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.

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Stamps, an important addition for all stamp collections.

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And t-shirts!

And pillows!

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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

Vote!

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. What about the Brigidine Sisters who, to this day over 1,000 years after St. Brigid's death, stand for Mercy & Social Justice throughout the world on many continents? Her life of service, inspiration & inclusion inspires millions to serve the needy throughout the world. Look up her Beer prayer & really read its intent of love & giving.

  2. I voted for both these in earlier rounds, which makes the choice more difficult, but being, as I said earlier, uninterested in kitsch and basically lazy, I'll stick with my penchant for Celts and go for Brigid.

  3. Fresh this year to Lent Madness and can no longer resist the urge to comment; Oliver's confidence has inspired me from the beginning! I'm proud to announce my bracket was exploded Day One when I cast my maiden vote for Gregory the Illuminator. The gift of that "bust" was release from and any and all competitive ambition thus precipitating a dive into the pure joy of the Lexperience.

    I will be a tireless advocate for the treasures to be found on the LM journey. Every day I am learning new things that are enriching my travels on this Pilgrim's Path, and I am doing so in an environment replete with humor, wisdom and sincerity. From the SEC and Celebrity Bloggers, to the rich exchanges found in the daily comments, this experience rocks!

  4. We're up in Hawaii now and this long time kama'aina just voted on Irish heritage. Go Brigid!

  5. Fresh this year to Lent Madness and can no longer resist the urge to comment; Oliver's confidence has inspired me from the beginning! I'm proud to announce my bracket was exploded Day One when I cast my maiden vote for Gregory the Illuminator. The gift of that "bust" was release from any and all competitive ambition thus precipitating a dive into the pure joy of the Lent Madness experience.

    I have become a tireless advocate for the treasures to be found on the LM journey. Every day I am learning new things that are enriching my travels on this Pilgrim's Path, and I am doing so in an online community replete with humor, wisdom and sincerity. From the SEC and Celebrity Bloggers, to the rich exchanges found in the daily comments, this experience is just rocks!

    Finally, for data collection purposes (with apologies to any statisticians in the ranks), I went 29 and 3 in the Round of 32, followed by a descent into the range of 50/50 and most recently so badly I'm not even keeping track. But oh my, am I ever having a good time doing it! Thank you all so very very much!

  6. Well, in deference to that other Madness going on, I have to vote for Brigid. Let's see her and both the Fighting Irish men and women to the championship!!! GO IRISH

  7. My understanding is that Neo-pagans/Wiccans who like Bridget do so because she is a Christianized form of the Celtic goddess Bride.

  8. Hard one for me, love Brigid' s kitsch (wanna get me one of them cool crosses) but King K did so much for Hawaii, along with Emma, so he gets the vote. And my late mom lived in Hawaii and benefited from their healthcare delivery system. She was on the dole, and yet was treated so kindly and with such dignity at the hospital. Maybe that swayed me.

  9. Come on all U Hawaiian Episcopalians . Vote for UR guy who really made a difference and get UR friends and neighbors to vote too. We can' t let the Irish sweep a great saint away!

  10. Come on all U Hawaiian Episcopalians . Vote for UR guy who really made a difference and get UR friends and neighbors to vote too. We can' t let the Irish sweep a great saint away!

  11. That was tough. In the end St. Brigid got my vote - not because of her kitsch, although it was tempting, but because she made the best of a bad start. Who knew there was slavery in Ireland? Rhetorical question, in case anyone felt the need to respond. 🙂

  12. My bracket took a dump at Hildegard and again at Juan Diego. But I enjoy it any way. I would like to figure out how to get my church to participate next year. They need funds in all sorts of areas. Mostly helping the poor. It is a bilingual church often refered to as the "church that was built with tamales" because they would and still do make tamales to sell . They used to have a fiesta every october but I think folks got a little worn out. Any advice or ideas on how to make it happen would be appriciated. It is a Catholic church but as I'v said in the past very welcoming.

  13. The kitsch is fun, but I wonder if the SEC might include with each Elate 8 candidate a link to the previous, historical post to help us decide? I don't feel like my voting is doing the process justice after reading about so many saints and forgetting who is who!

  14. Born to a slave mother by a Druidic father, Brigid crossed all of Gael to find & free her mother after she had been sold. Then Brigid strove to follow that up by teaching Druids across the land about the power & love of Jesus for all people. It is said that throughout her travels she converted most through her example of love & kindness which the Druids had not experienced through their pagan beliefs. That strength of character in the late 5th century - early 6th century, paved the way for many like King Kamehameha to believe they could make a difference in their own lands. All honor to the patron Saint of babies, young mothers, poets, dairy farmers & many others too numerous to count. A Strong woman role model for all... including creating a double monastery for men & women as she served as abbess spreading love & joy throughout the land!

    1. Thank you for the detailed explanation of why some of us voted for Brigid. It's not all about the beer!

  15. Although I honor St. Brigid, and hope that she eventually inspires the Roman Catholic Church to once again allow women priests and bishops (and eventually cardinals and popes), I have to go with Kamehameha IV, for two reasons. First, I picked up my favorite deck of cards in Hawaii, and it is the one shown in the Kamehameha kitsch collection. Second, his wife, Queen Emma, made it to the Faithful Four, and I think it is only fair that he be allowed to join his beloved wife.

  16. I predict the winner of this round will have been born on an island. The question of course is which island. 😉

    1. And mine in Maryland. It's a hard one again. My Irish had to take a back seat to what I think was a short life of devotion to spreading the good word to a whole new place on earth.

  17. Never seen a K-IV mug, even at Queen Emma Summer Palace. Hope students at 'Iolani School (founded by K-IV) and St Andrew's Priory (founded by Queen Emma) are voting today for their Ali'i. Yup, supporting K-IV!

    1. there's a danger of the voting of all the students from both schools founded by our beloved Sovereigns; if they are all using the school's server, their votes can get knocked out! May have happened in a past Lent Madness, we aren't sure.

  18. Vote for King Kamehameha! He was a very diplomatic leader and looked out for his people while melding with the British and Americans. He could have done so much more if his life had not been show short. Aloha!

  19. Guys, I like beer just as much as the other guy, but a patron saint of beer (not Ireland - that's patrick) vs a founder of hospitals, schools, and churches, who translated the book of common prayer for his people? Please!?

    1. There is so much more to Brigid than just beer! I voted for her based on her biography (OK, also my Irish heritage). I don't even like beer!

  20. Re: the beer controversies:
    Maybe we are being a little tiny bit literal about the whole beer miracle. And in joyful participation therein, let me say that I did love having one pint of my new favorite Irish beer for St. Patrick's Day. It was Belhaven "Wee Heavy" - rich creamy dark. A bit of ecstasy, that!
    And in a more mystical vein, let me re-post the poem that Phil put in his comment in round 1:
    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.

    Amen, Brigid!

  21. Although I don't drink alcohol I love my name sake... She loved animals me too..... You go GIRL!!

  22. I love islands! Ireland, Hawaiian, Thimble, haha, probably lost most of you there. Well then, Manhattan. How about Planet Earth our island home. My heart aches for Kamehamaha because of his incredible life of goodness and caring and generosity and the sadness of losing a child.
    But at least if Brigid wins this round, it's not too hard to choose between the birds and the bees -- ??? oops that should be beers!

  23. I wanted to post an answer to the Bracket question since I am the keeper of the brackets at our church. I was really amazed that no one chose Egeria for the Elate 8. We have nearly every other variation possible but apparently none thought she would make it this far. May she continue to bust our brackets!

  24. While not wanting to step on the toes of the Supreme Executive Committee, I would like to
    nominate Eileen Mohr for Poet Laureate of Lent Madness. She has shared her poetic gifts
    with only a select few, and I encourage her to widen her audience. To give an example of
    her talent, I submit the following poem:

    There once was a lass named Brigid
    Whose da was a daft auld idjit
    She turned water to beer
    So let's raise a cheer
    And a pint and a vote for Brigid!

    While some may question her use of the limerick form, it has a long and illustrious history,
    having been used by such religious luminaries as St. Thomas Aquinas!

    Please join me in supporting Eileen for Poet Laureate!

    Respectfully submitted,

    Jim (her younger brother, who hopes that the consequences he suffers from her are not too dire)

    1. I think he was rather an Anglican and a Hawaiian. King K. died in 1864. A republic was proclaimed in 1894; the first president was Sanford B. Dole (pineapples?). In 1898, following the brief Spanish- American War, the US annexed the Republic of Hawaii at the request thereof. In 1900 Hawaii became a territory and eventually in 19590 a State