Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

And then there were four. We started Lent Madness 2015 with 32 saints and now you can count the remaining saints on one hand (and still have a thumb left over). Who will win the coveted Golden Halo? Only a few short days and your voting participation will give us the answer. But it’s come down to this: Francis of Assisi, Molly Brant, Brigid of Kildare, and Egeria.

Today we begin the first of two Faithful Four match-ups as Francis of Assisi takes on Molly Brant. Tomorrow, Egeria will face Brigid of Kildare. Then on Spy Wednesday you, Lent Madness voter, will decide who wins the 2015 Golden Halo. (What exactly is “Spy Wednesday?” Thanks for asking. Click here to read all about it).

In this round we ask our Celebrity Bloggers to briefly answer one question: “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” Today, Laurie Brock (Francis) and Maria Kane (Molly) continue to shepherd these two saintly souls through the 2015 bracket.

Speaking of which, how about a round of applause for our fabulous team of Celebrity Bloggers who toil away in the trenches of Lent Madness without nearly enough recognition? They are truly the backbone of this operation and are worthy of our gratitude. Please do hound them for autographs when you spot them wearing sunglasses and baseball caps just trying to lead normal lives.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Francis defeated John Wycliffe, Cecilia, and Thecla while Molly beat Swithun, Cuthbert, and Bernard Mizeki. (Click on the names of defeated opponents to relive the previous saintly battles and refresh your memory about these two saints).

Francis of Assisi

St. Francis with the animalsOur church garden is well-used holy space by all of God’s creation. One afternoon in October, members of our church gather with our companion animals and ask God’s blessing on these precious beings of God who share their lives with us.

Over the years, more and more neighbors of many faiths join us, and what began as a small gathering has grown into a lively and sacred time filled with the chorus of barks and meows. Our St. Francis statue, nestled in a corner of the church garden, stands in witness to this holy gathering, reminding us of the man who saw God fully visible in every aspect of holy Creation.

Francis, for his many gifts to the Christian faith, is likely most well-known as the namesake of the Blessing of Animals. I suspect Francis, who spent his life responding to the great generosity of God in all he encountered, would probably offer he was just stating the obvious: that God is present in all that surrounds and sustains us and of course we should offer thanks and prayers.

Francis’ most well-known prayer which he actually wrote, Canticle of Brother Sun, is a song to God who has so deeply entered creation that everything is connected in mystical union. Francis saw everything in creation related to one another and deserving of honor and love. The words remind us that no part of creation is too small or too great, too insignificant or too vast, to stand separate from each other. Brother Sun and Sister Moon are honored. Sister Water, Brother Fire, and Sister Mother Earth are all part of the unity of God. Even Sister Death, “from whom no living man can escape” is praised as part of God’s creative experience.

One of the lesser known aspects of Francis is his devotion to the Holy Spirit. Francis was inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit in St. Francis mystic
prayer, devotion, service, humility, and peace (granted, Francis’ humility would probably cause him to take the Golden Halo, if he wins, and offer it to Brother Sun or Sister Moon to add to their light). For Francis, love is the medium of Holy Spirit, and expressing love is a reflection of the Holy Spirit alive in our lives. He writes in one of his prayers, “inflamed by the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As we begin Holy Week, we pray that we, too, will walk in the way of the cross, in the footprints of Jesus, and find it the way of life. At the end of Holy Week, we will gather again in our church garden to begin the Great Vigil of Easter. Our song of the Exsultet will celebrate Brother Fire that is the New Fire we pray will burn within our souls; we will praise Sister Death who has been transformed by God and Christ; we will sing with Mother Earth that darkness has been vanquished by our Eternal King.

Our St. Francis statue, nestled in the corner of the church garden, will stand witness to this holy gathering. And in the great chorus of the angels and saints, I pray that we will hear Francis himself join us in our songs and prayers exalting God who has entered creation and filled it with new life.  

— Laurie Brock

 Molly Brant

mbrant-bio-portraitbThe first time I read Molly Brant’s history, I was immediately struck by her ability to navigate between two vastly different cultures and political systems. As one historian said, she was a “bridge between two worlds.” In the midst of our currently fractured political system, Brant’s life illustrates that there is another way — perhaps not a perfect way — but a means nonetheless of how people of differing cultural and political systems can strive to co-exist in times of uncertainty. Molly’s faithfulness to her Christian faith and her Mohawk family shaped her commitment to harmonious relations even amidst a war that sought to attain the allegiances of Native American tribes no matter the cost to tribal culture and way of life.

Naturally, many debates have circled around Molly’s Loyalist leanings. However, one must remember that history is often on the side of the winner. Were we to step into Molly’s shoes, our view and esteem of her might be a bit different.

Indeed, Molly’s life causes us to examine our own interpretations, leanings, and motivations and how they impact others.

Ultimately, Molly’s goal was to preserve the cultural vitality and independence of Native American tribes. While her displacement illumination-molly-brantto Canada could have been a cause for her to remain bitter, she instead chose to channel her energy into establishing southern Ontario’s first church.

Upon her death, both her Mohawk community and her British neighbors collectively mourned her death and recognized her outstanding leadership. As one contemporary of Brant recalled, “She was quiet in demeanour, on occcasion, [sic] and possessed of a calm dignity that bespoke a native pride and consciousness of power. She seldom imposed herself into the picture, but no one was in her presence without being aware of her.”

Such is often the case of men and women whose faith shapes not what they say, but how they seek to live their lives in the midst of an imperfect world.

Maria Kane


Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

  • Francis of Assisi (71%, 4,273 Votes)
  • Molly Brant (29%, 1,754 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,027

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168 Comments to "Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant"

  1. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    March 30, 2015 - 8:00 am | Permalink

    […] Hail, all holy virtues, which, by the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are poured into the hearts of the faithful so that, faithless no longer, they may be made faithful servants of God. Amen.

    [attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi]

  2. Oliver--Seven years old's Gravatar Oliver--Seven years old
    March 30, 2015 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    I voted for st. Francis because he is the only boy left and his pictures are beautiful.

    • Katherine Schroeder's Gravatar Katherine Schroeder
      March 30, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

      I think your boy will go right down to the final vote, Oliver! It’s been an exciting Lent Madness, hasn’t it? And fun too.

    • Jennifer Franz's Gravatar Jennifer Franz
      March 30, 2015 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Oliver, I think your first point is well-taken. (And yes, the art is beautiful!) It is really quite amazing that we have three girls and one boy left. I don’t think many would have predicted this. I also tend to agree with the person who wrote that St. Francis should probably be retired from Lent Madness. He is such a “crowd favorite”!

    • Patrice Harrington's Gravatar Patrice Harrington
      March 30, 2015 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Oliver, it has been a delight reading your posts. I look forward to your posts for Lent Madness 2016!!!!

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      March 30, 2015 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Your mom emailed me and told me you were voting and commenting each day and I am so proud of you! Many of us at St. John’s have been enjoying your comments without realizing it was OUR Oliver all this time! When I see you this weekend, I want to give you one of the Lent Madness “Saintly Scorecards” to remember all your favorite saints.

      • Buffalogal's Gravatar Buffalogal
        March 30, 2015 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Wishing you a happy birthday, happy Easter, and wonderful year!

      • Judy Batson's Gravatar Judy Batson
        March 30, 2015 - 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Oliver definitely deserves a Saintly Scorecard, but I think our SEC should send him a tee and a mug too. Oliver should have something to remember his faithfulness to Lent Madness and the Communion of Saints during this Lent. How about it SEC? I don’t even know Oliver, but I too feel proud of him for how he’s voted every day and boldly states his reasoning!

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 30, 2015 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

          Hear! Hear! A mug and a shirt for the little guy!!

    • Judy Batson's Gravatar Judy Batson
      March 30, 2015 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Happy, happy birthday, Oliver! You are indeed a most favored member of the Lent Madness posters, and I do hope you’ll be back again next year. As soon as I found out it was your birthday, I resolved to vote for whomever Oliver votes for today, so St. Francis it is! May you have a most fabulously awesome birthday!

  3. Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
    March 30, 2015 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    For St. Francis and the animals!

    • Keith's Gravatar Keith
      March 30, 2015 - 8:32 am | Permalink

      With you on that all the way!

    • Paul Bonnar's Gravatar Paul Bonnar
      March 30, 2015 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      St. Francis is a sentimental favorite and needs to be permanently retired. It is unfair to all the other worthies to compete against him.

      • Carol Riddick's Gravatar Carol Riddick
        March 30, 2015 - 11:36 am | Permalink

        I voted for him, and yet I totally agree with you, Paul. Maybe he could be Golden Halo wearer in chief!

      • Claire's Gravatar Claire
        March 30, 2015 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Now that even Popes can retire….it should be OK to hang up the Golden Halo and retire from competing. St. Francis does need a special title or designation, however. Any ideas? Aging pastors become “emeritus”. Even Angels have 9 different teams. Form follows function even in heavenly choirs. Francis’ number* needs to be retired and his jersey raised in the highest rafters of the Lent Madness Superdome. *(XIV: feast day on 10/4) How many Saints are put in gardens along with the BVM, gnomes, and all manner of animals? I think gardeners and the makers of garden pottery have already voted.

        • melle's Gravatar melle
          March 30, 2015 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

          This, for me, highlights the unfairness of putting Francis in here at all. We’re not even at the final contest and it’s assumed he will win. No fun there.

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 30, 2015 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Just because something is assumed doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. I fail to understand all this fuss over Francis. He didn’t win the last time. It looks like he might this time. So where’s all the retirement talk coming from. Will we hear that the next time Emma is in the running? Or Thecla? Doubtful.

  4. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 30, 2015 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for St Francis, he inspires me.

    • Judy Batson's Gravatar Judy Batson
      March 30, 2015 - 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Me too, Linda though I didn’t vote for him in the last round and am still saddened that Thecla didn’t make it to have a chance for the Golden Halo! She definitely deserves recognition as one “equal to the apostles,” and I had never even heard of her before.

      Thanks very very much to our talented, well-informed and even saintly writers/researchers who have helped thousands learn more about the saints during Lent 2015. The posts have been astoundingly well-written, and the touches of hallowed humor, stirred together with spicy spirituality, have been savored and feasted upon!

  5. March 30, 2015 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    St. Francis it is!

  6. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    March 30, 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Wonderful write-ups. I have voted for St Francis in many ways since my days as a teenager long ago. Today I voted for Molly. Thank you for bringing her to life for me.

  7. Will Robinson's Gravatar Will Robinson
    March 30, 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Voted for Molly Brant this morning. I am absolutely in awe of the work of St. Francis but have deep gratitude for people who built bridges between cultures to extend the Christian faith. Alas, such are the decisions one must make in the faithful four.

    • Pat Johnson's Gravatar Pat Johnson
      March 30, 2015 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I did not know of Molly Brant till this year’s saintly smackdown. Though St. Francis legacy of harmony and reverence for all life resonates with the environmental concerns of our modern world, Molly Brant’s examples resonate as loudly as a testament to bridge building between cultures, which would, I believe, empower all peoples to move forward with reverence for one another and world we all inhabit. SO I voted Molly as well.

  8. melle's Gravatar melle
    March 30, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Ah, having just read a fine article about how women’s contributions to groups are ignored while men’s are attended to, I have to cancel out Oliver’s vote for Francis just on the basis of his comment that “he’s the only boy left.” Besides, as noted he’d probably just give away the flashy headgear anyway.

    • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
      March 30, 2015 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      sigh…….he’s seven years old, and he has voted on similar lines for women, simply based on that in the past.

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 30, 2015 - 11:29 am | Permalink

        And where’s the sigh in that? Many others of more years have reported voting for similar reasons.

        • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
          March 30, 2015 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

          The sigh is based on the fact, that it is perfectly fine for him to vote as he did, because in other rounds he has voted for others simply on the basis of gender, and he’s seven years old, and can vote with any rationale he wants……sigh

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 30, 2015 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

            Still — why a sigh? He is eight now, formerly seven, and has much company in the past rounds, judging from comments, of folks who voted apparently only on gender.

          • Judy Batson's Gravatar Judy Batson
            March 31, 2015 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

            I am 62, and I too can vote as I please based on any rationale I’m led to assert. The way I see it, more impressive than reasoning is faithfulness and for that I give a very deep sigh of reverence for the faithfulness of a child. Jesus said that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must become like children, and how blessed we have been to have a child in our midst to set an example! Blessings and sighs too deep for words!

        • Yet Another Jennifer's Gravatar Yet Another Jennifer
          March 30, 2015 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps it would be more appropriate to mention the “many others” by name instead of trolling a seven year old?

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 30, 2015 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Trolling a seven year old? I was asking Justin who has never characterized himself as a seven year old.

          • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
            March 30, 2015 - 3:55 pm | Permalink

            I am not “trolling”a seven year old, I am saying that the seven year old’s analysis is as legitimate as that of other more aged voters here. I am also suggesting in a not so subtle way that unless we are seven, perhaps we should be making decisions using more than gender as our defining characteristic. Oliver has been a great, innocent voice in this tournament, and I was glad for all of his contributions, a comment I cannot apply to everyone that has commented.

  9. Kay Richardson's Gravatar Kay Richardson
    March 30, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Francis is already well known and much loved. Molly Brant deserves to be better known, so I am voting for her.

    • Doctor M's Gravatar Doctor M
      March 30, 2015 - 9:32 am | Permalink

      Molly would win it all if not up against St Francis, also worthy. If one wants to reference another overlooked feminine of the season (ncaa WOMEN March Madness bracket), Molly is the Notre Dame against the Francis of Connecticut. So of course she gets my symbolic vote. Very happy to have learned of her, this Lent.

    • Carol Kangas's Gravatar Carol Kangas
      March 30, 2015 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly although it looks like Francis has this one.

  10. linda carleton's Gravatar linda carleton
    March 30, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Did my formation for spiritual direction at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in LaCrosse and met Jesus again for the first time. Need I say more?

  11. Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
    March 30, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Molly — a Native American and a woman, who attempted to bridge two cultures. We need more of that today.

  12. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 30, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    With love for one and deep deep regret for the other I voted after a long weekend of back-and-forth. Two great candidates, two great write-ups.

  13. Shirley R's Gravatar Shirley R
    March 30, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    You convinced me, Laurie Brock. Both are deserving, but my vote goes to Francis.

  14. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    March 30, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    St. Francis – for our dog, our three indoor and two outdoor cats and for all God’s creatures who bring light, beauty and love into our lives. And for the camel who leads the procession at The Cathedral St. John the Divine on St. Francis Day.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 30, 2015 - 8:37 am | Permalink

      and the great tortoise and the magnificent eagle and the musk ox and and and

  15. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 30, 2015 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Laurie Brock’s summing-up for Saint Francis is moving and powerful. I would have voted for him in any case; her writing makes me even more glad to have done so.

  16. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    March 30, 2015 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you to all the CBs but especially to Laurie and Maria for today’s offerings. Both heartfully written.

  17. Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
    March 30, 2015 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    I was very glad to meet and learn about Molly, who is much to be admired for bridging cultures, but in the end this time I voted for Francis. The RC Pope did choose a meaningful name which tells us a great deal about his beliefs. I am struck today by Francis’s picture of God throughout His universe. We are reminded to respect all of God’s creation, and that is a powerful message to me today.

  18. Kristin's Gravatar Kristin
    March 30, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Lovely essay on St Francis! Wonderful prelude to Easter.

  19. Steve's Gravatar Steve
    March 30, 2015 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Two great choices. I’m a bit concerned that an emphasis on Francis’ signature contributions can let us forget what a revolutionary he was — how many of his thoughts and practices stood against the rich and complacent church of his day. Just as Molly’s “calm dignity … and consciousness of power” challenged the systems of her day.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      March 30, 2015 - 10:20 am | Permalink


  20. Vicki Wadlow's Gravatar Vicki Wadlow
    March 30, 2015 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Beautiful essay on Francis, Laurie Brock. Since visiting Assisi in 1967, Francis has always been, and will ever be my favorite saint. My dogs agree, but alas, they can’t vote.

    • Judy Batson's Gravatar Judy Batson
      March 31, 2015 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

      In the old days of the Internet, back in the early- to mid-90s. there was a saying: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Maybe your dogs should sign up for gmail!


  21. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 30, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    While my love of blessing the animals and the experience of visiting his church in Italy, I have been drawn to Molly since first reading and pray she may get the Golden Halo. And though voting for Francis “as the only boy left” may make sense for some, I very much hope others will see beyond the familiar and consider anew Molly. Vote Molly!

  22. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    March 30, 2015 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Donna. For including some of God’s other creatures in the procession at St. John’s. It might do to include all the dogs who come with their persons that day and, when the organ starts up, sing along with congregation. Truly a joyful noise.

  23. March 30, 2015 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    I love St Francis but in this I had to vote for Molly Brant. She exemplifies how God works in mysterious ways. She brought Christ’s word to her people and she did form a bridge between the two cultures. Her witness shows that there is another way to a peace between cultures.

  24. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 30, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Is the comment subscription confirmator sleeping late this Monday?

  25. Phil Matthews's Gravatar Phil Matthews
    March 30, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    While we have a tough choice here, I got to go with St. Francis the patron saint of San Francisco. From his love of nature and animals to his unique path and tolerance of others his spirit embodies the spiritual and personal side of our great City by the bay.

  26. Lisa Brown's Gravatar Lisa Brown
    March 30, 2015 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    As the inspiration for our vacation bible school program this year which features a community garden, I have to vote Francis.

  27. Eileen Fisher's Gravatar Eileen Fisher
    March 30, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks you, Laurie Brock and my cousin-in-law, Kathy Hartley, for your eloquent words about St. Francis. I always wanted to bring my iguana in for the annual Blessing of the Animals, but wasn’t sure if I should. Now she’s gone and I missed all those opportunities which I truly regret. Anyway, St. Francis, may this Holy Week be also the celebration of you winning The Golden Halo.

    • Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
      March 30, 2015 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Eileen! Such fun to connect with you on this site. XOXO Kathy

  28. Craig Fairley's Gravatar Craig Fairley
    March 30, 2015 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Both are wonderful saints and the write-ups so informative. I wish I could vote twice, once for each saint. However after deep thought, inflamed by the Holy Spirit——–I vote.

    • Carmen Fairley's Gravatar Carmen Fairley
      March 30, 2015 - 11:45 pm | Permalink

      I voted for St. Francis, but I do have a huge soft spot for First Nations saints. It was hard.

  29. Rev. Jon Forbes's Gravatar Rev. Jon Forbes
    March 30, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Molly for the Golden Halo!

  30. Jim Hampton's Gravatar Jim Hampton
    March 30, 2015 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I greatly admire Molly’s ability to walk between different cultures and find common ground, a sorely needed attribute in today’s world. That said, when one looks not only at what Francis accomplished in his lifetime, but how his approach to ministry has impacted millions since (not even counting all the animals!), the vote had to go to Francis.

  31. March 30, 2015 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I applaud the celebrity bloggers!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 30, 2015 - 9:22 am | Permalink


    • KLF's Gravatar KLF
      March 30, 2015 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      Me, too. What wonderful presentations we have had every single day. Cudos.

      • andrea's Gravatar andrea
        March 30, 2015 - 7:56 pm | Permalink

        I agree!

  32. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    March 30, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice! Although I am a “Treehugger” and love Francis–even have a small stone “Zen Francis” meditating on my front porch–I know he already has lots and LOTS of recognition. (Probably also a real halo!) I’ve been impressed by Molly’s story, and I think she needs to come out of the shadows, perhaps even illuminated by the Golden Halo! I’ve picked about 90% winners so far…would like to see that continue. go, Molly!

  33. John Sorensen's Gravatar John Sorensen
    March 30, 2015 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Molly. More people need to learn her story. More needs to be learned about her story in an underreported Era of American history.

  34. Susan B's Gravatar Susan B
    March 30, 2015 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Woke up and made a St Brigid’s cross in preparation for tomorrow’s vote 😉
    As for today, I vote for Francis with gratitude for Richard Rohr’s Franciscan Alternate Orthodoxy. As he says, Francis’ faith is at the outer edge, yet just inside the boundaries of Christian understanding. I so appreciate Rohr’s daily teachings on Unitive consciousness, Contemplation and Action. They help to shape me. I see them as contemporary expressions of Francis’ sense of union with all creation and walking the outer boundaries of both religion and society. How like Jesus!

    • Susan Mattingly's Gravatar Susan Mattingly
      March 30, 2015 - 10:52 am | Permalink

      I am just beginning to participate in Richard Rohr’s wonderful writings. His “Wondrous Encounters” along with Forward Movement and Lent Madness have made this lent most meaningful for me. Thank you to all who have written, participated. and inspired.

  35. Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
    March 30, 2015 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    Francis embraces the whole — principle and action, love of Creator and Creation. As for gender, he voluntarily forfeited the privileges of his sex. I vote for Francis as the saint who rejected all hierarchy but one.

  36. Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld's Gravatar Mark---OnceSevenYearsOld
    March 30, 2015 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Prayers of thanks for Laurie and Maria and all of the bloggers who have entertainingly educated us during this Lent!

  37. March 30, 2015 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    I think that St. Francis would be appalled to win the halo! To save him from such discomfort we should all vote for Molly. For St. Francis’ sake–DON’T VOTE FOR HIM!

    • Linda Maloney's Gravatar Linda Maloney
      March 31, 2015 - 2:32 am | Permalink

      Well put. Francis is probably the saint best known throughout the world, to Christians and non-Christians alike. We should retire his number and get on with celebrating those who have no such fame. “Girls” especially! Let’s put behind us forever the days of my RC girlhood when the only female saints were virgins, virgin martyrs (the best combination) or widows (preferably childless, so there was at least a chance they never had sex).

  38. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 30, 2015 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    As Oliver notes, Francis is the only boy left. And oh, is he an extremely good boy. How far his unguarded embrace is able to reach, across classes, cultures, centuries, species, solar systems, to heart of God and back again. Today’s beautiful essay makes the case for Brother Francis. He’s not just for sentimental ladies with too many cats. He’s the real deal.

  39. Dominic's Gravatar Dominic
    March 30, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    The man of the hour is Francis.
    His closeness with creation shows him a warm, compassionate, loving caretaker

  40. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    March 30, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I have only found one group that doesn’t like St. Francis, and they are an extremely polemical minority of Eastern Orthodox.

    • Kathy's Gravatar Kathy
      March 30, 2015 - 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Very interesting read. Thank you for sharing, Nolan McBride.

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 30, 2015 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Yes indeed, thank you

  41. Steve F's Gravatar Steve F
    March 30, 2015 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks to all the Bloggers for their write-ups and support for “their” Saint. It has been a fun experience for this first timer.

  42. March 30, 2015 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    Francis impact and faith and serenity and… and and and…. This strikes me today as a no brainer.
    Truth be told I’ve been surprised at how far Molly Brant came in the Halo choices. There’s a sentimental side to voting for her, but the slave owning and siding with the British in the Revolution struck me as odd qualifications for a saint. Understandable maybe, but not things I’d necessarily put up for emulation… which is one of the qualities I think of in terms of “sainthood.”
    Anywise, Francis is simply (simply?!) a clearer choice.
    Blessings to all for Holy Week.

    • justin wright's Gravatar justin wright
      March 30, 2015 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Len, agreed, you are more magnanimous, than I would be, so I will just say agree.

  43. Jody's Gravatar Jody
    March 30, 2015 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    My vote today is for St. Francis. Thanks Laurie Brock for the beautiful imagery of your church garden and the wonders of God’s Creatures and all Creation that Francis championed. For me, as well, I am ever mindful of this prayer attributed to this humble and faithful servant of God:
    “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, the faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen” Francis for the Golden Halo!

    • Nancy C.'s Gravatar Nancy C.
      March 30, 2015 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      I second that, Jody. St. Francis for me!

  44. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 30, 2015 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Francis, hands down this time. Our beloved Winston, a beautiful Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, died this past Thursday. He had lived 10 years and almost 3 months, thanks to advances in medicine and excellent care from veterinarians and their staffs, both of which, like our companion animals, are also blessings from God. All who knew and loved Winston are better people for his being in our lives. Like St. Francis and all the faithful departed, he has returned to God. Thanks be.

  45. John Colón's Gravatar John Colón
    March 30, 2015 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Molly Brant’s example with its heightened relevance in these days when we are trying to learn and better understand the dynamics at the intersection of race, law and order is best understood in this observation by our celebrity blogger: “…Brant’s life illustrates that there is another way — perhaps not a perfect way — but a means nonetheless of how people of differing cultural and political systems can strive to co-exist in times of uncertainty.”

  46. Mike Fox's Gravatar Mike Fox
    March 30, 2015 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Saint Francis – the University of Kentucky of 2015 Lent Madness.

  47. Elliott's Gravatar Elliott
    March 30, 2015 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    It was a hard decision, but I had to go with Francis because I’m just more drawn to medieval saints.

  48. Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
    March 30, 2015 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Francis is a very old friend.

  49. John Dieter's Gravatar John Dieter
    March 30, 2015 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Francis will be our 2015 Golden Halo champ!!!

  50. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 30, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Still no Maple Anglican?
    Please, Archbishops, where are you?

    • Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
      March 30, 2015 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      A wonderful picture of a very holy man

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 30, 2015 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Maple Anglican was somewhat overdrawn at the time bank this year, as some early posts explained. Missin’ the archbishops, for sure, but hopeful they will once again light up the Clairvoyatron in future editions of Lent Madness.

  51. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 30, 2015 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Francis for the win. And I”m going to miss Oliver when Lent Madness is over.

  52. March 30, 2015 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    While I respect strength and leadership in a woman, especially in the 1700’s, I need not to exercise authority more, lately, but more patience and love for the rest of humanity. So, Francis it is.

  53. KLF's Gravatar KLF
    March 30, 2015 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    Francis has been in some sense my “patron” saint for 50 years or so. But apart from that obvious partisanship, I hope he wins the Golden Halo this year so he will be out of future contention. Being up against St. Francis is a huge challenge to any other saint, no matter how worthy.

  54. Martha's Gravatar Martha
    March 30, 2015 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you to all the celebrity bloggers for their inspirational and educational writings.
    Peace and Blessed Easter to all…

  55. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 30, 2015 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Molly Brant is awesome, and I was so happy to learn about her, but she can’t compete with Francis. Thanks for the beautiful writeup Laurie!

  56. Nancy Gossling's Gravatar Nancy Gossling
    March 30, 2015 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Loyalty and Native American spirituality are not to be underrated. Time for a new face against all odds. Voting for Molly!

  57. March 30, 2015 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    I cast my vote for Molly Brant, and then sadly watch her crushed by that steamroller Francis as he speeds on to snatch his halo.

  58. Susan Weinstein's Gravatar Susan Weinstein
    March 30, 2015 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Kudos to the celebrity bloggers – I was really torn today based on the wonderful comments. Who would have thought that a Unitarian Universalist (raised Episcopalian) could so enjoy this LentMadness?! Thanks everyone. And, go Molly!

  59. Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
    March 30, 2015 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Francis? all the way? You gotta be kidding!
    Is this system rigged?

    Molly is a woman for our time. Let’s give some credit to the little persons. As someone commented, Assisi got theirs when Jorge changed his name. — Go Jesuits!

  60. March 30, 2015 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    I love animals. I loved the information about St. Francis incoroporating all the elements into the Oneness of God. However, I voted for Molly Brant, mostly because that work of straddling two worlds in an effort to allow each to see the “other” as part of that Oneness feels far too familiar to me to not give her a nod and thank you. I appreciate knowing more about her and the knowledge that we never do this walk alone.

  61. Carolyn Sharp's Gravatar Carolyn Sharp
    March 30, 2015 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    I voted for Molly Brant because I think being a loyalist was a good thing. Peace, order and good government are values worth upholding.

  62. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 30, 2015 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    St. Francis of Assisi for me today. I admire Molly of the Mohawks though.

  63. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 30, 2015 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    It’s pretty clear the snack down will be between Francis and Brigid. I am rooting for Brigid and the divine feminine–so I deprived Francis of my vote on this round. Every single one of the Saints in LentMadness is worthy of their halo, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn about them every lent.

  64. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 30, 2015 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    I think this is a runaway – likely all the way to the Golden Halo.

    Francis’ voice is one we need to hear and to heed in today’s world as we struggle with plastics and drought and too much snow and rising oceans and unnoticed extinctions. Sorry, Molly, I’ve been faithful – but the appeal of Francis is too compelling.

  65. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 30, 2015 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    This is madness! How can one possibly choose between these two worthy souls? Kudos to the SEC, celebrity bloggers and faithful voters for these tough choices. In the end, my dog convinced me to cast my vote for Francis.

  66. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 30, 2015 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    For those who believe that St. Francis should be retired, as it is unfair to match anyone else with him, the best way to do that is to vote for him this year! It’s no contest for me from here on in–St. Francis of Assisi is my favorite saint of all time.

  67. Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan's Gravatar Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan
    March 30, 2015 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Lent Madness is a fun way to reflect what values I hold as embodied in the competing “saints”. Between Molly and Francis, the choice is a happy struggle.

  68. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 30, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    I voted for Brant, not out of any particular admiration for her per se, but just to go against the herd, ornery curmudgeon and supporter of underdogs that I am.

  69. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 30, 2015 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    I’ve never had an easier Lent Madness vote than this one.

    Be praised, my Lord, for Giovanni of Assisi!

  70. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 30, 2015 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    I have so enjoyed learning about Molly Brant these past few weeks, but St. Francis wins my vote.

    “Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
    especially through my lord Brother Sun,
    who brings the day; and you give light through him.
    And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
    Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.”

    St. Francis of Assisi

  71. March 30, 2015 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you bloggers for your wonderful words bringing Saints to life. I am inspired by Molly but she was still a Tory. St. Francis just has more inspiration for me. I usually do underdogs but not this time because he blesses all dogs.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 30, 2015 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      So you only vote for Americans and their friends?

      • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
        March 30, 2015 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

        St. Francis wasn’t American, and he wasn’t friends with any Americans. 😉

  72. Carol Ingells's Gravatar Carol Ingells
    March 30, 2015 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Someone mentioned Francis was an old friend and I realize he for me, as well. Some of the most critical points in my spiritual development were spent at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, MI. And now I live in Santa Fe (saint faith) where St. Francis is prominent. And then, there’s the wonderful Pope Francis. I appreciate Molly, too, but I had to go with my “old friend”.

  73. verdery's Gravatar verdery
    March 30, 2015 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Much as I admire Francis–for all the reasons all have given–I went with Molly today. Her efforts in bringing Christianity to her own culture with respect, her devotion to that culture in the midst of a war are an example to us who live in multicultural places. I think we can learn a lot about seeing people as people rather than “the other” from her.

  74. Marilyn D's Gravatar Marilyn D
    March 30, 2015 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    My vote goes to Francis — as it has in all the rounds! Even if he doesn’t win he still has my thanks for sharing the love of God’s creatures.

  75. lucia's Gravatar lucia
    March 30, 2015 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully written, Laurie Brock! Visit Assisi, everyone! I heard birds chirping in the middle of the night there! Francis forever!

  76. Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
    March 30, 2015 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Francis it is. A saint for all nations and all times.

  77. March 30, 2015 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I looked over the names this year I knew that Francis would win because everyone knows of him and his animals. I still think that all candidates should be either “new” or “old” each year. I prefer reading about the “new” since I’m learning so much each year about God’s people who have never shown up in my reading during my long life. I’m already looking forward to Next year’s line-up.

  78. March 30, 2015 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Hats off to the celebrity authors of the two bios today. Both showed their person in three dimensional aspect, as real as they were once in the flesh. Both have strong ties to the Holy Spirit. Both were definitely human, but struggled to rise above the ordinary and give themselves to devotion as they lived lives for God and in Christ’s love. I cannot say I am sorry Francis is winning…I just wish Molly had a stronger following. I pray I may strive to attain a life of devotion, dedicated to causes Jesus himself would support. I think this may be the true purpose of Lent Madness, fun though it is, to inspire us to a closer walk with God.

  79. March 30, 2015 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I happily voted for St. Francis [one of my favorite paintings of him is the Bellini in the Frick]—one of the few times I’ve voted with the majority. Obviously, that means that I voted for everyone defeated by Molly Brant.
    This is my first Lent Madness, & it’s been a wonderfully learning experience. The CBs write well; the SEC are brilliant—it’s all so much fun—with spiritual components. Thanks, especially, to Laurie Brock for her insights & beautiful prose & also to All Saints, Mobile, AL, for their newsletter [my first knowledge of LM]….the wonder of the internet 🙂

  80. lindanola's Gravatar lindanola
    March 30, 2015 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

    i miss the Archbishops and the clairvoyatron.

  81. A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
    March 30, 2015 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Celebrity Bloggers, Bracket Czar, Server Resurrectionists, and SEC for being so crazy fantastic.
    Question for Laurie: where did the stunning second image of “St. Francis mystic” come from?
    Suggestion for LM 2016: would it be possible to add credits/links to blog images in some back corner of the LM page for those of us esp interested in the art or kitsch?

  82. Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
    March 30, 2015 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    This was a most difficult choice. Both worthy of the halo, but I decided to go with Francis.

  83. Lea's Gravatar Lea
    March 30, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I found a statue of St. Francis in a used bookstore and he appeared to be winking at me. He has long been a favorite saint of mine since I also believe that God is not just in everything but IS everything. Even used bookstores are of God! I wanted to post the picture I took of him but my computer won’t let me so you’re stuck with just my description. Oh, well. Francis has my vote even though Molly is a worthy contender.

  84. Bob Nelson's Gravatar Bob Nelson
    March 30, 2015 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    It is obvious the SEC and I have differences when counting on our fingers. The thumb is number one . The others rank according to their relationship to the thumb. But, that’s alright. I’ll bet we agree about the middle finger.

  85. March 30, 2015 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Francis is is. Laurie Brock’s write up was quite beautiful and really made the case for Francis winning the Golden Halo.

  86. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    March 30, 2015 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Praying for you, Elaine, as you mourn Winston. I’m sure he will always be in your heart.

    I voted for Francis– inspired by his radical simplicity and devotion to Christian service to others.

  87. Megan's Gravatar Megan
    March 30, 2015 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Francis until yesterday, when I was asked to describe the four saints left in the Faithful Four. As I described Molly, I realized how very admirable I find her. Once again, through teaching, I learned.

  88. Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
    March 30, 2015 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Brother Sun, Sister Moon. St. Francis for me.

  89. Marney's Gravatar Marney
    March 30, 2015 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid putting St. Francis against Molly Brant is rather like having the Portland Trail Blazers play a local middle school. I admire many things about Molly and I value the opportunity to learn more. And yet…

  90. March 30, 2015 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Francis has been the guide of my spiritual life since I was a teenager in high school.
    That being said, I agree with Jennifer Franz to retire Francis (with honors and a permanent halo) from Lent madness. For such a humble man he overpowers any other
    saint that is named (not his fault)! He followed and lived Christ crucified, as all the baptized are all called to do.

  91. Jessica's Gravatar Jessica
    March 30, 2015 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    For Molly, for many reasons but foremost for seeking mutual understanding between diverse cultures through the Gospel of Christ. Surely St. Francis has inspired many and speaks well to my deepening mysticism; so, in the spirit of a mystic, I vote for she who was the predictable underdog from the very beginning. (Forgive the pun, *wink.)

    • Jessica's Gravatar Jessica
      March 30, 2015 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Further, my prayer would be that for as many votes that St. Francis receives, multiples more would come to embrace people other cultures and faiths just as they would quickly embrace puppies and kittens.

  92. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 30, 2015 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Celebrity Bloggers, SEC, and comment writers!
    Every Lent I learn more about saints I am familiar with, meet saints I didn’t know before, and benefit from the comments and stories and insights from fellow Christians. Indeed, “the world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus’ will.” (Hymn 293 vs 3)
    And I mean to be one too!!

  93. rich's Gravatar rich
    March 30, 2015 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s a landslide for Francis, but I ended up voting for Molly because Francis had all the benefits of being within the normative culture and in an environment that allowed him to develop his wonderful, mystical and lay-led gifts, while Molly came in from “left field” (baseball season in just a few days go big Red Machine!), to create something truly wonderful in the midst of clashing cultures and literal clashes. Blessings to them both and all who work to live in their wisdom, but Molly edges Francis in my book.

    • March 30, 2015 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

      I don’t believe vowed Religious are ever “within the normative culture” – at least I’ve never met any who were/are. I voted for Francis.

  94. Craig Ewing's Gravatar Craig Ewing
    March 30, 2015 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit that after reading about Indiana’s new “religious freedom discrimination” law and about a woman opening a legislative session in Tennessee with a prayer that we not extend Medicare to the poor, I first thought that our Lent Madness voting seemed frivolous given the problems in our world today. Then I read again about Francis and Molly and was reminded that these people faced similar problems in their time and found courage and redemption in their faith. So, thank you for giving me hope and then making me choose between two such faithful people. I gave my vote to Francis, but all 32 candidates have been sources of inspiration and comfort.

  95. March 30, 2015 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

    question: Once a saint has won the golden halo, is he/she retired from the competition for ever?

    • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
      March 30, 2015 - 2:39 pm | Permalink


  96. tom chapman's Gravatar tom chapman
    March 30, 2015 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This is getting silly I think both these individuals have contributed much to the Christian Mythology. There gifts to the faith community are both noteworthy and laudable I think. Blessed Easter and Happy Spring to one and all. TNC+

  97. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    March 30, 2015 - 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Have noted much fuss and feathers about how Francis should be retired to give others a chance. I believe that if he does win the halo this year, he will be — thus giving the rest of the good folks a chance next year.

  98. Frances Jennings's Gravatar Frances Jennings
    March 30, 2015 - 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Here’s to Molly’s “Loyalist leanings” … she gets my vote!

  99. Jim Boston's Gravatar Jim Boston
    March 30, 2015 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I am distressed at how many Francis supporters seem to think of him mainly an animal lover and proto-environmentalist. Jesus was his first love, with whom he identified in many ways. His second love was the poor, the leper, the outcast, the dirty. Maybe we should make statues of him washing the feet of beggars, not chatting with winged creatures, however pretty. I voted for him of course.

    • Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
      March 30, 2015 - 6:31 pm | Permalink


  100. March 30, 2015 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to have the chance to vote for Francis in honor of dear Bentley who was killed in a fire at the kennel where he was boarding and for Zeb who survived the fire against all odds because of skilled veterinarians and a boatload of prayers to St. Francis.

  101. glenda woodward's Gravatar glenda woodward
    March 30, 2015 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I would like to put an advanced order in for the winning Francis LM mug please. Thank you

  102. March 30, 2015 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Francis, as I have each of the previous times, not primarily because of negatives in the other contender, but because of all of his positive factors.
    Re Molly Brant, I’m not troubled by her Loyalist leanings. I am very troubled that she was a slaveholder.
    Tomorrow’s Brigid-Egeria clash should be a close one. I’m unsure how I’ll vote.

  103. Lucretia's Gravatar Lucretia
    March 30, 2015 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Francis is so beloved that the bracket does indeed become unfair, as Francis is in a class by himself. Thus I vote for Molly today!

  104. Doris Mclallen's Gravatar Doris Mclallen
    March 30, 2015 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you, Lucretia!
    Also, if this is permitted, I really want to share the following from “A Day’s Work” in the March 2015 Reader’s digest:
    “Religion is generally a verboten topic for everyone at work, except for Larry. Recently, after he steered yet another conversation toward the subject, a coworker whispered to me,, “That Larry — he always has to put his two saints in.”
    Just what we are coming down to in Lent madness… Two Saints!

  105. March 30, 2015 - 5:29 pm | Permalink

    My cats told me to vote for Francis. (My statue of him in the foyer was pretty adamant as well.)

  106. JBH's Gravatar JBH
    March 30, 2015 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Well it may have been a protest vote but I voted for Molly Brant…a very imperfect woman in a very complex time and place who plowed on in faith and courage.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 30, 2015 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

      As you say, imperfect. But that pretty much sums us all up doesn’t it? Molly was a woman, I’d say ahead of her time, brave and probably an itch to many around her. I am so glad that we all have been introduced to her. She’s certainly a new role model to a bunch of us.

  107. Alene's Gravatar Alene
    March 30, 2015 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    My cat is sitting on my lap, but I think he might prefer the quiet power of Molly’s presence over the somewhat flamboyant Francis. Gabriel, the cat, does not want people to sing about him. He wants you to sit and pet him.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 30, 2015 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

      But does Gabriel sing to them? can you imagine if Gabriel was in the LM running how many cries of Unfair, Unfair, Too popular there’s be?

  108. Cheryl's Gravatar Cheryl
    March 30, 2015 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Adding another voice to the “retire Francis’ jersey” after this – one of the charms of Lent Madness is learning about more obscure saints of the past, or unfamiliar stories of contemporary holiness, and finding an ultimate winner with the most engaging story of a sacred life. Although I’m sure all of us could learn details of his history that would surprise us, St. Francis, one of the most popular saints on the planet whose name was even chosen by the current pope, doesn’t really fit into either of those categories. I feel like he is a rather unstoppable juggernaut at this point, which compels me to vote for the underdog (which is what I assume Francis would have done ;-).

  109. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    March 30, 2015 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I realize we can only try, Carol Buckalew (there are so many of us named Carol here!) and I love that hymn,too, that goes back to Jr. Choir days. Another that makes me think of St. Francis today, dates back to “Rainbow Girls”. It’s about Christ’s Love of all the gifts of creation. I always feel that love singing “I walk through the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses….” Do you know the one I mean? Also, “The Tie That Binds” all of us in Christian Love. Beautiful. Now let’s go sing “Were You There?”

  110. Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
    March 30, 2015 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

    What a choice!! But Francis vs. Molly is no contest. It has been such a joy to read each day about these saints a lot of whom I knew nothing about. Thanks to all!

  111. Gregory Francis's Gravatar Gregory Francis
    March 30, 2015 - 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Francis will, yet again, adorn a coffee cup. Pre-ordering mine tomorrow.
    BEST LM ever! Thank you SEC and all the bloggers.

  112. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    March 30, 2015 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I have stayed true and from day one I said it would be Francis and Kamehameha for the Golden Halo. hey 50% isn’t bad.

  113. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 30, 2015 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

    It appears he who would own nothing will beat she who owned slaves and therefore advance to take on the winner of tomorrow’s ballot, which will be either a solo-traveling female liturgical anthropologist who preserved the history of early Christian celebrations or the woman who might very well have been Ireland’s first female bishop, in Spy Wednesday’s Toss Up for The Golden Halo of Lent Madness MMXIV.

    (If Brigid advances the final round will be nun vs monk.)

  114. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 31, 2015 - 12:12 am | Permalink

    Just one question: how many real people mentioned in the NT or known to us in the first thousand years of Christian history did NOT own slaves or did NOT belong to a slave-owning family? Please consider what it means that slavery was taken for granted in antiquity and persisted in various forms and under various names throughout the Middle Ages (European serfs). The Franciscans and other mendicant orders did not own slaves, but the monastic orders did, and they drove their slaves hard. And the laity were not exempt from this rule either. Look closely into the economic institutions of the ancient and medieval world, and if you consider slave-owning a deal-breaker, you’ll have to give up a lot of saints you wouldn’t want to do without.

    • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
      March 31, 2015 - 7:58 am | Permalink

      Such as?

  115. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 31, 2015 - 5:04 am | Permalink

    Another wonderful year. Thank you to all involved. I have learnt so much again, and encountered saints I had not previously heard of; all are inspiring. Every day in my Iona Community office I pray: O God, who gave to your servant Columba
    the gifts of courage, faith and cheerfulness,
    and sent people out from Iona
    to carry the word of your gospel to every creature,
    grant, we pray, a like spirit to your church,
    even at this present time.
    So in that spirit I cast my vote for Francis who carried the gospel to every creature, and who was a radical, reaching out to Islam and enlarging our vision of the world.

  116. March 31, 2015 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    My vote for Francis because he is a good helper for all of the animals like Adam did when he didn’t have Eve.

  117. Vivian's Gravatar Vivian
    March 31, 2015 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I vote for St Francis and his early sense of our connectness to all living things.

Comments are closed.