Wulfstan vs. Katharina von Bora

Today in Lent Madness it’s Wulfstan vs. Katharina von Bora. Anglican bishop of the Middle Ages facing off against an important figure of the Protestant Reformation.

Yesterday, Lazarus was sent back to the grave in a drubbing at the hand of Esther 77% to 23%. Unlike Lazarus, Esther will live to fight another day as she will face the winner of Anna the Prophet vs. Michael the Archangel.

And just in case you missed yesterday’s stellar edition of Monday Madness, which seems an impossibility as it’s undoubtedly the highlight of your week, you can watch it here. In this week’s episode, Tim and Scott answer Viewer Mail. Have a burning question about Lent Madness? Leave it on our Facebook or Twitter page and it just may get answered on the air.


Wulfstan stained glassWulfstan, bishop of Worcester in the eleventh century, was the last surviving bishop to have been consecrated before the Norman conquest of England.

He was born around 1008 in Warwickshire. Likely named after his uncle, Wulfstan II, archbishop of York, he studied at monasteries and eventually became a clerk at Worcester. He earned an honorable reputation for his dedication and chastity, and his superiors encouraged him to become a priest. Wulfstan was ordained in 1038 and joined a monastery of Benedictines at Worcester. When Pope Nicholas forced Ealdred, archbishop of York, to relinquish his secondary role as bishop of Worcester, Ealdred appointed Wulfstan in his place.

After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Wulfstan was one of only a handful of English-born bishops to retain their diocese because William the Conqueror deemed him especially skillful. For the next three decades, Wulfstan became known for his pastoral care, especially of the poor, and as a champion for the vanquished Saxons who labored under the harsh decrees of the Normans. Wulfstan acted as an ambassador to bridge the old and new regimes. An outspoken opponent of the slave trade, he helped end the practice in his region.

Wulfstan oversaw significant rebuilding projects, including Worcester Cathedral, Hereford Cathedral, and Tewkesbury Abbey as well as founding the Great Malvern Priory. After the Conquest, he claimed an unprecedented authority for the church over the Oswaldslow, a large tract of land he held for the diocese as free of interference by the local sheriff. Presumably, he felt the church could better guard the interests of the Saxon peasants. Wulfstan also helped compile the Domesday Book, a land survey of much of England and parts of Wales.

Wulfstan died on January 20, 1095, after a long illness, the last surviving pre-Conquest bishop. Wulfstan was canonized in 1203 by Pope Innocent III. His feast day is January 19; he is the patron of vegetarians and dieters.

Collect for Wulfstan
Almighty God, your only-begotten Son led captivity captive and gave gifts to your people: Multiply among us faithful pastors, who, like your holy bishop Wulfstan, will give courage to those who are oppressed and held in bondage; and bring us all, we pray, into the true freedom of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

-Amber Belldene

Katharina von Bora

Katharina van Bora“There’s a reason we remember her as Katharina von Bora and not Mrs. Martin Luther,” according to church historian James A. Nestingen. That’s because von Bora was the original girl boss and a key collaborator of Luther’s, shaping the Reformation not only by defining marriage for Protestant clergy but also by challenging the Reformer in theological discussions.

Born into a Saxon family in Germany that had nobility but little money, von Bora entered a Benedictine cloister school as a young child. Her family later arranged her transfer to a Cistercian convent, where—just two years before Martin Luther reportedly nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door on Oct. 31, 1517—she professed vows to become a nun. Somehow the ideas expressed in those theses, which sparked the Protestant Reformation, found their way beyond the cloister walls. And on Good Friday in 1523, twelve nuns left religious life, smuggled out of the convent in herring barrels. Among them was Katharina von Bora.

The women eventually made their way to Wittenberg, where Luther helped them find homes or husbands—all except for von Bora. Finally in control of her own life, Katharina told Luther’s friend Nikolaus von Amsdorf she would marry only him or Luther.

Luther and von Bora were married—a somewhat scandalous action for a former monk and nun—on June 13, 1525. With von Bora’s determination and hard work, she transformed the town’s abandoned monastery not just into a home but “a boarding house the size of a Holiday Inn,” according to biographer Ruth A. Tucker. She brewed beer and cooked meals for the students and friends Luther hosted in their home. She managed the Luther household and its finances, investing in other properties—and she raised six children.

Along the way, she so impressed her husband that he referred to her as “Doctora Lutherin” and, unusually for the time, made her his sole heir when he passed away in 1546. But the law required a guardian for widows and children, making Luther’s will unenforceable and leaving von Bora pleading for money from benefactors. Six years later, von Bora died after an accident involving her horses and wagon in Torgau while fleeing a plague in Wittenberg. Still determined as ever, her last words reportedly were, “I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth.”

Collect for Katharina von Bora
Great Lover of Souls, you call us to companionship with you and with each other: Grant that we, like your servant Katharina von Bora, would have the deep courage, fearless love, and lively energy to embrace the vocations to which you call us and to stand as strong support for those with whom we live, work, and bear your love into the world. We pray this in the name of him who first loved us, Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Emily McFarlan Miller

Wulfstan vs. Katharina von Bora

  • Katharina von Bora (55%, 4,231 Votes)
  • Wulfstan (45%, 3,413 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,644

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Wulfstan: © Copyright Julian P Guffogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
Katharina von Bora: Lucas Cranach the Elder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

280 Comments to "Wulfstan vs. Katharina von Bora"

  1. hiii's Gravatar hiii
    February 27, 2018 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    vote for wulfstan

    • Pam Sten's Gravatar Pam Sten
      February 27, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Vote for Wulfstan, whose qualities are much needed for a bishop [or even a national leader] in today’s times: an outspoken opponent of the slave trade who did something about it; politically savvy; a pastoral bishop; advocate for the poor; supported those suffering from harsh decrees of the new regime. And finally, any patron saint for dieters is my kind of saint!

      • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
        February 27, 2018 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you, Pam. Like!

      • Pam Payne's Gravatar Pam Payne
        February 27, 2018 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Who could not appreciate the patron saint of dieters! And Wulfstan was smart enough to work through the new system to protect the poor and those who suffered under the new system.

    • Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
      February 27, 2018 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

      The native English suffered terrible privation after the Norman Conquest, even the nobility, who had their estates confiscated and their titles stripped and given to Normans. Of course, it was much worse for the peasants who had precious little to begin with. Wulfstan put loyalty to the poor Saxons over obedience to the parvenu invaders. He deserves honor.

  2. Caden's Gravatar Caden
    February 27, 2018 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    I vote for Wulfstan, bishop and cool name

  3. Shan's Gravatar Shan
    February 27, 2018 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    I had to vote Wulfstan, patron saint of dieters.

    • February 28, 2018 - 12:45 am | Permalink

      Katharina accomplished much, but she couldn’t get Martin to go on a diet, could she?

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      February 28, 2018 - 2:04 am | Permalink

      Yes, the patron saint of dieters must be honored during Lent when so many of us are trying to give things up. Go Wulfstan!

  4. Harriet's Gravatar Harriet
    February 27, 2018 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    A patron for dieters! Praise be!

    • Cess's Gravatar Cess
      February 27, 2018 - 8:55 am | Permalink

      She had me here, “She brewed beer and cooked meals for the students and friends Luther hosted in their home.” Her final words also underline her pluckiness, “I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth,” nailed it for me 🙂

      • Liz's Gravatar Liz
        February 27, 2018 - 9:59 am | Permalink

        That’s what got me also Cess!

        • Brittany's Gravatar Brittany
          February 27, 2018 - 10:34 am | Permalink

          Nailed it. Haha. No pun intended I’m sure? 😉

          • Beth's Gravatar Beth
            February 27, 2018 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

            Thank u, Brittany. I would have that wonderful pun!

      • Wynne Osborne's Gravatar Wynne Osborne
        February 27, 2018 - 11:59 am | Permalink

        For every woman who has kept the prophet and his disciples fed, warm and healthy. The unsung saints of God.

      • February 27, 2018 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

        She was a really “with it” gal! She seems like an independent woman, who could manage her household, and help her husband as well!

      • Lauren N's Gravatar Lauren N
        February 27, 2018 - 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who can brew beer while raising six children is a saint!

      • February 28, 2018 - 10:24 am | Permalink

        I mean, Katharina should get everyone’s vote for inspiring such puns. 😉

  5. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    February 27, 2018 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan seems like a good guy, but finally a Protestant version of “Katie.” The Catholic versions are always so catty, attacking her for being uppity rather than strong.

    • February 28, 2018 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      Katie and I go way back — I grew up in Lutheran churches and schools and just traveled across Germany’s Luther Country last year to write about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation for RNS. I had to make sure she got her due! There are a couple new biographies out that portray her as a strong woman that you might be interested in — I haven’t finished “Katie Luther: First Lady of the Reformation” yet (maybe I will for Round 2!), but “Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk” was an interesting read.

  6. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    February 27, 2018 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    I admire Katharina, but my heart follows its Anglophile ways true this morning, as well as loving his pastoral care for the poor–another vote for Wulstan,

  7. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    February 27, 2018 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Even though I am impressed with Katharina’s strength of character, I need help with my diet. So with my vote, I ask St. Wulfstan to help me resist temptations and to make vegetables taste like chocolate so I will chose them over fatty options.

    • Amy Clayton's Gravatar Amy Clayton
      February 27, 2018 - 8:17 am | Permalink

      I wanted to vote for him as patron saint of vegetarians, but can’t shake the burr analogy.

    • February 27, 2018 - 9:17 am | Permalink

      Hi, Debbie. Do you know why he’s the patron saint of vegetarians. I don’t notice any reason in his bio. I should vote for Katharina (I’ve got a bobble head of her!), but I was impressed by Wulfstan’s accomplishments and by his name. Maybe I’ll name my next cat Wulfstan.

      • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
        February 27, 2018 - 9:33 am | Permalink

        That’s a great name for a cat!

        • Jean Abbe's Gravatar Jean Abbe
          February 27, 2018 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Sounds more like a dog.

          • Lorna's Gravatar Lorna
            February 27, 2018 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

            I was just thinking that my next dog will be Wulfstan

          • Margaret brenneman's Gravatar Margaret brenneman
            February 27, 2018 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

            Entirely appropriate, as the etymology (according to the Internet which may or may not be reliable) is wolf (wolf) and stone (stan).

        • Mariana's Gravatar Mariana
          February 27, 2018 - 2:03 pm | Permalink


      • Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
        February 27, 2018 - 9:59 am | Permalink

        Wulstan was distracted from his devotions one day by the smell of a goose being roasted for his dinner. He vowed to give up meat from that day forward. There is a lovely carving of him in Worcester Cathedral with a goose at his side.

        • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
          February 27, 2018 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for explaining this. I bet in the world of geese he is also a patron saint.

  8. Johanne Hills's Gravatar Johanne Hills
    February 27, 2018 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth. WOw, could there be a simpler, clearer affirmation of faith. Katherine gets my vote

  9. Sally Fox's Gravatar Sally Fox
    February 27, 2018 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Hard choice! Both fine examples but anyone who could bear to spend married life with Martin Luther has got to be the saintliest!

    • February 28, 2018 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      This is the response I got most when I told people I was writing about Katharina for Lent Madness!

  10. Margaret Zeller's Gravatar Margaret Zeller
    February 27, 2018 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Go, Katie! This one is for Don Armentrout.

  11. Diego's Gravatar Diego
    February 27, 2018 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan had great care for the poor and has a great name, vote for him

  12. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    February 27, 2018 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Tough choice today but I ended up with Katharina. First, because her name is a variant of an ancestor for whom I have special respect. Secondly, because Martin Luther sounds like he was a challenging spouse, and she handled her roles as wife, mother, administrator, and OG of the Reformation admirably.

  13. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    February 27, 2018 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    I also could use a lot of help with my diet, but Katharina’s strength and courage as a woman in her times took my vote today.

  14. Joann's Gravatar Joann
    February 27, 2018 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    As the patron of vegetarians and dieters alone (what is the backstory there?!) Wulfstan had my vote initially, but I was persuaded by the personal story of Katharina to go with her. Well, guess I will never lose those 10 pounds now…

  15. Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
    February 27, 2018 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    I am all about the burr and cloth…Katherine gets my vote. What does Oliver say today?

    • Walter Jaap's Gravatar Walter Jaap
      February 27, 2018 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      I found Katerina and Wofstan are great people and examples for us to emulate. Tough choice, I chose Katerina because of the beer making, her managment of the daily stuff for Martin, raising 6 kids, and running a boarding house for a lot of reformation persons of note. Escaping in a Herring cask has to be a great experience to live through – perhaps a new Lenten discipline; spend a hour in a Herring barrel and meditate on the 98 thesis.

      • February 27, 2018 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

        LOL! Considering the logistics of your suggested new Lenten discipline–perhaps seated in Lotus pose no less?

  16. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    February 27, 2018 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Katharina was a heck of a woman, but Wulfstan was more the saint.

    • Susan Wall's Gravatar Susan Wall
      February 27, 2018 - 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more.

  17. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    February 27, 2018 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Hard choice today. I initially fully intended to vote for Wulfstan, as I’m currently studying in what in his lifetime would have been his diocese, and visiting Tewkesbury Abbey was one of the highlights of my first semester abroad. My prayer life has been greatly enriched by a book based on the Benedictine tradition I bought there. That said, Katharina’s determination and fiery spirit really stuck me today, and I had to vote for her.

    • KG's Gravatar KG
      February 28, 2018 - 12:21 am | Permalink

      Agree this is hardest choice yet.

  18. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    February 27, 2018 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Well – yeah. Katherine of course. She was considered quite revolutionary because her husband not only asked her thoughts on topcs, but also Took Her Advice – in front of other people! Both of them faced derision by Luther’s contemporaries – until they met Doctora Lutherin and were subjected to her intellegence, compassion, and fierce devotion to Christ. I truly believe that she is one of the main reasons that Luther did not demand that women stay silent in church. I shall stick to God – and Katherina Von Bora – like a burr to cloth.

  19. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    February 27, 2018 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan. Pastoral care wins for me. Besides, I don’t take lightly renouncing vows.

    • Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
      February 27, 2018 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      I seriously doubt this was done lightly by any of the twelve “esacapees”. It had to have taken a lot of prayer, great conviction, a lot of fear, and a great desire to help reform the church. Remember – Luther never wanted a seperation from Mother Church. He wanted it to Reform and come closer to the people.

      • Barbara Lindquist's Gravatar Barbara Lindquist
        February 27, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink


  20. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    February 27, 2018 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan freed slaves and interceded on behalf of the oppressed against a conquering invasion. It seems he was stuck fairly close to Christ as well.

    • Hannell Thompson's Gravatar Hannell Thompson
      February 27, 2018 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

      That’s my thought as well.

    • Mary's Gravatar Mary
      February 27, 2018 - 4:12 pm | Permalink


  21. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    February 27, 2018 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Voting for the Protestant over the Anglican this morning. My classmates will be shocked.

    • Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
      February 27, 2018 - 8:35 am | Permalink

      Interesting that you consider Anglican neither Protostant nor Catholic. Neither fish nor fowl. How, exactly, does the Anglican church define itself?

      • Ruth Eller's Gravatar Ruth Eller
        February 27, 2018 - 9:36 am | Permalink

        Catholic and reformed is one formula. Richard Hooker wrote a description of this via media, or middle way. Scripture, tradition, and reason are its foundation.

        • Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
          February 27, 2018 - 9:58 am | Permalink

          Hmm. This leads me to wonder if Anglican is closer to what Luther had in mind when he desired to reform certain practices of the RC. Interesting. I shall research more. In the meantime, Bora Bora Bora!

        • Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
          February 28, 2018 - 9:28 am | Permalink

          Yep, Ruth. Catholic and reformed. And I don’t consider myself Protestant, although other Episcopalians might see things differently.

      • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
        February 27, 2018 - 9:37 am | Permalink

        That’s pretty much it, Marian: both/and AND neither/nor. We’re ornery that way.

      • Anna's Gravatar Anna
        February 27, 2018 - 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Anglican, the other white meat! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. This reminds me of the first time my, Lutheran raised, husband said the Apostles Creed at my home Episcopal Church. He looked at me quizzically when we came upon the word catholic. I pointed out the lower case c and it’s origins later that day. He had never heard catholic used that way! We are all constantly learning!

        • C's Gravatar C
          February 28, 2018 - 12:12 am | Permalink

          My Lutheran husband and his mom would never, nor could ever utter the c-word in the Nicene Creed. I’ve tried to tell him, but…

    • Barbara Lindquist's Gravatar Barbara Lindquist
      February 27, 2018 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      Chances there would be no Anglican without the Reformation.

    • Hugh's Gravatar Hugh
      February 27, 2018 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      Church OF England or Church IN England? Wulfstan was a Catholic in England but was never in the Church of England. So Anglicans may claim heritage back to 597 but, really, anybody before 1534 or 1558 should be called Catholic and not Anglican.

      • Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
        February 28, 2018 - 9:32 am | Permalink

        The English church was using the Sarum rite well before Henry decided he didn’t want the Bishop of Rome owning English property without his say-so. So for the 400 or so years between the Synod of Whitby and the use of the Sarum rite, I’ll concede your point.

  22. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    February 27, 2018 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Tougher than I expected it to be.

  23. Anne's Gravatar Anne
    February 27, 2018 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Nevertheless, Katharina persisted.

  24. February 27, 2018 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Bora Bora Bora.

    • Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
      February 27, 2018 - 8:36 am | Permalink


    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      Oh my gosh, I got a HUGE laugh out of that one!!

  25. Charles Jordan's Gravatar Charles Jordan
    February 27, 2018 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Although I do love reading Luther, any woman who could marry such a man, is truly a saint of God.

    • eljay's Gravatar eljay
      February 27, 2018 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      Agreed! She does not get the notice that Martin does.

    • Beverly A Duncan's Gravatar Beverly A Duncan
      February 27, 2018 - 11:14 am | Permalink

      My thought exactly, Charles. Though if I had any thoughts about voting for Wulfstan, who was an amazing man, it was clinched by the “burr”

  26. Oliver--Ten Years Old's Gravatar Oliver--Ten Years Old
    February 27, 2018 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    I voted for Katharina because she escaped and married the man she wanted.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 9:35 am | Permalink


  27. Melissa alias mendela's Gravatar Melissa alias mendela
    February 27, 2018 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan helped end slave trade as Bishop! Few are those who took this stand in that era except for the Quakers….Huzzah Wulfstan!

    • Kristin's Gravatar Kristin
      February 27, 2018 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      This was WAY before the Quakers making it even more remarkable!

  28. William Osborne's Gravatar William Osborne
    February 27, 2018 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan for me. He seems like a good person. Nothing against Katharina, particularly is she put up with Martin Luther. I liked her “burr on cloth” analogy. It has “sticking power.”

  29. February 27, 2018 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    Love Katherina’s exuberance, plus I’m hoping for a Katherina Lent Madness pint glass!

    • Barbara Lindquist's Gravatar Barbara Lindquist
      February 27, 2018 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      Me too!

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      February 27, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

      That would be AWESOME.

    • Verdery D. Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery D. Kassebaum
      February 27, 2018 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the motives we have for choosing.
      Now if Wulfstan were guaranteed a coffee mug with that stained glass window on it….

      (Still undecided.)

    • February 28, 2018 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      I did not think about the merch, but now this is all I can think about!

  30. Alyssa's Gravatar Alyssa
    February 27, 2018 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Although Wulfstan’s life was admirable, and i pray he uses his role of patron saint of dieters to free many dieters from dieting, I vote for Katharina as an example for myself of engaging both mind and body in the work of love.

  31. rm gens's Gravatar rm gens
    February 27, 2018 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    this was hard but my instinct for women’s rights wins out. Katarina it is

  32. Patrick Alther's Gravatar Patrick Alther
    February 27, 2018 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    It was a hard choice, but being the Anglophile I am went with Wulfstan. Especially noted how he tried to help the Saxon peasants. Having had to read Ivanhoe in high school know that the Norman occupation was not a pleasant experience for many.
    Also the fact that he was a Benedictine. a big fan of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, about the mystery-solving monk of Shrewsbury Abbey, set in the century after Wulfstan.

    • Lynne Taleff's Gravatar Lynne Taleff
      February 27, 2018 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      I’m with you Patrick!

    • Marjorie Kemp's Gravatar Marjorie Kemp
      February 27, 2018 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Glad to find another fan of Brother Cadfael ! Visited that area the last time I was in England.

    • Helen's Gravatar Helen
      February 27, 2018 - 8:44 pm | Permalink

      That was pretty much my reasoning. Really enjoy the Brother Cadfael books also.

  33. Tom Wintle's Gravatar Tom Wintle
    February 27, 2018 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I’ve long belonged to an ecumenical clergy group in Worcester, MA, called the St Wulstan Society (Wulfstan), with Unitarians & Episkies & Catholics. Need to vote for him.

  34. Cess's Gravatar Cess
    February 27, 2018 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    She had me here, “She brewed beer and cooked meals for the students and friends Luther hosted in their home.” Her final words also underline her pluckiness, “I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth,” nailed it for me 🙂

  35. Anne Beckett's Gravatar Anne Beckett
    February 27, 2018 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Wolfstan for me. Somehow he survived the Norman Conquest to retain his bishopric and served the poor and vanquished Saxons for over thirty years. Saved a large tract of land from the jurisdiction of the sheriff (anyone remember the sheriff of Nottingham?), which would also mean tariffs from the king. He ended slavery in his region. He walked the talk.

    • Donna Scarfe's Gravatar Donna Scarfe
      February 27, 2018 - 11:30 am | Permalink

      Amen – Huzzah Wulfstan!

      • andrea's Gravatar andrea
        February 27, 2018 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

        That’s why I voted for Wulfstan too.

  36. Cath's Gravatar Cath
    February 27, 2018 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Updatable. I love Hereford cathedral, without it we wouldn’t have our cup of coffee and a brownie (in the cafe in the cloisters) when we go to Hereford! A bit unfortunate he’s also the patron saint of dieters – I’ll remember that next time we’re there.

  37. Ann from St. Michael’s's Gravatar Ann from St. Michael’s
    February 27, 2018 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    What’s this about? More comments for Wulfstan but Katharina is winning! Interesting.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      I’ve noticed the same thing with other votes. Somehow those who vote for the underdogs are also the more eager to communicate.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 27, 2018 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      I have long noticed that the commentary diverges from the actual vote count, sometimes considerably. I think the vast majority of people simply click on the name of someone whom they have some memory of, some connection with from lore or family history. The commenters, however, often reflect on the relative merits of the two saints and allow new considerations to sway them. I love the commentary for precisely that aspect: that people learn and assess and try new “flavors” of religion and spirituality. The “commentariat” is where it’s at!

      • jeaninejj's Gravatar jeaninejj
        February 27, 2018 - 11:07 am | Permalink

        I rarely comment myself because I vote later in the day – however, I read through all of the comments to learn more (Lent Madness voters are well informed). After people have already made the “Bora bora” jokes, voted in favor of the beer server, and talked about the patron saint of vegetarians, there’s not much to add except my vote! Keep commenting, please!

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          February 27, 2018 - 11:34 am | Permalink

          “Voted in favor of the beer server”: too true. That was definitely St Brigid of a couple of years ago. One person voted for her thousands of times! Love your sly wit.

        • Emily's Gravatar Emily
          February 27, 2018 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

          Same here. I learn so much from comments. Thank you!

        • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
          February 27, 2018 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

          I read through the comments, too. Enlightening and entertaining. Thanks, St. Celia, jeaninejj and Emily. Like!

      • Melangell's Gravatar Melangell
        February 27, 2018 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, St. Celia, for articulating my thoughts about commentaries. I have to discard comments about “ oh, that’s my cat’s name” and that sort of reasoning. And it feels that pitting male against female always gives a big advantage to the woman (which I understandstand, but still….) I love the thoughtful reasonings and have learned a lot from the.

  38. Sheila Lovell's Gravatar Sheila Lovell
    February 27, 2018 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    To quote my late father, “Behind every great man stands a great woman — pushing!” I voted for Katharina.

    • Barbara Lindquist's Gravatar Barbara Lindquist
      February 27, 2018 - 9:23 am | Permalink

      Your father was truly a great man!

  39. Gloria Bauer Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Bauer Ishida
    February 27, 2018 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Katie all the way. She was educated, intelligent and multi-talented. She kept things going.

    • Barbara Lindquist's Gravatar Barbara Lindquist
      February 27, 2018 - 9:22 am | Permalink

      You get it!

  40. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    February 27, 2018 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Katerina showed great strength and courage during a time of religious upheaval, but Wulfstan showed how the church can play a key role in keeping peace and protecting the poor during political turmoil. He showed how wisdom and tact can be brought to restrain the violence of rulers and how Worship can be a weapon for peace and unity. I think it’s Wulfstan we need now. Vote W.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 27, 2018 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      Oh, dear. I am afraid that “Vote W” will forever be a tainted slogan. You’ll sink Wulfstan for sure with that bumper sticker.

    • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
      February 27, 2018 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I came intto today intending to vote for Katherina but in reading theie “bios” again, I was led to vote for Wulfstan for the very reasons you list, Andy. Minus the bumper sticker as St. Celia pointed out. Team Peter all the way!

    • Claire from Quincy's Gravatar Claire from Quincy
      February 27, 2018 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! Well said. It was a tough(er) choice for me today than usual. I’m with W.

  41. February 27, 2018 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Wolfs tan, from another Saxon born (likely part Celt, but not easy to count!) I know so little of my birth country’s Church history, and want to learn more.

  42. Thomas Van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas Van Brunt
    February 27, 2018 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Before you vote. For Esther again read the whole book. She was a pretty vicious lady.

  43. Bonnie's Gravatar Bonnie
    February 27, 2018 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Gotta love it when a priest marries a nun.

  44. Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
    February 27, 2018 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Although I love Katharina’s name and her story, as a vegetarian I went for Wulfstan.

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      February 27, 2018 - 9:42 am | Permalink

      I’m a vegetarian, an Anglican, and I can’t stand beer, but I voted for Katharina. Tough choice today, though!

  45. Steven Niccolls's Gravatar Steven Niccolls
    February 27, 2018 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    A good administrator versus one of the key movers and shakers for the Protestant REformation. I am voting for the mover and shaker Katharina.

  46. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    February 27, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan for our vote today, though it was a hard choice between these two worthy competitors.

  47. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    February 27, 2018 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    I went for Wulfstan because he help get rid of slavery in his area and he cared for the poor.

  48. Karen Sculley's Gravatar Karen Sculley
    February 27, 2018 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    I admire Katherine, but I went with Wulfstan, because of his focus on pastoral care, the poor, a champion for the underdogs, an ambassador / bridge, and because he ended slave trade in his region – wow! He sounds like he was a humble and hard working guy. We need more men and women like this – may God send workers like Wulfstan into the harvest fields today!

    • Nancy Costea's Gravatar Nancy Costea
      February 27, 2018 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – Wulfstan for me!

  49. February 27, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Katerina’s escape via herring barrel grabbed my attention. Her determination in the face of difficult odds is inspirational. I wonder if she served many fish dinners in the boarding house…especially during Lent.

  50. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    February 27, 2018 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Wulfstan – a man ahead of his time and a voice for our own.

  51. Mike Bond's Gravatar Mike Bond
    February 27, 2018 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Incredibly hard choice. But I vote for Wulstan. It must be an english thing.

  52. Megan Devlin's Gravatar Megan Devlin
    February 27, 2018 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    I voted for Wulfstan for his early opposition to slavery (too bad those Anglo Saxons who benefited didn’t extend that courtesy to Africans), but what tripped my trigger in the article (but didn’t affect my vote) was the phrase “girl boss” about Katharina. Really? Would any male be referred to as a “boy boss” except if referring to a young male? I expect better from Lent Madness.

  53. John the other Verger's Gravatar John the other Verger
    February 27, 2018 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Continuing to get drubbed in my bracket. The insight is ‘vote for the woman every time’. Too late. I completed my bracket in advance. Katerina is worthy.

  54. Belle's Gravatar Belle
    February 27, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice. Was tempted to go Wulfstan because of his work against slavery, and also because he and my grandfather were born in roughly the same location (very far apart in time, of course). But von Bora won me over because she’s the embodiment of the “Woman of Valor” described in Proverbs 31: smart, skilled, generous, good with finances, etc. I’m not a fan of Martin Luther (he of the recommendations to burn the synagogues and the Talmud, etc.), but even though his wife may have shared his opinions on that score, we have no proof of it, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.

  55. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    February 27, 2018 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Seems to be the year of the woman. Go, Katharina!

  56. Diane G Pyle's Gravatar Diane G Pyle
    February 27, 2018 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Voted for Katharina in honor of my great grandfather who was a Lutheran minister.

  57. February 27, 2018 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Katherina is totally admirable, but I went with Wulfstan. He won me over with his opposition to slavery and his care of the conquered Saxons. Also, he’s the patron saint of dieters, and I had no idea there was such a thing.

  58. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    February 27, 2018 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    Ahhh, a rallying cry for the ages: “I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth” – (Now excuse me, please, as I must flee the threat of illness!) Sorry, Katie, but Wulfstan served the poor and downtrodden and helped to end slavery, so “No contest”, for me!

  59. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    February 27, 2018 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    There is much to love about Wulfstan, and I usually like to put my vote with antiquity. But I’m voting for Katharina, and I just realized why. My mom raised four kids, and our home was full of our our friends, full of our laughter and music and conversation all the way through college. My mom never blinked an eye at having to add one or two for supper; she has always welcomed them to spend the night when they were in town—long after we all moved out and married. I vote Katharina for her hospitality, and for my mom’s big heart.

  60. February 27, 2018 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Having done pilgrimage to Worcester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey, I have to go for Wulfstan… What gifts they are….

  61. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    February 27, 2018 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Katerina gets my vote. Because…..she stuck to Christ and used all of her considerable gifts

  62. Carol Oppel's Gravatar Carol Oppel
    February 27, 2018 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Katharine von Bora — multitasker, gutsy, faithful Christian who knew her own mind. VERY impressive. I’m a big fan of St. Margaret of Scotland for the same reasons.

  63. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    February 27, 2018 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    I love the alliteration of Wulfstan of Worcester,
    but I’m sticking w/Katharina, not known by her husband’s name.

  64. Bill's Gravatar Bill
    February 27, 2018 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    In my opinion Wulfstan was more deserving in this matchup. I am sorry to say that I have concluded that the voting must be skewed by the number of women voting versus men. I will drop out of Lent Madness. It was a great concept however.

    • Maryw47's Gravatar Maryw47
      February 27, 2018 - 10:14 am | Permalink

      Bill, I have to say you can’t play Lent Madness if you take it so seriously! I had to get over this hurdle several times myself. Of course we can’t seriously say that one saint is “better” or more deserving than another. All are important to God, as are all of us. God bless you!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 27, 2018 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      But it would have been a better concept if the men did all the winning, eh?

      • Laurie Gibbons's Gravatar Laurie Gibbons
        February 27, 2018 - 10:57 am | Permalink

        and why the assumption that women will only vote for women? today my vote is for Wulfstan, as I see him to be the “saintlier” choice. it’s not all “uteruses before duderuses!”

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          February 27, 2018 - 11:35 am | Permalink


        • Emily's Gravatar Emily
          February 27, 2018 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

          I voted for Wulfstan today because I deemed him the better choice. The other day, Esther, but only by a hair. It is never my intention to vote by gender, but by merit, as I see it.

        • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
          February 27, 2018 - 4:01 pm | Permalink


    • JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
      February 27, 2018 - 11:16 am | Permalink

      So sorry you seem to feel that way… I am a woman and have voted for men who were up against a woman 50% of the time, so far… This is a “game”, and while it provides wonderful learning opportunities, we all decide whom we will vote for for our own reasons. Some are careful, prayerful and serious; others might be considered frivolous. Your call, though.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Bill, that’s pretty hurtful: “I’m not going to play because too many women have joined the game.” I truly am sad that you feel that way. I think you are now experiencing what women have experienced for millennia. It sucks to feel like your voice is being overwhelmed by others. But, honestly, Bill, we’re all listening. Some of us just have different opinions. I struggle with my introverts and mystics often getting trounced by the activists in the final tally. Breathe, laugh a lot, and play on. It works in life as well.

      • Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
        February 27, 2018 - 1:37 pm | Permalink


      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        February 27, 2018 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Bill, doyou want your rubber ducky too? Pick it up on the way out.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          February 27, 2018 - 11:40 pm | Permalink

          Ay-yi, that’s a little harsh.

        • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
          February 28, 2018 - 1:54 am | Permalink


      • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
        February 27, 2018 - 4:02 pm | Permalink


      • February 28, 2018 - 10:39 am | Permalink

        “Breathe, laugh a lot and play on” is my new mantra for the day.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      February 27, 2018 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

      How ’bout we nominate Bill’s wife (if there’s one) next year as a saint. She’d HAVE to be!

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        February 27, 2018 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Being the vehicle for the saintliness of another is a humble but fruitful calling. I’m sure my late wife’s halo is the brighter for 45 years of putting up with me, and our friends would all agree.

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          February 28, 2018 - 12:09 am | Permalink

          Very sorry for your loss. I am sure, however, that you were a wonderful companion.

    • Claire from Quincy's Gravatar Claire from Quincy
      February 27, 2018 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Bill, please stick with the process. Was it Robert Fulgham who wrote the book “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”? Any parent presented with their Kindergarteners art project knows that Lent Madness often provokes the same mystery and delight. It is The Process not The Product that matters.

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      February 27, 2018 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Ya know, Bill, Wulfstan voter here, and I have to say that I have been tempted to pack up my toys and go home too, because I think these contests often reflect the tension between voters who identify more with A. Western Christianity’s Roman heritage OR B. the perspectives and practices of the Reformation theologians and the Protestant church. I think this is in part the case in today’s match-up, not that once again too many girls are playing and spoiling the game. Why does faith have to be a boy’s game? “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

      Should we female players be mad about the halo having gone to George Herbert, St. Francis, Charles Wesley, C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (versus only 3 Holy Women to date)? I wouldn’t waste my time.

      • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
        February 27, 2018 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been playing for five years, and I love it. I can’t imagine quitting even if I find it occasionally infuriating because I thought an unworthy competitor won, or I don’t agree with another player’s rationale.

        • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
          February 28, 2018 - 2:10 am | Permalink

          The only unworthy competitor I can think of is Charles I, and he was rightly whupped.

    • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
      February 28, 2018 - 2:04 am | Permalink

      Oh, come on, Bill, don’t be fragile. I’ve voted for men over women twice already, including today (Paul didn’t count, as he was up against Peter). St. John the Evangelist is the patron saint of my parish, so I’m kind of ultimately rooting for him. It’s just that there are a lot of awesome women saints this time–I mean, one of them fended off a whole gang of Roman soldiers while decapitated, with her head tucked under her arm! How do you top that?

    • Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
      February 28, 2018 - 2:57 am | Permalink

      Well Bill, I’m a woman, liberated woman at that. I vote independent of the sex of the person/saint of the day. I agree it has been a bit depressing this year seeing one great
      soul after another lose on matters totally unrelated to saintliness. It is also hard to understand how people vote for what is clearly fantastical descriptions of a modern day superhero over clear and historically accurate information available on a candidate. But, the vote is only a piece of this process. It is also this great group of folks who are committing their Lenten season to this pilgrimage. We are all on the road to the Resurrection.

  65. Maryw47's Gravatar Maryw47
    February 27, 2018 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    Reading about Wulfstan was a revelation and an inspiration. I didn’t know any of this! He totally deserved canonization.
    I had to vote for Katerina, though. An amazing woman! Usually her husband gets all the credit. Plus I don’t think the Roman Catholic Church is going to be canonizing her anytime soon!

  66. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    February 27, 2018 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Having led Taize worship in the beautiful crypt of Worcester Cathedral which goes back to Wulfstan’s time, I can do no other than vote for him. His championing of the poor, his opposition to slavery, his skillful guidance of the church in very challenging times are all qualities needed today. I am also swayed by the lovely carving of him in Worcester Cathedral accompanied by a goose.

  67. Wendy's Gravatar Wendy
    February 27, 2018 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    You had me at “herring barrels.”

  68. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    February 27, 2018 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    As much as I like Katharina von Bora, I am voting for Wulfstan. I am interested in these figures who “suture” historical periods together. An argument could be made that Katharina herself is one, but she seems like one of the “winners” of history, whereas Wulfstan quietly holds together two enormous tectonic plates of history from the position of the loser. Twice our biographer writes “surviving bishop,” which struck me as odd, because he is in fact long dead. But I think “surviving” here refers to his status as “11th century” and a native Englishman affiliated with the Saxons. So he belongs to the geological plate which is going under the more dynamic “top” plate, the Normans. And his work is to keep records and to build and to provide pastoral care. He sounds like a faithful bishop. I am impressed that he worked against slavery. Wulfstan sounds like a good model for an episcopal church and a church of the book.

    • Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
      February 27, 2018 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      Fascinating. I hadn’t really thought in terms of people who ‘suture’ historical periods together and the analogy of different eras as colliding tectonic plates. It’s a very interesting perspective and I will remember it. Thank you St. Celia.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        February 27, 2018 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

        What she said!

    • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
      February 27, 2018 - 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Illuminating ideas; thanks for posting this. But then, your posts are always a source of pleasure.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 27, 2018 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

        wow, thank you <3

      • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
        February 27, 2018 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Sally, and others who wrote similar thoughts – beautifully Sid. Thank you!

    • Bob Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Bob Andrews-Bryant
      February 27, 2018 - 9:05 pm | Permalink

      A subduction zone produces two things: volcanoes and massive earthquakes. Which do were have here? Lol

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 28, 2018 - 12:18 am | Permalink

        Hmmm, you’re ruining my metaphor with facts. Actually, isn’t there a third option: a tsunami? Actually, I already mixed sewing with geology. I would say: earthquakes. And Wulfstan kept building and keeping organized society together. “For you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” The earth travailled and Wulfstan held it together. Institutions can work.

        • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
          February 28, 2018 - 10:41 am | Permalink

          Thanks for all these metaphors. I needed entertainment as well as inspiration this morning following serious dental surgery yesterday, and all of you have provided it! Imagining social, military, and religious upheavals in the light of plate tectonics is brilliant! I remember having a sweatshirt with “Stop Plate Tectonics” written large across it. The most humorous response it ever got (from another clergy) was …”And resist gravity!”

          • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
            February 28, 2018 - 10:54 am | Permalink

            I love it. 🙂

  69. Karen Pearson's Gravatar Karen Pearson
    February 27, 2018 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan, because he was anti-slavery and tried to protect those who were oppressed by the government.

  70. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    February 27, 2018 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    Katarina: because I know quite a bit about being an anonymous collaborator in the work of the church.

  71. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 27, 2018 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Whenever I can’t decide after reading the bios, I read the comments. Today I wishy-washed through them as well, but I’m going to vote for Wulfstan. Thank you all for the help.

  72. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    February 27, 2018 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    I remember Wulfstan from long ago Brit Lit days. He was a strong compassionate bridge between the oppressed Saxons and their Norman conquorers, helped compile the long treasured Domesday Book, and opposed the slave trade.

  73. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    February 27, 2018 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Decisions, decisions! I am not familiar with either of these people. After reading about Wulfstan I was thinking he would for sure be my vote because of his long dedication and service to God. Then I read about Katharina! Just being wife to Luther should make her eligible for some kind of prize, and maintaining an intellectual life midst being a “wife” and having 6!!! Children. The beautiful prayer for her sealed my vote.

  74. Katharine's Gravatar Katharine
    February 27, 2018 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Another agonizing choice, between two of my favourite people in history. I was pretty sure I was going to vote for Katharina — and not just because of the name! Anyone who could put up with Martin Luther on a daily basis — while housing and feeding and caring for so many — and clearly maintaining all her marbles and humour — is worthy of high praise. But somehow, Wulfstan is calling. The Normans were brutal, not just in their 10-year conquest of England, but long after; slavery had almost died out in Anglo-Saxon England but the Normans reinvigorated the practice… Wulfstan was someone who quietly but dedicatedly persisted in helping the oppressed, in a time and place where he could have been killed for it. Insofar as he had power and authority he used it tireless on behalf of those who had neither; of how many can we say that?
    I won’t be sad if Katharina wins, but I am glad that people are getting to at least know a little about Wulfstan.

  75. Mary Jane Ingalls's Gravatar Mary Jane Ingalls
    February 27, 2018 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    I simply love the herring barrel caper…

    • February 28, 2018 - 10:42 am | Permalink

      I feel like that should be the title of a historical fiction novel based on Katharina’s life!

  76. Katharine's Gravatar Katharine
    February 27, 2018 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Also, Powers That Be of Lent Madness — can we PLEASE get some sort of “like” option for the comments? There are so many I enjoy would like to let the authors know, but I don’t necessarily want to have to put a whole comment on their comment!!

    • Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
      February 27, 2018 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      Yes, I would love to see this. Many of the comments are so interesting and thoughtful, it would be satisfying to be able to show appreciation.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        February 27, 2018 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

        I have felt frustrated by this sometimes, too, but I think the SEC in all its glorious wisdom has withheld this from us that more conversational we might be.

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          February 27, 2018 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

          you can’t show appreciation by saying so?

          • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
            February 27, 2018 - 11:44 pm | Permalink

            You can, but it ends there. I can imagine someone saying, “I vote for St. X because blah blah, etc.” Then 30 people hit “like.” The comments could be substantially reduced. Not having a “like” button pushes you to say more, it seems to me.

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        February 27, 2018 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

        So show appreciation. If you want FB, go to FB. Leave he rest of us alone .

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          February 27, 2018 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I see I misunderstood your earlier comment. Sorry!

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          February 28, 2018 - 12:25 am | Permalink

          This seems a bit harsh. Numerous people have expressed the desire for a “like” icon. One person suggested that perhaps the absence of one is like the “no crosstalk” rule in small group discussions. We are to witness in silent appreciation. Given that we do not have emojis in WordPress, it’s well worth thinking about tone. We’re a small group trying to help one another observe a holy Lent. Let’s be charitable.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      February 27, 2018 - 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Can we PLEASE be will ingto expend a little bit of effort?

  77. Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
    February 27, 2018 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Two inspiring saints with whom I’d had no familiarity! This was a very hard choice but as much as I admire Katerina for her strength to push beyond the boundaries of her time, I had to vote for Wulfstan for his broad impact opposing slavery, work for the poor and steadying the organized church in turbulent times.

  78. Judy Fleener's Gravatar Judy Fleener
    February 27, 2018 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    The Protestant Reformation has saints? Wulfstan for me.

  79. Elaine Marshall's Gravatar Elaine Marshall
    February 27, 2018 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    This was a hard choice. Both deserved to win. I voted for Katherina because she did so much in a time when women got little respect. And she worked body and soul for Christ. But Wulfstan impressed me so much with his pastoral care. I really wish I had not had to choose berween them.

  80. Diane MC's Gravatar Diane MC
    February 27, 2018 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice today (and it’s only going to get tougher) Still the “I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth” quote was a deciding factor. Also, anyone willing to be smuggled anywhere in a herring barrel is a very determined and strong person.

  81. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 27, 2018 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    Bishop Wulfstan. Love the name.

  82. February 27, 2018 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    I didn’t expect to even like Katerina, but… Wow! Such strength of will! I had to vote for her.

  83. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    February 27, 2018 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    Wulfstan is a man for our times today…we need more bridge builders between “old and new regimes.”

  84. Randy Marks's Gravatar Randy Marks
    February 27, 2018 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    “Wulfstan acted as an ambassador to bridge the old and new regimes.” Our nation and world needs more peace-makers.

  85. Carie's Gravatar Carie
    February 27, 2018 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    Katharina for me, have to vote for Luther’s wife she has probably not got the recognition she deserves. Was a member of the Lutheran church for most of my life.

  86. Laurie Gibbons's Gravatar Laurie Gibbons
    February 27, 2018 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    There’s got to be more of a story there for Katharina to have so many people voting for her. Based on the description, I see a woman who hosted guests and raised many children and supported her husband. Obviously these are worthy, important, admirable traits, but do they make her a “saint”? I want to know more about her than what is in the write-up. In the meantime, my vote is for Wulfstan.

  87. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    February 27, 2018 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    The ladies are on a roll, I guess. I have a soft spot for the Celtic saints, so Wulfstan for me!

  88. Terri Kilshaw's Gravatar Terri Kilshaw
    February 27, 2018 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Wulfstan as I too am from Warwickshire and know all the locales mentioned.

  89. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    February 27, 2018 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    I voted for +Wulfstan because he sounds like an excellent example of what a Bishop should be. May all our Bishops follow in the faithful and caring example of +Wulfstan.

    I wonder if William Wilberforce knew of +Wulfstan’s abolition work.

  90. Paul A's Gravatar Paul A
    February 27, 2018 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    I voted for Katharina, although I do think there’s something fishy about the herring-barrel story.

  91. February 27, 2018 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice. I admire Wulfstan greatly, particularly as a champion for the oppressed Saxons and for his opposition to slavery. But as a Lutheran of German ancestry, I can’t bring myself to vote against Katie no matter how hard I try. And she was basically the COO of the nerve center of the Reformation, so Katie it is.

  92. Julia's Gravatar Julia
    February 27, 2018 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Got to go with Wulfstan. He got me at patron saint of dieters!!!!

  93. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    February 27, 2018 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    his contest was a challenge. Wolfstan seems to be all a bishop should be especially in such challenging times. And he was for that age an old man by 1066 (battle of Hastings) making his efforts even more impressive. But, Katherina’s life seems more colorful, not to mention odoriferous. And the final “burr to cloth” quote grabbed my textile not to mention tactile sensory heart.

  94. Liz von Dohlen's Gravatar Liz von Dohlen
    February 27, 2018 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    This was a hard choice. I’ve always admired Katharina, but Wulfstan got my vote. One, I’m perpetually dieting :); and two, he got rid of the slave trade in the area under his control. Also, he looked out for the peasant’s rights, AND he helped write the Doomsday Book. Wow! What an amazing guy!

  95. Bill Geiger's Gravatar Bill Geiger
    February 27, 2018 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    This was a n0-brainer for me. Though Wulfstan was an English bishop, and helped found the Great Malvern Priory–I’M from Malvern! (PA)–Katharina was an ground-breaker for as a woman & theologian in ministry, and fully up to the task of being a strong partner to the sometimes grumpy Dr. Martin. And she brewed beer!

  96. james lodwick's Gravatar james lodwick
    February 27, 2018 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Michael the Archangel is NOT a saint! Only human beings, by God’s grace, can be saints. Calling Michael and other archangels saints, is merely old-fashioned Frenchified English meaning “holy.”

    Why is Michael even in this contest? Angels, by definition, are perfect. So we have both an unfair competition and a category error.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 27, 2018 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Chill, brother. Michael isn’t even up until Friday, so you’re fretting yourself prematurely and needlessly. I personally love Frenchified English, so I’m totally here for this. (And I love how you snuck “french fries” into a discussion in which the patron saint of dieters is up for a vote.) I assure you, Anna will give Michael a run for his money. If he’s so perfect, he might vote for her himself. I can also assure you that if Anna wins, there will be people here (naming no genders) who will kvetch that the cart is weighted to the distaff side. You can complain when Tecla’s goldfish appears on a bracket.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        February 27, 2018 - 2:18 pm | Permalink


      • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
        February 27, 2018 - 4:09 pm | Permalink


    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 27, 2018 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

      English is unusual in having separate words for “saint” and “holy.” Likewise for “heaven” and “sky.”

  97. February 27, 2018 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Wulfstan, definitely.

    Most importantly, he served his church and his people during a VERY difficult time. The Norman’s had just occupied his country, and allowed him to retain his position as Bishop…but, at what cost to him personally? It seems that Wulfstan used his authority to preserve his people from the worst effects of oppression…he helped to end slavery in his region, and set aside a wide tract of land under the church’s control, not the crown’s…a place where Anglo Saxons could seek refuge (and, possibly hunt and fish to preserve their families in their reduced circumstances). Plus, patron saint of vegetarians and dieters! It’s gotta be Wulfstan !

  98. Lucia Robinson's Gravatar Lucia Robinson
    February 27, 2018 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Many a faculty wife has cooked if not brewed for a heap of her husband’s students and guests, but freeing slaves and protecting the Saxons from the Normans beats all that for my abolitionist Saxon blood. I’m all for Wulfstan.

  99. Carol Tyrrell's Gravatar Carol Tyrrell
    February 27, 2018 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I have a soft spot for those who work with the oppressed, free slaves, and help dieters!

  100. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    February 27, 2018 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    More women than men must be playing given the number of female saints winning their brackets.
    Catherine for me in honor of my late Lutheran Mother.

  101. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    February 27, 2018 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Katharine all the way today! The first modern woman who was centuries ahead of her time!

  102. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    February 27, 2018 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Katherine. Sorry about the incorrect spelling.

  103. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    February 27, 2018 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Very tough match up today. Both are great, great servants of Christ.
    I can’t even imagine what life was like for these saints and how the word of Christ has survived over all these years. If you have ever watched the show “Vikings” you get a pretty good picture of what Christians sacrificed then and even now

  104. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    February 27, 2018 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Much to honor and admire about Wulfstan. But… patron saint of dieters vs. someone who brewed beer, ran a boardinghouse, and theologized while raising 6 children? Lent be danged, Katharine has my vote! Will lift a glass to her at our Pub Theology gathering tonight.

  105. Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
    February 27, 2018 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Wulfstan (someone had to stick up for the Insular church against those mean, elitist Normans), but if Katharine wins, I won’t be disappointed.

  106. Dianne's Gravatar Dianne
    February 27, 2018 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I ended up voting for Wulfstan. He spoke out against the slavery and cared for the poor. Plus he’s the patron saint of vegetarians!

  107. Carole's Gravatar Carole
    February 27, 2018 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Care for the poor and opposition to slavery. Sticking with God, through it all. Tough choices again, SEC.

  108. February 27, 2018 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Had to go for Wulstan. Need all the exemplary bishops we can get that can speak truth to power. Off limits zone for the local sheriff? Abolish slavery nearly 700 years before the rest of Great Britain followed suit? Saintly indeed!

  109. Martie Collins's Gravatar Martie Collins
    February 27, 2018 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    My vote for Katharine is dedicated to all clergy spouses!

  110. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    February 27, 2018 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m assuming that Katarina was easily Martin’s intellectual equal and probably the original author of much of the work attributed to him. Men and the clergy often get the only bylines for the collaborations of the entire community.

    • Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
      February 27, 2018 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Oh, Catherine. You’re not bitter – you’re bittersweet!

  111. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    February 27, 2018 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I am finding this vastly amusing, frustrating and slightly disconcerting. I am amazed that Katherina has been relegated to “merely” a housewife and mother. It is starting to feel as though no credit is being given to her intellect and faith. Would a woman of no faith have sought out the Grace of a convent, or a man of such faith and intellect sought out a heathen imbecille for a wife and partner? They were truly partners, as any married couple should be aware. How many men here have read a letter, work assignment, or other alleged important document to their wife before sending it off in order to gain better insight and clear their thinking on the topic? St. Wulfstan may have freed slaves during his time, but so did the Katherina and Martin. They freed us from the slavery to a church that demanded we pay to get into heaven, revere their pope as highly as our Lord, and felt free to deny communion to one and all on a whim. That is more devious a slavery than any – a slavery of the soul and spirit. And yes, Lutherans have saints. We are all a part of the Communion of Saints that worship the Lord every day and in every way. Bora Bora! Bora!

    • Story's Gravatar Story
      February 27, 2018 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Wulfstan but I like your points. To add to your point that husbands often read important documents to their wives before sending them off, sometimes the wives are actually to true authors too!

    • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
      February 27, 2018 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      From what little was said, it would seem that Katherina had made contributions, but unfortunately, the bio does not say anything except in very general terms. I have to wonder if more details would have shown a lot more specific things she did.
      She told one of the heavy hitters in the Reformation, “I’ll marry no one but either you or Luther.” She reminds me of Alma Mahler. Didn’t care who she married so long as he was one of the heavyweights.

  112. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    February 27, 2018 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Katharina von Bora was an outstanding example of a fairly common role played by middle-class women in the early modern period: a stay-at-home mom who ran the family business while the man produced whatever that business generated and did a lot of traveling. Slightly earlier than the Luther-von Bora team was that of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and his wife Agnes Frey (1475-1539), but their marriage was markedly less companionable, and there was little love lost between them. Still, Agnes spread Albrecht’s fame around Europe by marketing his engravings, shipping them from their home in Nuremberg, a dutiful housewife. But compared to this marriage that of Martin and Katharina was a lot more like that described in the BCP’s Blessing and Celebration of Marriage, and their home a haven of “blessing and peace.” I went with Katharina.

  113. Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
    February 27, 2018 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I have long admired Katharina but finally voted for Wulfstan, who cared for the poor and helped to end slavery in his region. My husband and I are both descendants of vanquished Saxons, and we might not be here if Wulfstan had not helped poor Saxons. My husband said he wanted to name our son Wulfstan (I think he was serious), but I objected. We have a copy of Wulfstan’s sermons, which I have always intended to read. Maybe for a Lenten discipline?

  114. Verdery D. Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery D. Kassebaum
    February 27, 2018 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

    It was really a difficult choice (and when is it not??). I went with Wulfstan this time.
    If Katarina doesn’t make it to the top this year, I’m sure I’ll vote for her next time.
    Both were exceptionally inspiring people who are probably now hoisting the celestial equivalent of a pint of beer/bitter.

  115. john w miller's Gravatar john w miller
    February 27, 2018 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I liked the pastoral gifts of this bishop–a good role model for bishops even in our time.

  116. Dana Kramer Rolls's Gravatar Dana Kramer Rolls
    February 27, 2018 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Wulfstan, without a doubt. A good wife, yes, and unacknowledged helpmate, Mrs. Luther was a fine Christians person, but Wulfstan stood by his people against a conquering force for a lifetime. Without a doubt, Wulfstan.

  117. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    February 27, 2018 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    “Katherina was born into a Saxon family…” Let the discussion commence.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 27, 2018 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes, today is the battle of the Saxons.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Oh good for you, Marian! I missed that!

  118. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    February 27, 2018 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Katarina probably generated a minimum of 47.5 of the treatises nailed to the church door, imho. I bet she even wrote them well before they were married!

  119. LoisAnne's Gravatar LoisAnne
    February 27, 2018 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    While I was interested in learning about Martin Luther’s wife (not sure I knew he had one), I have to vote for Wulfstan. He was a bishop in a very trying time and yet he was able to work with both the wealthy and the poor. What really nailed it though was the fact he is patron saint of vegetarians!

  120. CMOC's Gravatar CMOC
    February 27, 2018 - 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Wulfstan because I live in Worcester
    Massachusetts and attend All Saints
    Church. We have a Chalice that was given
    to us from All Saints Worcester England

  121. C Brown's Gravatar C Brown
    February 27, 2018 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Von Bora has a really interesting bio, but a person with the name ‘Wulfstan’ needs more than a little help.

  122. Margaret brenneman's Gravatar Margaret brenneman
    February 27, 2018 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

    This time Wulfstan gets my vote.

  123. Erma W's Gravatar Erma W
    February 27, 2018 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The choice is more difficult than I anticipated. I have a soft spot for those who served Christ in pre-Norman Conquest Britain. But ultimately I had to vote for Katerina Von Bora. She influenced Martin Luther’s thinking on the value of educating girls, on Christian vocation not being limited to religious vows and occupations, and on the problematic aspects of mandatory celibacy for priests. And she was a strong Christian thinker in her own right, with a faith that stood up to many trials. A saint to model one’s life after.

  124. Mary Brennan's Gravatar Mary Brennan
    February 27, 2018 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Y’all let me know when there’s a patron saint of red meat and ice cream in the competition. That guy/gal will get my vote. Until then, it’s Katharina for me. Simply putting up with Martin and brewing beer makes her a saint, plus all those kiddos. A patron saint of multitaskers, I understand.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 27, 2018 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

      According to Sister Mary Martha (“Life is tough; nuns are tougher”): “There isn’t actually a patron saint of ice cream per se. . . . [so] we’ll have to extrapolate. Off the bat, we have a couple of great saints as patron saints of cooks: St. Martha and St. Lawrence. Next, we have the patron saint of bakers and sweets, who has a scrumptious thigh expanding cake named for him, the French St. Honore, also known as Honorius.” As for red meat, St. Lawrence is the patron saint of cooks (he got grilled). St Anthony the Abbot is the patron saint of butchers, specializing in bacon. I believe St. Lawrence was in the lineup last year; sounds as though St Anthony the Abbot is the one after your heart. What you need is a recipe for bacon ice cream. Something to pray for during your examen today.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 27, 2018 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

        There is in fact at Genius Kitchen a recipe for bacon ice cream:

        8 slices maple bacon
        1⁄4 cup brown sugar
        1 tablespoon maple syrup
        2 cups half-and-half cream
        1 cup heavy cream
        1⁄3 cup brown sugar
        1⁄3 cup vanilla sugar
        1⁄3 cup maple syrup
        1 pinch kosher salt
        1⁄4 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional)

        To candy the Bacon:
        Pre Heat oven to 400°F.
        Mix the 1 tablespoon of syrup and the 1/4 cup brown sugar to form a paste.
        Lay the bacon out on a cooling rack on a lined sheet pan (lining the sheet pan will save you some nasty clean up).
        Spread the paste on one side of the bacon and then bake for 10 minutes.
        Pull out bacon and turn each slice over. Spread the paste the other side of the bacon and out back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
        Pull bacon out and turn it over again, then bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until bacon is evenly glazed.
        Cool completely and then chop into small pieces.

        Maple Ice Cream:
        Combine all the ice cream ingredients except the bacon in a medium sauce pan and heat to 170°F.
        Cool completely before adding to your ice cream maker.
        Follow your ice cream maker’s directions, but the basics are:
        make sure your machine has been in the freezer for 24 hours and that the mixture is chilled completely.
        add the mixture to the machine while it’s running.
        wait until the ice cream is at a soft serve consistency before adding the bacon pieces.
        Put the ice cream in an airtight container and put in the freezer for a few hours before enjoying.

        • Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
          February 27, 2018 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Heart heart heart

  125. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    February 27, 2018 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Katharina, girl boss, brewer of beer, passenger of a herring barrel. Go forth and read the marvelous “Luther and Katharina” by Jody Hedlund for a spectacular fictionalized account of their relationship.

  126. R. Reimer's Gravatar R. Reimer
    February 27, 2018 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Many comments posted on Katerina’s domestic capablities – however by all accounts she was very much an equal partner with Luther as a sounding board for his ideas as well as a thinker in her own right. After visiting Wittenberg I began following writings about her life and find her to be one of the more interesting and effective ‘saints’ we’re offered this year. Katarina comes across as a contemporary in her work and life – could fit well in our world. To me Wulfstan is another historical curiosity. By the way if anyone has the opportunity go to Wittenberg any June and celebrate the marriage weekend of Martin Luther and Katarina von Bora – one would have no doubt as to the equality of their partnership – a city still celebrating this amazing couple!

  127. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    February 27, 2018 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Those nuns had to stink when they got out of those barrels! Luther got them husbands or places to stay. Katherina was so smart Luther called her doc. She ran the business, raised kids, some died, she adopted 3. Took people in. Bred cattle. What she missed was selling it all. He tried to leave to her, but was against the law. She wound up poor. Her kids were grown. Katherina was ahead of her time and still has a message for us all. Pay attention to the laws or you may lose your property. I love smart women so I voted for her. Wulfstan”s cathedrals are incredible, so is the priory. Ending slavery in his area is also amazing. I imagine he lived a privileged life though as he oversaw the restorations and even when he built the priory, which I can’t imagine was completed in his lifetime.

  128. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    February 27, 2018 - 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Wulfstan. When his country was conquered, he figured out how to navigate the new regime without sacrificing his principles. The blog post says he hung onto his job because he was so good at it, but I’ll bet he also had serious diplomatic skills. And he obviously had courage. Because he kept fighting for the poor and marginalized for 30 years, and you know that can’t have been popular with the Norman overlords. Wulfstan!

  129. February 27, 2018 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Wulfstan, on the basis of his opposition to slavery.

    Reading some of the uncharitable comments in today’s post, I’ve decided that I am giving up Lent Madness for Lent. This will be my last LM post.

    LM was a good idea. It’s too bad it’s jumped the shark.

    • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
      February 27, 2018 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t see any uncharitable comments in the actual post, but especially in some of the replies to comments, there was definitely unkindness. Defeats the purpose….

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        February 27, 2018 - 11:45 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Don’t give up, though, Bob.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Et tu, Bob? I hope you will stay. I have enjoyed reading your comments.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 28, 2018 - 12:42 am | Permalink

      I hope you will stay. Here is an online definition of “jump the shark”: used of a television series or movie, it’s the point at which far-fetched events are included merely for the sake of novelty, indicative of a decline in quality.

      This is certainly a series, in that we are voting on saints on a daily basis. But I do not think we are being far fetched or seeking novelty. I think what you’re saying is that the project has declined in quality due to rudeness. On the whole, I find people sincere and thoughtful. Yes, some people vote for a saint because their cat has that same name. But that’s to be expected. I would agree that there have been a couple of intemperate, tone-deaf remarks. But I think people are also freely expressing viewpoints, and some of them are major. It would be a shame to lose you, to lose anyone. I will point out that the issues of voting by gender, by race, by activism versus contemplation (and doubtless numerous others) are perennial. I have seen those heatedly debated over several years now. I would suspect that our discomfort is a sign that we are at least addressing some of these issues. Let us not deny our very real differences but go forward as pilgrims. I think it would be acceptable to “call people out” tactfully (even if they weren’t particularly tactful in the first place) and say, Look, you’re throwing a stumbling block in front of these little ones due to your words. Be aware of how you’re offending people. Perhaps it’s time for the group to acknowledge that we have some real differences and to allow people to verbalize them but at the same time to point out when we think someone has stepped over a civil boundary.

      Anyway, I hope you will stay.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 28, 2018 - 1:02 am | Permalink

        This is again to Bob. Forgive me for posting your words, because I don’t mean to “expose” you, and am certainly not trying to judge you, but I want to point out something:

        February 26, 2018 – 4:27 pm
        Voted for Esther.
        Still wondering if I should give up Lent Madness for the rest of Lent.
        Going day by day.

        February 23, 2018 – 3:47 pm
        Surely a match-up between Sr. Maria from yesterday and today’s Ms. Cavell would have been a far more logical choice (two 20th c. martyrs), as would a Wesley-Kempis match-up, for that matter.

        February 22, 2018 – 4:42 pm
        There were many common themes in today’s saints. Both had vital spiritualities and lively intellects. Both put their minds into the service of their faith.
        The choice was difficult, and made harder by the fact that Thomas was a major influence both on John Wesley and Ignatius Loyola.
        I voted for Sr. Maria, on the grounds of her determination to put the faith into practice in the wider world, rather than being merely cloistered away from the wider world; and on the grounds of her martyrdom at the hands of the Nazis.

        February 21, 2018 – 5:13 pm
        I voted for Richard Hooker because of his emphasis on reason and inclusion.
        I’m looking forward to John Wesley’s match-up later in this round, as he takes Hooker’s “scripture-tradition-reason” trifecta and makes it a “scripture-tradition-reason-experience” quadrella.
        By the way, do you realise there’s another Richard Hooker. He wrote the series of humorous novels on which the film and TV series M*A*S*H were based. So, I also voted in honour of the women and men of the 4077th, including one of my favourite 20th century American theologians, Father Mulcahy.

        February 20, 2018 – 5:24 pm
        Can I make a suggestion, in the interests of some fairer match-ups in future LMs.
        First-rounds match-ups should be between:
        — saints of the same gender as each other,
        — saints of a similar “profile” as each other, and
        — saints from a similar era as each other.
        As well, saints with serious PR issues in today’s church should have those issues addressed in their first-round biographies.

        Here’s what I want to say: first, I think you make substantive, interesting commentaries. You have a logical mind and are very interested in procedural issues. You are an asset to this group. Second, you clearly are beginning to have some hesitations before today. Is it possible that you could articulate some of those hesitations as part of the analysis of the saints under discussion, to indicate how you think one of them might deal with such hesitations (you are undoubtedly not the only one to have them) more effectively than the other? I personally think that would be fascinating. You would be modeling a thinking process for us that a lot of us would find useful! Anyway, you’re an important part of the group, and I hope you will stay. Have a blessed Lent. Peace.

  130. Anita's Gravatar Anita
    February 27, 2018 - 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Love the will of this woman Katharina von Bora or known as Doctora Lutherin

  131. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    February 27, 2018 - 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Brewing beer, cooking, raising a string of children, and extending bountiful hospitality are all admirable activities. Fighting slavery and championing the poor and oppressed got my vote, though. Wulfstan’s work is even more remarkable because he himself was a member of the oppressed group, the Anglo-Saxons.

  132. Judy's Gravatar Judy
    February 27, 2018 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Wulfstan was not only respected by people who had the ability to have him beheaded, but he also stopped the slave trade in his area.

  133. Timothy J. Mannion's Gravatar Timothy J. Mannion
    February 27, 2018 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    You got me with this phrase:

    “Still determined as ever, her last words reportedly were, “I will stick to Christ as a burr to cloth.” ”

    Katharina for the win!

  134. Tom S's Gravatar Tom S
    February 27, 2018 - 9:41 pm | Permalink

    A test between two
    Chief Lutheran or Bishop
    I chose Katharin(a)

  135. February 27, 2018 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    For those of us with wonderful partners in ministry… thanks be for Katherina!

  136. February 27, 2018 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m going with Katherine, the original girl boss and co-theologian.

  137. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    February 27, 2018 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Not sure why either one of these folks are Saints, but okay. Martin Luther’s wife really did rock though.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 27, 2018 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

      What would a saint be like, if not like these?

  138. Kay Lewis's Gravatar Kay Lewis
    February 27, 2018 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Wish I’d known there was a saint for dieters. Maybe I would have been more successful! Still had to go with Katharina, though.

  139. February 27, 2018 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I have missed a few votes as I’ve had to let things settle – I don’t like having to vote for one or the other. In this case, I finally settled on Wulfstan. This is due to his protection of the poor and the oppressed. Both did this within their spheres of influence, but I have to especially appreciate right now when someone with power, as a bishop has, maintains their integrity and values.

  140. Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
    February 27, 2018 - 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Another tough one: both of these two are well filled out historical personalities who labored gallantly without expectation of fame, reward or advancement, just doing the work to which God had called them. I remember the affectionate portrait of “Katie” in Roland Bainton’s biography of Luther, “Here I Stand;” and Wulfstan comes across as a faithful pastor and administrator, as Chaucer (a couple of hundred years later) describes his simple parson: “But christes lore and his apostles twelve / he taught, but first he folwed it himselve.”

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 27, 2018 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Now you’ve given me two bits to chew on–“Here I Stand” and Chaucer. Thanks, Gretchen!

  141. Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
    February 27, 2018 - 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Tough choice but as a life-long Lutheran (I just work for the Episcopal Church) and the daughter of a line of Lutherans (including many, many pastors) going back many, many, many years I had to go with Katharina. And by the way, I love reading the comments. There are so many clever people out there…..

  142. Claudia Dixon's Gravatar Claudia Dixon
    February 28, 2018 - 1:22 am | Permalink

    I voted for Katharina because she was a true revolutionary and she stood up for what she believed in. Supported wife an mother.0

  143. Brian Thom's Gravatar Brian Thom
    February 28, 2018 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Well, with Katharina’s win, now three of my brackets are busted. However, my candidate for the Golden Halo is still in it!

Comments are closed.