Congratulations to 2015 Golden Halo Winner -- Francis of Assisi

Francis GH

The Lent Madness Supreme Executive Committee congratulates Francis of Assisi on his victory in Lent Madness 2015. With over 8,200 votes cast, Francis and Brigid of Kildare staged an epic neck-and-neck race throughout the day, fueling saintly passions across the globe. The SEC has certified the election (after having to zap some votes from several over-voters). In the end, rest assured that the result was close but clean.

To honor this achievement we have taken the liberty of rewriting his famous Canticle of the Sun. We suggest this be used in every Easter Day liturgy -- either in the context of the sermon or as a communion anthem.

Canticle of the Sun
(Golden Halo Edition)

Most high, all powerful, all good SEC!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Tim and Scott, do they belong.
With a few Celebrity Bloggers thrown in.
Since we don’t pay them much. Mostly free mugs.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your voters,
especially through my Brother Oliver,
who once was seven but now is eight.
His voting touch has been a thing of beauty!

Be praised, my SEC, through Sister Brigid;
in the heavens you have made her bright, precious, and beautiful.
Though not victorious. I might add.
Oh, she of the “Silver” Halo.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Facebook and Twitter,
through which you give your creatures sustenance
and a venue for holy trash talking.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Bracket;
the large poster-sized one that is useful and understated
and holds the place of honor in every church parish hall.

Be praised, my SEC, through Brother Kitsch,
through whom you brighten the night
with glow in the dark statues of the Virgin Mary,
who, by the way, will never be put in the bracket.

Be praised, my SEC, through Sister Golden Halo,
who shines brightly and emits such a blinding aura
that we are unworthy to look her way
for by you, SEC, with the help of the Lent Madness voting public
does she crown the head of victory.

Praise and bless the SEC, and give thanks,
for they serve with such unsurpassed humility.

But wait, there’s more!

Francis GH mugCommemorate this great moment in church history by purchasing your very own Francis of Assisi mug. It features Francis with the words “2015 Golden Halo Winner” and “Lent Madness.” This is the perfect gift for every Lent Madness voter, every saint lover...or really anyone who drinks liquid in any form. For that matter, you can always use this mug as a birdbath. The Francis of Assisi Golden Halo Winner Lent Madness 2015 mug is white ceramic, ready to hold 11 ounces of your favorite beverage or something for the birds. Pre-order yours now for just $11. Buy five or more for just $9 each. They’ll ship soon! Buy now!

BRIGID FANS: Your pleas have been heard by the SEC. Due to the exceedingly close nature Brigid glass_webof the competition for the Golden Halo, we are awarding the first ever Silver Halo to Brigid of Kildare. Stay tuned for your chance to own a Lent Madness Brigid-inspired pint glass. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, because we'll announce when the Brigid pint glass is available in the Lentorium. It should be sometime in the next few days.

For now, have yourself a blessed Holy Week and joyful Easter. You've earned it!



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108 comments on “Congratulations to 2015 Golden Halo Winner -- Francis of Assisi”

  1. Thank you for providing a consolation prize for Brigid. She was my favorite all along.

    1. I agree with Joyce, excellent move by the all wise SEC! and Many thanks for another Lent Madness!

    2. I had her losing to Brendan in my bracket, but I'm an old sailor, so I was kind of biased. Since she's Irish, I'm hoping it's an Imperial Pint! More authentic. : )

  2. Just how close was the count? We're there Francis votes discounted as well?
    Looking forward to the Brigid glass!

  3. Brilliant! I couldn't agree more and eagerly await this fitting and heartwarming tribute. Looking forward to flashing it about the next time someone says, "Fancy a pint?"

  4. To all who have acquired the taste for hagiography, I cannot recommend the book "All Saints" by Robert Ellsberg enough. It is Christian yet somewhat inclusive (Gandhi, Martin Buber, for example), and is organized in a reading-a-day format. These biographies are beautifully written, and I have been inspired, and even transformed by this book. I sincerely commend it to the LM public.

    1. Cassandra,
      Thank you so much for recommending the book, "All Saints". I plan to get it and use it as part of our family morning devotion. Happy Easter to all!

  5. While it was a tough choice in yesterday' s voting (as was in several previous rounds) you all (I really should say Y'ALL) have made this THE BEST LENT EVER! I have been engaged in a new a meaningful way. I especially liked including Saints across the religions as I tend to worship from Episcopal to Methodist to Roman Catholic (by birth). BLESSINGS TO Y'ALL WHO BROUGHT FORTH LM AND ITS PARTICIPANTS! AND, A VERY HAPPY EASTER & BEYOND!

  6. How wonderful that Brigid gets an award too! I may just have to order a glass when they become available. Thanks for the wonderful Madness this year!

  7. Looking forward to a delicious glass of milk in my Brigid pint glass to drink with my grilled cheese!

  8. You arenawesome for giving credit to Oliver in your Canticle of the Sun! He brought a smile to my fave every morning.

  9. Holy cow! A St. Brigid pint glass?!?! That's so incredibly awesome!

    Hey guys! Who wants to go drinking with me and a St. Brigid pint glass?!?

  10. But will giving St Brigid the silver knock her out from future contention for the Golden Halo? I mean, there are few Saints who could ever have come this close to defeating the powerhouse of St. Francis of Assisi. Shouldn't she be able to come back in a few years and take the gold?!?

    1. Since Brigid made it to the Final Four this year, she's not going to be eligible for Lent Madness for the next four years. Here is a quote from the May 2014 call for nominations for the 2015 bracket advising who would not be eligible:
      This includes the entire field of Lent Madness 2014, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2013 and 2012, and those from the 2011 Faithful Four.

      So Brigid will next be eligible for Lent Madness in 2020 by my calculations. Francis, having made it to the Faithful Four in 2010 before being defeated by Julian of Norwich who in turn lost to C.S. Lewis, was not eligible again until this year, 2015. For next year, Lent 2016, the entire 2015 lineup is not eligible, nor are the 2014 and 2013 Elate Eight and the 2012 Faithful Four.

      And it's never certain. Charles Wesley was in a previous year's bracket and got voted out in the first round, then earned his Golden Halo last year. Who'd have ever thought that Frances Perkins would be the winner in 2013?

    2. Excellent question! Please don't banish her, I mean, after all, she didn't win and that's the rule of thumb, isn't it?

  11. Wait! A Silver Halo?? What about a Bronze halo as well? I like the idea of a pint glass for Brigid given her heritage and our perception of her heritage. Hmmm.... the possibilities!

  12. Thank you, SEC, for enriching my Lenten meditations. The saintly collects are enlightening. While I really hoped for a Kamehameha win, I love the bonus of a St. Brigid silver halo!
    Blessed Triduum to you.

  13. May I just observe that St. Francis seems to be contemplating a chocolate moose in this drawing?

    1. Now I really need to order the mug so I can smile each day at Brother Francis and Brother Moose.

  14. i look forward to the pint glass!! great idea!! what a great time this was. thanks to all who made it such a success. and Oliver have a great year 8!

  15. A most excellent decision to give the silver to St. Brigid!! My vote went to her (as it had throughout Lent Madness); but I love St. Francis, as well! I can only repeat several previous comments; I can't wait to drink out of a St. Brigid pint glass!! It'll make a wonderful addition to my collection!! Thank you, SEC! Another wonderful Lent of learning about these blessed people!! Happy Easter, y'all!!

  16. The SEC is brilliant! I propose that we always have a silver halo for the first runner up. I definitely think Francis would approve.

  17. "Over-voters"---you heard it first here, folks! Love it!

    And a SILVER HALO PINT GLASS! (ooh, ah, gasp!)

    What a fabulous ending to yet another spectacular season of Lent Madness. Thank you to everyone. Happy Easter, y'all!!

  18. Bah. The popular guys get all the perks.

    He may be Homecoming King now, but he'll be fat, balding, drunk, and in a trailer park in a back lot in Heaven, or worse, a statue in my back yard when time passes.

    I'm waiting for Brigid to announce her candidacy in 2016.

    1. Actually, Nate raises a good question. Previous Golden Halo winners are exempt from further LM competition. Does the Silver Halo exempt Brigid? (I vote no.)

  19. Thank you all for this most thought proving activity. I am sure there is a lot of work behind the scenes to have this run so smoothly. I have so enjoyed it and look forward each day to learning more about the Saints.