Joseph Schereschewsky vs. Nikolaus von Zinzendorf

Thirty-four consonants between them! That’s what we’re talking about in the long-anticipated Battle of the Consonants between Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky and Nikolaus von Zinzendorf. You have 24-hours (or 10 fewer hours than consonants) to decide this tongue twister of a matchup.

With only three battles left in the Round of 32, we will be kicking off the Saintly Sixteen on Thursday. The field is narrowing, folks! In case you missed it, on Friday Scholastica schooled Macrina the Younger 64% to 37%. But that’s old news. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

But first, check out this article about Lent Madness written by Emily Miller of Religion News Service that made its way into various secular newspapers over the weekend.

Oh, and we challenge you to write a limerick based on today’s matchup. Just because. Leave your best attempt in the comment section.

Joseph Schereschewsky

Born in Russian Lithuania in 1831 and raised by his half-brother, Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky was groomed to become a rabbi. During his theological education, he received and read a copy of the New Testament in Hebrew. Becoming convinced of Christ’s divinity, Schereschewsky moved to Germany to continue his studies of Christianity and theology before ultimately immigrating to the United States in 1854. He celebrated his baptism as part of a Baptist worship community in New York the following year.

After falling in with the Baptists, he felt led to investigate the Presbyterian experience, and eventually made his way to the Episcopal Church, enrolling at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. In 1859, Schereschewsky offered himself as a missionary to China. The Foreign Committee of the Episcopal Church agreed to his proposed mission and consecrated him a deacon, and Schereschewsky jumped a steamer to Shanghai.

Schereschewsky was a stone-cold genius with language—to call him a polyglot is an understatement. By young adulthood, Schereschewsky could speak Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Polish, and Russian with absolute fluency. When he arrived in China, he began translating the Bible into the vernacular of the people to whom he was ministering. Once the Bible was translated, he also translated The Book of Common Prayer into Mandarin. Schereschewsky’s ministry in China was so vibrant that the House of Bishops called him to serve as Bishop of Shanghai in 1877.

Schereschewsky fell ill after arriving in China. A degenerative neurological disease resulted in the resignation of his episcopate in 1883 and his return to the United States. Schereschewsky spent the final years of his life entirely paralyzed, except for one finger, which he used to painstakingly type out his translations of the scriptures. These translations were so accurate and understandable that they are still used today. By the time of his death, Schereschewsky had translated the word of God into Mandarin, Wenli, and Mongolian, as well as compiling a Mongolian-to-English dictionary.

Collect for Joseph Schereschewsky
O God, who in your providence called Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and sent him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the Holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray, to commit our lives and talents to you, in the confidence that when you give your servants any work to do, you also supply the strength to do it; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

— Megan Castellan

Nikolaus von Zinzendorf

Nikolaus von Zinzendorf was a German poet, preacher, hymn writer, theologian, religious leader, and bishop. The phrase most closely linked with Zinzendorf is Unitas Fratrum or Unity of Brethren. The words have been associated with The Moravian Church since its inception.

Born into one of the great noble families of Austria in 1700, the young duke took a great interest in theology and religion. In 1716, he began his study of law at the University of Wittenberg in preparation for a career in diplomacy. Three years later, Zinzendorf departed the university and traveled throughout Europe. Upon acquiring a Saxony estate, Zinzendorf allowed the religious group Unitas Fratrum to settle on his land. There, the Moravian Covenant for Christian Living was born, reflecting a rich liturgical and devotional life. Zinzendorf said, “All of life becomes a liturgy, and even the most mundane task can be an act of worship.” Unitas Fratrum became the Moravian Church.

Zinzendorf was ordained a Lutheran minister in 1735 and consecrated a bishop in the Moravian Church in Berlin two years later. Regarded as a strong leader, Zinzendorf dedicated his personal funds and fortune to the work of the church, becoming a staunch advocate for ecumenism. In 1741, Zinzendorf and a group of companions arrived in the American colonies to minister to the Indigenous population and German-speaking immigrants. Inspired by their Christmas arrival, the missionaries named the new settlement Bethlehem. Zinzendorf preached the gospel to everyone he encountered—free people, indentured servants, slaves, and Indigenous peoples—including leaders of the Iroquois Nation, Benjamin Franklin, and other notable leaders in the colonies.

By the time Zinzendorf died on May 9, 1760, the Moravians had dispatched an astonishing 226 missionaries across the Americas and around the world to spread the good news of Jesus and his love. One of Zinzendorf’s best-known offerings is the Moravian Common Table Prayer: “Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest and let thy gifts to us be blessed.”

Collect for Nikolaus von Zinzendorf
God of new life in Christ, We remember the bold witness of your servant Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, through whom your Spirit moved to draw many to faith and conversion of life. We pray that we, like him, may rejoice to sing your praises, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

— Neva Rae Fox

Joseph Schereschewsky vs. Nikolaus von Zinzendorf

  • Joseph Schereschewsky (69%, 4,802 Votes)
  • Nikolaus von Zinzendorf (31%, 2,135 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,937

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Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky—Unknown Artist, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Nikolaus von Zinzendorf—Unknown Artist, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

263 Comments to "Joseph Schereschewsky vs. Nikolaus von Zinzendorf"

  1. Laura J. Schomberg's Gravatar Laura J. Schomberg
    March 20, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Somebody please tell us how to pronounce the names of both candidates.

    • Karen's Gravatar Karen
      March 20, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

      The pronunciation of Zinzendorf is straight forward.

    • Barrett's Gravatar Barrett
      March 20, 2017 - 8:49 am | Permalink

      What madness it is to choose
      Between one born among Jews,
      And the other a Count,
      When both lives amount
      To greatness in spreading Good News!

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        March 20, 2017 - 8:53 am | Permalink

        Fabulous! Loving these limericks!

      • March 20, 2017 - 10:59 am | Permalink

        Barrett, You should receive the “golden halo” for limericks written in honor of Lent Madness!

      • Story's Gravatar Story
        March 20, 2017 - 11:51 am | Permalink

        Barrett, that is really good. I write poetry all the time but still I didn’t want to take on the challenge of writing a limerick.

      • Rita OConnor's Gravatar Rita OConnor
        March 20, 2017 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Another difficult decision, however I was somewhat biased by the fact that I am 1/4 Lithuanian Jew, so I voted for Schereschewsky.

      • Theresa's Gravatar Theresa
        March 20, 2017 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

        That’s a great limerick!

      • Abbie's Gravatar Abbie
        March 20, 2017 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Barrett the Gifted
        Wrote limerick uplifted!

        • Kristy's Gravatar Kristy
          March 20, 2017 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

          apt reply to a wonderful limerick!

    • Margaret B Kober's Gravatar Margaret B Kober
      March 20, 2017 - 9:23 am | Permalink

      Wikipedia says that the pronunciation of Schereschewsky is (skĕr-ĕs-kūs’kĭ).

      • Lucia Robinson's Gravatar Lucia Robinson
        March 21, 2017 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

        I think it would rhyme with Krzezewski (as in Coach K of Duke)–Sheshefski)–
        and Paderewski (as in the great pianist)–Paderefski. The w is somewhere between f and v.

    • Jane's Gravatar Jane
      March 20, 2017 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      Laura, I’ve always pronounced it “Share-uh-SHEV-skee”.

      • Jane's Gravatar Jane
        March 20, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

        Oops! I see Margaret has addressed your question. Mine was not an official pronunciation, so take with grain of salt. Since I’m here, I’ll point out that
        “Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky Bishop of Shanghai” (all in one breath) has a music all its own.

      • Karen Mallon Sharp's Gravatar Karen Mallon Sharp
        March 20, 2017 - 10:12 am | Permalink

        I like this pronunciation!

    • Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
      March 20, 2017 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      Share – a – chef – ski

    • Scott Knitter's Gravatar Scott Knitter
      March 20, 2017 - 10:20 am | Permalink

      NICK-uh-louse fun TSIN-tsen-dorf

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      March 20, 2017 - 11:53 am | Permalink


    • Michele's Gravatar Michele
      March 20, 2017 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

      I think it is like share-a-shev-sky

  2. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 20, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    For Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky and Nikolaus von Zinzendorf
    Tune: St. Thomas (Williams) Hymnal ’82, 524 I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord.

    All praise and thanks to God
    Who hast done all things well;
    Like giving us two awesome saints
    Whose names we cannot spell.

    A faithful Jewish man;
    a linguist, scholar too,
    Through scripture Sam found Jesus Christ
    And pledged his life thereto.

    A priest; he eastward went
    to China, gave his all,
    as priest and bishop; translator –
    it was his final call

    There was a rich young man.
    Who could have power too.
    But Nick’s true heart was turned to Christ
    To love his whole life through.

    We need community.
    We need to sing and praise.
    Nick’s wisdom and his hymnody
    Encouraged life in grace.

    Again how can we choose,
    Between amazing saints?
    Whose lives give us examples of
    God’s oft amazing grace.

    • Mary W. Cox's Gravatar Mary W. Cox
      March 20, 2017 - 8:38 am | Permalink

      This. Is. Awesome. Brava! Brava!

    • Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
      March 20, 2017 - 8:48 am | Permalink

      Mary, I totally agree! Limerick schmimerick–Diana is surely the poet laureate of Lent Madness!

    • Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
      March 20, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink


      • March 20, 2017 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Hi, Doris! Good to see you here. Did Bill get you hooked?

    • Rev. Vicki Hesse's Gravatar Rev. Vicki Hesse
      March 20, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink


    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      March 20, 2017 - 10:58 am | Permalink


    • March 20, 2017 - 11:00 am | Permalink


    • Val Smith's Gravatar Val Smith
      March 20, 2017 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      Very creative and meaningful. You are a talented poet. Thank you.

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 20, 2017 - 11:24 am | Permalink

      Humor and succinct information! Wow! (The first stanza had me snorting coffee – who needs a neti pot with Diana’s on-the-spot hymns in the morning?)
      You win the golden laurel crown of the poets, for sure.

    • Kim's Gravatar Kim
      March 20, 2017 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

      These keep getting better all the time!

    • Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
      March 20, 2017 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t he go westward to China, though? 🙂

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        March 20, 2017 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Gretchen, I am geographically humbled by your accuracy. In my own defense, it was very early and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. Thank you for pointing out what any fifth grader should know.

    • Candace's Gravatar Candace
      March 20, 2017 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

      This is amazing!
      But I still can’t decide who should get my vote!!

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      March 20, 2017 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful Diana!

    • Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
      March 20, 2017 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Wow! This is fantastic! Well said. I voted for the Moravian because I love their music written here in America patterned after the music of Haydn and Mozart. There are some wonderful songs.

    • Robert Klingler's Gravatar Robert Klingler
      March 20, 2017 - 2:45 pm | Permalink

      This is excellent, thanks uou!

    • Jane's Gravatar Jane
      March 20, 2017 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

      This is GREAT! ☆☆☆☆☆

    • Kathy Trotter's Gravatar Kathy Trotter
      March 20, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Love it!

    • Karen Mills's Gravatar Karen Mills
      March 20, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Diana – you’re the BOMB! Love this one.

    • Ernest Warren's Gravatar Ernest Warren
      March 20, 2017 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Diana, you are amazing with that. !

    • Nicole Smithweiland's Gravatar Nicole Smithweiland
      March 20, 2017 - 8:09 pm | Permalink


    • Lucia Robinson's Gravatar Lucia Robinson
      March 21, 2017 - 1:23 pm | Permalink


  3. Dutton in Madison, GA's Gravatar Dutton in Madison, GA
    March 20, 2017 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Schereschewsky is my man. He is the absolute exemplar of dedication and perseverence.

  4. Jill's Gravatar Jill
    March 20, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I am impressed by Schereschesky’s language abilities, but I admire Zinzendorf’s ecumenism, and how he spread the word to everyone he encountered, regardless of their stature (or lack thereof.) He was someone born of wealth and nobility who put used that status and those resources to bring the love of God to everyone he encountered. I also have always been a fan of the Moravian common table prayer. Nikolaus gets my vote.

    • ChrisinNY's Gravatar ChrisinNY
      March 20, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      Me, too, for the same reasons.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      March 20, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      i agree Chris and cast my vote for Nikolaus and also for the great Moravian tradition of music. He hasn’t got a hope , I fear but I persist. I love Lent Madness!

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      March 20, 2017 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Do you know why the Moravians (a small European denomination) could put together one of the most massive missionary endeavors this continent has ever experienced and still we see so few Moravian churches to show for it? They did NOT come to build Moravian chucrhes but to support those that already existed. Maybe you and I are among their benefactees.

      I think I’ll go with the Count!

  5. John's Gravatar John
    March 20, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I like the joesph guy cuz he has a swell name

  6. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    March 20, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! A tricky one. I was all for Joseph right up until the grace by Nikolaus… that is the first prayer my kids learnt.

  7. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    March 20, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Really hard choice for me, but Joseph traveled so far spiritually and physically and struggled so valiantly so I voted for him.

    • Sally Rhett Roberts's Gravatar Sally Rhett Roberts
      March 21, 2017 - 2:29 am | Permalink

      I, too, struggled to choose among such inspiring saints, but finally decided Joseph had given so freely of his life and talents that I had to vote for him.

  8. cj's Gravatar cj
    March 20, 2017 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    The consonant matchup? Oh gee.
    They’re both men of valor to me.
    But the prayer I love best
    Goes, “Come, Jesus, my guest,”
    So I voted for Nicky von Z.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      March 20, 2017 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Wonderful limerick with a clear explanation!

    • Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
      March 20, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

      My rationale exactly.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      (Unless it’s “Nicky von Zed.” And then the rhyme is off.) 😉

  9. J's Gravatar J
    March 20, 2017 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians established missions to slaves in the Caribbean . A genealogical mystery seems to point to a Moravian connection with my unknown slave ancestor. Zinzendorf could literally be the reason my people became free. My vote is for him.

  10. Ruth W.Davis's Gravatar Ruth W.Davis
    March 20, 2017 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Nikolaus. He gave refuge to the persecuted and used his wealth and status as a noble to further ecumenism at a time of religious bigotry. The Moravian church’s ministry to the marginal (at that time, indentured servants, slaves, Native Americans) caused deep suspicion among their neighbors. They were expelled from New York and found safety in Pennsylvania. So, Nikolaus has to get my vote.

  11. Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
    March 20, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    I’ll wait for the counsel of comments on this one. Happy Spring every one.

  12. Joyce in Madison. GA's Gravatar Joyce in Madison. GA
    March 20, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    What an amazing man. I can’t resist a “polyglot,” or “polymath,” as I have been corrected to say. I’m thankful that our church has been blessed by someone so dedicated. I’m voting for Joe.

  13. Elizabeth Neeld's Gravatar Elizabeth Neeld
    March 20, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    The Moravians’ calmness on a ship during a terrible storm in the colonies greatly impacted John Wesley who was also on the boat. A quiet devotional life–such as that practiced by the Moravians–provides a haven in today’s storm of bombast and attack and controversy. I am deeply grateful to Mr. Z for his support and commitment to this way of religious life.

  14. Linda Taupier's Gravatar Linda Taupier
    March 20, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    From deacon to bishop, Joseph has my vote.

  15. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    March 20, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Well, since Scherechewsky was the patron saint of the old St. Sam’s e-list, I feel obligated to vote for him. Plus, of course, the fact that anyone who would type out the whole Bible with one finger deserves every saintly honor available!

  16. Harriet's Gravatar Harriet
    March 20, 2017 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Growing up near Bethlehem, PA, I had to vote for Nikolaus.

    • March 20, 2017 - 11:17 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Harriet! Attended Lafayette, but the whole Lehigh Valley is thick with the beauty and ministry of Moravians, and our son is at school at Lafayette now. (Easton, PA, near Bethlehem, for the rest of you mad Lenten devotees.)

  17. March 20, 2017 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    When I was in seminary one of the ritual hazings was requiring students to officiate at sung Morning Prayer, whether you could sing or not. I couldn’t. On my assigned day, not only did I have to sing, but I had to sing the collect of the day for Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky. The full name had to be sung. Despite the fact that he was part of the instrument of my torture I cast my vote for him, in memory of not so great times in my seminary days.

    • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
      March 20, 2017 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Ritual hazing for those who had to listen also. Well, it stretches one’s comfort zone.

  18. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    March 20, 2017 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Both great men; I admired the tenacity of Joseph however I have always admired the outreach of the Moravians to the North Circle as well as the equator. The table prayer was the clincher which I was not even aware of even though I grew up in the largest Moravian settlement west of the Appalachian Mtns.

  19. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    March 20, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    I had to go with the linguist – what faith to keep typing with one finger. But there is a soft spot in my heart for the Moravian grace. We said that grace when I was a girl. I always thought it was Lutheran.

  20. Jane Christmas's Gravatar Jane Christmas
    March 20, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph, though both men were worthy. But I am also impressed at Diana’s ability to write a complete hymn about the two of them so early in the morning. Well done!

  21. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 20, 2017 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    Wow this was hard. I actually researched a bit more on each of these gentlemen. What swayed me was a quote was supported by the Moravians.

    “There can be no Christianity without community,” Nikolaus von Zinzendorf
    Moravian Brethren believed that Christianity should be a “religion of the heart”—which went against the grain of the growing acceptance of Enlightenment beliefs. ‘

    Another: In Christianity Today Scholar George Forell put it more succinctly: Zinzendorf was “the noble Jesus freak.”

    Joseph Schereschewsky has some interesting quotes too. James E. Kiefer wrote that oseph Schereschewsky said before his death in 1906 “I have sat in this chair for over twenty years. It seemed very hard at first. But God knew best. He kept me for the work for which I am best fitted.”

    Keifer noted too, Bishop Schereschewsky has been chosen “patron saint’ of the Anglican internet mailing list, sometimes known as the “cyberparish of St. Sam’s”.


  22. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    March 20, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Von Zinzendorf, because I’ve seen the light!

  23. Joanne's Gravatar Joanne
    March 20, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Go! Z. Moravian Sugar Cookies for the win, Clemmons, NC. Hope they are back at the NC State Fair this year! A friend sent me a canister when Daddy died & I could practically taste the prayers & comfort.

  24. Aleia's Gravatar Aleia
    March 20, 2017 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    I was all set to give my vote to Schereschewsky and his determined finger. However, I saw Zinzendorf was responsible for the common table prayer my family has recited for 100s of years. Viel Glück Zinzendorf!

  25. Brian of Thomaston's Gravatar Brian of Thomaston
    March 20, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    There was a battle by men without vowels
    Played out fully without thrown towels
    Both served the Lord all their lives
    Perhaps without wives
    From China to the U.S. quietly, no houls.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 9:05 am | Permalink

      “A” for effort! That is strenuous.

    • Kathy Trotter's Gravatar Kathy Trotter
      March 20, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink


  26. March 20, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Truly hard vote today – both were stellar witnesses in their time and their field in ways that resonate very strongly with the heart of the Episcopal identity. I ultimately went with SIJS because of the seeds planted in China that continue to endure despite all efforts to the contrary, even though I love NVZ’s piety and theology as well. And for the shallow reason that SIJS is a fellow GTS alum . . .

  27. Nancy D. S.'s Gravatar Nancy D. S.
    March 20, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Guess I’m in a Zinzendorf frame of mind on this Monday morning. All weekend I expected I’d vote for Joseph, but when it came time to push the button, Nick it was.

  28. March 20, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    The first prayer I learned as a very young child was the Moravian Table Grace in Kindergarten. It is the one my entire family has used for years. Nice to find its origin.

    • Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
      March 20, 2017 - 10:50 am | Permalink

      My godmothers’ mother said a variation of it before every meal, and all her family remembers her with much love.
      Nevertheless, I voted for S.I.J. S. because of his translation typed with one finger. Talk about making the most with the abilities we have!

  29. Deacon Dorothee's Gravatar Deacon Dorothee
    March 20, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    There once was a game called Lent Madness
    It delighted my heart and brought gladness
    Of the saints I would learn
    To the internet I turn
    My weekdays no longer are aimless!

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 20, 2017 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      Good one!

  30. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    March 20, 2017 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    I’ve been a fan of Scherechewsky for years, and won’t desert him now, though von Zinzendorf’s bio was compelling. Plus, my former colleague and early Celebrity Blogger Neil Alan Willard+ has Moravian roots–that nearly tipped the balance, but the brave linguist still got my vote.

    • Charles and Maureen's Gravatar Charles and Maureen
      March 20, 2017 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Loved the one about game of Lent Madness by D. Dorothee. Super!

  31. Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
    March 20, 2017 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    What a tough one! But I have a soft spot for the Moravian.

  32. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    March 20, 2017 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Having lived 7 years in Allentown, part of the Diocese of Bethlehem, and serving on one of the Moravian Cursillo Weekends, I came to admire and love the Moravians, their history, and their practices. Were it not for Zinzendorf’s influence as he sheltered them on his estate, there might be no Moravians because they were threatened by the hierarchical church at that time.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 20, 2017 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Very nice, Patricia. I’m inspired that the simple and honest act of faith by a single person can have immense implications. Just wow!

  33. John's Gravatar John
    March 20, 2017 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    To read is everything, so I had to go with the Jewish Russian Episcopalian Bishop Missionary Translator who was eventually paralyzed and suffered greatly. Nothing against the Moravians here in Pennsylvania!

  34. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 20, 2017 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Although my membership is at Trinity Episcopal Church in the diocese of North Carolina, for the last 20+ years in Nicaragua I have participated in the Central Moravian Church of Managua, so I had to vote for our Count Zinzendorf. I may be poaching on Neva Rae Fox’s quotes and quips if Zinzendorf advances, but I wanted to share that he was a prolific writer of hymns. Here’s one appropriate for our Saintly Smackdown (we sing it to the tune Bedford):

    Glory to God, whose witness-train, those heroes bold in faith,
    Could smile on poverty and pain and triumph e’en in death.

    Scorned and reviled, as was their Head, when walking here below,
    Thus in this evil world they led a life of pain and woe.

    God, Whom we serve, our God can save, can damp the scorching flame,
    Can build an ark, or smooth a wave for such as fear His Name.

    If but His arm support us still, is but His joy our strength,
    We shall ascend the rugged hill and conquerors prove at length.

    But I think my personal favorite of his hymns is O Thou to Whose All-Searching Sight. Here is a beautiful rendition of that hymn:

  35. Sue G.'s Gravatar Sue G.
    March 20, 2017 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Schereschewsky was sent to the east,
    While Zinzendorf blessed every feast.
    And as we have heard
    They both spread the Word
    To greatest as well as to least.

    I voted Zinzendorf because of the insight “even the most mundane task can become worship”

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 9:29 am | Permalink


    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      March 20, 2017 - 6:43 pm | Permalink

      I love this limerick, Sue.

  36. Sue O'Connor's Gravatar Sue O'Connor
    March 20, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I first became acquainted with Samuel Issac Joseph Schereschewsky while with graduate school and doing research on the work of missionaries in China. His name just resonated with me, so my vote today has to be with our China missionary.

  37. Mabel V. Durreell's Gravatar Mabel V. Durreell
    March 20, 2017 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I am impressed with the language abilities of Joseph Schereschewsky, most of us have some difficulty with “proper” English and most of us use the common phrases that even newscasters have adopted. At one time we could depend on them for accuracy. But the thing that impressed me the most, as I was born without patience, was the tedium of translating all those works with just one finger ! Long live Joe !!!

  38. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    March 20, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    There once were some folks with some consonants
    who traveled upon many continents.
    They loved the good Word,
    and so we have heard
    Their many and awesome accomplishments.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

      “A” for effort! Such rhymes to wrestle with!

  39. Bea Fosmire's Gravatar Bea Fosmire
    March 20, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    As a Methodist, I had to vote for Zinzendorf. The Moravians had an enormous influence on John Wesley’s life and the Methodist movement. Today in the Moravian church in Herrnhut, Germany the busts of John Wesley and Nicholaus von Zinzendorf are displayed side by side.

  40. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 20, 2017 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Translation has been a big theme this Lent Madness. While I admire SIJS’s panlingualism, I am touched by the Moravians’ seemingly Romantic approach to spirituality: communalism and simple evangelism through preaching. I was reminded of the medieval “hedge preachers.” There was a thirst for sharing good news, and we today so terribly need some good news. I couldn’t walk away from “rich liturgical and devotional life.” Also the collect speaks of “conversion of life.” These seem profound themes. I was curious: aren’t “Moravians” Czechs? And why were they seeking help in the German states? Was this all the Holy Roman Empire at the time? Von Zed was Austrian. It made me think that perhaps the flux of political boundaries allowed for openness to others. Possibilities opened not closed . . .

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 20, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

      The story I remember is that the original Moravians were Czech, but things really took off when Zinzendorf got involved. I think you’re right, though, about the fluidity of borders in that area. My husband’s Moravian ancestors were from Alsace-Lorraine, and that region is a classic example of border backgammon!

    • Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
      March 20, 2017 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      The Unitas Fratrum were followers of Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake for heresy. After his martyrdom, they had to flee what is now the Czech Republic (and then was Moravia), so it was life-saving when Zinzendorf received them on his estate.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 20, 2017 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Interesting questions.

  41. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    March 20, 2017 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    As someone who supposedly has Moravian ancestors and was brought up Methodist (the bio didn’t mention that John Wesley traveled to Georgia with a group of Moravians and later had his heartwarming experience at a Moravian service in London.), I had to go for Zinzendorf. However, as an ESOL teacher, I am drawn to Bishop Schereschewsky who is a favorite of my older son’s godfather.

  42. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    March 20, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    This was an extremely difficult choice for me, but Schereschewsky it is. The last time he appeared in Lent Madness I was amazed by his life story and disappointed he didn’t make it any further than he did. As someone who works in support of Bible translation myself, I greatly admire his dedication.

  43. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 20, 2017 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Moravian brethren by the spirit were led
    to seek assistance from Count von Zed.
    They settled in a new land
    and preached to many a band
    so souls in the good news were fed.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 20, 2017 - 10:08 am | Permalink

      “von Zed”!! Love it!

  44. March 20, 2017 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    I should possibly have voted for Zinzendorf because 1) in this Episcopalian-dominated community, JS was a shoo-in and 2) NZ was formative to my own ancestor John Wesley. But as a biblical storyteller I’m passionate about translation, and also my son has led scientific expeditions in Mongolia the last two years and I LOVE the cashmere blanket he brought me the last time…

  45. Marie's Gravatar Marie
    March 20, 2017 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Special men like Nick and Joe
    Willingly accepted their boats to row
    Across the oceans east and west
    They spoke, they wrote and shared their best
    So Jesus’s name we all would know

  46. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 20, 2017 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Nic nixed his life as a noble.
    His Unitas Fratum went global.
    But Joe’s a humdinger
    Who wrote with one finger,
    So go Joe, on laptop or mobile!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink


    • Deacon Mildred's Gravatar Deacon Mildred
      March 20, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink


    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      March 20, 2017 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Fabulous, Peg!

  47. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 20, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Hard choice as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner since both were mission oriented people. But since Joseph went to China, where the first Maryknoll Missioners went, I chose him.

  48. March 20, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    This was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Zinzendorf had the Moravian Church, Mohicans, Dutchess County (land of my ancestors), his usage of his privilege for the good of others, and Bethlehem PA (birthplace of my mother) on his side. But Joseph Schereschewsky’s story was powerful and several sources attribute his paralysis to Parkinson’s and so—in honor of my grandfather who has Parkinson’s—I went with Joseph.

    • betsy's Gravatar betsy
      March 20, 2017 - 9:44 am | Permalink

      Come Lord Jesus, Our guest to be
      And bless these gifts bestowed by thee
      Bless our loved ones everywhere
      And keep them in your loving care.

      Grace said by my grandfather William Reid, learned from the Moravians in Winston-Salem. I say it to his great great grandchildren!

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 20, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

        Hello, fellow Moravian from North Carolina! I’m from Winston-Salem; my husband’s family is from Pfafftown.

    • Heather Swearingen's Gravatar Heather Swearingen
      March 20, 2017 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      This was a hard one for me but I had to go with Joseph in honor of my dear friend who was disabled by a stroke.

    • Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
      March 20, 2017 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I wondered if it was ALS?

  49. Anna's Gravatar Anna
    March 20, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph because of his great devotion to the Chinese people’s and to the tracks nslating of the word for them.

  50. Walker Shaw's Gravatar Walker Shaw
    March 20, 2017 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Voted Joseph S. for his amazing translations and mission work. Also love the faith and work of Nik Z., the Moravians connection to John Wesley and especially his grace: “Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest and let thy gifts to us be blessed.” Too bad we can’t move them both forward in the brackets.

  51. March 20, 2017 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Between the Moravian influence on John Wesley (I am United Methodist), and the ability to see all of life as liturgy this was a no-brainer! Not to diminish the contributions of Schereschewsky , but if your name is that long, you’ve probably had so much practice typing that typing with one finger is more possible than with a name of a more normal length!

  52. March 20, 2017 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    How I wish Joe had had,
    A computer, poor lad.
    But to write with one finger,
    In awe makes me linger.
    He persisted! And that makes me glad.

    By the way, where is Oliver?

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 10:01 am | Permalink

      “like” Extra credit for topical sub-tweeting.

  53. Carol Kangas's Gravatar Carol Kangas
    March 20, 2017 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Today’s vote: a man I’ll call José
    With a surname not easy to say;
    He was matched with another
    Whose name is not such a bother,
    But the former gets my vote, OK?!

  54. Emily in PA's Gravatar Emily in PA
    March 20, 2017 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    This was a toughie. I wished I could vote for both, but as a Pennsylvania Dutch girl, I had to go with Nikolaus. Not only did I grow up near Bethlehem, but my German ancestors arrived in this area just 9 years after Nikolaus. I don’t know much about them, but it’s fun to think their lives may have been influenced by his work!

  55. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 20, 2017 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Von Zizendorf for me. I am from Baltimore. Anything Unitas is sacred. Johnny U did a lot for Sundays in our town but not until 2PM. No Colts home game could start before that time so fans church service schedules could be accommodated.

    • March 20, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Having grown up in Baltimore as well, one of my earliest memories was eating at the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Restaurant. Remember that place?

  56. Megan's Gravatar Megan
    March 20, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Two great men. Another tough one. I love learning about all of these Saints of God.

  57. Victoria Goss's Gravatar Victoria Goss
    March 20, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    I loved reading about the Moravian Church – “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love.” My grandmother came from Bohemia, also.
    I vote von Zinzendorf. I think that church would have died out completely if not for him.
    ( I love how Schereschewski studied and grew in his life of Christ from the Old Testament to the new, as it were, and shared his learning as far as he could reach.)

  58. Samantha E.'s Gravatar Samantha E.
    March 20, 2017 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    My goodness- so difficult today! Having gone to Catholic high school in Bethelehem, PA with a Moravian librarian, I’m pulled toward Z, but hearing about the vast travels JS willingly took to far-off lands, and then to perservere with only ONE FINGER at the end- Schereschewsky gets my final vote. (But I’ll be happy with either!)

  59. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 20, 2017 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    No contest for me: As a descendent of Moravians from Pennsylvania via piedmont North Carolina, I had to vote for Nikolaus. I grew up going to the Christmas Love Feast at Old Salem (kind of a southern Williamsburg ( ), and helped my mama bake Moravian spice cookies and sugar cake. (See links to recipes below.)
    As an adult, I met my husband in Atlanta, but found out later that his family was of Moravian ancestry also via the North Carolina Moravians. Providence!! So we continued with our daughter the family traditions of putting out the Moravian star at Christmas ( ), carefully arranging the tableau of our nativity scene or “putz,” and eating our annual Moravian cookies and Moravian sugar cake. The Moravian blessing we both grew up with is
    “Come, Lord Jesus,
    our guest to be,
    And bless these gifts
    bestowed by thee.”
    Of course, when I was very small, I thought we were praying for “these gifts bestoved by thee”!

    Here are the recipes for spice cookies and sugar cake:
    Or you can buy them, as well as Moravian stars at

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 20, 2017 - 11:27 am | Permalink

      Huzzah, recipes! I missed the saintly snackings this year since no recipes were included in the Saintly Scorecard. Thank you!

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 20, 2017 - 11:47 am | Permalink

        My pleasure! If you want to go a little easier, you can use frozen bread dough for the sugar cake. I confess to doing this many a Christmas morning!!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the recipes, Susan. I will make the Moravian sugar cake in honor of you.

    • cbackson's Gravatar cbackson
      March 20, 2017 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

      There is actually a Moravian church in Atlanta…I was raised in it 🙂 VOTE ZINZENDORF!!!!!

  60. Fran's Gravatar Fran
    March 20, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Again! These 2 were a tough choice. Although I voted for Nikolaus von Zinzendorf I felt strongly for both their dedication to spreading the word of Christ. Although I felt Joseph Schereschewsky was dedicated to his cause of making the bible accessible to those who were considered “lesser” human beings, and was a prolific translator, Nikolaus got my vote for his dedication to spreading the works of Christianity to the American second class citizens (free people, indentured servants, slaves, and Indigenous peoples). GO NICK!!!

  61. Deborah Hays's Gravatar Deborah Hays
    March 20, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Typing a translation of the Bible with one finger and the rest of your body is paralyzed. Samuel Issac Joseph is not a Saint. He is a Miracle. My vote is for him.

  62. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    March 20, 2017 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    The Church in China is undergoing explosive growth and in a few years it will be the largest Christian country in the world. Schereschewsky’s translations are still in use. That’s a lot of impact from one finger!

    He was also the founder of St. John’s University the most important university in Shanghai in the early 20th century.

  63. March 20, 2017 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Like Joseph. I have an affliction
    That causes a difficult striction.
    When words I must type.
    I’ve been known to gripe,
    Why must I endure this condition?

    Well, it’s close. And Joseph got my vote!

  64. Carin's Gravatar Carin
    March 20, 2017 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    As a graduate of Salem College located in Winston Salem, North Carolina, I went for Count Zinzendorf. The college is Moravian by heritage and students are introduced to all things Moravian during their time in Old Salem. It is a beautiful gem of a campus located near the Moravian archives and other historical buildings. If ever you are in Winston-Salem NC you will easily be enveloped by Moravian History.

  65. Adele G Meredith's Gravatar Adele G Meredith
    March 20, 2017 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    I have to vote for the man who named my American ancestral home. My family came here in the 1750’s so von Zinzendorf has a very special place in my heart…

  66. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 20, 2017 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    As a graduate of Salem College in Old Salem in Winston-Salem, N.C., I must go with Zinzendorf. Ih ave said that blessing many times over the years, and nearly every night of college when we gathered for family-style meals that began with a slightly modernized version: “Come Lord Jesus, our guest to be; and bless these gifts bestowed by thee.”

  67. March 20, 2017 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Pennsylvania, Moravians, Bethlehem, Peeps. It’s Zinzendorf for me.

  68. Kathy's Gravatar Kathy
    March 20, 2017 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    This one was really hard. Both these men gave everything for the spread of the Gospel. I settled on zinzendorf. I admire the Moravians

  69. March 20, 2017 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    This was way harder than I thought. But, in the end, I had to go with Samuel. For persevering to the end, even with only the use of a finger, but also because the day he’s remembered is also my birthday, and I’ve had a soft spot for him ever since learning that.

  70. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 20, 2017 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Another great match-up. It would be inspiring to see either of these names on the 2017 Golden Halo mug. I ultimately swung into the Zinzendorf camp for the ephemeral and almost incidental reason that Moravians love of God and love of music forever go hand in hand.

  71. March 20, 2017 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Zinzendorf came to the US and was our guest,
    While Shereschewsky steamed to China to do his best,
    Both earned their wings,
    Doing incredible things,
    Now Shereschewsky and Zinzendorf for a halo contest!

  72. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    March 20, 2017 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    China is my second home. No contest for me.

  73. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 20, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky —
    so amazing the languages he knewsky!
    Zinzendorf did so much
    spreading grace midst the “Dutch,”
    but he never experienced sushi!

    Much to admire about Zinzendorf — I spent the past ten years living just south of Bethlehem and getting to know the Moravian Church. But Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky (whose name is just way too fun to say!) travelled so far and accomplished so much. After translating Scripture into two Chinese dialects and Mongolian, he spent his final ten years of painstaking ministry in Tokyo, and also translated the Bible into Japanese! Hard matchup, but I just had to pick him.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 20, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

      Very clever, Lisa!

  74. Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
    March 20, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Both men have given the world so much. I was especially moved by Joseph’s commitment to continue on in spite of a major physical challenge. There are others like him who have given the world so much when it would have been easy for them to give up: Christy Brown, Joni Eareckson Tada; Stephen Hawking, etc. Each ministered in different ways. But remaining true to Jesus and God was the gift both men gave to the world.

  75. Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
    March 20, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice. I found both men bold and inspiring, but finally settled on Joseph. His language abilities helped bring the Gospel to those in their own words. Never underestimate the power of the Word!

  76. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 20, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Community and every task a liturgy,,,,,t’is Zinzendorf for me! ( not exactly a limerick!)

  77. Benny Wanna Be Hinn's Gravatar Benny Wanna Be Hinn
    March 20, 2017 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Wow, Schereschewsky served God with one finger way more than I do with 10! What an amazing man!

  78. MC Miller's Gravatar MC Miller
    March 20, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Two Bishops did battle on Monday.
    More letters than anyone can say.
    Schereschewsky in Chinese.
    Zinzendorf to all he sees.
    Their work and words showed all folks the Way.

  79. Patricia Lyndale's Gravatar Patricia Lyndale
    March 20, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Schereschewsky, my grandparents were also missionaries in China. They translated the Gospel of Luke into Lisu language. But both candidates were outstanding, as often happens in Lent Madness.

  80. Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
    March 20, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph because of his hard work in Language and spreading God’s love to countries where God was not widely accepted.

  81. Terie's Gravatar Terie
    March 20, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    How many people would persist in their work after being totally paralyzed? Joseph’s journey makes me aware and ashamed of my complaining!!

  82. Joyce jones's Gravatar Joyce jones
    March 20, 2017 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    These names look like they come right out of Harry Potter!!

  83. Robert Meyer's Gravatar Robert Meyer
    March 20, 2017 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Schereschewsky since I was ordained to the priesthood on his feast day .

  84. susanka's Gravatar susanka
    March 20, 2017 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    It’s not every day you get to see the word vernacular, and today is the Vernal Equinox. Random thought: I wonder if vernacular-vernacularism-vernal-vernalize-vernation can be found in Joseph’s Mongolian-to-English dictionary. Vernare – to behave as in spring.
    My vote is for him, whose desire and will were not paralyzed when all he had left was a single digit. Happy Spring everyone 😉

  85. Marcia Tremmel's Gravatar Marcia Tremmel
    March 20, 2017 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Today was a tough choice and not only because of pronunciation of names. Awesome saints, both challenging to spell. I had to go with Bishop Joseph – I too was brought up in a Jewish family, although I don’t think anyone had plans for me to become a rabbi, just a nice good Jewish girl. Thank God He had other plans so I ended up a nice (and hopefully good) Episcopal priest.

  86. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 20, 2017 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Continuing to serve God with your last movable finger vs worship in the most mundane tasks. A tough choice today but I am voting for Schereschewsky.

  87. Lynn Wilson's Gravatar Lynn Wilson
    March 20, 2017 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Dear Supreme Executive Committee,
    I have written a limerick, witty;
    But the choice is so hard:
    Polyglot or bard?
    Between Joe and Nick,
    Which one shall I pick?
    Tim and Scott, I beseech you: Take pity!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink


  88. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 20, 2017 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    That quote, about even the most mundane task becoming an act of worship, is SO inspirational, I am going to put it up on my wall. That said, though, I did vote for Joseph., not Zizendorf. (Notice I didn’t even try typing out Joseph’s name, much less attempt a limerick!) Joseph’s conversion, his genius for languages; (prime example of God giving a,talent so it could help others,) and, most of all, Joseph’s dedication–his translating the Bible with ONE FINGER WHILE TOTALLY PARALYZED is ONE OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE THINGS I’VE EVER HEARD OF. Deeply moved by this, I had to vote for him. I am sure, for his dedication, he is running all over Heaven now; walking, hang gliding, exercising, eternally free!!!

  89. J. Putnam's Gravatar J. Putnam
    March 20, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky gets my vote. I have a son with a neuro-muscular disease that has affected his ability to work full-time at his chosen profession, and yet continues to work in the vineyard of the Lord.

  90. Ann Knight's Gravatar Ann Knight
    March 20, 2017 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    Zinzendorf, only because in his fancy duds he’d look so much better wearing the golden halo than the somber missionary.

  91. March 20, 2017 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    My vote today was MADingly clear!!!
    Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky
    Former Baptist, like me!
    Plus, how fitting that one of his middle names – ISAAC – is my dad’s name – and the meaning so appropriate for Len Madness!!! It’s derived from צָחַק (tzachaq) meaning “to laugh”

  92. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 20, 2017 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    Must confess prejudice. Pre judging before reading about Schereschewsky, whose life is also worth honoring. My years of meditating on Zinzendorf’s writings, and the fruits of the Moravians has warped my spirit.

  93. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 20, 2017 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    (Assuming pronunciation here)

    There once was a guy Schereschewsky
    To him languages were not pesky.
    Although he got ill
    He did more than nil
    He used his one finger to press keys.

    There once was a Duke Von Zinzendorf
    who to a model Christian did morph.
    To America he came
    in the Moravian Missionary Name
    Preaching from the moment he landed on the wharf.

    Oh and I went with Schereschewsky, because if the pronunciation is right he actually was easier to rhyme with. Plus you know, that whole language and one finger thing.

  94. Sharon L's Gravatar Sharon L
    March 20, 2017 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    Joe was a great man with one finger
    That functioned; he was a humdinger,
    Translating the Word
    For those who’d never heard
    Of Jesus with Whom our hearts linger.

    Nikolaus unified his brothers
    And sisters in Christ; preached to others.
    We still use his prayer
    When at table we share
    Fellowship and food at Grandmother’s.

  95. Barbara Bley's Gravatar Barbara Bley
    March 20, 2017 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    Always wanting to support the underdog, I voted for Mr. Z. I like how he gave up his status and wealth for the work of the church. But mostly I like how he supported the early Celtic Christians belief (1700 yrs. before) that “All of life becomes a liturgy, and even the most mundane task can be an act of worship.”

  96. Rosanne Adderley's Gravatar Rosanne Adderley
    March 20, 2017 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Love the Limericks. It is unclear to me how I ever did Lent without this wondrousness.

    I wish Nikolaus had more of a hope. The jaw dropping work of Moravians among enslaved people in the parts of the world I am from is amazing to me. There’s an awesome newish book to about even the enslaved came to feel themselves a part of a transatlantic Christian community. Amazing. We take that feeling for granted …

  97. Michael Cudney's Gravatar Michael Cudney
    March 20, 2017 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Joseph Schereschewsky: Baptist to Presbyterian to Episcopalian. How I not vote for him.

    • Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
      March 20, 2017 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Jew to Baptist to Presbyterian to Episcopalian!

  98. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    March 20, 2017 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    As a fellow convert from Judaism to Christianity (although without the good bishop’s peregrinations), I had to vote for Joseph Schereschewsky.

  99. Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
    March 20, 2017 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    My family still prays the prayer by Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, so I had to go with him.

  100. Pat Blair's Gravatar Pat Blair
    March 20, 2017 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    For me, this was a hard one – both men contributed so much to the faith of so many. Loved Nikolaus’ observation that even the most mundane task becomes worship.

  101. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    March 20, 2017 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I was undecided until reading the comments.
    Zinzendorf it is!

  102. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 20, 2017 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I have admired and even preached about Samuel Schereschevsky for years. In incomparable genius in language, with a heart for the gospel and evangelization.

  103. March 20, 2017 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Am having an impossible time choosing between these two. On the one hand, how can I fail to vote for the Episcopalian and on the other, how can I fail to vote for the one whose life most resembles how I believe daily life should be lived? Some help please?

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 20, 2017 - 4:52 pm | Permalink

      The Episcopalian translated scripture & the BCP, typing mostly with ONE FINGER. That is ah-mazing to me. I must urge a vote for the Rt. Rev. Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky!

  104. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 20, 2017 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Once more, as so often, I go with a loser and a hymnist (though not a musician). Zinzendorf’s work does not occur in Hymnal 1982, although Hymnal 1940 has “O thou to whose all-searching light” and “Jesus, lead the way”–neither of which registers in my failing memory of the time before 1982. I often wonder at the infinite wisdom of hymnal revision committees.

    • Dorothy Schrader's Gravatar Dorothy Schrader
      March 20, 2017 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

      I also found two entries for Nicolaus von Zinzendorf in the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship: titles of “Jesus, still lead on” (# 341, familiar tune Seelenbrautigam + umlaut) and “Jesus, your blood and righteousness” (#302, familiar tune, O Jesu Christe, ,wahres Licht). One newer hymnal since 1978.

  105. March 20, 2017 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    wow! We certainly have some talented limerick writers! And witty!

  106. Patricia Dobro's Gravatar Patricia Dobro
    March 20, 2017 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This was very hard for me – they both are amazing! I finally decided on Zinzendorf and has been the case of late – I am again in the minority. Love this opportunity to read, share and discover more about these leaders!

  107. Mark Bacher's Gravatar Mark Bacher
    March 20, 2017 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Very hard choice. However growing up Lutheran the Zinzendorf prayer was always said. In German However it was slightly different. “Come Lord Jesus and be our guest and bless this food which Thou hast given us. ” Amen.

  108. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 20, 2017 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    During my misspent youth i spent some time taking bibles into China so how could I not vote for the remarkable dedication of Joseph Schereschewsky.

  109. Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
    March 20, 2017 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Today, flummoxed as usual, I voted for courage, stamina, intellect and extraordinary hard work, over hospitality, gentleness, peace and delight. Luckily, in our life of faith we don’t have to choose one over the other. Both are needed in our work and witness, as I imagine both of today’s saints would readily agree.

  110. Sofie's Gravatar Sofie
    March 20, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    As someone of mixed Jewish and Christian heritage, and having spent much of my professional life at a keyboard (using more than one finger, fortunately), I must vote for Schereschevsky. Plus, I love a polyglot.

  111. Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
    March 20, 2017 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Between Joe and Nick,
    It’s difficult to pick.
    But Joe’s many languages I admire,
    To learn that many I aspire.
    But at 75, my brain has turned to brick.

  112. Paul Bonnar's Gravatar Paul Bonnar
    March 20, 2017 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Amazing that a Mormon news service would pick up Lenten Madness.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 20, 2017 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

      They own RNS? Or are you speaking of another news organization?

  113. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    March 20, 2017 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    The poetry and limericks were simply too much – I wasn’t able to vote until later today than I normally do (first thing in the morning) and was amazed at the great skill of our many poets and the witty limericks – does this mean that there will be an additional contest this year for the best of the limericks? Or perhaps and edition of Lent Madness poets, humorists, and kooky limericks – could be a best seller. By the way I voted for Joseph. I have trouble typing with all ten fingers, can’t even imagine doing what he did with one finger.

  114. Krisan L's Gravatar Krisan L
    March 20, 2017 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Living faith and ecumenical thinking they shared
    In their missions they honored the peoples for whom they cared
    Schereschewsky translated God’s word with a finger
    Zinzendorf tells us all of life becomes a liturgy with which to linger
    Commit your life and talents too, be dared.

  115. Lurlene's Gravatar Lurlene
    March 20, 2017 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Travel in the days of both Shereschewsky and Zinzindorf would have to have been horrendous. Both of these saints deserve a vote, but I am with Shereshewsky since he ventured into the unique culture of China and put his language abilities to use promoting the word of God.

  116. Claire's Gravatar Claire
    March 20, 2017 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my limerick

    A new matchup we get on Lent Madness,
    Schereschewsky and Zinzendorf no less.
    Moravian or polyglot,
    We thicken the plot
    Who will win? One or the other I guess.

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 20, 2017 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Claire!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Excellent! And your choice for the winner will be 100% correct, for sure.

  117. Claire's Gravatar Claire
    March 20, 2017 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph.

  118. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    March 20, 2017 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    We won a convert today! “You mean saints have brackets, like March Madness?” Why yes, yes they do!! I might add this was part of a discussion about St Gertrude the patron Saint of cats and gardeners. Perchance she might be included next year as she brought yet another soul to our cause. R U listening SEC???

  119. Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
    March 20, 2017 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh, gee! I do love a great Z name and couldn’t ask for one better than Zinzendorf…
    Zinzendorf is awesome. He opened his estate to religious refugees, cool. He was one of those rare rich men who seemed to get through the eye of a needle, stamina and determination and sincere love for Jesus, cool. His legacy is really inspiring – for those who finally decide that with Jesus, your all in or your sitting on the bench and just being ridiculous. The Moravians are an interesting lot in terms of how they behave. I could definitely benefit by adopting their standards.
    Schereschewsky – a Jew who came to follow Jesus after an honest and careful study. Wow! A seeker. He toured the faith through the Baptists, the Presbyterians (attended seminary at Tim Keller’s Alma Mater – Western Theological Seminary combined with another to become Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1959), and finally the switch to Episcopalian. I really respect this man’s seeking – he found Jesus and then he kept moving until he found the right faith culture.
    One amazing thing about this dear man that got left out – after his terrible diagnosis and paralysis issue unfolded and he returned to the US for treatment – which proved pointless, he returned to Shanghai to live and work along with his wife. WHO WAS THAT WOMAN, AND WHY ISN’T SHE CONSIDERED A SAINT????
    I’m so thrilled to come to know these lovely Christians and am challenged by their fortitude and vision. Thanks Lent Madness.

  120. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 20, 2017 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

    In the battle of the consonants I cast my vote for Joseph Scherechewsky tho’ my preference was based on whimsy: as a collector of older printed dictionaries and grammars (mainly 19th century) I would love to have his Mongolian-English dictionary in my library. And while Nikolaus von Zinzendorf’s practical Christianity appeals to me, I find his writing so the peasants would understand him somewhat condescending. BTW our celebrity blogger, Neva Rae Fox, has inadvertently promoted this count (Graf) to a higher grade of nobility, duke (Herzog) than he ever held. He was not then, nor has he ever been, a duke, but tho’ merely a count, Zinzendorf was certainly not a no-account count. Limerick to follow!

  121. Judy A's Gravatar Judy A
    March 20, 2017 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Zhazaaam! I voted for the consonant Z

  122. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    March 20, 2017 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Schereschewsky has not a z in his name so my love of the letter z wins the day, if only for me. Actually it was his respect for “ordinary time” that won my vote. Everyday living is liturgy.

  123. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    March 20, 2017 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    So late in sending in my vote I can’t even review previous comments so I can only assume with confidence the fact of the one finger translation feat has been mentioned at least 199 times. He only had the use of 1 finger and he used it to bring access to The Word otherwise not available. He has my vote. Wow

  124. Len Freeman's Gravatar Len Freeman
    March 20, 2017 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    No arm so weak as may do service here….
    God bless Joseph’s heart, brilliance, and commitment. A witness for us all.

  125. Lucia's Gravatar Lucia
    March 20, 2017 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Bring back the Archbishops!

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 20, 2017 - 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes! Where are the Archbishops?

      • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
        March 20, 2017 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed! Has Maple Anglican forsaken us?

  126. Grace Kennedy's Gravatar Grace Kennedy
    March 20, 2017 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    When a man named Sam Schereschewsky
    Was called to move east from the west he
    Was gifted with tongues
    But to me still the one
    Named Zinzendorf is today’s bestie.

  127. Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
    March 20, 2017 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky
    Tongue a spiritual gift of dexterity
    Though his body did fail
    One digit prevailed
    And the Gospel thus spread for eternity.

    There once was a young noble named Zinzendorf
    Whose great wealth he did spend on his church work
    To our colonies he came
    A worthy prayer fanned his fame
    So today we say vielen dank for his efforts.

  128. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    March 20, 2017 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Schereschewsky has always been one of my favorites, I love his ecumenism & his willingness to spend his one usable finger translating the Scriptures. However, I loved the information on Zinzendorf & I’m thrilled about his comments on the importance of liturgy.

  129. Barbara J. Ruhe's Gravatar Barbara J. Ruhe
    March 20, 2017 - 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This was a tough call. It was the table prayer that put me over the line. Maybe not logic, but it was that or a coin toss. I have not been able to rationalize picking by “gambling”. So maybe Schereschewsky next year?

  130. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 20, 2017 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    BTW, I just took a look at the article on Lent Madness (or rather on all Lenten brackets–and who knew sports did this as well?), and I call to your attention the remark about our own “unusually uplifting comments section.” Well done, Xian bloggers.

  131. george wilson's Gravatar george wilson
    March 20, 2017 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    It is nice to know from whence came the table grace we use. My mum’s family was German Lutheran and still is. She came over to PECUSA in college.

  132. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 20, 2017 - 4:39 pm | Permalink

    My soul is a linguist’s, you see,
    So my vote is for Schereschewsky.
    Von Zinzendorf, though,
    Is a good choice also
    For the “grace” and “life as liturgy”.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

      If I had an emoji in this app, I’d give you a fist pump for that.

  133. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 20, 2017 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Without Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky’s work in China, especially his translations of the Bible and the BCP, we may never have had Florence Li Tim-Oi, who as a deacon serving God’s people in a Japanese-occupied area in the midst of WWII was ordained a priest by Bishop Ronald Hall of Hong Kong, which paved the way for later women to serve God and God’s people as priests, bishops, and even Presiding Bishop in the generations that followed. (I fully expect to live long enough to see the first female named as Archbishop of Canturbury.)

  134. Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
    March 20, 2017 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

    As a foreign language teacher, to the polyglot and translator goes my vote!

  135. Clay Jackson's Gravatar Clay Jackson
    March 20, 2017 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Schereschewsky in honor of another China Missionary, Leslie Fairfield

    • Emmy's Gravatar Emmy
      March 20, 2017 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

      I knew Les and Mary Fairfield in their retirement at Grace Church in Amherst, MA. How lovely to see him remembered here, and makes me even happier that I voted for Schereschewsky!

  136. Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
    March 20, 2017 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    A hard choice. I was more attuned to the translator and voted for him, but the nobleman impressed me as well. I need to learn more about the Moravians.

  137. Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
    March 20, 2017 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I thought I had posted a limerick, but guess I hit the wrong button.
    Between Joe and Nick
    It’s sure hard to pick.
    Joe’s many languages I do admire,
    To learn that many I do aspire.
    But at 75, my mind is thick as a brick.

  138. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    March 20, 2017 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Wonder if these two men would find the limericks humorous.
    I imagine they probably would. Lets hope so

  139. March 20, 2017 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Zinzendorf because he was an ecumenist who lived in a rather non-ecumenical era, because of the strong influence that the Moravians had on the ministry of John Wesley, and because of the strong Moravian presence in the area where I was an undergraduate (Lafayette, in the Lehigh Valley of eastern PA).

    Another factor in my vote was my involvement in interfaith relations and the many times we’ve all found ourselves saying “We’re here to learn from each other’s faiths, not to convert each other.” Bishop Schereschevsky may have been a great scholar and a good pastoral bishop but, given that he was also a high-profile convert in the modern era, I’m not really comfortable putting him up as a role model (but I will definitely vote for him in the expected match-up with the anti-Judaic Brother Martin in the next round.)

    Nevertheless: Nightingale for the Gold, Jägerstätter for the Silver.

    • March 21, 2017 - 1:49 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the last bit of the first paragraph would read better as “… because of the strong Moravian presence in the area where I was an undergraduate (Lafayette College, in the city of Easton, in the Lehigh Valley of eastern PA).”

    • March 21, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      Bob, I understand your reservations about putting Schereschewsky up as a role model, but this is Lent Madness, not an interfaith activity. LM’s stated purpose (learning about the saints) is Christian and the vast majority of it’s participants are Christian. So I think it’s highly appropriate that we put Schereschewsky up as a role model.
      That being said, I voted for Zinzendorf, as you did.

  140. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 20, 2017 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with Joeseph for all that work on translating, especially while fighting and losing control of his limbs.

  141. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    March 20, 2017 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

    What agonizing choices you force us to make! I love both these great saints. In the end I voted for Schereschewsky because he is such a wonderful example of hypomone, the perseverance of the saints.

  142. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    March 20, 2017 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Since I’m pretty sure I voted for Schereschewsky back in 2014, and because I’m big on ecumenism and seeing all of life as liturgy (or at least trying to), and because he’s losing, I voted for Nikolaus.
    But if Samuel wins, I’ll be very happy for someone who translated the BCP into Mandarin.

  143. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 20, 2017 - 6:03 pm | Permalink

    This one’s excruciating! Both astounding people. I had never heard of either – this is why I love Lent Madness. I finally went with Schereschewsky because I cannot help but be awe-stricken by his courage and perseverance to continue to write in the face of near-total paralysis. And that was on a pawky, stiff-actioned manual typewriter!

  144. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 20, 2017 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

    You stumped the jock. I had to look up “pawky.” It means “cunning, sly.” Perhaps “balky” would be more literal, but I like the idea of a recalcitrant, mulish typewriter.

  145. Liz von Dohlen's Gravatar Liz von Dohlen
    March 20, 2017 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I knew that Schereschewsky would win, but I had to vote for von Zinzindorf because our congregation of the Reformed Episcopal Church shares a facility with (rents from) a Brethren (Unity of the Brethren) church. We have a wonderful relationship with them. Von Zinzindorf would applaud our ecumenism.

  146. Marianne Allison's Gravatar Marianne Allison
    March 20, 2017 - 6:42 pm | Permalink

    My grandparents having been missionaries in China for some 35 years, I have done quite a bit of research on the history of mission there, and knew about Schereschewsky before he came up here. I didn’t vote for him. He was a devoted servant, there is no doubt about it, but really was not seen as someone who knew the Chinese nor understood mission. Nor was there much of a trajectory of impact for his work — mission didn’t really take off at all in China until missionaries started schools and hospitals there. The pure Bible-based mission work did not really make an impact. Also the lack of ecumenism in Chinese mission work was pretty sad. Therefore I voted for Zinzindorf.

  147. William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
    March 20, 2017 - 6:48 pm | Permalink

    In 1969-70 I lived near Gramercy Park while doing graduate work at General. Near my home, on 23rd St, was a typewriter shop that, at the time, had an old Chinese typewriter on display in the window. It was, naturally, an extremely complex machine and I wonder if Samuel used such a machine (with one finger!) or if he used a standard American typewriter and one of the transliteration systems. Does anyone know?

  148. Jan Curtis's Gravatar Jan Curtis
    March 20, 2017 - 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Am I allowed two comments? Discovering Zinzendorf’s connection to Methodism, I’m smiling. A few years ago the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the umbrella organization of my tradition) voted to allow “full altar and pulpit” fellowship, not just with the UCC and the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians but also with the Moravians, which apparently “we” recognized a long time ago as very near us in…what? Theology? I forget!! But I’m glad.

    • Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
      March 20, 2017 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I’m a Jan and an ELCA Lutheran from Bethlehem, PA. I’m also a graduate of Muhlenberg College in next door Allentown, PA. You may not know that Muhlenberg and Zinzendorf had a running feud on some fairly minor points, several of which were personal rather than theological.. It’s been said if they had not that the Moravians and Lutherans would long ago have been one church.

      • Jan Curtis's Gravatar Jan Curtis
        March 21, 2017 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Hi, Jan Miller! From Bethlehem, PA. I learned the same thing, I think in Old Salem. That was a wonderful experience, first learning about the Moravians. Golly, but they were clever, and industrious. Imagine, running water in the houses…in the 1700’s, via wooden pipes. I was VERY impressed by the technology they figured out and used, not just about water, but other things too. Plus, naturally, the way they “did” Christianity….

  149. Laurie Spencer's Gravatar Laurie Spencer
    March 20, 2017 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    A bishop named Joe Schereschewsky
    Invited Nick Z. for a brewski
    He said, “”yeah, you’re dead
    But it’s got a good head
    So I’ll drink it myself–here’s to youski”

  150. Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
    March 20, 2017 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Unlike this past Friday when I couldn’t have cared less, today we have two very worthy candidates. Out of sheer loyalty I voted for the man who enabled the founding of my home town. But never fear, Schereshewsky was the subject of one of my verses for “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”. (Rhyming “Schereschewsky” was my pinnacle until the day I rhymed “Aristarchus Ephiphanes.)

    Remember too, Schereschewsky, who
    Born a Lithuanian Jew,
    Became a Christian American
    And a priest and a bishop too.
    He served Lord Jesus on foreign seas
    As a missionary to all Chinese
    He was full of faith and
    I would be pleased
    If I could be like him too!

  151. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 20, 2017 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Admire Nik but had to go with Joe!

  152. Dorrie J's Gravatar Dorrie J
    March 20, 2017 - 7:42 pm | Permalink

    We need a publication of all these limericks and poems. It would be a great seller in the Lentorium!

  153. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 20, 2017 - 7:46 pm | Permalink

    In honor of his hymnody,
    his co-founding of Bethlehem, PA (only an hour’s drive from where I live)
    his great service in preaching the Gospel
    to all sorts of people, including indigenous people of America
    leaders of the beginning of the United States
    free people and slaves
    and people of my generation,
    I cast my vote for Zinzendorf.

  154. VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
    March 20, 2017 - 7:58 pm | Permalink

    All the limericks are great! Thanks for making me smile.
    Where’s Oliver?

  155. March 20, 2017 - 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Voter #6216 checking in here. (And do I get a tin halo for reading all 234 comments before voting?) Loved all your comments, but finally went for the Moravian whose theology and world view I share.

  156. Valerie Pachla's Gravatar Valerie Pachla
    March 20, 2017 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

    O Come Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest
    And let Thy gifts to us be Blessed
    Nicholaus did pray
    Was Joseph thus swayed?
    Let this prayer be gladly expressed!

  157. March 20, 2017 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

    A shout out to my Patron Saint, Joseph of Nazareth, on this, his feast day (transferred from Sunday).

    • Valerie Pachla's Gravatar Valerie Pachla
      March 20, 2017 - 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Harlie – or is it Harlie Joseph – for the shout out. Went to St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery to Mass this morning in Korona Fl which is near Ormond Beach. Wonderful!

  158. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 20, 2017 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I promised to return with a limerick and here it is. “task” in line 2 is a verb, and there’s a stress on “his” in the last line to contrast with Saul/Paul’s moment of illumination on the (literal) road.

    Zinzendorf, should anyone ask us,
    Bore a name whose consonants task us
    While a Warsaw-born Jew
    Schereshewsky, ‘t is true,
    Saw Christ’s light on his road to Damascus.

  159. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 20, 2017 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I vote for the good bishop. His is the only life story among all the saints that never fails to make me cry. I can’t help it when I think of him typing away with one finger.
    Against anybody else, it would have been Zinzendorf, hands down.

  160. Meg Kimble's Gravatar Meg Kimble
    March 20, 2017 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    On Monday midst the madness of Lent
    A limerick we’re called to invent.
    Two saints, both bishops; one Jew.
    Unfair that Nik’las should lose,
    But Joe leads by 69%.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 20, 2017 - 8:56 pm | Permalink


  161. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 20, 2017 - 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky because of his translations of the scriptures that he typed using only one finger. Also the Mongolian-to-English dictionary. “I have sat in this chair for over twenty years. It seemed very hard at first. But God knew best. He kept me for the work for which I am best fitted.” (Thank you, Nancy for posting this quote)

  162. CB Loftin's Gravatar CB Loftin
    March 20, 2017 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Joseph but when I read that Zinzendorf had composed the Moravian Blessing, I voted for him. We use that as our family blessing for special occasions. I even did a cross stitch of it for our dining room!

  163. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 20, 2017 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Good to see St Sam looking like a winner. Anglicans informally claim him as the Patron Saint of Internet Mailing Lists, although he does have an official Feast Day. He was ordained at historic St George’s which still stands today off Stuyvesant Square and it remains a vital and energetic parish in Manhattan. After paralysis left him with only one finger able to use in typing his Bible translation into Wenli, he thanked God for the work which God had fitted him to do. Thank you for celebrating this remarkable man!

  164. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 20, 2017 - 10:53 pm | Permalink

    For one’s saint one may not vote twice.
    One bishop ate Schnitzel; the other ate rice.
    The winner has 69%;
    Christians should not lament
    but like the heathen knowingly say “Nice.”

  165. Dean's Gravatar Dean
    March 21, 2017 - 2:35 am | Permalink

    Apologies to all, because I haven’t been able today to follow the threads, and this might be repetitive. Neva RaeFox referenced Zinzendorf’s arrival in Pennsylvania. In time, a group (including 16 women and girls) walked the 500 miles to the new community of Salem, North Carolina. In 1772, the women opened a school for girls. That institution continues today as Salem College (Winston-Salem, NC) of which I am an (exceedingly) proud alumna. While there, I learned an alternative form of Count von Z’s blessing: “Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be,
    And bless these gifts, bestowed by Thee;
    Bless our loved ones, every where,
    And keep them in thy loving care.”
    For decades, this has been the family blessing, and we give thanks to God for the Count’s life and witness and for LM and the opportunity to learn about so many saints– “faithful and brave and true.”

  166. March 21, 2017 - 3:30 am | Permalink

    How can Joseph be winning when most comments here are for Nick? I suspect some foul play!
    Nick all the way because of his ecumenicism and the sugar cookies

  167. J Chung's Gravatar J Chung
    March 22, 2017 - 3:59 am | Permalink

    Variation of somebody else’s limerick:

    Zinzendorf to the states was our guest,
    Shereschewsky did in China his best,
    They both earned their wings,
    Did incredible things,
    Shereschewsky – Zinzendorf: halo contest!

Comments are closed.