship between Saint Brigid and the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Both are associated with wells, cows and midwifery, for example. This relationship is a plus in my book, because it is an example of a Saintly presence that transcends cultural traditions. So Brigid gets my vote.

  50. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    March 3, 2015 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Very tough choice! I went with Elizabeth, though, for her support of Mary and her example of faith. She brought up John the Baptist, after all. I feel good if I can just get my kids to church on time and keep them from wiggling in the pews. She was a rock star.

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      March 3, 2015 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Though fascinated by the Brigid lore, I find myself wondering if maybe we need saints who not only urge us to get the poor “flocking” to our generosity but convict us to speak out about things like lifting economic valleys and leveling mountains.

  51. Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan's Gravatar Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan
    March 3, 2015 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Such beauty is the Irish spirit.

  52. Kelley Brown's Gravatar Kelley Brown
    March 3, 2015 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    Today I vote for St. Brigid of Kildare. Not only is she one of the three patron saints of Ireland, but she is the patron saint of lactating women. Been there, done that, wish I had known of you back when. Sorry, Elizabeth, but I look forward to having an opportunity to vote for you in the future.

  53. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 3, 2015 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    I can’t resist stories of older women being miraculously blessed with children, so my vote went to Elizabeth. Raising John the Baptist had to be very challenging – he can’t have been an easy child. And if she lived to know of his death, what sorrow she felt. Elizabeth for me!

  54. Kathi's Gravatar Kathi
    March 3, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    this one was way harder than most of the others. 2 women, both offering great examples. Elizabeth for her faithfulness to God and her welcome to Mary and Jesus, and Brigid for her choice of giving away everything to those in need…But Brigid inched it out in my mind because we know more of her.

  55. Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
    March 3, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Speaking as the mother of teenagers, the woman who managed to raise John the Baptist to adulthood without strangling the boy who was likely one of the most self-righteous, knowitall adolescents of all time gets my vote. Elizabeth earned her chance at the Golden Halo!

  56. Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
    March 3, 2015 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Well, I was surprised , after I voted for Brigid, that she was in the lead. I figured Elizabeth would be an easy win. I was a bit torn at first – My second daughter’s middle name is Elizabeth (in honor of this Elizabeth) but my first daughter is about to give birth and so the patron saint of lactating women has to get my vote today.

  57. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 3, 2015 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    I believe that Saint Brigid’s name can also be spelled as Saint Brigit as well as Saint Bride.

    (If Brigid/Brigit/Bride wins the Golden Halo then will the 2016 edition of the Lentorium include purple-shrouded Saint Brigid crosses?)

  58. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 3, 2015 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    Had Brigid not been up against Elizabeth, I would have voted for her. However, I must cast my vote for a woman who not only gratefully and gracefully embraced a late-in-life pregnancy, but also provided Mary with a comfortable and safe place to spend the first months of HER pregnancy. So, Elizabeth, for gladly suffering the discomforts of pregnancy at a time when you probably also had arthritis, acid reflux, and insomnia, I raise one of Brigid’s beers to you!

    • Noele's Gravatar Noele
      March 3, 2015 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

      lovely insight

    • Georgette's Gravatar Georgette
      March 3, 2015 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Cheryle … I’m with you on this one … very difficult to choose between such strong and spiritual women, but Elizabeth wins my vote in today’s challenge. I too raise one for Brigid!

  59. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 3, 2015 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    It is too bad that we can only vote for one….I voted for Brigid. But E lizabeth also touches my heart..what wonders are presented

  60. Cindy Curry's Gravatar Cindy Curry
    March 3, 2015 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    Two beautiful icons of faithfulness & obedience….my vote goes to Brigid for rather personal reasons – aside from a bit of Irish blood in the veins…I named my Calico tabby cat for Brigid 8 yrs ago, & while she is quite faithful, she has yet to internalize the hospitable features of her patron saint….although she has mellowed somewhat & generally deigns to observe from her throne rather than behave in a decidedly un-Brigid-like way toward guests….

  61. Claudia Horner's Gravatar Claudia Horner
    March 3, 2015 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Goo Lord, when do we get an easy match-up, something like Mother Teresa vs. Mama June? Do you have to make Lent so darn hard? I was looking for UConn versus Harrisburg Area Community College, a little rest for for the brain, etc. etc.

    • Claudia Horner's Gravatar Claudia Horner
      March 3, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

      The challenge hit me right in the fingers, good Lord!

  62. Maribeth's Gravatar Maribeth
    March 3, 2015 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    This is where Lent Madness gets serious for me. Not *too* serious, but I would love to see Elizabeth crowned with the Golden Halo since she and Mary are part of my self-appointed feast day, the Visitation. (As in Mary + Elizabeth = Maribeth?) Like I said, not *too* serious, but Elizabeth is a true heroine and role model for me, calling forth the glory of God, the saving grace of Jesus, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. She doesn’t point to herself as holy or even important, but brings forth the best in others. As you consider your vote, remember that she inspired Mary to give us her glorious Magnificat.

    • Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
      March 3, 2015 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

      You have absolutelynailed it. Thank you for this.

    • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
      March 3, 2015 - 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said! All day I have felt called to vote for Elizabeth. Now I know why. Thank you

  63. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 3, 2015 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Elizabeth has been one of my spiritual heroines for most of my life. i vote for her!

  64. lysbeth Andrews's Gravatar lysbeth Andrews
    March 3, 2015 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for both of them, but Brigid won my vote, by a slip of the MOUSE ! I humbly confess that I have been a member of St. John Baptist in Thomaston Maine for 29 years.

  65. March 3, 2015 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thank you to Phil and Lou for posting the beautiful poem by St. Brigid. Early Celtic poetry is stunning, and this image of Heaven is wonderful: one big party with everyone attending, including the beer drinking angels and people of God, the poor. Although I have a daughter named Elizabeth, I have to vote for St Brigid.

  66. Abby's Gravatar Abby
    March 3, 2015 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    I would probably rather vote for Brigid, but since one of my two churches is named St. Elisabeth’s for the mother of John the Baptist, out of loyalty I voted for her.

  67. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 3, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    From James Kiefer’s Hagiographies
    “The Giveaway” (from THE LOVE LETTERS OF PHYLLIS MCGINLEY, New York, Viking Press, 1957)

    Saint Bridget was
    A problem child.
    Although a lass
    Demure and mild,
    And one who strove
    To please her dad,
    Saint Bridget drove
    The family mad.
    For here’s the fault in Bridget lay:
    She WOULD give everything away.

    To any soul
    Whose luck was out
    She’d give her bowl
    Of stirabout;
    She’d give her shawl,
    Divide her purse
    With one or all.
    And what was worse,
    When she ran out of things to give
    She’d borrow from a relative.

    Her father’s gold,
    Her grandsire’s dinner,
    She’d hand to cold
    and hungry sinner;
    Give wine, give meat,
    No matter whose;
    Take from her feet
    The very shoes,
    And when her shoes had gone to others,
    Fetch forth her sister’s and her mother’s.

    She could not quit.
    She had to share;
    Gave bit by bit
    The silverware,
    The barnyard geese,
    The parlor rug,
    Her little
    niece-‘s christening mug,
    Even her bed to those in want,
    And then the mattress of her aunt.

    An easy touch
    For poor and lowly,
    She gave so much
    And grew so holy
    That when she died
    Of years and fame,
    The countryside
    Put on her name,
    And still the Isles of Erin fidget
    With generous girls named Bride or Bridget.

    Well, one must love her.
    In thinking of her
    There’s no denial
    She must have been
    A sort of trial
    Unto her kin.
    The moral, too, seems rather quaint.
    WHO had the patience of a saint,
    From evidence presented here?
    Saint Bridget? Or her near and dear?

    • Michelle Crull's Gravatar Michelle Crull
      March 3, 2015 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Ann, Thank you for posting this wonderful poem.

    • Mollie Turner's Gravatar Mollie Turner
      March 3, 2015 - 1:07 pm | Permalink


    • Becky Smith's Gravatar Becky Smith
      March 3, 2015 - 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Loved the poem!

    • March 3, 2015 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

      @Ann: Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful poem! I love it!

    • March 3, 2015 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

      that poem always makes me snort!

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 3, 2015 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

      That is giggleworthy!

    • shawn's Gravatar shawn
      March 4, 2015 - 8:07 am | Permalink

      That is awesome. I will vote for Bridget because she reminds me of my mother!

    • shawn's Gravatar shawn
      March 4, 2015 - 8:39 am | Permalink

      p.s. My mother became a street person as a result of schizophrenia back in the 50’s – 60’s. When she moved into a welfare hotel in San Diego I sent things to her which she gave away to her street buddies! Although mentally ill, she always had an awesome loving and giving and unselfish Spirit!

      • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
        March 4, 2015 - 11:24 am | Permalink

        shawn, what a wonderful story! In earlier times many people we’d call “street people” and labelled “mentally ill” were received as holy people or saints. Your mom would very likely have been received in just that way, like the “holy fool” Basil, honored by St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. You know, the one with the multicolored onion domes? Your mom’s experience has enabled you to see Christ’s presence where most of us would turn aside, and that’s a blessing on us all!

        • shawn's Gravatar shawn
          March 4, 2015 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Oh…thank you so much….I really appreciate your appreciation. In spite of all her suffering in appearances her spirit never died! I will look up St. Basil….didn’t know about him.

          • glenda woodward's Gravatar glenda woodward
            March 4, 2015 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Feeling the holy spirit right here. Go Lent Madness ! That’s what it’s all about.

        • shawn's Gravatar shawn
          March 4, 2015 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

          That last comment was to you, John Lewis, with much gratitude.

  68. John Hogan's Gravatar John Hogan
    March 3, 2015 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    As a man of Irish decent, Brigid gets my vote!

  69. Martie Collins's Gravatar Martie Collins
    March 3, 2015 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    I had too vote for the single mom who raised John the Baptist.

  70. Linda Clader's Gravatar Linda Clader
    March 3, 2015 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    A vote for our Celtic roots. This was a hard one, complicated by the somewhat questionable veracity of all the biographical information. So I am forced to choose which myth is more appealing (note: I believe myths are true, just not factual).

  71. Elizabeth Anne's Gravatar Elizabeth Anne
    March 3, 2015 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    I revere the legacy of Brigid, but I must vote for my namesake, in honor of all those women who had to spend one of the most wondrous times of their lives in seclusion (me, due to severe nausea, vomiting and weight loss in the first 6 months of pregnancy–and only at age 37) and for all those parents who prayed much over a brilliant but challenging child.

  72. daryl storey's Gravatar daryl storey
    March 3, 2015 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    i love the story of Brigid and voted for her but i also loved the line about Elizabeth, getting to eat pitas and hummus without any snarky weight gain comments!

  73. Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
    March 3, 2015 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Another unfair matchup (for the voters, not the saints!). My Marian devotion wants to vote for her kinswoman, and my Irish pride favours Bridget. Reading of Bridget’s heroism, charity, and influence in a “man’s world” tilted me to her.

  74. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 3, 2015 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    Well behaved women rarely make history. Go Brigid!! She had more moxie in her little finger than a 300 lb. anything has in its whole body!

  75. Ralegh's Gravatar Ralegh
    March 3, 2015 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    I feel like I really should vote for Elizabeth, but I love time-traveling saints with magic cows, so Brigid it is!

  76. Donald Lowery's Gravatar Donald Lowery
    March 3, 2015 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t Brigid also brew really good beer? Didn’t she want to share what she brewed with our blessed Lord himself?
    Being of the Irish descent, and a lover of a good beer (not Bud, I’m sorry) it is Brigid for me.

  77. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    March 3, 2015 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    As Maribeth has pointed out above, let’s not forget that the Magnificat is Mary’s song in response to Elizabeth’s praise. So no Elizabeth means no Magnificat.

    From the Book of Common Prayer:

    My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
    For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
    For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
    For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
    And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
    He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
    He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
    He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
    He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
    (Gloria Patri.)

    • Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
      March 3, 2015 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

      And what would Evening Prayer be without the Magnificat?

  78. Bill Ericson's Gravatar Bill Ericson
    March 3, 2015 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth for me in honor of my not so saintly grandmother whom I called Nana.

  79. Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
    March 3, 2015 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with Elizabeth – mother of John the Baptist – Jesus’ cousin. Also, I have a Cousin Elizabeth.

  80. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 3, 2015 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    My wife is half-Irish……

  81. Randall Byrd's Gravatar Randall Byrd
    March 3, 2015 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Tough choice. I went with Brigid. She traveled thru time and space to be the wet nurse for Jesus. Props to Elizabeth for putting up with Zechariah. Although I thought John was sent to live with the Essenes as a young child?

  82. Solange De Santis's Gravatar Solange De Santis
    March 3, 2015 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Really? You can vote *against* the mother of John the Baptist? Give me a break, Irish diaspora.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 3, 2015 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I certainly wasn’t voting _against_ anyone – today is just one of those blessed days when you can’t go wrong either way!

  83. Ginny's Gravatar Ginny
    March 3, 2015 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I vote Brigid, in honor of my sweet granddaughter, Brigid Grace!

  84. Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
    March 3, 2015 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    First, as a someone who is a physician (retired/disabled), I have to point out that the average life expectancy of people before the advent of antibiotics was in the 30s to 40s. It still is in countries that have only a primitive level of medical care! The ages of people in the Bible — when they are in their “100s” and above are clearly not real. The problem is that there were no birth certificates back then and the ages merely signify that the person was “old” (older than most people, I think would be an accurate description). Why specific ages were picked, I am not sure — perhaps someone who is more of a Biblical scholar has some ideas on the subject!? Suffice it to say is that no one, especially in Biblical times lived that long …… That does not, however, imply that Elizabeth’s pregnancy was not a miracle. The whole age range of the reproductive years from the onset of menses to menopause has actually increased in modern times (there are a lot of reasons for that). So Elizabeth may have been beyond the average reproductive age of most women at that time, as was Zechariah beyond the reproductive age of most men of the time (even men slow down with age)!

    Having said that, however, as a quarter Irishman, I had to vote for Brigid! Nothing against Elizabeth, just a personal choice!

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 3, 2015 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Phil Kober, personal choice is a good description of how most of us wind up voting, but we have to remember one thing: we don’t choose saints, they choose us!

  85. Noele's Gravatar Noele
    March 3, 2015 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow executive board…………Without knowing Brigid personally, I think she would have been grossly offended with the song you chose for her.

  86. Mollie Turner's Gravatar Mollie Turner
    March 3, 2015 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Brigid’s Well in Kildare is truly a place of healing, once you get past the rather odd shrine. I’ve experienced it first-hand, and simply must vote for Brigid. Elizabeth and Mary’s Visitation tug at my heart–some of my favorite art!–but Brigid claims it.

  87. Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
    March 3, 2015 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Tis is a tough one. Got to love Elizabeth who was more obedient and faithful than her husband the priest. Also really gotta love the Abram/Sarai role reversal with Elizabeth and Zechariah. On the other hand Brigid giving away her awful father’s stuff is such a great story. Decisions decisions

  88. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 3, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Hard choice today.
    Both always remember worthy.
    But Elizabeth it is.

  89. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    March 3, 2015 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I vote before reading any of the comments and so I am pleased with the results so far, but would not be unhappy if Elizabeth jumps ahead and wins. Either way I am lucky to learn so much about both amazing women. Thank you SEC and Lent Madness for keeping us on our toes!!

  90. Jim Bimbi's Gravatar Jim Bimbi
    March 3, 2015 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    For the second day in a row I have battled my temptation to preserve some sense of bragging rights in my bracket, and gone with who i guessed would be the less sentimental favorite. I have twice been blessed (or is that “twice-blessed”) to have made two visits to the village of Ein Karem, the traditional home of Elizabeth and Zechariah, and the birthplace of John the Baptist. While I have also walked some of the “thin places” of the Celtic saints, the presence of holiness in Ein Karem, and the spirit of that great lady Elizabeth, will be with me all my earthly days.

  91. March 3, 2015 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

    As the priest of a tiny Universal Anglican parish called “St. Brigid in the Desert,” I guess you know who I voted for! The story of her being transported through time and space to midwife Jesus’ birth is new to me!

  92. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    March 3, 2015 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    My favorite part is when Brigid marched across Ireland to purchase her mother’s freedom. As mom to 16 and 13 year old girls, this comforts me that daughters do eventually love their mother again. Or at least find them worthy!

  93. March 3, 2015 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I won’t know my vote until I’m physically making it. This one’s too hard! The woman who gave us the Hail Mary vs a female Irish saint (& abbess!)

  94. anita's Gravatar anita
    March 3, 2015 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Bountiful Brigid, Mary of the Gael!

  95. Brigid's Gravatar Brigid
    March 3, 2015 - 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Brigid! of course. And you spelled it correctly, too. Fabulous! St Brigid is smiling and giving away the fruits of heaven to all who ask.

  96. Megan J's Gravatar Megan J
    March 3, 2015 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    It just gets harder and harder to choose. I ended up going with Brigid, who was able to turn her teen rebellion(against a parent who had rejected her in the strongest terms at birth) in a way that helped others. I am now raising teenagers and I can only hope that their inevitable rebellion will serve God so well.

  97. Kathy's Gravatar Kathy
    March 3, 2015 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth seems more real to me- and since the women of the Bible have so little written about them, just to be mentioned we must realize how important she was. Also, a grateful, gracious woman who hosted her pregnant, unwed cousin.

  98. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 3, 2015 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you, Jen, as my college-age daughter Elisabeth rolls her eyes every time I mention Lent Madness. *sigh* As others have said, it’s been tough deciding between the patron saint of nursing mothers and late-to-conceive mothers. I was both (mother, not saint!). But as I received so much strength from Sarai, Hannah, and Elizabeth, during my years of infertility, I ended up voting for Elizabeth. The child who eventually came to us, we call Elisabeth Grace. And blessed am I (eye-rolling, not withstanding!).

  99. March 3, 2015 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    While I was taken with the stories about Brigid, in the end I voted for Elizabeth. I’ve always been moved by illustrations of Mary embracing her dear cousin. As many have noted, Elizabeth supported Mary through a time that must have been difficult for her and spoke prophetically about the child she was bearing. But Mary also was a dear friend and support for Elizabeth, a woman surprisingly bearing a child when no one expected her to AND living with a mute husband in the bargain. When Zechariah, a priest, was rendered mute, I wonder what the people of their community thought? Certainly that God was punishing him for some reason. That too must have been hard for the couple and added to the challenges Elizabeth faced. Friendship is one of the primary ways we come to know the love of God, and for me, the friendship of Mary and Elizabeth is as powerful an image of friendship as that of David and Jonathan or Ruth and Naomi.

    • Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
      March 3, 2015 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure that living with a mute husband, given all the hormonal changes during pregnancy and the ages of Elizabeth and Zechariah, was necessarily a bad thing. It may have kept John the Baptist from being from a broken home!

  100. March 3, 2015 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Brigid of Kildare; Elizabeth is well-know, and this is the first time I had heard of Brigid. A contemporary saint of this magnitude deserves more recognition.

  101. Hilda's Gravatar Hilda
    March 3, 2015 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Although Brigid is to be commended for what she did, I voted for Elizabeth. Just like Mary deserves our praise, gratitude and honor for being Jesus’ mother, Elizabeth deserves it too (although of course to a lesser extent) for being John’s mother. Also, I will vote for scriptural fact vs. legends any day.

    • Kim's Gravatar Kim
      March 3, 2015 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

      And if we think raising a teenage Jesus would have been hard, can you imagine pubescent John the Baptist? Holy Righteous Eye Rolling, Batman!

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 3, 2015 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

      “Scriptural fact”? One of the great glories of the Episcopal Church is that it permits fundamentalists to live peaceably alongside those who see a lot of legends in Scripture itself. Peace be unto you, Hilda!

  102. Brenda McH's Gravatar Brenda McH
    March 3, 2015 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Brigid, but it occurred to me that the king gave her freedom, so that she wouldn’t give away all his stuff, too.

  103. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 3, 2015 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Quite a quandary today. I was all ready to pick Brigid as I, growing up Irish Catholic, always had a liking for those female saints. I had aspirations to be like them one day and perhaps still do. I then saw the matchup with Elizabeth who I also always admired as a little girl even though I might not have understood the whole pregnancy thing because I grew up Catholic and those things weren’t discussed in the family with six kids…but I digress. I voted for Brigid just because it was a toss up for me. This is way too hard.

  104. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 3, 2015 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

    The CBs wrote outstanding bios today! Thoughtful! The sprightly Brigid brought Christ to so many people in Ireland and beyond. But, she gave away Other People’s stuff. Other People might find that hard to forgive. “Oh well, that’s just Brigid . Again.”
    Elizabeth, quiet, at home, and pregnant late in life, must have known God had a plan for her baby. How joyful she was when her unborn leapt at Mary’s greeting ! Surely God the Father and the Holy Spirit were present at that meeting.
    Finally, I voted for Elizabeth for that precious moment in time.

  105. glenda woodward's Gravatar glenda woodward
    March 3, 2015 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I suggested Brigid to add to the list. I was thrilled to see her here. I have to say this was a hard vote. Elizebeth deserves the highest honour. She carried John who prepared the way for Jesus to save all us sinners. She gave us the Rosary ,something I depend on often. However I am Irish and I thought to me self..self, what err ya ta do ? So I voted fer Brigid in expectation Elizebeth would lead. But shes not and thats all I’v to say to that. I wish I could give as Brigid. Now days they would lock me up.

  106. Marcia Traner's Gravatar Marcia Traner
    March 3, 2015 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m a member of St Brigid of Kildare Rio Vista,CA!! No question who should get my vote!!

    • Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
      March 3, 2015 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Well spoken.

  107. Gay Greenleaf's Gravatar Gay Greenleaf
    March 3, 2015 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with my Irish great grandmother Bridget who came across as a child and as a widow lived with her daughter, son in law and their eight children in Brooklyn. That must have taken the patience of a saint!

  108. Linda Maloney's Gravatar Linda Maloney
    March 3, 2015 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m Irish, I live in dairy country (northern Vermont), I’m a priest: Brigid for me all the way!

  109. Sr. Brigidssm's Gravatar Sr. Brigidssm
    March 3, 2015 - 5:49 pm | Permalink

    My name Saint, what can I say, of course I voted for her..

  110. March 3, 2015 - 5:49 pm | Permalink

    A Table Grace for St. Brigid

    God bless the poor
    God bless the sick
    God bless the human race

    God bless our food
    God bless our drink
    All homes, O God, embrace.

    • March 4, 2015 - 11:43 am | Permalink

      I am always thankful, but rarely public about it. Thanks for giving a “grace” that makes sense.

  111. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    March 3, 2015 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Two women! I have a bias toward women so this was difficult. On one hand I would like to give recognition to Elizabeth; an old, barren woman made to bear and raise a son like John alone. He sounds as if he needed a Father’s hand. The deciding factor was the cow. I milked a cow once. Any woman who milks a cow three times a day, every day….gets my vote!

  112. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 3, 2015 - 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Nice, Len!

  113. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 3, 2015 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I love Brigid and won’t mind if she wins, but as the late in life mother of a strong-willed child, I voted for my namesake.

    • Frett's Gravatar Frett
      March 3, 2015 - 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Ay-Men! Liz. Even as a not-so-late-in-life mother of my own surprising and strong willed child, Elizabeth has long been a sentimental favorite of mine. And ol’ Zach the speechless, you KNOW he wasn’t easy to deal with, either! I recon Elizabeth was as happy to see Mary as Mary was to see Elizabeth! Solidarity, girls!

  114. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    March 3, 2015 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Elizabeth. Her role as the mother of John the Baptist and the first person to speak through the Spirit that the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb is Lord is too often overlooked.

  115. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 3, 2015 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a tough one. Brigid is a strong and holy woman and I love the Celtic Christians, but my heart is always with Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and the child who leapt with joy in her womb when he recognized his lord and savior. Great measure of the Holy Spirit all around, but I hate to see Elizabeth behind in the polls.

  116. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    March 3, 2015 - 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m Celtic, so it’s Brigid for me.

  117. Nancy Gilmour's Gravatar Nancy Gilmour
    March 3, 2015 - 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always had one foot, sometimes both, outside the church door. Brigid’s life, for her time, speaks to me, a prodigal daughter of sorts.

  118. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    March 3, 2015 - 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I am looking with great anticipation toward a visit to Casa Santa Brigida
    (albeit Roma), soon. Her hair shirt is on display on the 4th floor of the building. Different country, different saint, but compelling likenesses as well. However, Elizabeth is more compelling and I gave her name as a middle name to my youngest daughter. Don’t we all use relevance to factor our choices? And it’s important to support the less popular!
    So Elizabeth for me!

  119. Gail's Gravatar Gail
    March 3, 2015 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Like so many others, this was a very difficult decision for me. I attended St. Brigid grammar school in San Francisco . . . and I named my sweet, amazing, and strong-willed Dutch rabbit Elizabeth. After thoughtful consideration all day, I voted for St. Brigid.

  120. March 3, 2015 - 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth. Because the story of Mary and Elizabeth being there for each other in their pregnancies is such a rare biblical image of two women being there for each other, going through the same thing but in different ways, and sharing that experience.

    And because — I forget where I first saw this pointed out — with Zechariah mute for the duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, that means that Jesus and John spent those few months in utero surrounded by women’s voices.

  121. Patty Weber's Gravatar Patty Weber
    March 4, 2015 - 1:35 am | Permalink

    Two great ladies but I had to vote for Elizabeth as the creator of one of my favorite prayers, her words are in my heart almost every day: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” Beautiful.

  122. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 4, 2015 - 4:38 am | Permalink

    Fully expected to vote for Brigid for her generosity and active pursuit of the gospel, but the collect for Elizabeth changed my mind. I wouldn’t be an Anglican if liturgy didn’t move me. 🙂

  123. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    March 4, 2015 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I failed to vote. I had to travel unexpectedly and was consumed in work all day. Rats. What a great matchup. I loved the perspective on the mute husband. That was wonderful. So glad I went back to read up on what I missed.

Comments are closed.