Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass

Today, Lent Madness offers us a tough choice between Juan Diego and Frederick Douglass. Their respective stories and legacies are compelling yet only one will advance to the Elate Eight. To paraphrase a best-selling book: Eat, Pray, Vote. Unless you’ve already eaten. In which case, just pray and vote. 

Yesterday, in a hotly contested battle, Molly Brant edged out Cuthbert 51% to 49% and will advance to face the winner of Bernard Mizecki vs. Jackson Kemper.

Oh, and don’t forget to watch yet another exciting episode of Monday Madness. Tim and Scott mention a few folks (at least by town) who have been cast into the outer darkness for voting too many times from a single location and they reveal just who writes all the Monday Madness scripts (HINT: It’s not Jimmy Fallon’s talented stable of writers).

unnamedJuan Diego

Juan Diego, raised according to the Aztec pagan religion, showed an unusual and mystical sense of life even prior to hearing the Gospel from missionaries. It is said that before the famous apparition of the Virgin Mary, Juan Diego was a virtuous man who led such an exemplary life that people often asked him to intercede for them in prayer.

On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego experienced that apparition in which he asked the Virgin her name. She responded in his native language of Nahuatl, “Tlecuatlecupe,” which means “the one who crushes the head of the serpent” (side note: the serpent was a very important symbol in Aztec religion! Coincidence?!?) “Tlecuatlecupe” when correctly pronounced, sounds very similar to “Guadalupe.”

Thus, the Americas would have a new symbol of hope in La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Having carried out La Virgencita’s message (another popular name used for the Virgin of Guadalupe), Juan Diego lived out his life in a hut next to the church built in her honor. There he spent his days in prayer, extending hospitality to pilgrims visiting La Virgencita.

It is very possible that Juan Diego never fully understood the impact that his willingness to be a messenger had for his people. Because of Juan Diego, the Indigenous people of Mexico heard the clear message that they too were beloved children of God. The choice of a simple indigenous man as a messenger for the Virgin of Guadalupe meant that all people were important. Juan Diego’s witness to the appearance of La Virgen changed the face of the Church, opening the doors to all people regardless of nationality or social standing. 

In his canonization homily, Pope John Paul II said, “In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruit meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans.”

La Virgen de Guadalupe, is a powerful symbol that reminds the poorest of the poor, that they are loved and important in the eyes of God. This was an important message in a time when the conquistadores had convinced everyone that the Indigenous in the Americas were less than human.

How marvelous that Juan Diego a “nobody” in the eyes of the Aztec Empire and in the eyes of the conquistadores would be chosen to carry out such an important message and serve as a role model to all Christians!

NOTE: Juan Diego’s tilma with the imprinted image of La Virgen hangs in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. According to a study by Virgilio Elizondo, professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology at the University of Notre Dame, there have been many reports suggesting that the tilma is fake, possibly brought from Europe. Elizondo argues that if the tilma had been manufactured in Europe it would had not have lasted as long as it has. The tilma seems to be made from woven hemp, from a plant that is native to Mexico, explaining the tilma’s remarkable state of preservation.

Nancy Frausto

Douglass at workFrederick Douglass

Throughout Frederick Douglass’ life, literature and Holy Scripture remained an ever-present force. After his escape from slavery, Douglass, who was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, renamed himself after a character in Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake. His sense of mission was inspired by the prophetic words of Old Testament Scripture.

Regarding the Civil War, Douglass wrote, “Civil war was not a mere strife for territory and dominion, but a contest of civilization against barbarism.” After the Civil War, Douglass brought attention to the rise of lynchings in the Deep South and the ongoing racism that prevented the economic and social advancement of African Americans. He was also an outspoken advocate for female suffrage. Hours before his death Douglass stood alongside suffragist Susan B. Anthony and Methodist minister and physician Anna Howard Shaw as they rallied for women’s voting rights. Regarding the matter, Douglass once wrote in his newspaper The North Star, “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”

Although Douglass spent much of his time traveling and giving speeches, he and his family called Washington D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood home. It was there that he purchased 15 acres of land and built his 20-room home, which he called Cedar Hill. Although Douglass’ home offered a clear view of the U.S. Capitol building, he often retreated to a cabin behind his house, which he named “The Growlery.” There, Douglass, read, wrote, and “growled” when the mood called for it. Charles Dickens’ novel, The Bleak House, served as Douglass’ inspiration for his Growlery. Douglass’ dog, a mastiff, often kept him company when Douglass took to his cabin. Douglass also took great pleasure exercising with barbells.

Douglass’ eventual financial and relative vocational success was a far cry from his birth in the confines of slavery and reflects his dogged determination, his belief in the dignity of humankind — which he noted was rooted in his study of Holy Scripture — and his unwillingness to let evil win. That said, Douglass was not content to rest on his successes knowing that many African Americans with equal determination and faith faced unyielding resistance and violence. And in the face of strident criticism and danger, Douglass remained resolute: “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

On June 19, 2013, a seven-foot statue of Douglass was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol building. The date of the statue’s dedication, known as Juneteenth, commemorates the arrival of the Emancipation Proclamation to the people of Texas.

Maria Kane


Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass

  • Frederick Douglass (60%, 3,370 Votes)
  • Juan Diego (40%, 2,258 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,628

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142 Comments to "Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass"

  1. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 17, 2015 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    First one to comment? Cool.

  2. Johnny's Gravatar Johnny
    March 17, 2015 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    This isn’t fair! I love them both!

    • March 17, 2015 - 11:12 am | Permalink

      I’m with you, Johnny. Whichever one wins, I’ll pine for the other as well!

  3. Mike Essig's Gravatar Mike Essig
    March 17, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one worthy of the championship round, not the second one.

    • Pastor Eileen's Gravatar Pastor Eileen
      March 17, 2015 - 9:39 am | Permalink


  4. Harry Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Moncelle
    March 17, 2015 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Mr. Douglas gets my vote, “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.” hard to ignore this man of God.

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 17, 2015 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      I agree!

    • Sr. Brigidssm's Gravatar Sr. Brigidssm
      March 17, 2015 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

      me too that statement “Right is of no sex Truth is of no color, won me over!

    • March 18, 2015 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

      re: Harry Moncelle comment. Aren’t there any “sisteren,” Harry?

  5. Julie's Gravatar Julie
    March 17, 2015 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    All saints are worthy of glory. It’s always a hard choice. But I vote for Douglass, the amazingly noble and brave man.

  6. Lesley Hildrey's Gravatar Lesley Hildrey
    March 17, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Another tough one!

  7. March 17, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Got to go with Frederick Douglass, whose love of literature and Scripture resonates with me. To learn new ideas from careful study and to write, preach, and teach about them is my passion, too. I wish I had a “Growlery,” though. That’d be cool.

  8. Cindy's Gravatar Cindy
    March 17, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Tough but have to go with Frederick as he was for the women also.

  9. Nancy Brown's Gravatar Nancy Brown
    March 17, 2015 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I like both of them! Difficult to vote for only one!

  10. Tutu Lois's Gravatar Tutu Lois
    March 17, 2015 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Our Lady of Guadalupe is so important to both Hispanics and Native Americans – my vote is for Juan Diego.

    • David M.'s Gravatar David M.
      March 17, 2015 - 9:49 am | Permalink


      • Lea's Gravatar Lea
        March 17, 2015 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Make that double ditto!

    • Paul Bonnar's Gravatar Paul Bonnar
      March 17, 2015 - 8:23 pm | Permalink

      As a Californian Juan Diego is relates more to the culture in which I live.

  11. Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
    March 17, 2015 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I predict Fred D will make it to the final round. Of course, I have done quite poorly so far. But Fred D has big mo.

  12. Kelly's Gravatar Kelly
    March 17, 2015 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego for me today–he was one of those saints who helped us remember that the Gospel is not a Western construct, and that the Good News is only strengthened by its inculturation wherever it lands.

  13. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 17, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    While the story of Juan Diego is very intriguing and I would love to see the Tilma, I have to vote for Douglas. He was brave, steadfast and stuck to the truth of God. We are all brothers and sisters, children of God.

  14. Lore's Gravatar Lore
    March 17, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    I love them both. I was tempted, very tempted, ( Satan begone with thee) to double dip vote!

    • Maria H.'s Gravatar Maria H.
      March 17, 2015 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

      wow, all these comments are my thoughts exactly!! Love both these folks today.
      Will think about this all day until voting has to be done! Double dipping sounds like a very good idea (I’m tempted too!). Blessings to all.

  15. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    March 17, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    I’ve traveled extensively throughout Latin America for decades. For all of its troubles, much of the entire region is alive in Christ and full of people more serious about their faith than are here in my own state in the U.S.. It would be a very different place for many nations if not for this one saint. Thank you, Juan Diego.

  16. Marjorie Frank's Gravatar Marjorie Frank
    March 17, 2015 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Yesterday you mentioned the “other March Madness” and today you failed to mention the “other other”
    March Madness” You have offended the female basketball fans of our saintly journey. Shame on you.

    • Michael Morris's Gravatar Michael Morris
      March 17, 2015 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      Marjorie, I hope you meant to say “fans of women’s basketball”, as we come in both genders. Go, LADY CARDINAL (no “s” for Stanford!!) If only ESPN felt the same way, amd covered the two versions in an informed way.

    • Anne Tanner's Gravatar Anne Tanner
      March 17, 2015 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

      There’s a news story today saying that the basketball powers that be are SUING people who use the terms, “March Madness,” “Elite Eight,” etc. A pox on them! Let’s invent our own terms.

  17. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 17, 2015 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.” We are still struggling to live out the truth in Douglass’s words. For his learning and commitment, and for his companion dog, I vote for Douglass today, whilst honouring the wonderful contribution of Juan Diego. There are no easy rounds….

    • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
      March 17, 2015 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      Beautifully said, Fiona! Thank you.

  18. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 17, 2015 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    FD “renamed himself after a character in Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake. ” Okay, he’s got my vote today 🙂 It’s madness, but a connection to Sir Walter is a connection to Edinburgh, my favorite city!

    • B.D.'s Gravatar B.D.
      March 17, 2015 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      I was named after my father, named after his father, named after his father named after Quentin Durward, another Walter Scott character. Today, I learned I have a connection Frederick Douglas. Pretty cool.

      • B.D.'s Gravatar B.D.
        March 17, 2015 - 11:58 am | Permalink

        Oops. Oh well people are always leaving the “s” off my last name too. Just another connection?

  19. oliver 7 years old's Gravatar oliver 7 years old
    March 17, 2015 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    i chose Fredrick Douglas because he freed the slaves it was very hard today

    • kelly k's Gravatar kelly k
      March 17, 2015 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

      you are the coolest, Oliver! Keep voting.

    • Sara L.'s Gravatar Sara L.
      March 17, 2015 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Tough decision today. But I have to go with what Oliver votes. Douglas it is.

    • Katherine Schroeder's Gravatar Katherine Schroeder
      March 17, 2015 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Douglass for me too, Oliver. Glad you’re still reading and voting!

    • Patty's Gravatar Patty
      March 17, 2015 - 7:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Oliver, it was a tough one today!

  20. Bill Ericson's Gravatar Bill Ericson
    March 17, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Love all FD stood for and his willingness to be true to himself!

  21. Nora's Gravatar Nora
    March 17, 2015 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Very tough decision! I would like to have a place for growling!!!

  22. Elizabeth Massey's Gravatar Elizabeth Massey
    March 17, 2015 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    That Juan Diego was Aztec first, Catholic second, and so blessed by his vision that he has been sainted and will always be “on the map” in the Americas persuaded me. His humbly received gift multiplies its holiness each year among millions of the faithful. Even an Episcopalian like me is moved by his story.

  23. Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
    March 17, 2015 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    “Growlery” – we should all have one!

  24. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 17, 2015 - 8:42 am | Permalink


    I’m going with Douglass. I think that one who shows Christ to the world, “majestic in his wrath” in this instance, takes precedence over one to whom Our Lady chose to show herself.

  25. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 17, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Frederick Douglass is up against Sojourner Truth in our parish’s Heroes of Black History Month competition! We started with only 8 contestants, and have included biographies and photos in an insert in the Sunday bulletins.

    • Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
      March 17, 2015 - 7:32 pm | Permalink


  26. Michelle Crulll's Gravatar Michelle Crulll
    March 17, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    While I admire both men and it was a tough one today with Douglass quote “Right if of no Sex – Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”, I was moved to vote for Juan Diego. There was just something about someone raised in the Aztec tradition not just becoming a Christian but becoming such an advocate for Christianity.

    • Geoff McL's Gravatar Geoff McL
      March 17, 2015 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I too would have thought this would be a tough one, but the margin of FD’s lead would seem to suggest others had an easier time of it.

  27. Timothy J.'s Gravatar Timothy J.
    March 17, 2015 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    you won me over with this line: “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”

  28. Edna Marie's Gravatar Edna Marie
    March 17, 2015 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Both are worthy of my one vote but the “Growlery” won it for me.

  29. Michael B. Palazzolo's Gravatar Michael B. Palazzolo
    March 17, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    I find it interesting that so many are voting for a former slave today while yesterday a woman who owned slaves yet never freed them won…how odd! Although I acknowledge the immense contribution to society by Frederick Douglass, especially to our African American sisters and brothers, today my vote goes to Juan Diego. Humility always gets my vote and the fact that Juan Diego chose to live in a hut beside the basilica touched me. FD had every right to build his 20 room home with a view of the capitol, but Juan Diego seems more “saintly” to me.

    • Jack F.'s Gravatar Jack F.
      March 17, 2015 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Wholeheartedly agree!

  30. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    March 17, 2015 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    What does it mean for us all to see ourselves on the Mother of God? I think Douglas would vote for Diego.

  31. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    March 17, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    The thought occurs to me–What if Frederick Douglass were alive today? Would we be more committed to the cause of justice in our own communities here and now? And what if Juan Diego was with us still? Would the lives of Latin Americans be of more value? As interesting and entertaining as all these stories are, the real question seems to be whether or not they inspire us to be brave when God asks us to be brave and humble when God needs us to be humble.

    • Molly's Gravatar Molly
      March 17, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      Well said, thank you Patrice. This will help me discern my vote.

  32. Molly's Gravatar Molly
    March 17, 2015 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    this choice is agony

  33. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 17, 2015 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Douglass was a great stateman; Juan Diego was a man of God. Diego gets my vote.

    • Susan's Gravatar Susan
      March 17, 2015 - 9:05 am | Permalink

      Oops, meant “statesman”!

  34. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 17, 2015 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve predicted Douglass for the Halo. There. I said it.

  35. Evelyn's Gravatar Evelyn
    March 17, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Last Saturday the Met opera was the Lady of the Lake, (see FD’s bio) lead tenor was Juan Diego Flores a strange coincidence and complicates a vote between two excellent candidates. I will have to ponder this.

  36. March 17, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Douglass was not only inspired by the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, he WAS a prophet whose faith and works helped open up a new future for the marginalized and oppressed. He has my vote today.

  37. March 17, 2015 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I vote for Jimmy Fallon!

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 17, 2015 - 9:28 am | Permalink


  38. Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
    March 17, 2015 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    The choice is just agony today but I went with Juan. There is just a sweetness to him……

  39. Murray's Gravatar Murray
    March 17, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Just to be clear, the Dickens novel is “Bleak House,” not “The Bleak House.” These things do matter.

  40. March 17, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Seems like these two are quite similar in that both make strong and undeniable statements of the love and message of God is for all, regardless of race, color, nationality, or economic status. So I guess it is Frederick Douglass for me mostly because he rose to such status after such a humble beginning, and maintained an humble spirit despite the status he achieved.

  41. Joan's Gravatar Joan
    March 17, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I love this madness – and learn so much. And not just about the saints. You expand my vocabulary. I always sit with dictionary at the ready. Today I have added tilma and growlery!

  42. Ellie Tupper's Gravatar Ellie Tupper
    March 17, 2015 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    So tough. But I’m for Juan Diego today, even though I’m in DC. Douglass was heroic and his fight is still going on, but Juan Diego’s people faced actual genocide. His witness helped bring God to an entire continent.

  43. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    March 17, 2015 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    What a humble man, Juan Diego. His encounter with Mary led hundreds of thousands to Christ (as she always does) within 10 years

  44. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 17, 2015 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    While I admire both. Somehow Juan seems closer to Jesus.

  45. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    March 17, 2015 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    How to “vote” for two exemplary Christians whose witness and ministry affected so many people for such a long time – and will continue to do so? Another dynamic duo!

  46. Ralegh's Gravatar Ralegh
    March 17, 2015 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    As a member of the Anti-Racism Committee of the Diocese of New York, I have no choice but to vote for Douglass. Juan Diego is a powerful symbol for the people of Mexico, but I vote for Douglass unapologetically.

  47. David M.'s Gravatar David M.
    March 17, 2015 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Two great heroes, so there isn’t a wrong vote. Those who growl over the despair of their people are often not recognized, so I greatly admire Mr. Douglass. However, being in Texas and seeing the impact of the Lady of Guadalupe, Mr. Diego obtained my vote. Juan to the Final Four!

  48. gillian butler's Gravatar gillian butler
    March 17, 2015 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    I was at the Basilica in Mexico City last December for the celebration of the fiesta de la Virgen. People walked for days carrying her picture on their backs. Families camped overnight in the square, lit candles, walked on their knees into the church. Juan Diego’s experience continues to impact the Mexico of today. “La Morenita”, celebrated for her brown skin, continues to hold her people’s hopes, aspirations, and sorrows. Much as I love FD too, I have to vote for Juan Diego.

  49. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 17, 2015 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Yes, we all need a Growlery. I think that Frederick Douglass believed that we are all brethren, but he was also a politician. Women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for abolition and women’s rights. He fought with them for both causes until 1867 when he broke with them over the fight for the Fifteenth Amendment, the post-Civil War voting rights amendment. The women argued that that was the moment to push for explicit protection of voting rights for women and people of color. Douglass chose a narrower path, supporting only voting rights for people (men) of color. The women felt, justifiably, betrayed. That rift never really healed. Juan Diego opened the door to catholicisms to indigenous people throughout Latin America. It is not happenstance, by the way, that there are more Virgins from the Americas than anywhere else in the Catholic world. Most pre-Colombian religions were polytheistic and incorporated deities in male and female pairs. The Virgins became vehicles through which indigenous Americans could incorporate ideas of pre-Colombian female deities in a Catholic construct. There were so many Juan Diegos in Latin America, many of them women. For all of them and for all of the Virgins (Que me cuides, Virgincita del Valle!), Juan Diego.

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 17, 2015 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You’re partly right. There was a split among those fighting for the right to vote.

      However, after the 15th amendment was passed, then Douglass resumed the fight for women’s right to vote.

      Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony both insulted each other. Douglass abandoned his female allies. Stanton made racist remarks.

      From http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/TWR-16.html :
      Frederick Douglas (noted African American Abolitionist): Report of American Equal Rights Association Meeting, May 14, 1868. “I champion the right of the negro to vote. It is with us a matter of life and death, and therefore can not be postponed. I have always championed women’s right to vote; but it will be seen that the present claim for the negro is one of the most urgent necessity. The assertion of the right of women to vote meets nothing but ridicule; there is no deep seated malignity in the hearts of the people against her; but name the right of the negro to vote, all hell is turned loose and the Ku-Klux and Regulators hunt and slay the unoffending black man. The government of this country loves women. They are the sisters, mothers, wives and daughters of our rulers; but the negro is loathed….The negro needs suffrage to protect his life and property, and to answer him respect and education. He needs it for the safety of reconstruction and the salvation of the Union; for is own elevation from the position of a drudge to that of an influential member of society.”

      Also from http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/TWR-16.html :
      Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in The Revolution, February, 1869. “We say not another man, black or white, until woman is inside the citadel. What reason have we to suppose the African would be more just and generous than the Saxon has been?…how insulting to put every shade and type of manhood above our heads, to make laws for educated refined, wealthy women….The old anti slavery school says women must stand back and wait until the negroes shall be recognized. But we say, if you will not give the whole loaf of suffrage to the entire people, give it to the most intelligent first. If intelligence, justice, and morality are to have precedence in the government, let the question of the woman be brought up first and that of the negro last….There is not the woman born who desires to eat the bread of dependence, no matter whether it be from the hand of father, husband, or brother; or any one who does so eat her bread places herself in the power of the person from whom she take it.”

      • March 17, 2015 - 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Kim. This makes it so clear what the stakes were for everyone and eloquence and power women and men brought to the debate.
        In Australia our Aboriginal people were not granted citizenship until a national referendum in 1967! Before that they were part of “Fauna and Flora”. There are still Aborigines alive who were denied passports. The struggle is worth it.

  50. Carol Kangas's Gravatar Carol Kangas
    March 17, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Now I’m seeing the result of having voted for all but one of the winners in the first round: I’m forced to choose between my darlings. I came close to abstaining but decided in favor of Douglass because he was both an abolitionist and a feminist.

  51. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 17, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Growlery, a Mastiff, and “dogged” determination. Sometimes the “Quirks and Quotes” round is genuinely wonderful! Here’s a capitol vote for Douglass!!

  52. Carol D's Gravatar Carol D
    March 17, 2015 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    One affected the history of a nation, the other the history of the world and the church. And remained humble.

  53. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 17, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    This one was hard. I can see either of them as winner. Juan Diego for his part in convincing the powers that be and the powers that be not that God is God of all. Frederick Douglass for his work to show the worth of all people before God and humankind. I voted for Douglass simply because I could only vote for one, and I have admired him for years.

  54. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 17, 2015 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Anybody else curious about what a “tilma” is? From the good folks who update Wikipedia: A tilmàtli (or tilma) was a type of outer garment worn by men, documented from the late Postclassic and early Colonial eras among the Aztec and other peoples of central Mexico.

    Tilma and Growleries! It’s a tough choice! As a Rochesterian, I’m leaning towards Frederick Douglass . . . lots of ties to him here including a (relatively) new bridge named for him and Susan B. Anthony.

  55. March 17, 2015 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    This was by far the most challenging election yet I agree that this shoulda/coulda been for The Golden Halo.

  56. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    March 17, 2015 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Carol, I’m in the same pickle! I voted for all but two of the winners in the first round, and now they’re battling each other!
    However, committed as I am to the position that sainthood is not limited to those already wearing halos, I vote for Douglass! And, all y’all, please take note: “Douglass” is spelled with 2 s’s. Just sayin’…

  57. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    March 17, 2015 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    I have to vote for Juan Diego. The Virgin of Guadalupe Procession comes through my neighborhood every December!

  58. Elise's Gravatar Elise
    March 17, 2015 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    From what Kim said, Douglass was not much of a feminist, he turned against the women’s efforts to obtain the right to vote
    ! Thanks for the info. Juan Diego got my vote.

  59. davehall's Gravatar davehall
    March 17, 2015 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Juan Diego!

  60. Jeanie Martinez's Gravatar Jeanie Martinez
    March 17, 2015 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately for us ordianry voters, the SEC has indeed done skillful work in creating an exciting contest with agonizing choices. Juan Diego, indigenous convert, mystic, Francis-like humility speaking truth to power: what’s not to love! Frederick Douglas, slave to statesman, theologian, a courageous speaker of truth: what’s not to love! In the end the person whose native faith and culture had been stripped away from his people, who was not even a full human being according to the laws at the time he was born, who became an exemplary human being, who was able to say of oppressed and oppressor alike,”God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.” That humble witness to the power of Christ takes my breath away. Juan Diego is amazing, but the whole Perpetual Virgin worship that seems to be the catalyst of his witness was far less inspiring.
    They both walked the walk, but I think Frederick Douglas did more to talk the talk.

  61. Frances Jennings's Gravatar Frances Jennings
    March 17, 2015 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Having visited Mexico several times and witnessed their deep faith, I have to vote for Juan Diego.

  62. john miller's Gravatar john miller
    March 17, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    tough choice, as it should be. Douglas, however, gets plenty of exposure while Diego is not as well known. The emphasis on poverty and the proclamation of the Gospel to indigenous people is obedience to the commandment of Jesus.

  63. Mariana Bauman's Gravatar Mariana Bauman
    March 17, 2015 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Douglas was a formidable character and I do not doubt his faith although his politics were certainly true to his times. When the chips are down – men are in charge.) Juan Diego was a quiet torch for Christ – bringing thousands to the Lord and giving the indigenous peoples of Latin America the courage to be truly the children of God. I vote for Juan Diego in his hut.

  64. Jan and Joy's Gravatar Jan and Joy
    March 17, 2015 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Top O The Morning! We vote for Saint Patrick today!

  65. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 17, 2015 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice. Both spread the message that God’s love and the worth of human beings is universal. I love Mexico City, and I have visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and seen devout people walking on their knees to the church. It’s an inspiring sight. My vote goes to Douglass because of his comment about the real significance of the Civil War, his retreat “the Growlery,” and his statement about not suffering his “own abhorrence” for not being true to himself.

  66. David Crosson's Gravatar David Crosson
    March 17, 2015 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    The second chapter of Colum McCann’s 2013 novel, “Trans Atlantic” offers the most powerful insights (fictional or non) on Frederick Douglass that I have ever read, other than his autobiography.

  67. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 17, 2015 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    I think this has been the hardest yet. Juan Diego is such an important figure to indigenous peoples – really, to all who have no “standing” in the world. This sentence alone would be enough to win my vote: “Juan Diego’s witness to the appearance of La Virgen changed the face of the Church, opening the doors to all people regardless of nationality or social standing.” What better legacy could he have? Add to that his example of prayer and hospitality and it’s hard to not vote for him.

    So, having made my case for Juan Diego, I instead cast my vote for Frederick Douglass. His work for the rights of all people, including women, can never be forgotten. When I think of the multitudes born into slavery whose names are lost to the ages, I am in awe of this man whose very name represents the struggle against slavery. Douglass was not only a man of great faith, he is also a hero for all time.

    And now, because you made me choose between these two great and faithful men, I must retire to my own growlery!

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 17, 2015 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

      When it mattered, he did not support the rights of women. When the 15th Amendment (regarding voting rights) was being debated, Douglass abandoned the women and supported voting rights only for men (of color). Does not in any way denigrate his efforts on behalf of slaves and men of color, which were brave and of monumental significance ~ it does, though, counter any assumption that he worked for the rights of all people.

  68. March 17, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, but the following made my decision clear: Women’s Suffrage, Anna Howard Shaw, and The Growlery.

  69. Susan Boyer's Gravatar Susan Boyer
    March 17, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Today, just for today, I must choose. On all other days, I can honor and be inspired by both these remarkable men who saw a glimpse of the way God sees us all as expressions of Godself. For today I will go with Juan Diego. This is in honor of people I have encountered in Nicaragua. For Jubilee House Community who empowers women and men to create Organic, fair trade growing, spinning, and someday weaving cooperatives in cotton, coffee and in millions of sesame seeds; who listens to their needs and finds a way to offer health care. And for Jenny Atlee and the Friendship office of the Americas. Her book, “The Red Thread” tell an excruciating story of US involvement in the Contra wars that destroyed the lives of indigenous people in Honduras. She now works with accompaniment projects to support the work of justice and peace organizations in Honduras. And, sadly, nothing much has changed in Honduras. She says that the US support for militarization of corrupt police is only increasing, that the native population are having their farmland taken away so that multi-national corporations can grow monoculture crops in tropical fruit and palm oil. This so that I can have frozen mangoes in plastic bags out of season. And I never have to think of where they came from or who suffered to make my life comfortable. May I be moved by a vision of Our Lady with the face of peoples everywhere to let go of my privilege that takes away their meager existence.

    • Carol Ingells's Gravatar Carol Ingells
      March 17, 2015 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this, Susan. As usual, your writing moves me. I well remember how much that trip meant to you and I thank you for sharing your awareness and compassion for people in Central America. Though I voted for Frederick Douglass, I honor Juan Diego and the peoples with whom I now live!

    • KLF's Gravatar KLF
      March 17, 2015 - 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Writing from Jubilee House Community — thanks for the kind words! I voted for Douglass because I have always admired his pro-justice work and because I find the adoration of the Virgen de Guadalupe teeteringly close to idolatry for me. But I agree with many of the comments here that both Douglass and Juan Diego are inspiring men from whose faith and lives we can learn so much.

  70. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 17, 2015 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    What makes Juan Diego simple? Because he was native? Poor? Seems like an unnecessary adjective. Faithful, open, mystic – yes. Simple – no. He seems complex to me.

  71. Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
    March 17, 2015 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    I wish I could vote for both of these saints….each worthy of the Golden Halo. But I went with Frederick Douglass as he seemed more accessible to our times, still relevant.

  72. Mark Gallagher's Gravatar Mark Gallagher
    March 17, 2015 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Reviewing their bios here, I was disappointed to see Mr Douglas’ credentials for sainthood included his dog’s breed and his favorite form of exercise. FD would definitely get my vote for the saint I’d most like to have dinner with, but I have to go with Juan Diego for the golden halo.

    • March 17, 2015 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Of course they’re in there: This round is “Quirks and Quotes!”

    • Lucretia's Gravatar Lucretia
      March 17, 2015 - 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Too bad he didn’t have a wise cat sitting on his desk, imparting wisdom through her very being!

  73. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 17, 2015 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    In deciding how to vote I sometimes read the bios and the comments and then just go about my day for a while. Some aspect of something I read keeps popping up in my thoughts and that guides my vote. So it will be today.

  74. Sheryl's Gravatar Sheryl
    March 17, 2015 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    Hard to choose, but Mr. Douglass gets my vote!

  75. Megan's Gravatar Megan
    March 17, 2015 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Juan Diego and I will always be good friends, as I’ve known him all my life. However, today I’m voting for Frederick Douglass, in large part because of this description: “That said, Douglass was not content to rest on his successes knowing that many African Americans with equal determination and faith faced unyielding resistance and violence. ” Such a good example for the US today, when many African Americans of determination and faith find themselves trapped, and blamed for their barriers.

  76. Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
    March 17, 2015 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I thing she is the patron saint of my state, California. And I thing the best evangelism comes from the people themselves.

  77. kit's Gravatar kit
    March 17, 2015 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Fredrick Douglas also worked for women’s rights. He gets my vote.

    • Kim's Gravatar Kim
      March 17, 2015 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

      He did, but he pulled his punches. I think that Frederick Douglass believed that we are all brethren, but he was also a politician. Women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for abolition and women’s rights. He fought with them for both causes until 1867 when he broke with them over the fight for the Fifteenth Amendment, the post-Civil War voting rights amendment. The women argued that that was the moment to push for explicit protection of voting rights for women and people of color. Douglass chose a narrower path, supporting only voting rights for people (men) of color. The women felt, justifiably, betrayed. That rift never really healed.

      • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
        March 17, 2015 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Kim, for the distinction. It does not affect my vote, which was already for Juan Diego, but it’s important to look at the nuances. Appreciate you highlighting the point at which Douglass ended his support for all people.

  78. Anne Margo's Gravatar Anne Margo
    March 17, 2015 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    This was so hard! But the Growlery edged me over to Douglass, as Dickens is one of my favorite authors and Bleak House my absolute favorite Dickens novel.

  79. Madamesenora's Gravatar Madamesenora
    March 17, 2015 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    It amuses me a little that so-called educated Americans know so little about Mexico. Without Juan Diego neither Central nor South America is Christian. Full stop.

  80. Marilyn D's Gravatar Marilyn D
    March 17, 2015 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I voted for both Diego and Douglass in the first round, so this is really hard. Pitted against each other though I have to vote for Douglass. What a brave and intelligent man!

  81. Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
    March 17, 2015 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    While I don’t discount Juan Diego’s faithfulness, I know a lot more of Frederick Douglass through my research for an article on the Dred Scott decision. Alas, I tried to get that article published during the 150th anniversary year of the decision (2007), but the editors, even though they loved my article, all had already published articles on Dred Scott! Unfortunately, I was never able to get it published. Frederick Douglass believed that the Dred Scott decision, while denying African-Americans freedom and justice, would stir people to strive for that freedom — black and white! He therefore called it a “beacon of light”! We still need that beacon of light today! Therefore, I voted for Frederick Douglass!

  82. Madamesenora's Gravatar Madamesenora
    March 17, 2015 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    In case you were wondering about JD’s global influence here is what Pew has to say about it:


    • March 17, 2015 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. And I did the quiz and failed….. So much to learn.

  83. Craig Ewing's Gravatar Craig Ewing
    March 17, 2015 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    A difficult choice. I went with Juan Diego because I think he represents a broader community: The Children of God. Mr. Douglas is vitally important to the American experience which can certainly be generalized to all oppressed persons. However, Juan Diego’s message is to me even deeper: Whether oppressed or free, we are all first God’s own.

  84. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 17, 2015 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Just plain couldn’t choose today. Two ordinary men who became extraordinary. Though their areas of concern were slightly different, they both ministered to those of lesser standing in their parts of the world, bringing God’s love in different ways.
    Glad each already has his Golden Halo!

  85. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    March 17, 2015 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    This was a hard one. I voted for Douglass as a needed voice in America today.

  86. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    March 17, 2015 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I voted for the one who wrote, and published in his newspaper, Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color.

  87. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 17, 2015 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Frederick Douglass by a nose…

  88. Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
    March 17, 2015 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Dear God — and the rest of you — this was soooooo hard. Frederick Douglass has been one of my heroes for more than half a century — since I read about him in a summer library program in Ottawa, Il. He has colored my life and my writing. But now I live in CA and Our Lady of Guadalupe is all around me and precious to many, including me. I went for Mr. Douglass, but part of my heart feels reeeaaalllly torn up. I would tell my gardening guru Juan Diego how sorry I am, if I could muster up the Spanish.

  89. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 17, 2015 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Fredrick for two reasons:
    1] so he can have a chance to defeat Molly later
    2] because he was smart enough to realize that the opposition to the 15th Amendment would only increase if women’s suffrage was included and then neither group would be able to vote. And as someone who has actually been to Selma, Ala. (home of the National Voting Rights Museum) & a past unit co-leader in the LWV, I would point out that it took about a century to fully enact the 15th! (And contrary to what some of the members of SCOTUS think we still need the Voting Rights Act of 1965.)

    Voting trivia: Oregon, the birthplace of voter petition initiated ballot measures & vote-by-mail ballots, has become the first state where those citizens 18 & older who have DMV-issued driver’s licenses/IDs will have to opt out of being registered to vote. (If you think not registering to vote will keep your name out of the jury pool it won’t since most states get the names of citizens 18 & older from the DMV for use in issuing jury duty summons.)

  90. dewluca's Gravatar dewluca
    March 17, 2015 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who is interested in just how much Douglass “loved women”, might want to read “Douglass’ Women” by Jewell Parker Rhodes . . . a novel, but based on historical research . . . about his wife (who was free black woman who bought his freedom with her hard work) and his rich mistress (who was white). . . .
    Just sayin’ . . . an admirable man in some ways, but no saint.

    FFI: http://jewellparkerrhodes.com/books/douglass-women/

    • Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
      March 17, 2015 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

      If sainthood is restricted to people who never sinned, never erred, never gave in to their baser instincts or the cravings of the flesh, then I think we’ll have to throw all of them out. AFAIK there was only One who never sinned.

  91. March 17, 2015 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    ¡Que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! ¡Que viva Juan Diego!

  92. Myrrh's Gravatar Myrrh
    March 17, 2015 - 4:10 pm | Permalink

    A simple, humble, illiterate man like Juan Diego would leave no writings or quotes that we could analyse, or could be found on the Web or Wikipedia. From the other comments, we also seem to be stuck on our own view of the United States as “America” and ignore the rest of America. Juan Diego’s response to the “Lady” has had huge effect on millions of people through the centuries in the rest of America and here as well. For the advancement of the Gospel on a continental scale and the saving of indigenous people from genocide by the conquistadors, I vote for Juan Diego.

  93. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 17, 2015 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I was hard pressed to decide and re-read the bios. Then, this being the round for quirks and quotes, I chose the quirky rose-filled tilma and the faithful gentleman who faithfully carried its message to the world.

  94. Donald Lowery's Gravatar Donald Lowery
    March 17, 2015 - 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Juan Diego never existed. The Franciscans, who had custody of the shrine when it first opened, knew the painting was done by an Aztec Christian artist names Marcos Cipac de Aquino and said so. The then Dominican Archbishop of Mexico, who supported devotion to the painting, removed the Franciscans from custody of the shrine and replaced them with more pliable members of his own order. Juan Diego is a pious fraud concocted by Dominican missionaries to further their evangelistic efforts. Frederick Douglas, on the other hand, actually existed and accomplished great good in his lifetime work of liberating slaves and uplifting newly freed people. Reality over pious fraud any day.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 17, 2015 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

      “Fraud” is a little harsh, don’t you think? Juan Diego may or may not have existed ~ that’s not relevant to LM. What you state as fact is not necessarily so, not about the painting to which you refer nor to Juan Diego ~ it may or may not be factually true. It is one story and even if factually true may not be Truth. I respect your vote for Douglass, but you don’t have to denigrate a pious man, or a pious myth, or an image that has moved millions of faithful people simply to justify your vote.

    • Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
      March 17, 2015 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Donald, I think you might want to do a little more research, before you make such statements. While I am a Lutheran, I have several degrees from Catholic schools, so I have had a chance to learn a thing or two about Roman Catholicism. First, before canonization, a “Saint” goes through a rigorous review, and there is a beatification BEFORE canonization. During all the period there are people who research the proposed “Saint.” Juan Diego has been through that rigorous review! Second, certain things are known about Juan Diego that are not the kind of thing that would be made up. Dates of birth and death and his original Aztec name, etc. You might want to do some more reading on the subject, such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Juan Diego http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/162607/Saint-Juan-Diego

      Again the Encyclopaedia Britannica has a very rigorous staff of writers and editors, they do not just publish any old article, it has been thoroughly researched beforehand! While I voted for Frederick Douglass, I think you are very wrong in saying that Juan Diego was not real and was fraudulent!

  95. mary ann's Gravatar mary ann
    March 17, 2015 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Ok Sec these are getting too tough. It’s giving me a migraine just to choose.

  96. John G.'s Gravatar John G.
    March 17, 2015 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    While I do not think the AME Church has sainted anyone, Frederick Douglass got my vote today as an Elate 8 saint. I think the story about Juan and his life is amazing and he is truly a virtuous saint who was obviously selected by the Virgin Mary for his incredible piety. But, Douglass endured so much cruelty and pain, yet then stood bravely for so many once free in a time of our nation’s history where it took great faith and bravery to do so. Go Saint Frederick Douglass! I see him in the Faithful 4 as well.

  97. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 17, 2015 - 5:31 pm | Permalink

    To honor La Virgen de Guadalupe and her ever present presence in south Texas. ¡Viva Juan Diego!

  98. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 17, 2015 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

    After some thought, I voted for Frederick Douglass.

  99. Robin's Gravatar Robin
    March 17, 2015 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    This is just TOO hard! I love the FD quote. But my sister-in-law is from Mexico and I have been to the Basilica. Juan Diego today but no disrespect to Frederick!

  100. Hilda's Gravatar Hilda
    March 17, 2015 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    This one was really tough. But being hispanic I am so grateful to Juan Diego for giving the Americas its Patron Saint in La Virgen de Guadalupe.

  101. Rhee Howard's Gravatar Rhee Howard
    March 17, 2015 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

    SOOOO hard to vote against either one!! LOVE both of them!! ARGH!!
    CanNOT vote against Frederick Douglass.

  102. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 17, 2015 - 11:20 pm | Permalink

    With no Celtics or musicians, I agree with everyone that this is one of toughest choices so far, between two equally impressive warriors for Christ. With all Douglass has going for him (which is a lot), I went with Diego, an indigenous convert from paganism who witnessed Christ’s love to his people. (“Tlecuatlecupe” doesn’t sound very similar to “Guadalupe” to me, but then I don’t know how to pronounce Nahuatl.)

  103. George's Gravatar George
    March 17, 2015 - 11:22 pm | Permalink

    A tough choice…but I must vote for Juan Diego. What swayed me is the that Juan Diego lived a life of poverty, humility and servanthood.

  104. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 17, 2015 - 11:57 pm | Permalink

    I am honoring my Spanish California ancestors by voting for Juan Diego.

  105. Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
    March 18, 2015 - 12:02 am | Permalink

    I just don’t see a Golden Halo in either one’s future but gave my vote to the current underdog.

Comments are closed.