Odo of Cluny vs. Theodore the Studite

How could you NOT love a matchup between a guy named Odo and another guy who is known as a Studite? Meet Odo of Cluny and Theodore the Studite (spoiler alert for those getting ready to leave a comment: autocorrect does not like “Studite.” At all.)

Yesterday, in the most lopsided battle of Lent Madness 2017, Florence Nightingale routed Anselm of Canterbury 81% to 19%. She will move on to face Henry Beard Delany in the Saintly Sixteen.

And, finally, it’s not everyday that ESPN covers that other famous bracket tournament that takes place in March. But recently ESPN radio in Louisville, Kentucky, interviewed passionate Lent Madness booster, the Rev. Katherine Doyle of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, about everyone’s favorite online Lenten devotion. Take a listen as she appeared on the Bob Valvano show. It’s a great segment which you can listen to by clicking here (the spot in question begins at 21:30 of the broadcast). Nice job!

Odo of Cluny

Odo was born circa 879 in France. Odo’s father Abbo secretly dedicated his son to Saint Martin, sending him to a priest for education and formation. But as Odo grew, he became a hale and hearty young man—much more suited, in his father’s opinion, to the life of a noble warrior. Abbo sent Odo to live at the court of one of the dukes of Aquitaine.

Odo recounts that while praying and singing one day in court, he was seized with a violent pain in his head. He suffered for three years until his father confessed his promise to dedicate his son to Saint Martin. Soon after, Odo received the tonsure—the practice of some monks to shave the crown of the head—and served at St. Martin’s Church in Tours.

After reading the Rule of Saint Benedict, Odo was horrified to realize how much his life (and the lives of his brother monks at Tours) deviated from the Rule. Monks at Tours discarded their habits in favor of the fashion of the day and often received gifts from noblemen in exchange for prayers. They wore expensive shoes and refused to walk outside for night prayers to avoid ruining their shoes. They ate lavish meals while ignoring the hungry.

Odo committed himself to living the Rule of Saint Benedict. He discarded his personal property, ate meager rations, and prayed fervently. He embraced the ascetic life and spoke out against the evils of the church of his time—ecclesiastical abuses, lack of prayer, and the oppression of the poor.

Odo entered the monastery at Baume where the Rule of Saint Benedict was strictly followed. Odo would eventually be appointed Abbot of Cluny. Odo visited Rome several times, negotiating peace between the violent power politics of warring nobles and the church. Monasteries in Italy and France summoned him to instill reform within their own walls.

Odo’s legacy is seen in the great age of monasteries, places where worship, care for the poor, and art flourished. His deep spirituality gives us insight into his zeal and commitment to reform holy orders. Odo died in 942 in Tours after assisting with worship on the Feast Day of Saint Martin of Tours.

Collect for Odo of Cluny 
God of grace, you hear the promises we freely offer and see the hidden desires of every heart. We thank you for the example of your servant Odo, who zealously sought righteousness and lived out holy community in his life and work. Grant that we, in our own time and ways, would ever seek your will in our lives, to the honor of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Laurie Brock

Theodore the Studite

Theodore the Studite (759-826), also known as St. Theodore of Stoudios, was a Greek Orthodox monk. Born in 759, he grew up in a prominent bureaucratic family in Constantinople, receiving a private education that eventually came to be heavily focused around theology.

Theodore’s maternal uncle Platon encouraged the whole family to take monastic vows and transform the family farm into a monastery. Theodore, his father, and his sister joined Platon in 781 and sailed to Bithynia in northwest Asia Minor near the Black Sea. Following the guidance of the Greek bishop, Basil of Caesarea, they established a community that came to be known as the Sakkudion Monastery.

Shortly after Theodore was ordained a priest, Uncle Platon—the abbot of the Sakkudion—took a permanent vow of silence and handed control of the monastery to his nephew. Theodore did well running the Sakkudion Monastery, despite his persistent habit of denouncing the emperor’s divorce and remarriage. This led to years of exile, fights with and floggings from emperors, patriarchs, iconoclasts, and difficult popes. Ultimately, after lots of fasting, praying, and writing iambic verse about icons and clean living, Theodore revived the monastic community of Stoudios in Constantinople

Theodore built Stoudios into a major scholastic and artistic center. Under his leadership, Stoudios became known for its literary output. Theodore devised what amounted to a private mail system for the network of monasteries in and around Constantinople and wrote poems enshrining the community’s rule of life in an easy-to-remember form. Aside from his monastic innovations and reforms, Theodore is best known for two great works: the theological treatise On Holy Icons, a pivotal and foundational work for the use of icons in worship, and a letter he wrote instructing his followers not to own slaves—the first recorded Christian theological stand against slavery.

Collect for Theodore the Studite
Gracious God, who speaks to us in both the complexity of art and the quiet of simplicity, we thank you for your servant Theodore the Studite, who reminded your Church of the many ways in which you are present. Grant us, we pray, the eyes to see you wherever and whenever you appear, that we may see your glory in all your creation, and especially through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

-Megan Castellan

Odo of Cluny vs. Theodore the Studite

  • Odo of Cluny (52%, 3,949 Votes)
  • Theodore the Studite (48%, 3,647 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,595

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Odo of Cluny: Unknown Artist, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Theodore the Studite: By Anonymous, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

268 Comments to "Odo of Cluny vs. Theodore the Studite"

  1. Oliver-9 years old's Gravatar Oliver-9 years old
    March 9, 2017 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    I voted for Theodore because he said no slaves.

    • Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
      March 9, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

      Even though I voted for odo, I liked that about him too…

    • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
      March 9, 2017 - 8:14 am | Permalink

      Good reason, Oliver. I also liked that he put the communities rule of life into easy to remember poems.

    • Fran's Gravatar Fran
      March 9, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

      me too – it was a close one

    • Patty's Gravatar Patty
      March 9, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

      Me,too, Oliver.

    • Beverly A Duncan's Gravatar Beverly A Duncan
      March 9, 2017 - 8:41 am | Permalink

      Me too, Oliver! It was his stand on slavery that tipped the scales in his favor.

      • Terri's Gravatar Terri
        March 9, 2017 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Beverly, I voted for Odo……not sure why…..they were both complicated!

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 9, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

      That’s my reason, too.

      • Alison Bentley's Gravatar Alison Bentley
        March 9, 2017 - 10:19 am | Permalink

        Me too!

    • Tom Schulte's Gravatar Tom Schulte
      March 9, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

      Oliver, you gave me a reason to pick Theodore. thanks

      • Beth Owen's Gravatar Beth Owen
        March 9, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

        I’ll have to vote with Oliver and Tom… and everyone else. It was a really tough choice today

    • Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
      March 9, 2017 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      me too Oliver.

    • March 9, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

      Right on Oliver!

    • Corinna Olson's Gravatar Corinna Olson
      March 9, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      My exact thoughts Oliver! I was not sure until that last line.

      • Linda Leong's Gravatar Linda Leong
        March 9, 2017 - 10:20 am | Permalink

        The last line clinched it for me, too. Thank you, Oliver!

    • Mary E. Winston's Gravatar Mary E. Winston
      March 9, 2017 - 10:19 am | Permalink

      Me too Oliver

    • Ann Fontaine's Gravatar Ann Fontaine
      March 9, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

      Thanks Oliver. You pick ’em

    • Jerri Bell's Gravatar Jerri Bell
      March 9, 2017 - 10:52 am | Permalink

      Me too!

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      March 9, 2017 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      Me too, Oliver! Plus the bit about poetry!

      • Rene's Gravatar Rene
        March 9, 2017 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Yay Poetry!

    • marsha's Gravatar marsha
      March 9, 2017 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      me, too.

    • Liz von Dohlen's Gravatar Liz von Dohlen
      March 9, 2017 - 11:49 am | Permalink

      I’m with you on this one, Oliver.

    • Aileen DiBenedetto's Gravatar Aileen DiBenedetto
      March 9, 2017 - 11:59 am | Permalink

      Oliver, I obviously didn’t read closely enough the first time, because I didn’t notice his anti-slavery stance until I saw your comment. Thanks for convinincing me to vote for Theodore

    • Marjorie Lewis's Gravatar Marjorie Lewis
      March 9, 2017 - 11:59 am | Permalink

      I voted for him for the same reason!

    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 9, 2017 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Ms. Brock wrote lovely about Odo. But I had to go with Teddy.
      First Episcopalian to denounce slavery. Works for me.
      Seems like their time was a ver violent time.❤

    • Heather Swearingen's Gravatar Heather Swearingen
      March 9, 2017 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Oliver. They both sounded wonderful but Theodore won my heart by denouncing slavery!

    • Princeton (5 years old)'s Gravatar Princeton (5 years old)
      March 9, 2017 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

      me too Oliver – Justice for All.

    • Candace's Gravatar Candace
      March 9, 2017 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Me too, Oliver!

    • John's Gravatar John
      March 9, 2017 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Naaa, ODO Cluny will take the dub

    • Christine's Gravatar Christine
      March 9, 2017 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

      That is precisely why I did as well! 🙂

    • Wilhelmina Jenkins's Gravatar Wilhelmina Jenkins
      March 9, 2017 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      You convinced me too, Oliver!

    • Ann's Gravatar Ann
      March 9, 2017 - 1:51 pm | Permalink

      This was a close contest for me. Ultimately I chose Theo for the same reason.

    • Calla M JTCC's Gravatar Calla M JTCC
      March 9, 2017 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Me too, Oliver!

    • Timmytim's Gravatar Timmytim
      March 9, 2017 - 4:45 pm | Permalink

      I agree Oliver

    • March 9, 2017 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

      That was the basis of my decision, too.

    • Claire's Gravatar Claire
      March 9, 2017 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for confirming my choice. I was wavering between the two not knowing who to vote for. I then asked myself “What would Oliver do?” Theo it is for the no slaves decree.

    • Timmytim's Gravatar Timmytim
      March 9, 2017 - 8:41 pm | Permalink

      I thought it was close but I agree

    • Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
      March 9, 2017 - 10:48 pm | Permalink

      If Theo had done more than write a letter against slavery, I would have picked him, because this is so important. But I felt Odo made more personal sacrifices to bring peace to the world, so I voted for him.

  2. Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
    March 9, 2017 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    I love the story of Odo’s re-dedication to The Rule of St. Benedict. Worth consideration for me today!

    • Sally Lindsay's Gravatar Sally Lindsay
      March 9, 2017 - 10:56 am | Permalink

      Me, too. I read the Rule of St. Benedict every night and sleep well!

    • Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
      March 9, 2017 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

      This story is wonderful. It is difficult to recognize one’s own faults, let alone change the way you live r/t to them. Impressive. Difficult choice today. The anti slavery is very important as well.

    • Josie's Gravatar Josie
      March 9, 2017 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that’s one of his actions that I truly admired.

  3. Rita Julian's Gravatar Rita Julian
    March 9, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    As a Benedictine oblate, I’m going with St. Odo!

    • Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
      March 9, 2017 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

      As a Benedictine Associate — don’t want too-too much stability! — I vote for Odo as well.
      I personally would probably not do well in a strict house. But reform and awareness of our history is important.

  4. Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
    March 9, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Odo because of his dedication and sacrifices for the Lord our Savior! I love his story 😀

  5. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    March 9, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    As an obsessive fan of Icons I went with Theodore.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 9, 2017 - 8:28 am | Permalink
      • Deacon Jack's Gravatar Deacon Jack
        March 9, 2017 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for sharing. It looks like a great class

      • Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
        March 9, 2017 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Miss Jan. I would love to participate someday. Being Anabaptist, it is sometimes hard to find an outlet for my love for Icons and religious art in general within my own tradition.

    • March 9, 2017 - 8:41 am | Permalink

      We have a stunning icon of St. Michael in the nave of my church and I’ve always found it very contemplative while kneeling at the altar rail. But the reason I voted for Theodore
      was because he condemned slavery at a time when it was standard operating procedure.

      • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
        March 9, 2017 - 9:03 am | Permalink

        I agree completely.

      • Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
        March 9, 2017 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I love icons as well.
        But somehow The Rule beat them out this round!

  6. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 9, 2017 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Toughest choice yet for me. I voted for Odo because of monastic reforms that can remind me to live more simply. I do admire Theodore’s stand against slavery though.

  7. Henry Langknecht's Gravatar Henry Langknecht
    March 9, 2017 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I opted for Theodore … truth to secular power Trumps truth to ecclesiastical power.

    • Terry S.'s Gravatar Terry S.
      March 9, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      Nice use of capital T there Henry

      • Sonia Stevenson's Gravatar Sonia Stevenson
        March 9, 2017 - 10:58 am | Permalink

        Probably auto check!

    • Pauline B's Gravatar Pauline B
      March 9, 2017 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      I disagree. If there’s no truth, or discipline, in the ecclesiastical community, how are we to expect the secular community to reform?

    • LauraT's Gravatar LauraT
      March 9, 2017 - 11:48 am | Permalink

      I was on the fence until I read your comment. Truth to secular power!

  8. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    March 9, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Tough choice!

  9. Roy Te Turner's Gravatar Roy Te Turner
    March 9, 2017 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Out with the fancy shoes! Yes to Odo.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 9, 2017 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Much as I love classic pumps, I, too, said yes to Odo.

  10. Dutton in Madison, GA's Gravatar Dutton in Madison, GA
    March 9, 2017 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Let’s hear it for headaches! I voted for Odo because he was faithful to the rule of Benedict when many others were not.

  11. Sandra Teel's Gravatar Sandra Teel
    March 9, 2017 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    This seems the most even of matchups this lent.

    • T-M's Gravatar T-M
      March 9, 2017 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      Agreed! This was a tough one. I love them both and enjoyed learning about them. Tough to choose between someone who fought for peace and faithfulness to the Rule, and someone who fought slavery and championed Icons.

  12. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    March 9, 2017 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Voted for Theodore because of his stand on slavery.

  13. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 9, 2017 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    As a fan of Star Trek and not having heard of either Saint before, I was prepared to vote for Odo, but then I read this:

    “Theodore is best known for two great works: the theological treatise On Holy Icons, a pivotal and foundational work for the use of icons in worship, and a letter he wrote instructing his followers not to own slaves—the first recorded Christian theological stand against slavery.”

    • Sally from Dallas's Gravatar Sally from Dallas
      March 9, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      I agree, Miss Jan. The anti-slavery stance and use of icons in prayer and worship is the determining factor for me. How delightful to hear of two saints not in Holy Women, Holy Men. Thank you, SEC.

    • Lindsay Graves's Gravatar Lindsay Graves
      March 9, 2017 - 11:44 am | Permalink

      I second that.
      However, in reading about Theodore I must say I envied how Theodore’s method of written communication was relatively safe in comparison with today’s electronic world…..

      • Lindsay Graves's Gravatar Lindsay Graves
        March 9, 2017 - 11:48 am | Permalink

        Oops…should have acknowledged that Theodore was the snail mail writer.

  14. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    March 9, 2017 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Ann, I agree wholeheartedly! St. Benedict’s rule is essential to any and all aspects of Christianity.

  15. Charlyn Heidenreich's Gravatar Charlyn Heidenreich
    March 9, 2017 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    I like icons and he wrote against slavery. Not easy decision as both from a long long time ago and probably lots of legend involved

  16. Tim Seitz-Brown's Gravatar Tim Seitz-Brown
    March 9, 2017 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Love the Rule of Saint Benedict, yet the stand against slavery won me over so I went with the Studite

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      March 9, 2017 - 11:35 am | Permalink

      Me too.

  17. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    March 9, 2017 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Two monastics. I went for Odo since his work at Cluny later inspired St. Bernard of Clairvaux and I enjoyed his “On Loving God.”

  18. Marilyn's Gravatar Marilyn
    March 9, 2017 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I voted for Odo, his work in negotiating peace between political rulers and the church reminds me of the work of Andrew White also known as the Vicar of Baghdad today

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      March 9, 2017 - 10:35 am | Permalink

      Andrew is one of my favourite people!

  19. Sofie's Gravatar Sofie
    March 9, 2017 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Went for the Stud-ite! But seriously, his anti-slavery stand, plus his pioneering work on icons and other art, won the contest for me.

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

    I can certainly see why this is a close one. So hard to pass over a writer of iambic verse about icons, but I chose to go with the peace negotiator. Would that he could return today.

  21. Elizabeth Neeld's Gravatar Elizabeth Neeld
    March 9, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    This was a hard choice! Odo’s praying AND SINGING in the courtyard was a huge pull! But the integration of art into devotion–and a private postal system–AND the first Christian voice against slavery won my vote for the competition!

  22. Melody Yuhn's Gravatar Melody Yuhn
    March 9, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Odo got my vote. I think he should be known as “Odo the Reformer “.

  23. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 9, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Wow, this is a tough one. I was very drawn to the “hale and hearty young man” and tried to imagine the monks’ beautiful shoes. I hate to vote against a French monk, especially one situated in Tours in the heart of the Loire valley. I imagine they had excellent wine to go with their gorgeous shoe buckles. However, I am also deeply committed to supporting the eastern churches, and while Theodore is Greek Orthodox and therefore still part of a church-state alliance (and not one of the struggling Syriac Christians or what MacCulloch calls the “monophysite” or “diaphysite” Xians), he did reject slavery. That seems like a huge effort to live out gospel values. Plus he wrote poetry, and I cannot help but think of Yeats’s vision of Byzantium: pern in a gyre, sages in a fire. Above all, for me, Theodore is a defender of icons. M-J Mondzain’s argument is that icons found our modern visual culture; she maintains that the iconophiles revered icons as the very basis of thinking itself. The icon calls us into a mystery. So I cast my vote for Theodore and gaze into the profound eyes of Christ Pantocrator and remember that dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 9, 2017 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      Celia, that was wonderful! I loved your reasoning!

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 9, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      SEC, we really really need a LIKE button!

      • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
        March 9, 2017 - 10:21 am | Permalink


    • Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
      March 9, 2017 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Amen. A vote for icons.

  24. Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
    March 9, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Wow!! At 8:32 a.m. eastern standard time our two contenders are neck-and-neck. It’s a nail biter. I had to go with Odo because I’m a sucker for Benedictines.

  25. Elizabeth Neeld's Gravatar Elizabeth Neeld
    March 9, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Odo’s praying AND SINGING in the courtyard pulled me toward a vote for him. But
    Theodore’s incorporation of art in devotion and the private postal system and his statement against slavery won my vote.

  26. Amelia Hagen's Gravatar Amelia Hagen
    March 9, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    I expect this will be close. I went with Theodore since I love to write icons.

  27. Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
    March 9, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for starting my morning with a good laugh. It’s a matchup of monnikers! I voted for the Stud–ite. He raps and instructs his followers not to own slaves. Embrace the madness.

  28. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 9, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Like many I was swayed by ….. letter he wrote instructing his followers not to own slaves—the first recorded Christian theological stand against slavery. Oliver is very wise.

  29. March 9, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Theodore got my vote because of his stand against slavery.

  30. March 9, 2017 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Odo, but then saw the bit about Theodore saying “no” to slaves, so he got my vote!

  31. Caroline Braun's Gravatar Caroline Braun
    March 9, 2017 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I voted for Theodore because he followed Basil the Great, whose feast day is my birthday. And he’s a Stud. Ite. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

    • March 9, 2017 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      I knew that, sooner or later, someone would make a comment about Theodore being a stud!

  32. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 9, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Two medieval monastic reformers! How to choose, how to choose?

  33. Becky's Gravatar Becky
    March 9, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Tough choice. I finally had to go with Odo for a very non-theological reason. My husband and I just finished watching re-runs of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and there is a character on the show called Odo. I like to think that maybe one of the writers of DS9 was aware of this Odo.

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 9, 2017 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Odo is also a hobbit name in JRR Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. Odo Proudfoot is a 1st cousin of Bilbo and therefore a 2nd cousin once removed of Frodo Baggins. That influenced my vote, as well as Odo of Cluny’s early efforts at eccliastical reform.

    • Marlene C Hogue's Gravatar Marlene C Hogue
      March 9, 2017 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

      This was my reasoning, as well.

  34. Denise Evans's Gravatar Denise Evans
    March 9, 2017 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I’m throwing my vote to Theodore. Not only did he denounce slavery, but he seemed to have developed an early form of email to keep in touch with his fellow monks in the monasteries around Constantinople.

  35. Joyce in Madison. GA's Gravatar Joyce in Madison. GA
    March 9, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of a “major scholastic and artistic center” and the painting of icons. I live next to a cultural center, and its influence abounds. I’m with you, Theo!

  36. March 9, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Teddy got my vote because I am hoping for a couple poems in further rounds. I love the name Odo which almost made me vote for him. I also liked his father. Please a poem next round.

  37. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 9, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Frankly, neither of them sound like they’d be any fun at a dinner party! But for his knack for light verse and early opposition to slavery, I went with Theodore.

  38. March 9, 2017 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Well, it’s shaping up as a close battle so far. Over 1,000 votes cast, and Odo’s ahead by 3 (thanks in part to my vote). I couldn’t deny by vote to a man named Odo with a father named Abbo. Plus I love hanging out in monasteries, and it appears my man Odo had a lot to do with there being so many of them.

  39. Wendy Webster Coakley's Gravatar Wendy Webster Coakley
    March 9, 2017 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    This will be a close one between two admirable servants of the Early Church. Just a five-vote differential as I cast my ballot.

  40. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    March 9, 2017 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    At first I was all about Odo having a three year headache. But Theodore started the artistic center AND used icons in worship. I am learning to paint icons, so that’s my guy!

  41. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    March 9, 2017 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    A man by the name of Abbo gives his son the moniker Odo…..how can I not love that?:) But I also love the Benedictines, so Odo it is.

  42. March 9, 2017 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Studite! Studite! Studite!
    Not having autocorrect is great!

  43. John The Beard's Gravatar John The Beard
    March 9, 2017 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    The hardest one yet; I opted to vote for Odo; shape-shifters get such a bad rap…no seriously, his devotion to reform at such an early time in the church is remarkable, and his work on negotiation admirable. Theo the Stud had many things going for him as well, especially being a very early voice against slavery. That almost tipped the scales. But nevertheless, I voted for Odo.

  44. Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
    March 9, 2017 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    The LM bio for ODO conveniently omits that he negotiated that peace through an arranged , and involuntary, marriage. Human trafficking much?

  45. Veronica Jackson's Gravatar Veronica Jackson
    March 9, 2017 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    This looks like a close one!

  46. Elliott's Gravatar Elliott
    March 9, 2017 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    I love Theodore’s zeal in defending the holy images, but I also love Odo’s work in reforming the church. Today has been a tough decision.

  47. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    March 9, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Looks to be a nail-biter. I voted for Odo, but could have easily gone the other way. I’m thinking of this as the “Ted the Stud v. Odo You Didn’t” smackdown.

    • Isabelle Melese-d'Hospital's Gravatar Isabelle Melese-d'Hospital
      March 9, 2017 - 10:31 am | Permalink


    • Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
      March 9, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      No offense to any champions of either saint. Just enjoying the Madness today with a dash of humor.

  48. Jane Christmas's Gravatar Jane Christmas
    March 9, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Got to love Theodore’s stand against slavery. I admired Odo’s rage-against-the-machine attitude toward his luxury-loving monks, but in the end it was the fight against slavery not the fight against luxury that struck me as the more righteous struggle.

  49. Ruth W.Davis's Gravatar Ruth W.Davis
    March 9, 2017 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Very hard choice today; but I voted for Odo because I know the monks of Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Mass. and their work in the community and support of people with so little.

  50. Lauri Kelso's Gravatar Lauri Kelso
    March 9, 2017 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Since this is Lent Madness…I let Madness help me vote…there is luny in Cluny and there is odor in Theodore…so Odo of Cluny received my vote…putting madness aside…I have suffered migraine doozies and can relate to head pain…we had common hurts and common rules to distract us from the hurts…Prayer UP!!

  51. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    March 9, 2017 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Really hard today. Nearly contemporary to each other, both reformers and deeply committed–‘fraid I have to follow Oliver’s reasoning, add the icon piece (they fascinate me), and listen to my dear friend Megan: Theodore it is!

  52. Ruby Faille's Gravatar Ruby Faille
    March 9, 2017 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Theododre got my vote because growing up I went to the Orthodox church and I totally love icons and the fact that he abolished slavery.

  53. Paul Ambos's Gravatar Paul Ambos
    March 9, 2017 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Odo looked to the past (returning to the Rule of St. Benedict), which is good, but Theodore looked to the future (establishing a mail system, making monastic rules easier to remember, antislavery), which is better. My vote is for Theodore.

  54. Anne Langston's Gravatar Anne Langston
    March 9, 2017 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Yeah, this one was the hardest yet. As a fan of the Star Trek franchise, of course I’m going to like a saint named Odo. And as a migraineur, I have total sympathy for someone with a three year headache. But for me, it came down to Theodore’s condemnation of slavery, followed by his defense of icons. I have a pair of small icons I keep on my desk at work, and have a great affection for icons. (And writing rules in verse so they can be remembered is lovely, too.) So Theodore it is.

  55. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 9, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this match-up, although it was very hard. I voted for Odo more on the basis of gut reaction than any rational reason (I do applaud Theodore’s stand against slavery, and I do love icons as well.) Maybe St. Martin intervened — when I made my Cursillo I sat at his table. I want to pass on to the SEC that the first time I tried to vote it didn’t seem to work. So I got off the site and back on and voted and that time everything went normally. If two votes came in for me, please delete one; it was unintentional.

  56. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    March 9, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I’m with you, Oliver! As soon as I saw the bit about his early stand against slavery, he had my vote.

  57. Michelle Pittenger's Gravatar Michelle Pittenger
    March 9, 2017 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Had to go for the man who argued in favor of icongraphy.

  58. XMS 5th grade Casey Crew's Gravatar XMS 5th grade Casey Crew
    March 9, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    We agree with the thoughts of everyone so far concerning Odo. One of the reasons we voted for him was because we thought it was pretty Holy Spirit awesome that Odo passed away on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, the very Saint to which his father dedicated Odo.

    • Lindsey age 10's Gravatar Lindsey age 10
      March 9, 2017 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree, although I still liked Theo, I voted for Odo.

  59. Deborah Giordano's Gravatar Deborah Giordano
    March 9, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    All-in for Odo of Cluny! Passionate reformer, ascetic, advocate of the oppressed and the poor, followed the Rule of St Benedict! And his name kinda sorta sounds like a character in the Lord of the Rings, so there’s that

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 9, 2017 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed! Odo Proudfoot was 1st cousin to Bilbo Baggins.

  60. March 9, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    As a poet (and someone who’s rather protective of my fancy shoes) I have to pick Theodore, though the Star Trek fan in me was leaning toward Odo! Good matchup today.

  61. Catherine Schuyler's Gravatar Catherine Schuyler
    March 9, 2017 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    The interview was excellent, but I couldn’t help but laugh that the Lent Madness segment was introduced with Handel’s exuberance of joy that is probably the least appropriate pop-classical church music for the occasion. It’s Lent, people!

  62. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 9, 2017 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    As a staff member at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, Columbia, SC, I must vote for Odo, but I was moved to nearly change my mind when I read at the very end of Studite’s instruction not to own slaves. Alas, however, Martin of Tours is in my blood and Odo it is.

  63. March 9, 2017 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    Well, this one isn’t going to be lopsided no matter who wins! Equally interesting bios.

  64. March 9, 2017 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Well, finally, I don’t feel like I am comparing apples and oranges. It doesn’t seem right to me to try to compare people from wildly disparate moments in time.

    “Theodore the Studite (759-826), also known as St. Theodore of Stoudios, was a Greek Orthodox monk.”

    I have to point out that the Greek Orthodox church, as such, did not exist at this moment in time as the East/West Schism was stilla few centuries in the future. There was only the church.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 9, 2017 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      In the 9th century, Constantinople and Rome were clearly distinct power centers, both temporally and ecclesiastically. Diarmaid MacCulloch points out that the French church was looking to Rome at this time, while “Byzantium looked eastwards: the ninth-century renewal of the city’s liturgical tradition drew inspiration from a source beyond itself, in Jerusalem” (453). He points to the year 843 as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy” in the Eastern Church. In fact, the Council of Chalcedon, after which “the church” split irrevocably, took place much earlier, in the year 451 CE. I am afraid that “the church” as a uniform, doctrinally harmonious body exists only in our wishes for Christendom. Possibly not even the angels aspire to such uniformity.

  65. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 9, 2017 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    For Odo of Cluny and Theodore the Studite
    Tune: Ratisbon – Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies, Hymnal ’82, 7.
    (or you can use the Hymn 6, different tune, same hymn)

    Who can choose between these two
    Faithful monks whose serving ways
    Honored Christ in choices made,
    In community that shapes
    Human hearts to care and give?
    May our service be so wise!

    Odo’s story might seem strange.
    Called through anguished headache he
    Honored what his father vowed,
    Took it on with vigor strong.
    Said no to the easy way!
    Faithful reform; serve and pray!

    Theodore deserves our thanks.
    For his fights ‘gainst powers that were.
    For his poetry sublime.
    For his love for icons fine.
    For his leadership so brave.
    For his defense of the slave.

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      March 9, 2017 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      Love the hymns! Are they going to be published?

      • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
        March 9, 2017 - 10:38 am | Permalink

        Yes, please, Diana and the SEC.

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        March 9, 2017 - 11:38 am | Permalink

        Carol and Michelle: Not sure the hymns are publishable except in this limited context. (Note to SEC: I humbly crave your gracious forgiveness for referring to Lent Madness as “Limited” and trust you to comprehend my tragically limited vocabulary.) But thank you for the ego enhancing compliment. I must now go and confess my egoic sins, but am still grateful for the opportunity to commit them. Am also keeping them all in a single file and will gladly send said file to anyone who asks once the Golden Halo has been awarded.

        • Sherry in Sequim's Gravatar Sherry in Sequim
          March 9, 2017 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

          We love the hymns…used last weeks as a plug for Lent Madness last night at our Soup Suppers and teaching. Great response for Issac and Mechtild.

          • Diana's Gravatar Diana
            March 9, 2017 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

            Sherry, that’s wonderful! Thank you for telling me. I’m grinning all over my face.

        • andrea's Gravatar andrea
          March 9, 2017 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Diana.

        • Vickie's Gravatar Vickie
          March 9, 2017 - 9:43 pm | Permalink

          Thank you, Diana. I was going to print them out each day. Now I don’t have to!

    • Miss Jan :-)'s Gravatar Miss Jan :-)
      March 10, 2017 - 5:21 am | Permalink

      I also think they should be published. I’ve started looking for them day by day. Would love to see them all once we are done with the forward movement of Lent Madness toward the 2017 Golden Halo winner announcement.

  66. Anne Beckett's Gravatar Anne Beckett
    March 9, 2017 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    What a conundrum! One nearby neighbor is the Benedictine Monastery of Christ in the Desert and the brothers are wonderful, but my next door neighbor paints icons for churches. Would like to honor them both. Tough one today!

  67. Signe's Gravatar Signe
    March 9, 2017 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    Hard choice. I had to read each a couple of times. I like the combination of simplicity and art. Finally went with Theodore for his theology. His letter against slavery and a serious consideration of how to use art icons in worship

  68. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 9, 2017 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    There’s a wonderful little story about Odo and his entourage passing by some impoverished laurel berry peddlers. Odo buys their laurel berries and pays them far more than their worth. Then afterwards, there’s this whole scene where the entourage realizes they don’t need laurel berries and try to figure out what to do with them.

  69. Michael Townsend's Gravatar Michael Townsend
    March 9, 2017 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Odo! I liked the mystical part of how his father had a vision for his son, Odo, to become a priest– that ultimately became his destiny. Most of all, I find it inspiring how he championed for the less fortunate, recognized the church’s hypocrisy, and sacrificed his own personal comforts.————– “practice what you preach”

  70. Peggy Strand's Gravatar Peggy Strand
    March 9, 2017 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Theodore for his love of icons as our church, All Souls’, is hosting an exhibition titled Icons in Transformation, the work of Ludmila Pawlowska. Her contemporary, expressionist work is inspired by traditional Russian icons!

  71. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    March 9, 2017 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I like Theodore- he stood up for himself and other people. Aren’t you 10 now, Oliver?

  72. Naomi Karstad's Gravatar Naomi Karstad
    March 9, 2017 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I have enjoyed readying the many wonderful insights today! (“Stud. Ite.” – VERY clever!) And from the depths of March in chilly, dreary Minnesota this morning, St. Cecelia’s comment about contemplating Christ Pantocrator and the “dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea” was strongly compelling. I voted for Theodore and art, beauty and scholarship.

  73. Benny Wanna Be Hinn's Gravatar Benny Wanna Be Hinn
    March 9, 2017 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    I voted against Odo because he didn’t like nice shoes

    • David Carver's Gravatar David Carver
      March 9, 2017 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

      This made me chuckle – thank you for that. 🙂

  74. Sandra Gustafson's Gravatar Sandra Gustafson
    March 9, 2017 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    This is what swayed me to Odo:
    He embraced the ascetic life and spoke out against the evils of the church of his time—ecclesiastical abuses, lack of prayer, and the oppression of the poor.

  75. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    March 9, 2017 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Both so worthy but did pick Odo as he was a peacemaker and reformer of monastic life

  76. Betty A. Morris's Gravatar Betty A. Morris
    March 9, 2017 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    As a member of the Community of Hope which applies Benedict’s Rule to our life today, I had to vote for Odo. Glad to learn about both of them.

  77. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 9, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Much as I love typing “Studite,” I can’t pass up the opportunity to write, “Cluniac.”

  78. Paige Corologos's Gravatar Paige Corologos
    March 9, 2017 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    I voted for Theodore for two reasons…the stand against slavery (which was enough to win it for me) and creating a mail system. He was far ahead of his time morally and organizationally.

  79. Rita Griffith's Gravatar Rita Griffith
    March 9, 2017 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Theodor got my vote. A poet and rebel and anti slavery to boot. Plus the asceticism of Odo didn’t endear me to hm.

  80. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 9, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Today’s a toughie! I love both these fascinating men. But as a fan of icons, I had to go with Theo.

  81. Jim Wheeler's Gravatar Jim Wheeler
    March 9, 2017 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    Theodore’s treatise on Holy Icons swayed me. That and his arguments against slavery. Eastern Orthodox iconography is one of the most enduring expressions of spirituality and one that bridges East and West.

  82. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 9, 2017 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Hard choice! Eventually I chose Theodore mostly because of his stand against slavery.

  83. Joanne's Gravatar Joanne
    March 9, 2017 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Odo today for the bald win. He made me think of my father who I could always locate by the growing bald spot on the back of his head & Daddy followed God’s rules too.

  84. Mike D's Gravatar Mike D
    March 9, 2017 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    We need more of a warrior’s approach to faith and study in the church. More zeal, more passion, but a passion for peace and prayer. Odo wins, hands down.

  85. Lynn's Gravatar Lynn
    March 9, 2017 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    I voted for Odo because it had to make his life difficult to point out the errors and materialistic ways of fellow Monks! That’s not an audience that I think would be welcoming constructive criticism!

  86. Mrs. B.'s Gravatar Mrs. B.
    March 9, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    Very much miss Bible study, Ruth, which you always led so capably. Illness keeps me away from what could have been a lively debate, but voted p.c. For Theo.

  87. Jeff's Gravatar Jeff
    March 9, 2017 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Odo and Abbo, gotta go with the good names. Hard to choose between these two though.

  88. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    March 9, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Odo’s rejection of wealth and emphasis on care for the poor and prayer set an example much needed today.

  89. Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
    March 9, 2017 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for If I because he’s a reminder that in every age the church needs reformers.

    • Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
      March 9, 2017 - 10:29 am | Permalink

      I mean Odo. =:&*/; autocorrect!

  90. Matthew of Nashville's Gravatar Matthew of Nashville
    March 9, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    I have so many dear Christian friends who suffer from migraines, I voted for Odo with them “in mind.”

  91. DiAnne Walsh's Gravatar DiAnne Walsh
    March 9, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Me too Oliver. I also liked that he made it easier by his writings to follow the rule.
    This will be close

  92. Anna's Gravatar Anna
    March 9, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Loved that Theodore’s defense of icons and his speaking out against slavery. But I voted for Odo, the peacemaker and the restorer of the monastic rule.

  93. March 9, 2017 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Tough call again! I was impressed by Theodore’s participation in the conversion of a family farm into a community in which men and women followed a life of prayer and simplicity, rather like the community founded by George Herbert–and like Herbert, Theodore taught through the medium of poetry. His stand against slavery appeals to me as an American–it may be our worst national sin, one for which we continue to pay dearly–and his arguments for icons is a reminder that God draws us to Himself through all “the beauty of the earth,” including beauty that we ourselves, through His grace, have created. Odoin hi was a great reformer in his day, and the Rule of Saint Benedict has been a powerful incentive to further the Kingdom of God for believers and non-believers alike so this was indeed a difficult choice. I look forward to many more such choices in future rounds!

  94. Lindsay's Gravatar Lindsay
    March 9, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    As someone who has tried to reform a community from within, I had to go with Odo! Plus DS9 reference, come on!!!

  95. Charlotte Jordan's Gravatar Charlotte Jordan
    March 9, 2017 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    For me, the most difficult choice of vote yet. I decided to choose Odo, because the Benedictine Rule so closely follows the example of Christ! However, I applaud Theodore for his early stand against slavery and his use of icons in worship!

  96. Mark Hunter's Gravatar Mark Hunter
    March 9, 2017 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    A communicator and an educator – Theo gets my vote.

  97. March 9, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    I have a deep fascination for large complex systems, and the chain of Cluniac monasteries was/is one of them. That Odo had also to do some reforming so early in their rise sounds like Church to me. And to the US Cluny Football club — play on lads!

  98. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 9, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    Wow! Close matchup! Best one yet! Been laughing out loud at many of the comments today. Anyway, I voted for the Studite.

  99. Michael Shea's Gravatar Michael Shea
    March 9, 2017 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Finally! Who cares who wins. I was drawn to Odo, but voted for The Studite because of his monastic innovations and his stand against slavery.

  100. Jeanette Veith's Gravatar Jeanette Veith
    March 9, 2017 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Odo got my vote because of his efforts for peace and for reform from within the community of monasteries.
    Our other candidate did write to vanish the practice of slavery, but we don’t know why from this writing. Did he consider them humans as himself? We just don’t know the reason.

  101. March 9, 2017 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    We need testimony against slavery these days, but I voted for Odo in honor of my son’s long struggle with chronic migraines. Which in his case, has turned out to be a neurological sensitivity to gluten! Who knew?

  102. March 9, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one today. Had to vote for Odo because he was a reformer.

  103. March 9, 2017 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Just finished listening to the interview between Bob Valvano and Katherine Doyle. Not only was it a delight to hear, but I was impressed with the extended amount of time given to the interview. Good job Katherine and Bob!

  104. Celia Cole's Gravatar Celia Cole
    March 9, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    I also found my decision difficult. Much to admire and emulate in both men. Odo seems a man for the US right now. Caring for the poor, eliminating corruption in the church and state. I’m for that stuff more than ever, right now.

  105. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 9, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    I voted for Odo…glad he won; for his zeal in reforming lavish lifestyles in the church, his sincerity and dedication. At the end of the Studite’s biog, when I saw he was against slavery, I was tempted to vote for him; both are good and noble men….but Odo won out for me. (My phone posted “studite” correctly;I’m kind of disappointed….) 😉

  106. Georgia's Gravatar Georgia
    March 9, 2017 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Good matchups today! I had to go with Theo, love those icons.

  107. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 9, 2017 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    This was the first really hard one for me. Odo appealed greatly, because of his renunciation of wealth. I made a different choice when young, more or less, and wonder about the path not taken.

    But, I am a total sucker for theology and scholarship in the monastic community. And to be the first to write theologically on slavery is an astonishing accomplishment.

  108. Jason's Gravatar Jason
    March 9, 2017 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as much as the next guy, but I went with Theo for the icons!

    • andrea's Gravatar andrea
      March 9, 2017 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Ha! I went with Theodore for his anti-slavery stance and that he wrote iambic verse/poems.

  109. Stan Runnels's Gravatar Stan Runnels
    March 9, 2017 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    First recorded Christian anti-slavery declaration. That alone requires my vote! Vote for the Studite!

  110. Kathy Wisconsin's Gravatar Kathy Wisconsin
    March 9, 2017 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Theodore. I feel that he had more foresight and was way ahead of his time in his acts and deeds.

  111. March 9, 2017 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    i voted for our favorite Studite, Theodore. As an artist I strive to be a window for God’s inspiration in the little ordinary things. As Icon writers fo, I strive to let the Holy Spirit guide my hands, head and heart as i work to make my pottery pieces.

    Loved the collect.
    Loved the Hymn!!!Thanks!

  112. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    March 9, 2017 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Please don’t use third person singular verbs when addressing God in the collects. It’s nonsensical!

  113. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    March 9, 2017 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Please don’t use third person singular verbs when addressing God in the collects. It’s nonsensical!

  114. Teri Jurgens's Gravatar Teri Jurgens
    March 9, 2017 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Odo had me until I read that Theodore was opposed to slavery.

  115. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    March 9, 2017 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    The two are almost the same, but I was swayed by the positive step Ted took to admonish others not to own slaves. And with a moniker like that, how can I pass this one up?

  116. K8+'s Gravatar K8+
    March 9, 2017 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Theo for me –
    Love icons, hate slavery
    Easy call
    (Ok – not easy- Lent Madness never is – is that why it’s called madness?)

  117. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 9, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    I’m impressed by Theodore’s invention of a mail system – communication is good, and certainly had to be difficult in the 8th century. And by his poetry, which he also used to communicate in a beautiful and memorable manner. Theodore gets my vote today.

  118. Sonia Stevenson's Gravatar Sonia Stevenson
    March 9, 2017 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    I think it’s possible Theodore’s anti slavery stance was directed only at the monasteries and the monks who should be doing their own work regardless of how menial. However, it could be considered a bold statement anyway.

  119. Marlene's Gravatar Marlene
    March 9, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    How can one choose between two faithful monks? It was so close for me, that I ended up voting for Odo, because that’s the name of my favorite Star Trek:DS9 character!

  120. Edwina's Gravatar Edwina
    March 9, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    Though I was not familiar with Odo of Cluny nor have I visited Cluny Abbey in France..I have been to the Musee national du Moyen Age in Paris … this made me think of Odo… and to give him my vote.

  121. Brendan's Gravatar Brendan
    March 9, 2017 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    My middle name is Clune as is my daughter’s middle name. On top of that, it is my Dad’s, brother’s and nephew’s first name. I have to go with Odo.

  122. Jane Cutting's Gravatar Jane Cutting
    March 9, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    A close one but anti slavery was the tipping point. Nice to learn about two people I had never heard of.

  123. Julie Morris's Gravatar Julie Morris
    March 9, 2017 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Theodore had me on “the first recorded Christian theological stand against slavery.”

  124. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 9, 2017 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Finally, an even match-up! Close in their time periods, both scholars, both monastic leaders, both reformers—and both men, since according to the comments, gender is definitely playing a role in people’s votes. I thought long and hard, and finally voted for Theodore. I’m always up for those who work to communicate with people on the people’s own terms, so I love his putting the community’s rule into easy-to-remember poems. And he was forward-thinking, with his innovation of a private mail system and his strictures against slavery.

    The story of Odo’s headache bothers me, though this wasn’t a factor in my vote. First, just what does it mean that his father “dedicated his son to St. Martin”? His father decided when Odo was a baby that Odo was going to be a priest? Second, since Odo didn’t know about the deal and his father was the one who reneged, why would Odo be the one to get the headaches? If anyone should have been smitten, it should have been his dad.

  125. Marilyn D (from the Great State of Texas)'s Gravatar Marilyn D (from the Great State of Texas)
    March 9, 2017 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I was on the fence about this one, but when I got to the end of Theodore’s story and read about his stance on slavery it clenched it for me! I voted for Theodore.

  126. Dorothy Schrader's Gravatar Dorothy Schrader
    March 9, 2017 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Odo in part because I have visited Baume-les Messieurs and like to think that I have walked the same tranquil monastery grounds as Odo if Baume of yore is today Baume-les Messieurs. The restaurant menu on the grounds is probably not practicing the Rule but it was an enjoyable meal. There is also a Baume-les Mesdames nearby.

  127. Viola Day Mullin's Gravatar Viola Day Mullin
    March 9, 2017 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Theodore was noted among other things for “the first recorded Christian theological stand against slavery.” That’s enough for me.

  128. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 9, 2017 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    P.S. I looked up what Theodore actually said about slavery and found this here https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/theostud-rules.html:
    “Do not obtain any slave nor use in your private service or in that of the monastery over which you preside, or in the fields, man who was made in the image of God. For such an indulgence is only for those who live in the world. For you should yourself be as a servant to the brethren like-minded with you, at least in intention, even if in outward appearance you are reckoned to be master and teacher.”

    So he was talking only about the monasteries. According to the sources, though, his line about “man who was made in the image of God” was a powerful statement that was later used by opponents of slavery.

    Interestingly, the very next part of his letter says that the monks shouldn’t have any female animals because they have renounced the female sex altogether! Okaaay, Theodore….maybe I should have looked into you and Odo a bit more in advance of my vote….

  129. Carol Kangas's Gravatar Carol Kangas
    March 9, 2017 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Oliver on this one for two reasons. First, the stand against slavery, and second, my father’s name was Theodore (I think it’s safe to assume that my mom considered him a stud).

  130. Dave Harrison's Gravatar Dave Harrison
    March 9, 2017 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh no! With all due respect to Oliver and his followers – Odo rules! I would hate to see him go in the first round. Odo fans chant: Odo! Odo! Odo!

    I have cast my one heartfelt vote for this most impressive Abbott of Cluny who so justly deserves a berth in the saintly sixteen.

    NB spellcheck doesn’t like “Odo” either…I find that…odd.

  131. Doris's Gravatar Doris
    March 9, 2017 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    A difficult choice but in the end went with Odo. I studied in Tours and spent many a moment in prayer at St. Martin’s cathedral there. And, yes, there must surely have been VERY good wine!

  132. Edward's Gravatar Edward
    March 9, 2017 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Odo was born near Le Mans and he is the patron saint of rain. This person in the Pacific Northwest is taken by those two items.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 10, 2017 - 5:04 am | Permalink

      With a 138% snowpack in the Cascades I think we have had enough rain.

  133. Dennis james Sagun Parker+'s Gravatar Dennis james Sagun Parker+
    March 9, 2017 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    How could you not vote for the “studite”?

  134. Nyc's Gravatar Nyc
    March 9, 2017 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Odo. I liked his name and I felt bad that he was punished for his father’s lack of fealty.

  135. Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
    March 9, 2017 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    The Studite was my choice, and I don’t know why.

  136. Mary's Gravatar Mary
    March 9, 2017 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Please include the loser of this matchup in the 2018 competition. I got a severe pain in my head trying to decide how to vote. So I had to vote for Odo

  137. March 9, 2017 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Odo because of reforms in the church.

  138. Cheryl K's Gravatar Cheryl K
    March 9, 2017 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Being both pro-icon and anti-slavery, I had to go with Theodore.

  139. Rita OConnor's Gravatar Rita OConnor
    March 9, 2017 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Odo it is!

  140. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 9, 2017 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    “Ted the Stud”! (sly chuckle) As I read and re-read the bios, they seemed of equal value, but for a few factors: understanding of icons ( some icons taken during the Russian Revolution from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia wound up in my home church, Christ Church United Methodist, in Manhattan); making a statement against slavery; support for literature and the arts; a mail system. Also, the fun of making puns on his name.

  141. Georgene Kruzel's Gravatar Georgene Kruzel
    March 9, 2017 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    This was a hard one. I finally chose Odo because he worked to negotiate peaceful results while Theodore bickered–receiving repeated floggings for his trouble.

  142. March 9, 2017 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Theodore takes my vote. I stand with the man who stands against slavery. Now, where can I find his treatise!

  143. Charles's Gravatar Charles
    March 9, 2017 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Odo because he is a good person

  144. Cathy Hunt's Gravatar Cathy Hunt
    March 9, 2017 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Odo went about changing the “power politics” among nobles and the church and was called on to bring much needed reform to monasteries far and wide. Sounds like we could use someone like him to help us get back to the basics of Christianity and government today. Plus, he figured out how to get rid of that headache!

  145. E's Gravatar E
    March 9, 2017 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for Theodore because his story really touched my heart ❤️

  146. Judy F. N.'s Gravatar Judy F. N.
    March 9, 2017 - 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Theodore was my choice because that is my husband’s middle name, I love icons and number one reason was his stand on slavery. Even if it pertained just to the monastery, it was a start in the right direction!

  147. Shan's Gravatar Shan
    March 9, 2017 - 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else picture George Clooney in Odo’s place? Very distracting. Plus, Theo was a Stud. Sorry-these names absolutely made my day. Finally voted Theo because of his stance on slavery. .

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 10, 2017 - 12:34 am | Permalink

      Per George Clooney: Yep!

  148. Lurlene's Gravatar Lurlene
    March 9, 2017 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Theodore’s voice is truly heard by me. He promoted the outpouring of the human spirit in art and poetry. In our world today, how many Christians show a love of God through time spent in contemplative creative endeavors? Ah, Wordsworth was right- “The world is too much with us late and soon… Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers…” It’s Theodore for me !

  149. G Lake Dylan's Gravatar G Lake Dylan
    March 9, 2017 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Ordo because of his shoe reform. While I wear leather shoes, rather than (hu-)man-made materials kinds, I choose the ones on sale. I figure shoes are worth a vote!

  150. G Lake Dylan's Gravatar G Lake Dylan
    March 9, 2017 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    oops, that would be Odo…

  151. Rosemary Beales's Gravatar Rosemary Beales
    March 9, 2017 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I vote on behalf of the fourth graders at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA. Today the cumulative vote of the 4 sections went to Odo. Although they were disappointed at the lack of rolling heads and popping eyeballs, they did respect the achievements of both these holy men. Perhaps it was the 3-year headache that swung the vote. Go, Odo!

  152. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 9, 2017 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Having never heard of Theodore I am delighted to make his acquaintance. My vote goes to him for his engagement with art, his willingness to speak truth to power, and his foresight in condemning slavery. And also in great thanksgiving for the wonderful staff at Sarum College, and the MA in Theology, Imagination and Culture, which I am sure Theodore appears in.

  153. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 9, 2017 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Odo because he did not negotiate for power against power, but spoke to power, regardless of the cost to him.

  154. Matthew of Nashville's Gravatar Matthew of Nashville
    March 9, 2017 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Good job, Madre Katherine on the radio yesterday! So glad none other than Bob Valvano took the time to spotlight this amazing tournament!!!

  155. Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
    March 9, 2017 - 4:01 pm | Permalink

    A stand against slavery was the deciding factor for me.

  156. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 9, 2017 - 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Theodore the Studite, defender of icons during the second Iconoclastic Controversy, was the subject of my History of Christian Doctrine paper at Perkins. Among his other admirable qualities were toughness and persistence. As we say in Texas about such people, many centuries later, “He didn’t have sense enough to know he was licked.” He gets my vote, of course.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 10, 2017 - 5:00 am | Permalink

      Greetings from a SMU Meadows alumni who lived in Martin Hall and knew the best lunch on campus was at Perkins’ Refectory.


  157. Abby aged 10 and William aged 5's Gravatar Abby aged 10 and William aged 5
    March 9, 2017 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Odo because all the other monks needed payment to pray and they had scrumptious feasts and left the poor and hungry. Odo didn’t.

    Abby and Will’s mum agreed but really liked the collect for Theodore – what a beautiful prwyer!

  158. Sally Rhett Roberts's Gravatar Sally Rhett Roberts
    March 9, 2017 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    This was the hardest choice so far for me. In the end I agreed with Oliver–saying no to slavery was the decider.

  159. March 9, 2017 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

    This was a close one for me: two monastics with a strong commitment to the ascetic life. The thing that swung it for me was (as many others wrote as well) was Theodore’s opposition to slavery (as well as his love of icons).

  160. marie jones's Gravatar marie jones
    March 9, 2017 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh, pshaw! Here I go again! Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. . .which one to choose, Ted or Odo?
    Their life spans overlap. They operate in different geographical areas and traditions, yet their spiritual truths are twins. I’m going with Oliver for the same reason he gave, bless his heart!

  161. March 9, 2017 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Along with Bernard of Clairvaux, Br. of Roger of Taize’ has a connection to the spiritual legacy of Cluny (and therefore in a way, Odo). The monastery had a growing influence in Europe after Odo. At one time, the Abbey Church grew to be even bigger than St. Peter’s in Rome. Due to its historic importance, Br. Roger was attracted to the region for his study of monastic spirituality, and he settled in a small village closeby to Cluny, the now famous Taize’. The linkage to Br. Roger might be indirect and weak at best, but it still got me to vote for Odo. Taize; was an important part of my spiritual discernment for my vocation, and I love Cluny and the surrounding area. It is Lent Madness, so I don’t need a better reason than that.

  162. Erin's Gravatar Erin
    March 9, 2017 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Theo the anti-slavery poet? Yes please!

  163. Rilla Holmes's Gravatar Rilla Holmes
    March 9, 2017 - 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Theodore because antislavery

  164. Charlotte Desilets's Gravatar Charlotte Desilets
    March 9, 2017 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    This Oblate voted for Odo, a reformer in the mold of St. Benedict himself.

  165. terriH's Gravatar terriH
    March 9, 2017 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough one, but as an Oblate I had to go with Odo.

  166. Junior Warden's Gravatar Junior Warden
    March 9, 2017 - 6:51 pm | Permalink


  167. Dawna's Gravatar Dawna
    March 9, 2017 - 7:08 pm | Permalink

    This deserved a close vote. So many reasons for both, but since I am in a group of individuals trying to live the rule, I had to go with Odo

  168. Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
    March 9, 2017 - 7:11 pm | Permalink

    At first I wasn’t impressed with either but Theo’s story began to build. I had already made up my mind by the time I read that he promoted the role of the visual arts in church. As a liturgical artist who gives programs on iconography this vote became a no-brainer.

  169. Janis Froehlig's Gravatar Janis Froehlig
    March 9, 2017 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Effectively built a school, is that Ted Ed, then?

    I had to go with the floggings for calling out sexual impropriety among other things, the brilliance of networking, and poetry.

  170. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    March 9, 2017 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Theo’s work on the use of icons in worship and his anti-slavery stance won my vote.

  171. Paula's Gravatar Paula
    March 9, 2017 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could have voted for BOTH of them. Two men who spoke the truth to power, and we need that right now. I voted for Odo, because those monks who accepted gifts in exchange for favors, feasted while others went hungry, and reveled in their wealth sound too much like a lot of those in positions of authority today. God of grace, thank you for the example of your servant Odo. Grant that we, in our own time and ways, would ever seek your will in our lives.

  172. Zoey's Gravatar Zoey
    March 9, 2017 - 7:58 pm | Permalink

    My name is Zoey and I voted for Theodore because he was one of the first against slavery.

  173. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 9, 2017 - 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Have to go with Odo for just saying okay my dad made a promise and I should keep it. Then throwing away finery cause of a rule book no one else really followed. The guy had great Intergrity.

  174. Maryw47's Gravatar Maryw47
    March 9, 2017 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Theodore, because he spoke out against slavery!

  175. March 9, 2017 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

    As a follower of St. Martin, it has to be Odo…..

  176. Megan Henderson's Gravatar Megan Henderson
    March 9, 2017 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

    This was a close call. In the end I went with Theodore the Studite because he was one of the first to make a stand against slavery and wrote poems.

  177. Dr Paul's Gravatar Dr Paul
    March 9, 2017 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

    They seem like a matched set but the bit about getting the mail through rang a bell with me. The 13 colonies were already united because Ben Franklin made sure that each colonial legislature got the minutes of all the others as soon as the votes were taken. Ben was just channeling Theodore.

  178. Vickie's Gravatar Vickie
    March 9, 2017 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Odo was one of my nominees (along with unchosen Odilo, a subsequent abbot at Cluny), so, of course, I wanted to vote for him.

  179. Joan Reyes's Gravatar Joan Reyes
    March 9, 2017 - 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Theodore the studious Studite…..

  180. Chris Winn's Gravatar Chris Winn
    March 9, 2017 - 10:35 pm | Permalink

    first recorded Christian theological stand against slavery

  181. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 9, 2017 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Finally! I voted for a winner. Odo restored the vision of monasticism, simple living, dedicated to prayer, spirituality and good works. I have often fantasized of becoming a monk and living in a medieval monastery.

  182. Zoë's Gravatar Zoë
    March 10, 2017 - 12:39 am | Permalink

    I voted for Theodore. He seemed to have been a thoughtful theologian. Did not accept slavery and included icons as beautiful expressions of faith. Twist kind of a French name is Odo?French do like shoes, but is this where tat interest began?

  183. Sally J's Gravatar Sally J
    March 11, 2017 - 1:04 am | Permalink

    I did not vote on this round, alas, even though I was thrilled to see St. Odo of Cluny on the bill. Since I didn’t see anyone else mentioning this important fact, I feel I must share the reason I would have voted for ODO. In the hilarious novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, the protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a member of the parish of St. Odo of Cluny in New Orleans. Since Confederacy is one of my favorite novels, and although the the parish is mythical, Odo is my man. I was so thrilled to find out that the saint was not mythical. And I suppose no one will ever read this post. (Sigh)

    • Shan's Gravatar Shan
      March 11, 2017 - 1:07 am | Permalink

      I read your post, but, alas, never read Confederacy. Perhaps now I will.

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