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 perfect 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."
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.
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.
If 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’d like to go all DIY/hipster, then there are also real rush crosses available.
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.)
There 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!
Kamehameha 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 in 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.
A 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.
Books, including a lasting account of the King's speeches.
Stamps, an important addition for all stamp collections.
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
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