Franz Jägerstätter vs. Mechtild of Magdeburg

Holy upsets, Batman! Florence Nightingale has spoiled the 500th year of the Reformation with a 54% to 46% victory over Martin Luther. That sound you hear? Brackets being busted everywhere and fans of Luther crying in their beer steins. Florence has joined Stephen in the Faithful Four with two more spots remaining open.

Speaking of Luther and Lutherans (and Germany, for that matter), our two Lutheran Celebrity Bloggers, David Hansen and Beth Lewis, are going head-to-head today. Now, some saints have an incredible amount of kitsch in their kollective kupboards. Franz Jägerstätter and Mechtild of Magdeburg are not those saints. But does this stop our Celebrity Bloggers from scouring the internet? Of course not! They are always looking for the next kitsch to die in.

To get to the Elate Eight, Franz beat Joan of Arc and Sarah the Matriarch while Mechtild got past Isaac the Syrian and Odo of Cluny. Who will take the third spot in the Faithful Four? Well, that’s up to you.

Franz Jägerstätter

Some saints have had hundreds, and others thousands, of years in which to accumulate a collection of kitsch. Not so, with Franz Jägerstätter. He was beheaded for his opposition to the Nazi Reich only 73 years ago, and beatified in the Roman Catholic Church only a decade ago.

During his imprisonment, Franz wrote many letters to his faithful wife, Franziska: “I’ll write down a few words as they come to me from my heart,” he said. Honor his memory by writing your own words of love and witness and sending them with this Austrian stamp.

Of course, you might wish that more people could see your devotion to Blessed Franz – in which case this bumper sticker might be a good option. Jägerstätter wrote about strength that “Love of enemies is not weakness of personal character by a heroic power of the soul.” In an era of hyper-masculinity, remind people that “real men love peace” with this bumper sticker.

During Lent, let everyone who encounters you know that you are not a half-way Christian. This shirt with Jägerstätter’s face on the front, and his quote about the uselessness of half-way faith on the back.

Beatified only ten years ago, Franz Jägerstätter is a saint for the 21st Century. Carry this iPhone case with an icon on it as a constant reminder in your pocket of Franz’s life and witness, and the power of an everyday vocations like farming in the life of faith.

At the end of a long day, remember that Jägerstätter’s witness was faithful until the end of his life and his beheading in a German prison. Rest your head on this icon-covered throw pillow, and rest well trusting the grace of God.

David Hansen

Mechtild of Magdeburg

Sadly, not a lot of kitsch has survived the eight centuries since Mechthild of Magdeburg lived. There is this clock of Mechthild and her Cat available for purchase online, but I suspect it isn’t the same Mechthild.

We know that Mechthild spent her days living in community with the Beguines. Does this mean that she was the earliest proponent of the West Indian dance known as the beguine? A dance akin to the Foxtrot, it was first popularized some centuries after she lived by Swing bandleader Artie Shaw in 1938.

Then, dancing the beguine exploded across the big screen in 1940 with the flowing, light steps of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the film, Broadway Melody.

Since Mechthild was busy serving the infirm and poor in the neighborhood and writing her seven-volume series conveying the wisdom stimulated by her visions, she probably wasn’t dancing the beguine. She merely was one.

Thinking about the mysticism that inspired her writing does provide me with some kitschy ideas. For example, I wonder if her visions from the Spirit might have inspired present-day Spirit-oriented gift items readily available online and in Christian bookstores? A necklace or a keepsake box in which to keep it come to mind. Perhaps a gift box with the dove of the Spirit for a bottle of wine for your favorite priest or publisher? 





Just when I was about to despair of finding any appropriate Mechthild kitsch, I learned that there is a Catholic Church named for St. Mechthild in Magdeburg, Germany (where else?) 






Their stained glass windows are quite contemporary and not particularly kitschy. But, that exploration took me to the Diocese of Magdeburg. Success!

It turns out that in 2007, in celebration of her 800th birthday, the Diocese of Magdeburg hosted a birthday party of sorts. They created a logo commemorating the seven volumes that make up The Flowing Light of the Godhead.


On their website, they describe the celebration in this way: “the highlight will be the nightly staging of Mechthild’s life and work on the Elbe with around 200 participants and 35 boats… At the beginning of the performance, distinguished tourists are presented on a passing ship… At the end of the performance, Mechthild’s book and its feather can be seen on a very slow moving cargo ship. And on a smaller boat, the three great women of Helfta, Mechthild von Magdeburg, Mechthild von Hackeborn, and Gertrud the Great, glide by slowly, while the flowing Elbe reflects deep red light.”

Now, with a description like that of the festivities, I was certain I’d find some kitsch to share! Alas, only this single photo of tourists wearing the ubiquitous festival t-shirts.

But, after 800 years, some legitimate Mechthild of Magdeburg kitsch is better than none.

Beth Lewis

Franz Jägerstätter vs. Mechtild of Magdeburg

  • Franz Jägerstätter (67%, 3,884 Votes)
  • Mechtild of Magdeburg (33%, 1,954 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,838

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133 Comments to "Franz Jägerstätter vs. Mechtild of Magdeburg"

  1. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    April 6, 2017 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Vote, Christians! I can’t believe it is tied 10 to 10.

  2. Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
    April 6, 2017 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    I’m sure Franz will win this round, so I went w/ Mechtild. Gotta love the #Beguines. Plus, I’m coveting the cat clock.

    • Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
      April 6, 2017 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      Me too, Ann! Begin the Beguines! Vote Mechtild!

    • Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
      April 6, 2017 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, Ann!

    • Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
      April 6, 2017 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Repent! LOL.

  3. Charles Crawley's Gravatar Charles Crawley
    April 6, 2017 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Gordon Zahn, who wrote A Solitary Witness: The Life and Death of Franz Jagerstatter, said that one of the greatest moments of his life was when a student burned his draft card at an anti-Vietnam war protest “in memory of Franz Jagerstatter.” I have been reading A Solitary Witness for Lent and recommend it highly. Zahn was also a conscientious objector during the same war that cost Jagerstatter his life. Zahn was a guiding light in the Catholic peace movement. I would hope that Episcopalians could catch up with their Catholic sisters and brothers in their rejection of “just wars.” Go Episcopal Peace Fellowship! Gird your loins for the upcoming battle over the increases in the military budget, and remember Saint Franz.

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      April 6, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

      Well said! Franz for me!

    • Gale Smetana's Gravatar Gale Smetana
      April 6, 2017 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      Nicely written, Charles!

    • MR McKenney's Gravatar MR McKenney
      April 6, 2017 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes Charles, let’s all gird our loins. Vote Franz!

    • Jacque Fertick's Gravatar Jacque Fertick
      April 6, 2017 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Charles, I couldn’t agree more.

    • Karen Rhodes's Gravatar Karen Rhodes
      April 6, 2017 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know that. Thanks. I voted for Franz despite coveting the cat clock.

      • Zoe's Gravatar Zoe
        April 6, 2017 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

        agreed! tough decision with the retro cat clock!

    • James Sliney's Gravatar James Sliney
      April 6, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Charles, thank you very much for your own contemporary witness to peace! Christ’s Peace, not Caesar’s peace at the point of the sword!

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      April 7, 2017 - 3:12 am | Permalink

      Amen, brother! I had to vote for Franz.

  4. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    April 6, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink


  5. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    April 6, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Franz until I got to the part about the “Spirit” kitsch in Mechthild’s write-up. I’ve worn a dove necklace since I was confirmed. So I had to vote for Mechthild this morning.

    • Hugh Mitchell's Gravatar Hugh Mitchell
      April 6, 2017 - 10:02 am | Permalink

      Mechtild’s kitsch is waaaaay better!

  6. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    April 6, 2017 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Great kitsch kreativity today, not to mention a pair so worthy I could vote for either one.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      April 6, 2017 - 8:31 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly! Kudos to the CBs for their kitsch efforts – amazing. Another difficult choice today. I would be happy with either.

  7. Elizabeth Hunziker's Gravatar Elizabeth Hunziker
    April 6, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    The beheading won me over!

  8. Kate Cabot's Gravatar Kate Cabot
    April 6, 2017 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Real men love peace. Yes, they do. Go Franz!

  9. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    April 6, 2017 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Franz was a beacon for peace, but peace without justice is empty. Mechtild’s courage in continuing to write works critical of the clergy, despite opposition that would have crushed a less-inspired spirit, is exemplary for all who work for social justice. Her cheerful compassion in caring for the sick is justice in action.

    • Nancy Eustace's Gravatar Nancy Eustace
      April 6, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

      Nice write-up Beth. Hard though it was to decide, I also admired Mechtild.

  10. Joann's Gravatar Joann
    April 6, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    OK this is what happens when I click “vote” before reading everything! I voted for Franz but would have voted for Mechthild if I had gotten past the cat clock (love it) to The Flowing Light of the Godhead -wow! That title stopped me in my tracks! That and the gorgeous logo make me want to find and read this treasure. Go Mechthild!

    • Eljay's Gravatar Eljay
      April 6, 2017 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t make up my mind even after reading all the way through, so I’ll vote Mechthild for you.

  11. Willo Fuhr's Gravatar Willo Fuhr
    April 6, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with Charles Crawley and voted for Franz.
    He was willing to die for what he believed.

  12. beth avery's Gravatar beth avery
    April 6, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Wish the authors had credited where this icon is, but it’s another bit of Mechthild .

    • Betty in CV's Gravatar Betty in CV
      April 6, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Beth! Your link to Mechthild’s poetry made all the difference.

    • Eljay's Gravatar Eljay
      April 6, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      Yes! How can you beat “A fish does not drown in water”?

      A fish cannot drown in water,
      A bird does not fall in air.
      In the fire of creation,
      God doesn’t vanish:
      The fire brightens.
      Each creature God made
      must live in its own true nature;
      How could I resist my nature,
      That lives for oneness with God?

  13. Isabel Stanley's Gravatar Isabel Stanley
    April 6, 2017 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Both saints are worthy, but I must go with Mechthild. The Church was very hard on the Beguines and ultimately suppressed them, so St. M probably had a hard time of it. But she persisted.

  14. Carol in Uganda's Gravatar Carol in Uganda
    April 6, 2017 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Franz was a real man…had to vote for him!

    • Laura Clarke's Gravatar Laura Clarke
      April 6, 2017 - 8:59 am | Permalink

      While I do covet the Mechthild clock with the Daliesque cat whiskers, my brain won out over my heart, and I voted for Franz. In 2017, we need all the impetus to stand up for what is right and just that we can find. He walked the walk, and has my vote.

  15. Nancy Day's Gravatar Nancy Day
    April 6, 2017 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Like a previous comment, I also covet the Mechthild and Cat clock. Beth Lewis, can you share the source?

  16. John's Gravatar John
    April 6, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Franz! Spoke the truth and died for it!

  17. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    April 6, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Alas for Mechtild, up against the stalwart Franz! A tee-shirt just can’t compare to a phone case…though I do like the Mechtild logo and that cat in the first picture. Franz it is today!

  18. Willo Fuhr's Gravatar Willo Fuhr
    April 6, 2017 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    I agree with Charles Crawley and therefore. Voted for Franz. He willingly gave his life for what he believed in

  19. April 6, 2017 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Beth, for your incredible detective work in search of Mechtild kitsch. It appears there’s a market out there yet to be exploited! Bobble-head doll manufacturers, take note!

  20. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    April 6, 2017 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Both of our celebrity bloggers deserve an A+ for kitsch kreativity! But I went with Franz. I want that number sticker and the t shirt! But I’ll settle for a golden halo mug.

  21. Willo Fuhr's Gravatar Willo Fuhr
    April 6, 2017 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    I mistakenly voted twice.
    Sorry. I thought my first one didn’t go through. Of course I want Franz to win FAIR AND SQUARELY

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 6, 2017 - 11:18 am | Permalink

      If you are on the same device for both attempts, then the first did not go through since you were allowed to vote. There would be no option to vote if a vote on the same device had already registered.

  22. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    April 6, 2017 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    We can’t fully appreciate the dedication to their faith that Christian women of religious communities had to have to be able to carry out their ministries in the Middle Ages. They were the career women and feminists of their day. By opting not to marry, studying scripture, writing books, caring for the sick, they defied convention and were true to their calling. Isabel Stanley is right–church and country suppressed and almost wiped out the Beguines.

    Now when it comes to kitsch, I congratulate both CBs–but man oh man, Beth had to be truly creative! I want that t-shirt! So, as is my custom, based on kitsch, I’m going to vote for Mechthild.

  23. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 6, 2017 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    I’m going with the Beguines and medieval women’s mysticism.

  24. Mary Jo Bonds's Gravatar Mary Jo Bonds
    April 6, 2017 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Being a Fred Astaire lover (and Ginger) I have to point out that the dancer with Fred in “Broadway Melody” was Eleanor Powell, not Ginger. I realize this has nothing to do with Lent Madness, just keeping you honest.

    • Jeanine's Gravatar Jeanine
      April 6, 2017 - 9:32 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Mary Jo! I was going to point that out myself. I have watched this routine countless times on YouTube. Something about that shiny black floor mesmerizes me.

  25. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 6, 2017 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell in The Broadway Melody, 1940.


    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      April 6, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      Oh, that got my day off to a very happy start! Love me some Fred Astaire in the morning!

  26. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 6, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    • Heather Swearingen's Gravatar Heather Swearingen
      April 6, 2017 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

      St. Celia, thank you for sharing the video! Their stunning talent and artistry brings tears to my eyes!

  27. XMS 5th grade Casey Crew's Gravatar XMS 5th grade Casey Crew
    April 6, 2017 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    The throw pillow won us over! Franz for the win!

    • Lindsey age 10's Gravatar Lindsey age 10
      April 6, 2017 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

      So true!

  28. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    April 6, 2017 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Franz, for his quiet, unassuming courage. “They lived not only in ages past” (Hymn 293, text: Lesbian Scott, music: John Henry Hopkins.) We need more like him now and in every age.

  29. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 6, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    For Franz Jägetstätter and Mechtild of Magdeburg
    Tune: Austria, Hymnal ’82, 522, Glorious things of thee are spoken

    When the love of Christ roots deeply
    In an open human soul
    Power and evil cannot keep that
    Love from flowing in the world.
    Courage rises, and the Spirit
    Whispers truth that must be lived.
    For your witnesses we praise you.
    Help us serve in our time’s needs.

    In the face of raging evil
    Franz refused to go along.
    With the love of Christ his vision
    He’d not acquiesce to wrong.
    From the cell where his faith led him
    Prayers and praises freely poured.
    Holy witness, holy martyr,
    Pray for us in our time’s needs.

    Told she had no right to speak of
    Gifts and wisdom Spirit-given.
    Mechtild’s heart-light wisdom flowed out
    In words plain folk comprehend.
    Faced with conflict and with danger
    Still she wrote, still she endured.
    Mystic woman, faithful sister
    Speak to us in our time’s needs.

    God of glory ever present,
    Ever with us day by day.
    Give us grace to live unflinching
    In the face of fear and greed.
    Help us live and speak your mercy,
    Help us live and speak your truth.
    With your saints may we be faithful,
    Living love in our time’s needs.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      April 6, 2017 - 10:39 am | Permalink

      Deeply moving, well crafted, words fail me.
      Thank you, Diana.

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      April 6, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

      Glorious! This hymn really speaks to me (though they seldom help to make the choice – you’re extraordinarily balanced, Diana). But do you ever hide a bit of kitschy reference in your sung poetry?

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 6, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

        I frequently hide a kitschy reference or two (had a LOT of fun with Odo, for example) but today I just couldn’t. These two extraordinary people move me so deeply that my capacity for wit dissolved.

        • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
          April 6, 2017 - 11:03 am | Permalink

          The best of Christian hymns/poetry come from real Christians. Q.E.D.

        • April 6, 2017 - 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Lovely, Diana.
          Also, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the website of the Community of the Transfiguration. God bless you and your sisters.
          Go Franz!

          • Diana's Gravatar Diana
            April 6, 2017 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

            I’m so glad Harlie. Any chance you could ever visit? I’m living in California right now, but will be moving back to Cincinnati permanently by the end of May. I would enjoy meeting you in person after our conversations here. You would be most welcome. We have lots of room for guests, people who want to make retreats, etc.

    • VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
      April 6, 2017 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Diana, for yet another beautiful hymn. ❤

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      April 6, 2017 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Diana. This hymn is definitely a keeper – it speaks deeply. However, it does not make the decision of who to vote for any easier! Today is a hard choice.

  30. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    April 6, 2017 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    I visited Magdeburg last year and have to say that I cannot recall coming across Mechtild whilst there. However I admire the creativity of Beth in seeking out kitsch and also like to think that Mechtild may have had a cat so my vote goes to her today. 🙂

  31. Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
    April 6, 2017 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    really tough choice once again. Had to go with Franz. His courage and witness for peace in the face of political oppression resonates particularly strongly for me in today’s world. To paraphrase badly – he kept his head while all around him were losing theirs.

  32. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    April 6, 2017 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    I was really surprised today. I assumed that Mechtild would take a quick lead. As it turns out, quite the opposite has happened.

  33. Jeannine Desmarais's Gravatar Jeannine Desmarais
    April 6, 2017 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Franz. In a world that is becoming increasingly filled with the threat of fascism, he stands as an urgent reminder to all peoples of the often high cost of courageous love and the way of peace.

  34. April 6, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Beth Lewis’ earnest determination (and creativitiy) to find Mechthild kitsch almost lured me away, but Franz is a saint for our times and so I cast my vote for him.

  35. Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
    April 6, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Toss-up time again! But went with Franz.

  36. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    April 6, 2017 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    I had voted for both in earlier rounds but I, too, find Franz inspiring for his commitment to honor his values and faith with his life. However, I am grateful that I now know a little bit about Mechthild!

  37. April 6, 2017 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Franz! Franz! Franz! But my, the Mechtild tees are stunning!

  38. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    April 6, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    I could have sworn (figuratively, of course, not literally) that I made a comment on Martin vs. Florence yesterday, and now I can’t find it. Was I deleted? If so, why?

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 6, 2017 - 11:30 am | Permalink

      Maybe it is stuck in a moderation queue (1/2 the SEC is currently not in the U.S. based on photos he posted to his Instagram account). Did you see your comment after it posted?

  39. Pat Sadd's Gravatar Pat Sadd
    April 6, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    In the first rounds I have actually voted for both of these candidates. But as I read all the post it seemed people were stuck on the beheading – at that time Hitler’s “party” was killing anyone who they didn’t like – reasons weren’t needed. Yes Mechtild had it safer as she was probably not in danger of death. But I think the impact of their lives is part of this “game”. Neither are top names in the everyday faiths I was raised in but “not being a sheep to be part of a group” and “being vocal about your simple faith” are part of my upbringing. As an older person I realize that recognizing the gifts from the Spirit of God has given me the wisdom to make the right decisions about standing my ground. So my vote is for Mechtild.

  40. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 6, 2017 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    The kitsch winner for me today is the pillow for the beheaded St. Franz.
    Who thinks of creating that!

    • April 6, 2017 - 7:55 pm | Permalink

      The pillow caught my fancy, too, Carol. Just glad it didn’t actually show the “beheaded Franz,” but Franz who was beheaded. If you catch my meaning. LOL.

  41. April 6, 2017 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    I love both these saints, and their kitsch. But I am passionate about Franz this year and I also seriously want that bumper sticker. So Franz it is!

    • April 6, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      Me too on the bumbler sticker. Dunno about this Kitsch round though–it seems to be inspiring most UN-Lent-like covetousness! More seriously, yes, we need Franz’s sacrificial and public clinging to what is right, but also the peace, in the midst of madness, that comes from contemplation of Christ and not all that is evil in this world. Hard choice.

      • April 6, 2017 - 11:42 am | Permalink

        Yes, it really was, Ruth. Both of these saints really speak to me, and in fact I just posted another video of Begin the Beguine in honor of Mechtild down thread. Ultimately, I had to go with Franz, not because of the bumper sticker ;), but because it is so very important that we take a stand, perhaps at great personal risk, against worldly power this year.

      • April 6, 2017 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

        LOL, Ruth, about the “unLenten covetousness” the “kitsch” round seems to be inspiring. 😉
        Even though he didn’t make it to the Faithful Four, I still think Martin Luther has the best kitsch so far. Kudos to all the Celebrity Bloggers who find these items for us.

  42. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    April 6, 2017 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    If Franz wins the Golden Halo, will we have the opportunity to purchase a Jägerstätter jigger?

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      April 6, 2017 - 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I want one!

    • April 6, 2017 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Oh, that would be fun, Patsy!

  43. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    April 6, 2017 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Mecthild, I am compelled to vote for Franz today! Real men love peace!

  44. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    April 6, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    hard choice today. 3 of of my faves…but in the long run I went with Franz for his courage in the face of Hitler.

  45. Amy C.'s Gravatar Amy C.
    April 6, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Have been reading The Flowing Light of the Godhead since I saw the dance quote:
    “She says: “I cannot dance, Lord, unless you lead me. If you want me to leap with abandon, You must intone the song. Then I shall leap into love, From love into knowledge, From knowledge into enjoyment, And from enjoyment beyond all human sensations. There I want to remain, yet want also to circle higher still.” ”
    It just gets better! Still my heart…

  46. Matthew of Nashville's Gravatar Matthew of Nashville
    April 6, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I was stuck between the two, but it came down to 1) having voted for D. Bonhoeffer all the way through last year’s Madness, him being so alike in his story to Jagerstatter, and 2) one of Nashville’s sister cities is Magdeburg, and the mention of the church there tilted the scales. Mechthild it is!!

  47. Victoria Goss's Gravatar Victoria Goss
    April 6, 2017 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    I want a final round with Franz and Florence. And then I REALLY won’t know who to vote for!
    Blessings on all the saints and their impacts on our lives. I love Lent Madness for teaching me so much
    and making me aware of so many influences for the good in our lives and church.

    • April 6, 2017 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. I’m also hoping for a Nightingale-Jägerstätter final.

  48. Christine Parkhurst's Gravatar Christine Parkhurst
    April 6, 2017 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    The Beguines are relatively unknown because they weren’t men, and yet they persisted in their own version of their faith. My resolution for Lent is to read more about them. Thanks, Lent Madness. It’s fitting that Mechtild is going to be ignored again, despite my vote.

  49. April 6, 2017 - 11:34 am | Permalink
  50. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    April 6, 2017 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Mechtild of Magdeburg:
    That beautiful contemporary-style stained glass window (beautiful & contemporary-style rarely align when it comes to stained glass windows)

    Franz Jägerstätter:
    Real Men Love Peace
    Holy Witness, Holy Martyr
    Choose doing right over being liked (his vote being the only vote in his village against the Nazis.

    Since the darkness that is fascism has reared its evil head again, I feel that I must vote yet again for Franz who gave his life opposing evil made manifest.

    Saint Franz Jägerstätter pray for US.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 6, 2017 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

      FYI: Terrence Malick’s film about Franz Jägerstätter, Radegund (2017) is currently in post-production according to IMDb. Malick is listed as both the director and the screenwriter.

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        April 6, 2017 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Miss Jan! This is exciting! It looks like it is going to be in German; how interesting that Terrence Malick is doing a German film.

        • Diana's Gravatar Diana
          April 6, 2017 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Hoping there will be clear, readable English subtitles or an English version. I seem to have forgotten most of what I learned when I studied German 40 some years ago.

  51. Dennis Coughlin's Gravatar Dennis Coughlin
    April 6, 2017 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Mechtild for her (tenuous) connection to Thuringer sausage as she is from “one of the noblest and most powerful Thuringian families” as well as for her “Book of Special Grace.”

  52. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    April 6, 2017 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    BTW Franz Jägerstätter has a Stolperstein in his memory in his village. If you haven’t heard of Stolpersteins, read this:

    • Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
      April 6, 2017 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for sharing this! I am visiting Austria and Germany in June. I hope to see one of these memorials now that I will know what it is!

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 6, 2017 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for information about Stolpersteins. What an amazing idea and so moving. The very word is so powerfully evocative.

    • April 6, 2017 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

      I had never heard of Stolpersteins until you mentioned them, so I am grateful for the extension of my knowledge, Miss Jan. I had already voted for Mechtild because of her membership in the Beguines; as a Daughter of the King, I have often thought of us as modern-day heirs of that movement. And as well, my great-grandparents were surnamed Magdefrau, and I have always supposed them to have originated in Magdeburg (though I have no real reason to assume that).

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        April 7, 2017 - 12:23 am | Permalink

        I too a DoK (at large). I also graduated from Southern Methodist University, where my minor was in Human Rights. Felt I had to vote for Franz again (instead of Mechtild again).

  53. Sarah Pope's Gravatar Sarah Pope
    April 6, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Love Mechtild, love Astaire and Powell, but partly because I am taking an icon writing class, the icon of Franz hooked me today. I hope as trials occur in my life, I can be as gracious and stalwart in faith as this man.

  54. Danita Shaw's Gravatar Danita Shaw
    April 6, 2017 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Oh man if I were voting on kitsch alone, (and we all know that’s what I want to do) it would be Madeburg who knew Franz even had Kitsch? But such good kitsch for Madeburg.

  55. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    April 6, 2017 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Ooh. I voted Mechtild, mostly because I think Stephen would match up better against him. That doesn’t seem to be happening…

    I blame the Administration.

  56. Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
    April 6, 2017 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m truly torn between these two formidable souls. Wonderful examples to inspire and some pretty amazing kitsch!

    Since several commentors above noted that they may have double voted or accidentally voted for Franz, I’ll toss my vote to Mechtild. Plus, Franz, though marvelous, has bested a female halo-hopeful in each round and that seems a little unfair. Next time Franziska? But Mechtild for now!

  57. April 6, 2017 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if Jagerstatter has a planet named after him, but Mechtild does!

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 6, 2017 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Now there’s an important piece of data. Actually it’s fascinating. Thanks for the link.

  58. April 6, 2017 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    The comment upstream is right on – I should have credited the creators of the icons in the kitsch collections. So here they are.

    The icon on the iPhone is by David Raber, and is available on a variety of objects at his RedBubble Store.

    The icon on the pillow is by William Hart McNichols, available on the pillow or on other items from Fine Art America

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      April 6, 2017 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

      I may need to order that iconic mini-skirt!

  59. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    April 6, 2017 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Mechtild. Franz was amazing, but her prayers and poetry are actively helping me. I doubt I’ll be called upon to give up my life for my beliefs, but I need inspiration – both solace and strength – to put them to action in my daily life. Mechtild is giving me that. Thank you, Lent Madness – I would never have heard of either Mechtild or Franz without you!

  60. Rev Douglas McLemore's Gravatar Rev Douglas McLemore
    April 6, 2017 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Mechthild because she represents the best of the mystical tradition of Christianity.
    I find Franz’s self righteous stance repugnant, but no reason to behead him.

    • April 6, 2017 - 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Self-righteous, Douglas? I didn’t hear anything like that in his write-ups here. Firm in his faith, yes. A simple farmer who stood up against the Nazi machine, loving God and loving his family. All I heard was faithfulness. But that’s just me.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        April 7, 2017 - 12:02 am | Permalink

        And me.

  61. Edwina's Gravatar Edwina
    April 6, 2017 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

    This time I must vote for Franz and PEACE.

  62. Marmee's Gravatar Marmee
    April 6, 2017 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Mechthild received my vote again today. First anyone whose life could inspire a riparian extravaganza with a cast of thousands – ok 200 — not to mention the 35 boats gets my vote.

    The Beguines are part of my Lenten discipline I am enjoying and learning from them each day. Yet another reason to vote.

    Thank you for the movie clip the dancing makes Dancing with the Stars look like amateur hour.

    I’m from the Pacific Northwest so I get to the voting much later and Franz was way out in front when I voted. But I still voted Mechthild.

  63. Rita OConnor's Gravatar Rita OConnor
    April 6, 2017 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Definitely voted for our 20th century saint. It is truly remarkable that he stood against the actions of the 3rd Reich

  64. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    April 6, 2017 - 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t like kitsch. It just seems a little demeaning to someone who was beheaded.

  65. April 6, 2017 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Voted for both of these saints in both previous rounds. I’m voting for Franz again, and expect to see him on Spy Wednesday. (And a Nightingale-Jägerstätter final is just what we all need at the end of this tumultuous LM.)

    In a culture in which some politicised clerics cozy up to populist political thugs, it’s important for us to remember what an authentically Christian stance is regarding authoritarian regimes.

    Jägerstätter today, Jägerstätter for at least the Silver.

  66. Carol Riddick's Gravatar Carol Riddick
    April 6, 2017 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    As all of you may notice, this vote decision took me almost all day. After all of that agonizing I see I voted for a loser … but not in my eyes!

    • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
      April 6, 2017 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

      There are no losers in Lent Madness . . . they’re all already holy people.

      • VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
        April 6, 2017 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Amen, Sister.

  67. April 6, 2017 - 5:22 pm | Permalink

    And, if you think today’s choice was difficult, think of the choice tomorrow: Amelia Bloomer and Raymond Nonnatus.

  68. April 6, 2017 - 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Franz because we need to relive his thoughts in today’s political climate in our country

  69. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    April 6, 2017 - 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Great kitsch write-ups by both CBs, but I voted for Franz. His courage in standing up against the Nazis. I liked the bumper sticker, and the pillow got to me too-as an everyday reminder of courage and grace.

  70. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    April 6, 2017 - 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Mechtild the mystic Beguine. Her life would speak for itself, but her writing of the experience of God’s love and presence will be must reading for me this year.

  71. Amy Kendall's Gravatar Amy Kendall
    April 6, 2017 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I went with Franz. Maybe because he was more recent and we understand the horrors of the Nazi regime, I think it is possible for us to imagine the moral strength it took to oppose the Nazis, even when the consequence was Franz’s own death.

  72. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    April 7, 2017 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately I was unable to vote yesterday, but I’m glad to see that Franz won as he would have been my choice. And I must say that for a relatively recent saint, he does have some pretty kool kitsch.

  73. John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
    April 8, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    I too missed the vote. Truly a tough decision.
    As a man, I can’t really imagine Mechild’s existence, much like I cannot imagine childbirth.
    Likewise, however, I cannot imagine the situation Franz was in and wonder if I could take the path he did, together with the first century martyrs. There are, however, ongoing situations in our “modern” world where people are killed and tortured for their faith, and for their Christian beliefs.
    It is hard to believe that Franze went down “willingly”, as an earlier writer mentioned. He willed for life, his love for his life, for the spirit, for 1:1 real time faith. I feel the same about Jesus, being wrenched from life. He said: not my will, but thine. This is true faith. The “Powers that Be” continue to try to control the living, never understanding that death, or murder, is their “final solution”, after coercion, economic domination, threat, taunting, and many more “populist” approaches (do they take us for idiots?) have failed. Thank you guys! Monday Monday, will it be all I hoped it would be. What a community here!

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