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. My sentiments have already been captured so in the spirit of gratitude I will simply extend to everyone - and I do mean EVERYONE - my deep appreciation for a much enriched Lenten Journey. I can barely wait for next year! Easter Blessings to one and all.

  2. Well done SEC and EYE. Thank you for an excellent series and for honoring the votes and opinions of young people in your midst; Oliver and the teens at EYE who put Francis in the running in the first place.

  3. Can't wait for the Brigid pint glass.
    And I toast Gene's suggestion of the 2015 LM "set"! Holy cow indeed! !!!

  4. Wishing you all thanks and a great Easter! Lent madness has very much enhanced the journey. Mugs and hopefully pint glasses on order. Will that glass fill with beer every time I reach for it?

    1. I don't know if it'll work, but I'm going to put some lake water in mine - maybe it'll turn to beer!

  5. Thanks, SEC - another great Lent Madness! I feel lucky to say that I look forward to Lent every year!

  6. In the second sentence of your introductory paragraph, I'm not sure I would have referred to stimulated passions in this context during Holy Week. It invites comparison with another's passion, particularly one which far outweighs one's support for Frank or Bridey.

  7. I concur with Gene Kleppinger's "set" recommendation, even though Francis got my ultimate vote. Wow, Charles Wesley last year and Francis this year as the Golden Halo winners!

  8. I am educated and edified! Thanks be to God for the SEC, Francis, Brigid and all the saints for their faithful witness. Francis and Brigid mugs seem like the way to go!

  9. I was hoping to see the percentages as in the other closely contested battles. Maybe you will do that soon as well.

    1. Based on the post that Tim Schenck left, it would have been 4,217 for Francis and 4,040 for Brigid, still the 51% to 49% margin of victory (or loss, in my case!).

  10. Dear high and lofty SEC,
    Your one-off decision to award a Silver Halo in light of the closeness of the vote this year is inspired. And you are to be commended for your diligence in keeping the voting pure, spotless & undefiled.
    Hard to believe that I have to wait 357 days for the 2016 award ceremony!

    1. Thanks for posting the results. I knew it was going to be close but am overjoyed that Brother Francis won the Golden Halo. As a follower of the Poverello, I was pulling for him all the way.

      I am currently researching some saints who accompany people in illness. I hope to see some of them in the next Lent Madness bracket.

      1. Oh,okay--I thought you were worried about being seen with a purple mug in your hand!!

  11. So happy to hear that a pint glass will recognize Brigid. The SEC in its wisdom has decided to provide this option for the Silver Halo winner, not just if she was crowned with gold. Marvelous!

  12. Thank you SEC, Celebrity Bloggers, and fellow voters (especially Oliver!). This madness always makes for a holy Lent. Blessed Easter to all!

  13. What a finish! Thanks for another educational, thought-provoking Lent. Might have to get me a Brigid pint glass to celebrate the saints.

  14. Idea for next year: How about a Lent Madness in some other color for those of us who look awful in purple? Say maybe white with purple lettering? Just askin'!

  15. Mr. Ellsburg also wrote Blessed Among Among All Women--a compendium of "saintly" women, not all of whom have been canonized...

  16. I love the "both/and" rather than the "either/or" thinking that we are all doing at the end of this year's Lent Madness. The Angels must be clapping their wings in glee! Congrats to humble Francis for earning his Golden Halo, but let's SA award a Silver Halo for Brigid for the passion that she inspired. Thanks, Tim and Scottu, for demonstrating that we in the LM community are all winners here. Sign me up now for my matched set of a mug for my espresso and a pint for my Irish beer. Peace to you all.

  17. Congratulations! St. Francis takes the Gold and St. Brigid takes the Silver. Perhaps a Bronze Halo winner in 2016? What a fun, informative Lenten season. Easter Blessings to everyone. See y'all next year.

  18. Inspired decision to award a silver halo as well. I'm happy that my favorite saint, Francis, prevailed. But I'm also glad I got to meet some new saints on the journey, especially Eugeria. I'll be thinking of her amidst the smells, bells and glorious Easter liturgy at Church of the Ascension in NY on Sunday. Happy Easter to all!

  19. I suspect my Seamus and Haile were not the only 4-footed, albeit surreptitious ,
    voters yesterday.

  20. Thank you all for this inspired Lenten Lunacy! Loved seeing Oliver's comments
    each day! Sometimes I like to I think of the Communion of Saints as this incredible extended family to which I belong by Grace, complete with the usual assortment of daffy and slightly odd siblings...oh wait, i'm odd,too! Actually, "unique" is a better adjective, each of us made in the image of God for God's Glory...and, oh my, what Glory we behold, and infinitely more to await!

    Blessings be upon all who watch and wait and long for the Eighth Day of Creation!


  21. Many thanks to the SEC but also to my fellow commenters through the whole process. Oliver, keep up with your studies this year because they get harder when you're 8, and we want you to be with us again next year. Happy Easter, everyone.

  22. As I said in an earlier post, I think Brigid and Francis would have made a delightful couple! Cheerful and kind, generous and humble. I'm so glad they both rose to the top of the field of competitors. I am a very happy - Rookie no more - Lenten Madness Fan!

  23. I also think there should be a St. Brigid beer glass. Thank you for educating me about so many different saints. For next year's Saintly Sixteen, I humbly suggest that you consider Enmegahbowh, the first Native American Episcopal priest. Blessed Easter to you and all those you love.

  24. I hope having a Silver Halo does not preclude Brigid's inclusion in future brackets. Francis is definitely deserving, but it would be a strangely unsaintly system that imposed a glass ceiling on halo aspirations (not that Brigid would care, but her supporters might).

  25. As Hook said, "Good Form!" SEC. The inventive Canticle, the excellent mug, the close St Francis win at the buzzer. I'll look forward to next Lent. Time to buy a mug or 6. And some Bridget beer glasses. I like Gene's idea, combine them In a gift pack offering both!

  26. Could you have a coffee cup with St. Brigid on it as well? I can't drink alcohol and a pint glass wouldn't do me much good, sadly. I do, however, drink a LOT of coffee and tea. Thank you!!

    And thanks for a wonderful Lent Madness! I learned about new saints and holy folks that have remained obscured to me until now. That and the ongoing humor, especially the kitsch, has made my day every day. Gotta love that! 😀