2016 Lent Madness Bracket Released!

Happy All Brackets' Day! And welcome to the holy Season of Pre-Lent (aka any time outside the penitential confines of Lent's 40 days and 40 nights).

LM2016 BracketWhile much of the world is recovering from the Halloween sugar high, the rabid Lent Madness faithful cast their collective eye toward Lent 2016. It may be more than three months away, but the 2016 bracket of 32 saints has been officially released by the Lent Madness Supreme Executive Committee! For the seventh year running, people worldwide are gearing up for the “saintly smackdown” that will kick off on “Ash Thursday,” February 11.

In response to a question about why people should think about Lent in November, Lent Madness creator, Tim says, “It’s all part of our diabolical plan to create a year-round Lent. Why be penitential for just 40 days and 40 nights? And if you can walk into some big box store and see Christmas decorations in August, why can’t you walk into your local coffee shop and see purple lights strung up in November?” Scott agrees. “The Lent-Industrial complex is alive, well and thriving. We’re simply tapping into it in order to get people talking about saints throughout the year.”

Click here to access the full bracket. If you are a true fan, you're going to want to pony up ten bucks for a giant bracket poster (printed in full color with extra purple!) from Forward Movement. But first, watch the latest edition of Monthly Madness as Tim and Scott highlight some of the unique battles to come in Lent Madness 2016.

Then let the saintly games begin! Well, in three months or so.


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48 comments on “2016 Lent Madness Bracket Released!”

  1. Five bucks on the final battle being Julian vs. Dietrich, with a 50/50 tie as the almost-final count until the last minutes of voting. Then a vote cast from Tuvalu will put Julian over the top.

    #firstcomment #firstprediction

  2. Looking forward to another great year! Love seeing one of my favorite saints up there, "St.Roch, pray for us and keep us well." Said 3X daily is like taking a health supplement. Absolutely guaranteed! And my name sake is up there too. Oh fun, fun, fun! Neither will have won, but oh we will have fun!

  3. Bring it on! Another Saintly Smackdown. I am prepared -- already I am wearing my purple nail polish (although admittedly I haven't changed it since the Installation this past weekend)

  4. Alas and alack. At the march of the Saints at my church on All Saints, Thecla was among the missing.

  5. I like your comments about the Lent-Industrial Complex lasting all year. Some of us just finished commemorating the start of a debate about that. Brother Martin wrote, in Thesis 1 (of 95), that
    "Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite ("repent"), willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance."
    I am just glad you're not selling indulgences.

  6. I was just appalled that you did not include Fredric Baraga. Please include him if one of your candidates drops out: From Wikipedia- Fredrick Baraga was born in village of Dobrnič, in the Habsburg Monarchy. Today it is a part of the municipality of Trebnje, Slovenia; by age 16, Frederic Baraga was multilingual—a skill that would serve him well in later life.
    At age 26, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on September 21, 1823 in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas by Augustin Johann Joseph Gruber, the Bishop of Ljubljana. He wrote a spiritual book in Slovene entitled Dušna Paša (Spiritual Sustenance).
    In 1830 Baraga answered the request of Bishop Edward Fenwick of Cincinnati for priests to aid in ministering to his growing flock, which included a large amount of mission territory. A year later he was sent to the Ottawa Indian mission at Arbre Croche (present-day Cross Village, Michigan to finish his mastery of the Ottawa, one of the Algonquian native languages.

    In 1837, he published Otawa Anamie-Misinaigan, the first book written in the Ottawa language, which included a Catholic catechism and prayer book. After a brief stay at a mission in present-day Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1835 Baraga moved north to minister to the Ojibway aka Chippewa Indians at La Pointe, Wisconsin, at a former Jesuit mission in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior.
    In 1843 Baraga founded a mission at L'Anse, Michigan. During this time he earned the nickname “the Snowshoe Priest” because he would travel hundreds of miles each year on snowshoes during the harsh winters.[4] He worked to protect the Indians from being forced to relocate, as well as publishing a dictionary and grammar of the Ojibway language.
    Baraga was elevated to bishop by Pope Pius IX and consecrated November 1, 1853, in Cincinnati at Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral by Archbishop John Purcell. He was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, now the Diocese of Marquette.
    On July 27, 1852 he began to keep a diary, written in several languages (primarily German, but with English, French, Slovene, Chippewa, Latin, and Italian interspersed), preserving accounts of his missionary travels and his relationship with his sister Amalia. During this time, the area experienced a population explosion, as European immigrants were attracted to work in the copper and iron ore mines developed near Houghton, Ontonagon, and Marquette, Michigan. This presented a challenge because he had few priests, and had to attend to the needs of immigrant miners and the Native Americans. Increased development and population encouraged the improvement of transportation on Lake Superior.
    The only way to travel in winter was on snowshoes, which Baraga continued to do into his sixties. He was particularly challenged by the wide diversity of peoples in the region, which included the native inhabitants, ethnic French-Canadian settlers, and the new German and Irish immigrant miners. Difficulties in recruiting staff arose because of many languages; while Baraga spoke eight languages fluently, he had trouble recruiting priests who could do the same.
    Baraga traveled twice to Europe to raise money for his diocese. On one trip he was presented a jeweled cross and episcopal ring by the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. The bishop later sold these for his missions.
    Baraga wrote numerous letters to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith describing his missionary activities. The Society published them widely as examples of its missions in North America, and they were instrumental in inspiring both Saint John Neumann and Father Francis Xavier Pierz to come to the United States to work. In time, Baraga became renowned throughout Europe for his work. In his last ten years, his health gradually declined; he became intermittently deaf and suffered a series of strokes. He died January 19, 1868 in Marquette, Michigan. He is buried there in the crypt beneath Cathedral of Saint Peter.

    1. Lithophyte,
      Thank you for that extensive bio of Fredric Baraga. You are serving one of the major purposes of Lent Madness: to make the saints more widely known.

      1. I have a fondness for the people that get out and get it done with little fanfare or selfish aspiration. Also, Fredric might be the patron of paddlers- I love to kayak and he was a very brave guy to cross Lake Superior in a birch bark canoe back before the day of GPS and carbon fiber paddles. One claim is he landed at the Temperance river, so named because it does not have a bar at the mouth of the river.

      1. I see now that it was Roch I was thinking was Bach. I enlarged the brackets, but probably just skimmed them. Sorry, my mistake.

  7. It must be a "thing", to think about Lent in November, as I have also started my Lenten project this month. It will be much better than trying to get it all done, while attempting to bask in the last of Christmas, since Easter is early again this year. I do love the dastardly plan to go outside of the 40 days and 40 nights, though! muohahahaha!

  8. Since I only have a black and white printer, I have carefully taken a purple marker and colored in the letters in Lent Madness on my bracket.

    Totally and entirely unfair to have Sojourner Truth and Soren Kierkegaard head-to-head in the very first round!

    Nice to see Oliver is back. Did he have special dispensation to get his bracket at 7:50 so his would for sure be the first comment? If so, I approve.

  9. You are truly part of the band of "crazy Christians" our Bishop Curry wants us to join. The wave. The movement. The Lenten madness all year long.

  10. Our church couldn't wait until Lent for more bracket madness, so we are having a much smaller Advent Madness! Our favorite Lent Madness celebrity, Oliver chose four Old Testament heroes and we are voting each week of Advent to see who will get the "Golden Star."

  11. Clare, Meister Eckhart, Julian, Bonhoeffer -- so many of my personal saints. How am I going to choose between them???

    1. Jack, you're just gonna have to be like the rest of us when faced with these terrible choices — eeny meeny minny mo or close your eyes and let your finger fall on the bracket where it will, just like choosing a scripture verse for a sermon. .

    2. I have faith that those anointed by the SEC will provide writeups that will enable us to make an informed decision, based on our own perception of each candidate. And I hope that all voters will retain an open mind and not vote for a particular saint because that was the church in which the voter was christened or the name of the voter's cherished childhood pet or because of the gender (or national origin or age or any other similar characteristic) of the saints being voted on. Or because Tolkien borrowed the name of one of the saints on the bracket for a minor character in TLOTR and George R.R. Martin used the same saint's name for a character in "Game of Thrones" and those are the voter's two favorite series of all time.

        1. Tessa,

          I have faith that the SEC will provide write-ups that will help guide us all.

          I pray that for me this will be an exercise to advance my spiritual journey and not become a through back to my prejudices.

          Thanks for your comments.


  12. Holy Mother of Mother Smackdowns: Helena v. Monnica? I hope those celebrity bloggers are sharpening their...pencils.

    1. Yep, Helena v. Monnica will be the battle royale of overbearing mothers.

      Whilst on the other side of the brackets, poor old St. Joe remains silent, just like he does in the NT, responds to his dreams and works in the wood shop.

    2. Oliver, yes, St. Elmo. Probably best known for the phenomenon called "St. Elmo's Fire" -- look it up, it's a type of electrical charge that glows blue and is usually seen on ship's masts or on the wings of airplanes. If this is the same saint I'm thinking of, he's the patron saint of sailors.

  13. '@Elaine, yep H v. M is going to be a massive conflict on the nature of motherhood.

    Feel bad for St. Joseph, though. Guy has zero lines in the NT, but has dreams and just responds to them, e.g., "No, marry Mary, and Go to Egypt, now."

  14. I already vote for William Wilberforce. What an amazing man. Besides leading the fight to end slavery in Britain, he advocated for the poor, and for animals. All this at a time when people were inclined to see poverty as a sign of God's disfavor, rather than due to man-made circumstances. If you want to learn more about him, read Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas.

  15. I noted that Fr. Tim has what appear to be purple valences in the rectory. I am feeling a compulsion to wrote his patient wife a sympathy note.....lent apparently has no end on their home.

  16. Hooray for All Brackets Day! I'm really looking forward to Cyril vs. Methodius--it should be as exciting as when the Wesley brothers duked it out.

    Conspiracy theorists might notice that Cyril's brother's name looks suspiciously like the denomination founded by Charles's.

  17. What a contest to anticipate. And great to see Oliver again. I always enjoy his comments (and I thought it was Sesame Street Elmo, too!). Will need to start praying for guidance early this year.

  18. I spent Lent Madness 2015 recovering from quadruple bypass surgery and then rehab seemingly lasting forever and a day. I am ready for Lent Madness 2016 like you wouldn't believe! I near 'bout busted a gut laughing at Pam and Oliver thinking Sesame Street's Elmo was one of the one's on a bracket line. That's why this is so much fun, even the white knucklers as we near the end.