Anna Alexander vs. Eglantyne Jebb

Today marks the fourth and final matchup of the Elate Eight as Anna Alexander takes on Eglantyne Jebb. To make it this far, Anna made it past Peter Claver and Edith Cavell while Eglantyne cruised past both Seraphim of Sarov and Catherine Winkworth.

Yesterday Maria Skobtsova swept away Martin de Porres and will face Esther in the next round. So the Faithful Four is nearly set: Maria, Esther, Richard Hooker it's your job to complete this sentence!

Then take a deep cleansing breath and get ready for the last three battles of Lent Madness 2018. On Monday and Tuesday it's the Faithful Four. And then on Spy Wednesday the scene will be set as we collectively crown the Golden Halo winner. The end is near!

Anna Alexander

As we have learned, Deaconess Alexander exemplifies the pursuit of brotherly love no matter your circumstances in life.

Let’s step back in time as we walk through the Georgia Kudzu to find the church where Deaconess Anna Alexander is buried and where she spent much of her ministry:

Good Shepherd Church and School is such an awesome vacation destination that our own Presiding Bishop Michael Curry took time out of his busy schedule to visit the place of Deaconess Alexander’s ministry. He gives it a Bishop’s “thumbs up” and now all Episcopalians across the globe will be flocking to this new “must-do” locale:

ChurchBishop Curry at church







Although he gave the school his enthusiastic bishop approval, Bishop Curry is probably thankful he didn’t have to sit in these desks as a student. You can almost hear the voice of Deaconess Alexander telling her class to “pipe down.”

Anna's studentsDeaconess Alexander’s former students can attest that her love for them was tempered by an indomitable will that brooked no argument. These students were here to learn to read, write, and love the Lord.

bug repellent



If you find yourself on a pilgrimage to George, make sure you take some mosquito repellent. You’ll thank me later. Not only does it repel mosquitos, but chiggers too!

While in town, make sure you try some sweet Georgia peaches:
…Nothing could be finer.Peanut stand



And stop at the corner to grab some Hot Boiled Peanuts. We are sure they were Deaconess Alexander’s favorite.

Finally, when the heat gets so hot you want to slap a brother, grab yourself some sweet ice tea, a rocking chair, and a fan; set yourself down and say a little prayer for people like Deaconess Alexander who has taught us how to be better people, just by her example. Vote #TeamAnna

- Anna Fitch Courie


Eglantyne Jebb

"The world is not ungenerous, but unimaginative and very busy," Eglantyne Jebb famously said.

So Jebb became the first to take out full-page newspaper advertisements to promote the work of a charitable organization for Save the Children, which she founded in 1919 in England. She also became the first to enlist celebrities to promote a cause.

Save the Children and its supporters continue that imaginative tradition with their own saintly kitsch.

You can celebrate Jebb’s life’s work and Christmas at the same time every December 15 on Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. That’s British for “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day,” and it’s celebrated by wearing your kitchiest knits — and donating £2 to the organization. Also for the occasion, Save the Children sells “Jumper for Joy” buttons, tote bags emblazoned with cats and dogs in their own festive apparel and — of course — tea towels.

Tote bag-dog in a sweater

Hand Towels

Tote-Cat in sweater






T shirt
In the meantime, you can don fan-created “Keep Calm and Save the Children” T shirts, hoodies, baby onesies and aprons sold on The Keep Calm-O-Matic, which marries the ability to sell your own customizable products with the British motivational poster popularized by a million Pinterest knock-offs. You can even get it printed on a teddy bear or a smartphone case.


Toe nails with logoOr you can give yourself a pedicure featuring some Save the Children nail art.





There is, sadly, a dearth of kitsch featuring Jebb herself, but you can take in a one-woman show about her life. The play, simply titled “Eglantyne,” was written and performed by Anne Chamberlain. It premiered in New Zealand in 2014 and since has toured the United Kingdom, including a stop at Jebb’s childhood home.

RosesThe gardeners among us also can grow their own Eglantyne roses, something to keep in mind should Jebb go on to face Phocas the Gardener in the Faithful 4.



-Emily Miller

Anna Alexander vs. Eglantyne Jebb

  • Anna Alexander (55%, 3,457 Votes)
  • Eglantyne Jebb (45%, 2,845 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,302

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119 comments on “Anna Alexander vs. Eglantyne Jebb”

      1. OMG!!! Ms. Courie you had me at KUDZU!!! And ‘ so hot you need to slap a brother?’
        I LITERALLY FELL ON THE FLOOR!! God bless you!!
        God Bless you ALL!!! I LOVE LENT MADNESS!❤️

  1. Ohhhh I get it. We're writing our votes in today and they're just gonna tally them all up at the end. Ever the innovators at Lent Madness. Ok then.


    1. Saint Bonnie? Hmmm...not bad! I'd vote for a saint who bears the burden for everything that goes wrong--provided she remembers to carry that burden to the cross and leave it there!

  2. Both endured great hardship achieving their goals. Eglantyne Jebb's Save the Children is the more lasting legacy.

  3. Save the children is awesome, but Anna Alexander worked against the odds for many years among poor, rural blacks, giving them an education and then getting them in to college and tech schools and finding scholarships. She depopulated the community one car load at a time, taking her students away to new lives with expanded opportunities, and she did it because she loved Jesus. Eglantyne did brilliant work, but I stand with The Deaconess.

  4. Where is my vote button?
    The vote button came. I voted. Left the site and came back amd there was a vote button so I figured thst my vote wasn't taken. Tried again and it said I had already voted. Really I am not trying to cheat.

  5. I will miss the kitsch round, only four short days, and today’s were most creative.
    Sadly, Phocas did not get this far—although the Eglantyne rose is beautiful. Alas I reflect back over everything Deaconess Alexander did, and gave her my vote. Thanks for the mosquito/chigger repellant reminder for my pilgrimage.
    Don’t think we can go wrong for our golden halo winner, what a line up!!
    I didn’t have any prob with voting buttons, the Russians missed me.

  6. I'm with Anna. Her country didn't support as an African American and her church didn't support her as a female. Yet she persevered! I support Anna!

    1. I agree, Montie, but it was still hard to choose between women of such strength abd faith -

  7. While you’re dealing with technical issues. I wish it were easier to go back and read previous biographies. I got started late in Lent and knew nothing about Anna Alexander. After finally finding and then pressing the “older” button a multitude of times I was able to see and support her. Go, Anna! You rock!

    1. In the introductory paragraph, the highlighted names of those each saint has bested are links to the earlier write-ups 🙂

  8. Doing a little research and review while waiting for the vote buttons to appear, I had to change my mind and vote for Anna. Look at this! Anna's saint status may be upgraded in July!

    “The Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music voted to recommend that the Episcopal Church add Deaconess Alexander to Lesser Feasts and Fasts (Major Feasts are those like Christmas and Easter). A vote on that larger recognition for this Saint of Georgia will come during the General Convention meeting in Austin, Texas, July 5-13, 2018.”

    Perhaps the Golden Halo will help swing the vote for her -- she deserves it! For me, it’s Anna Alexander from now on, all the way to the Golden Halo!

  9. I'll make a donation to Save the Children in honor of the most worthy Eglantyne Jebb, but vote for Deaconess Alexander, who started with very little and created so much, overcame hardness with softness, was able to do this in spite of immense cultural barriers, and comes from my home state of Georgia.

  10. My thought after reading the info about Anna Alexander and Eglantyne Jebb is “that’s not fair” - I do not know what the Save the Children organization does. Even though there may be a “dearth” of info about Jebb, surely there is more about the organization she founded??

    1. for Save the Children International; for the U.S. group. Google is our friend for saintly research.

  11. Having nominated Eglantyne for the bracket I keep faith with her today. I am delighted to discover Anna Alexander andshe will make a worthy wearer of the golden halo if she prevails against the wonderful, Eglantyne, whose faith inspired her work. I love her rose, but not sure it merits the description kitsch, Christmas jumpers on the other hand...

  12. Kudzu & sweet tea! That's as southern as you get. Georgia needs a saint.
    Go Anna All The Way.

  13. Anna was a deaconess who put her life into trusting God and reflecting His love to her community. Her actions were always in the name of Christ. Who better to wear the golden halo?