Brigid of Kildare vs. Kamehameha

The Elate Eight, and our endless fascination with saintly kitsch, continues with Brigid of Kildare facing Kamehameha IV. To make it this far, Brigid defeated Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) and Dionysius the Great. Kamehameha trounced William Laud before besting David Oakerhater.

Yesterday, Francis of Assisi trounced Thecla 71% to 29%. Tomorrow the Elate Eight continues with Bernard Mizeki taking on Molly Brant.

While we all know the real point of Lent Madness is to be inspired by saintly souls and grow closer to Jesus during this holy season, this doesn't mean the competitive spirit remains completely dormant. Over the years, thousands of dollars have been raised in parishes that use the saintly smackdown for charitable purposes. In most places this involves parishioners filling out and submitting Lent Madness brackets in advance with a small donation. When the Golden Halo is awarded, the one who "wins Lent" gets to decide which charity gets the pot.

The point it, we're curious about how people's brackets are faring? Does anyone have a 11081669_10153232593998385_2072347019_nperfect bracket? Is anyone 0-for-Lent? One of Tim's parishioners was pleased to report he'd only gotten three wrong heading into the Elate Eight (see photo). Of course, as he put it, "Most years I only have three correct at this point."

brigid ceramicBrigid of Kildare

As a patron saint of both Ireland and beer, Brigid has much merchandise to her name. For starters, the depictions of Brigid one can procure are as numerous and as varied as the Irish diaspora.

Here’s one in ceramic tile work, in the style of the American Southwest (of course!) It is complete with a little flame above her head, and a butter churn for all her dairy-related miracles.brigid collage 

If you can’t find a commercially available depiction to suit your needs, there are online classes devoted exclusively to making your own Brigid-collage.

True! Like the crystal vortexes of Sedona’s red rocks, it appears that St. Brigid has a special allure for the New Age-inclined among us, and thus we get this gem of a painting. 

china crossIf collages are not quite your style, never fear — you can get Brigid’s cross as a stylish item of decor. On basically anything. Hats, shirts, plates, cufflinks, earrings, sweaters, wall hangings, etc.

We have china! 

We have necklaces! 

If you are worried that silver just doesn’t have that flash, we also have brigid gold medal14K gold! Because nothing speaks of a woman who cheerfully gave away everything she had like a $340 pendant. 

If you’d like to go all DIY/hipster, then there are also real rush crosses available.

rush cross

And also, if you have a hard time finding your keys, thenmarble keychain you can purchase a Brigid’s cross made of real Connemara marble on a keychain. 

But of course, as a famous lover of beer, Brigid has inspired much modern-day brewing as well.

You’ll be pleased to note that there now stands a microbrewery in Kildare, a few miles from Brigid’s old monastery. The Great Divide Brewing Company has a porter named after Brigid (which is not rated so highly. Must be the bathwater overtones.) 

bathtub pubThere is also an entire beer company in the US named St. Brigid’s Brewery, in Washington. And again, should you want to be more hands-on, you can purchase a beer recipe for St. Brigid’s Blonde to make yourself, or with a trusty group of monastics.

And finally, there exists in Detroit, a bar named St. Brigid’s Bathtub Pub—by far the best name for a bar ever. 

Congratulations everyone — a new high in kitsch has been scaled!

-- Megan Castellan

Kamehameha IV

StainedGlass2Kamehameha IV may have reigned for less than a decade, and he may have died as a young man at only 29 years old, but over 100 years later, his legacy and lasting marks can be seen clearly. His imprint remains on the Hawaiian Islands, and images of him, often with his much-loved wife Queen Emma and their young son Prince Albert, are still prominently evident.

Kamehameha IV is credited with being foundational in introducing Anglicanism to the Hawaiian Islands, and one of his great accomplishments is that he translated the Book of Common Prayer into the local language. So it is fitting that, at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu, the church they were instrumental inimages establishing, a stained glass window depicting him and his queen fills the pews with heavenly light.

Portraits of Kamehameha IV, often but not always with Emma and Albert, dot the Islands, including this one of the handsome young king, currently on display at the Bishop Museum. It’s available as a poster.

Here is a sample of the King’s signature, found in historical writings of the times.2000px-Kamehameha_IV's_signature.svg

7c87c1514b25bdf555c5eecc4470cf6cA place not to miss to learn more about Kamehameha IV is the Queen Emma Summer Palace, which was a retreat house for the royal family. The non –profit organization The Daughters of Hawaii saved the site from being torn down and replaced with a baseball park. At the museum and historic landmark gift shop, operated by the Daughters of Hawaii, numerous items emblazoned with images of Kamehameha IV are available.

But you can collect King Kamehameha IV memorabilia without visiting the Islands.

Don’t miss the King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma figurines.

And the King and Queen playing cards (notice he’s the king!)Kamehameha cards-1

Books, including a lasting account of the King's speeches.








Stamps, an important addition for all stamp collections.



And t-shirts!

And pillows!


The search is on for a Kamehameha IV mug to sit on the shelf next to the Lent Madness collection of mugs.

King Kamehameha IV made a lasting impression on the Hawaiian Islands, and evidence of his reign and that of his Queen still abound in many ways, and in many forms.

-- Neva Rae Fox


Brigid of Kildare vs. Kamehameha

  • Brigid of Kildare (55%, 3,270 Votes)
  • Kamehameha (45%, 2,724 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,994

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192 comments on “Brigid of Kildare vs. Kamehameha”

    1. Oliver, it's awfully early for me to up and noisy but let's raise a cheer — Hip Hip Brigid, Hip Hip Brigid, Lead us to the bathrub, Hip Hip Brigid!

    1. Alas, I'm pretty sure that's a reference to the Dragon Ball series of animes, where "kamehameha" (turtle destruction wave) is a massive energy strike certain characters can use.

  1. This was a tough one for me. I admire both of these saints. However, I have to go with Brigid - the patron saint of Ireland & beer!

    1. I'm with you, Barbara - Ireland, beer and she gets bonus points for not being on Thomas' bracket. 🙂

  2. Queen Emma deserves all of her accolades; Kamehameha much less vote is for Brigid.

  3. A .p.s. If you are ever in Hawaii, the Summer Palace in Nuuanu is a wonderful place to visit, on the #4 bus route. One of Hawaii's hidden gems.

  4. I only have three wrong. I am so excited and can't wait for each morning to try the next one.

  5. Voted for both these saints in the earlier rounds. Tough choice. Voted for Kamehamaha this round, but both are certainly worthy.

  6. I'm new to Lent Madness; this is my first year participating. Just a thought for the two saints I had to vote for today (Wed. 03/25)...I was not given any real information about Brigid of Kildare! I'm not up on my Saint's history - all I read was about the pubs and all of the trinkets that memorialize her! That's OK but please give us some real information too...thanks. I do enjoy Lent Madness!

    1. This round is devoted to the trinkets (kitsch) When Brigid was introduced to us in the first round, we got all the serious biographical info. Welcome to Lent Madness.

      1. Don't Like. What's wrong with the fingers doing a little tap dance on the "l" "i""k""e" keys? Even I can manage that at this hour.

  7. I voted for Brigid because I really love butter but I cannot lie... I would absolutely rock that Kamehameha throw pillow. Best saintly kitsch ever!

  8. I cannot in good conscience take the "fun" road and vote for the beer saint, especially in light of the serious issues of drinking that arose a few months ago when a Bishop of our church killed a bicyclist while she was under the influence (apparently) of alcohol addiction. Thus in light of the fact that there is no St. "Debbie Downer" to vote for (who I am apparently following today), I will take the high and royal road and vote for King K.

    1. In her day it was safer to drink beer than water. And she is also patron of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths, healers, cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born babies.

          1. A Kamehameha vote from Tokyo...
            The T-shirt, yes; but the stamp! The playing cards! The stained glass window!
            Won on kitsch, as well as on impact-on-belief...

      1. We're getting to a time again when it's safer to drink beer than water, so Brigid is my vote.

    2. Peter, just because you drink a beer does not mean that you are getting drunk. Lots of people drink A beer, myself included, because they enjoy the complex taste! Even our Lord drank wine, another complex taste that people enjoy. Brigid did not advocate for drinking to excess. There is nothing wrong with an occasional beer or glass of wine or even a cocktail, it is the drinking to the point of inebriation that is the problem. Don't equate the two!

    3. And by the way there are health benefits to drinking in moderation, including preventing heart attacks!

  9. I know of a small school that's doing a bracket like this using people from history and literature. The students nominated the competitors and wrote the information. Not saints necessarily, but inspiring characters. Today, they have George Washington and Cincinnatus. Yesterday, it was Ada Lovelace and Archimedes. The Lent Madness fever is spreading! A good idea deserves to be shamelessly ripped off. They invite others to play along:

  10. I've missed one this far but have to be votes were from the head, not the heart. St. Francis is both and Golden Halo pick.

  11. Herself and her lake of beer for the poor, win my heart. (And of course, you have to remember that beer etc. was not just "booze", but a safe way to preserve grains and fruits etc back in pre-refrigeration days….. so healthy).

    1. also it was difficult to find safe drinking water - beer was safer but I agree, our most serious substance abuse problem, by far, is with alcohol. However I am for Brigid today.

  12. Brigid! And I don't even like beer, so it has to be all about Brigid who gave everything away and connected the ways of her people with the teachings of Christianity! Keep Calm and bridge it on!

    1. Yes, Barbara. Keep calm and Bridge it on. For me the deciding factor was the beer-- anyone tending the health of the population by encouraging the consumption of beer out scores someone organizing a health care system for his subjects.

  13. I voted for reason and historical accuracy with Dionysius in the last round. In this one my heart tells me to go with the spirits. My wife of 47 years, may now be looking down with more favor at me supporting the Irish lass

    1. Two good women you be talkin' about there. My good man is probably with them lookin' favorably on my vote. A community of saints.

  14. Surprised myself today. After supporting Brigid and not supporting Kamehameha in previous rounds, I switched loyalties and voted for the King. I think the prayer book translation and my love of the Hawaiian Islands finally got to me. I don't think either one, however, will be able to unseat Francis.

  15. Brigid All The Way!!! Beer, Possibly the first woman bishop, and it took Henry VIII to temporarily put out the flame of her Monastery. What a gal!

  16. Cheryl, click on Bracket 2015 at the top of the page, and the links to all the match-ups with their biographies are available there.

    This is a tough match. I love Brigid, who established early monasteries in her country, gave her father's riches to the poor, was not afraid of kings, and worked to administer to the poor. I also loved Kamehamaha who worked to bring health care to the population, saying that "the sick are our brothers and sisters", and translated the Book of Common Prayer into the local language. Both had a profound effect on their land, both were full of compassion and Godly love. Brigid lived the more ascetic life. I'm voting for her.

  17. What's with all the commercial stuff? And beer? Alcohol is no funny matter... And new age? Has anyone read the scriptures lately?

        1. I don't understand participating without getting the lay of the land first and knowing what it is your participating IN! (Please pardon my shouting with a dangling participle! ☺️)

  18. Have to vote for Kamahameha as he was present at my Uncle Robert's baptism. This has been a fun Lent Madness at St Hilary's (Hesperia, CA) as we have met each Wed. to discuss the saints and to vote for our favorites. Aloha

  19. I'd say it was a kitschy tie, but I voted for Brigid as she and Francis will make for quite the Saintly Smackdown (where do you guys find all this amazing kitsch?).