Eglantyne Jebb vs. Seraphim of Sarov

What’s in a name? Eglantyne Jebb and Seraphim of Sarov might just have some theories on this question. The twelfth battle of the first round pits a 20th century English laywoman against an 18th century Russian monk.

In yesterday’s action, Dymphna played cat and mouse with Gertrude of Nivelles before prevailing 58% to 42%. She’ll face the winner of John of Beverley vs. Martin of Porres in the Saintly Sixteen.

For those of you who filled out brackets in advance, how are you doing? Anyone still have a perfect bracket? Anyone 0 for 11 (which, frankly, would be equally impressive). We know it’s about learning rather than winning. But still. We know there are some competitive Christians out there…

Eglantyne Jebb

Eglantyne JebbEglantyne Jebb didn’t care much for children. This is ironic, as Jebb founded Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provides relief during crises like natural disasters and armed conflicts, and helps children have a healthy start in life in 120 countries, according to its website.

“It is a judgment on me for not caring about children that I talk all day long about the universal love of humanity toward them,” she said. But Eglantyne’s story goes to show God can use us in unexpected ways. God can call us to join in the work God is doing all around us, to respond to needs unique to our time and place.

In 1918, while others were celebrating the end of World War I, Eglantyne was protesting the impact of the Allied blockade after seeing newspaper photos of starving children in Germany and other European countries. She was born into a well-to-do British family of strong women who worked to meet the needs they saw in society. Originally, she studied to become a teacher, but she called it quits after a year because of that not-caring-much-for-kids thing. She became involved in the Charity Organisation Society and later traveled to Macedonia to report on refugees. Those experiences revealed to Eglantyne the difficulties faced by children in poverty and in crisis around the world.

Eglantyne was arrested for protesting—for handing out pamphlets in London with moving images of those children. Her trial made her famous, and while she was found guilty, the judge publicly gave her the money to pay the fine. That money became the first donation to Save the Children.

The organization was the first to take out full-page newspaper advertisements to promote its work and the first to enlist celebrities to promote its cause, according to Jebb’s biographer Clare Mulley. That’s something you can thank her for the next time you hear Sarah McLachlan’s voice with pictures of Precious Moments-eyed puppies.

Save the Children campaigned for the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which later was adopted by the United Nations, and the organization continues Eglantyne’s unlikely work today. The Church of England remembers her life and service each year on December 17.

Collect for Eglantyne Jebb
Almighty God, you appeared before Moses as a burning bush and in the heart of your servant Eglantyne Jebb as a white-hot flame: Encourage us with the same fierce and fiery spirit to defend the least, the lost, the lonely, and especially children in distress, that we may ease their burdens and live into your love and will with childlike faith; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

-Emily McFarlan Miller

Seraphim of Sarov

Seraphim of SarovOne of the most well-known saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Seraphim of Sarov embraced the Holy Spirit and expounded upon monastic practices of contemplation and self-denial. Born Prokhor Moshnin on August 1, 1759, Seraphim became quite ill at age ten and saw in a vision a promise from the Virgin Mary that she would heal him. A few days later, he was brought to an icon of Mary that was known to have healing power. Shortly after touching the icon, he became well.

His interest in the church continued to grow, and in 1777, he joined the Sarov monastery. His mother supported his entry into the monastery and gave him a copper crucifix that he wore his whole life. In 1786, he became a monk, and seven years later he became a monastic priest.

Seraphim is known for his asceticism. He only ate one meal a day and fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays. One of his notable feats was praying for 1,000 nights with his arms outstretched.

Shortly after becoming a priest, he moved to a log cabin in the woods and lived as a hermit for twenty-five years. When wild animals came to the hermitage, he would care for them. One time, he was seen feeding a bear from his hand.

At one point Seraphim was attacked in the woods by robbers. They beat him but he did not resist. They left him for dead. They found nothing but his icon of the Mother of God of Deep Devotion. Although he recovered from the assault, Seraphim walked with a hunched back for the rest of his life. When the robbers were caught and being tried, Seraphim asked the judge for mercy on them. He later would say, “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.

He returned to his cabin in the woods, and many people made pilgrimages to him for healing and to hear his prophetic words. Seraphim would often answer their questions before they were even asked.

Seraphim of Sarov died kneeling before an icon of the Theotokos—Mary, the God-bearer—on January 14, 1833.

Collect for Seraphim of Sarov
Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Seraphim of Sarov, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

-David Creech

Eglantyne Jebb vs. Seraphim of Sarov

  • Eglantyne Jebb (73%, 5,444 Votes)
  • Seraphim of Sarov (27%, 1,992 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,436

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Eglantyne Jebb: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Seraphim of Sarov: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

223 Comments to "Eglantyne Jebb vs. Seraphim of Sarov"

  1. Oliver--Ten Years Old's Gravatar Oliver--Ten Years Old
    March 1, 2018 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    I voted for Seraphim because he forgave the robbers who beat him up.

    • Mary E. Winston's Gravatar Mary E. Winston
      March 1, 2018 - 8:37 am | Permalink

      Me too Oliver and also because he fed a bear out of his hand.

      • Chris's Gravatar Chris
        March 1, 2018 - 9:10 pm | Permalink

        I also voted for Seraphim of Sarov because he was a Wildlife Rehabilitator.

    • Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
      March 1, 2018 - 8:39 am | Permalink

      Amen Oliver. Same for me.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      And he didn’t fight back, did he, Oliver? If that’s not turning the other cheek, I don’t know what is.

    • Lee Marriott's Gravatar Lee Marriott
      March 1, 2018 - 11:59 am | Permalink

      Without forgiveness there can be no peace. Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved. I voted for Seraphim, too. We shouldn’t start overlooking the hermits in our lives.

    • Celia's Gravatar Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh! Oliver. You are such a wonderful kid! I agree.

    • Jan Robitscher's Gravatar Jan Robitscher
      March 1, 2018 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I did too, Oliver. Forgiveness (renouncing revenge) is so very important to our spiritual life and our world today. I am only sorry that all the historic saints seem to be losing in the vote count this time. But it is important to vote anyway, make your voice heard and be gracious whether you win or lose.

    • Jill Liberty's Gravatar Jill Liberty
      March 1, 2018 - 2:07 pm | Permalink


      I’m voting for Seraphim, too, partly because of his saintly, forgiving, and gentle spirit and partly because he has no chance against Eglantyne. This was a difficult choice for me. Eglantyne’s passion for saving children, whom she didn’t like very much, is a true example of devotion and sacrifice.

  2. Johanne Hills's Gravatar Johanne Hills
    March 1, 2018 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Important to the Orthodox Church means that sometimes you vote to be more ecclesiastically open minded.

  3. Craig Clere's Gravatar Craig Clere
    March 1, 2018 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Seraphim please read him before you vote!

  4. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    March 1, 2018 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Like Oliver I find it amazing and inspiring that Seraphim forgave the robbers who beat him up. I also love the quote “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.”
    However, I had to vote for Eglantyne and Save the Children today.

  5. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 1, 2018 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Eglantyne for me today. While Seraphim’s faith and devotion are commendable, he lived as a hermit and people had to seek him. Eglantyne’s faith sent her out into the world and she heeded God’s call and direction even though she wasn’t all that fond of children. She was born to privilege, but used it to the benefit of others.

    • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
      March 1, 2018 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      I don’t think we should attach more value to the work of the person who goes forth into the world. Seraphim gladdened God’s heart through his devotion, and for the people who sought him out, I am sure that the seeking was part of their journey to deeper knowledge and love of God. Indeed if Seraphim had tried to seek them out, they may well have rejected him.

    • Pamela Rieger's Gravatar Pamela Rieger
      March 1, 2018 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      She was so inspiring…truly taking the love and light of Christ to those children in such dark circumstances, then taking their plight to the world to shine a light on what the world must do to help them!! I mean, The United Nations, for Heaven’s sake!!!(literally).
      Deacon Pam

    • Linda's Gravatar Linda
      March 1, 2018 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      I agree Jane

    • Jane II's Gravatar Jane II
      March 1, 2018 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      I agree Jane! It was a hard choice but the fact that Eglantyne allow compassion to over her aversion to children swayed me. A good example for examining our own prejudices and learning to allow our love and compassion over come it. A much needed lesson for our day. God bless Eglantyne for embracing the most marginalized among us.

    • Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
      March 1, 2018 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

      agree with another Jane! She came from “a family of strong women”, she saw a need, she met it!

  6. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 1, 2018 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I have seen the work of Save the Children at work in El Salvador so had to vote for Eglantyne because her work continues today. Also she is a good example to us of getting involved in issues of our day and not to ignore the terrible situations around us even though it is uncomfortable to do so.

    • Joann's Gravatar Joann
      March 1, 2018 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      Yes! Could not have said it better! Eglantyne inspires me and gets my vote!

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 1, 2018 - 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Before we adopted our four children, we supported children through the organization that Eglantyne Jebb founded. I hope others will do the same (support the organization, not necessarily adopt four children, although that’s fine, too).

  7. Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
    March 1, 2018 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’m always for saving the children.

  8. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    March 1, 2018 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Eglantyne Jebb did not find working *with* children to be much to her liking, but she did work tirelessly *for* children. She persisted in showing Jesus’ love for the children, and for someone with an avowed dislike for them, clearly showed an amazing empathy for their needs. Truly, God does move in mysterious ways! (I loved that a Judge who felt compelled under the law to find her guilty and fine her felt equally compelled to pay her fine as a donation to her cause – a greater miracle is hard to imagine!) As much as I may admire many monastics, her actions have my vote today! Onward into the mission fields!

    • Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
      March 1, 2018 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      I get the feeling Moses wasn’t that fond of Israelites either.

      • Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
        March 1, 2018 - 11:50 am | Permalink

        great comment!

        • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
          March 1, 2018 - 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I agree!

      • Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
        March 1, 2018 - 10:49 pm | Permalink


  9. Susan Titus's Gravatar Susan Titus
    March 1, 2018 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    My daughter works for Save the Children, how could I not vote for Eglantyne? And how amazing to spend your life devoted to working for those you really didn’t care for!!

  10. Mary-Theresa Anderson's Gravatar Mary-Theresa Anderson
    March 1, 2018 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Eglantyne was a champion for the children. Her work continues today!!

  11. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    March 1, 2018 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    A very religious hermit or the woman who was fined for trying to save starving children yet inspired the judge to pay her fine and went on to found an organization that has helped millions of children. No contest!

  12. June's Gravatar June
    March 1, 2018 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    I had to go for Eglantyne and Save the Children. Like her, I taught for one year before realizing I didn’t care for children much either (on a personal basis). I am a big fan of programs that ease child suffering – Save the Children, St. Jude’s, and more. Nothing is more heartbreaking than the suffering of a child, and it is heartwarming to see someone with privilege use it for such good works. I especially appreciate those that are willing to be arrested for their principles, and shout out to the judge that paid her fine. How cool was that? So despite her works being the origin of those tear-jerking ASPCA commercials (I have 6 adopted pets – I’ve done my job – leave me alone Sarah McLaughlin!) I had to give her my vote.

    • Terri Kilshaw's Gravatar Terri Kilshaw
      March 1, 2018 - 5:01 pm | Permalink

      June……I love your comments! I, too, was a teacher originally but never very gooey-eyed about babies or children. I ,too, have adopted 7 cats(at different times) and can’t bear to watch the ASPCA ads. Eglantyne was English like me and I was fascinated to read her story and hear of the wonderful organization she founded.

  13. March 1, 2018 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    Eglantyne’s story reminded me of what another (probably well-off) woman said about children: “I love little children, especially when they cry, because then someone comes and takes them away.” Eglantyne did a wonderful thing for children anyway.

    • Timothy J. Mannion's Gravatar Timothy J. Mannion
      March 1, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      Beautiful thought! LOL

      • Jeanne Stevens's Gravatar Jeanne Stevens
        March 1, 2018 - 11:23 am | Permalink

        Does that mean you don’t like little children? What about your new grandchild?

    • Margaret L's Gravatar Margaret L
      March 1, 2018 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the chuckle.

  14. Pailet - age 6's Gravatar Pailet - age 6
    March 1, 2018 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    I liked Seraphim bc he set his mind to something and did it. And Eglantyne didn’t like children so we couldn’t vote for her.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      Great reasoning, Pailet!

  15. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 1, 2018 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Eglantyne. Sometimes teachers need models of care and advocacy for children (who may or may not be particularly likeable) in spite of one’s personal feelings about them.

  16. March 1, 2018 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    As a former Labor ad Delivery Nurse turned teacher of religion/lay chaplain and science teacher to children in ages Preschool–5th grade I have to vote for Eglantyne despite her un-pronouncable name!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      Maybe this will be helpful? Jump to 22 seconds:

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 1, 2018 - 9:50 am | Permalink

        No, no, don’t jump, just wait 22 seconds, and once you know the answer I dare you to stop before the end!

        Thanks so much, Susan, and how did you do that? Not by witchcraft, I trust!

        • Mary Jane Jane Ingalls's Gravatar Mary Jane Jane Ingalls
          March 1, 2018 - 10:15 am | Permalink


        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 1, 2018 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Hahaha! I’ll never tell! I’ve been singing it since I first saw the bracket!

      • Laura N's Gravatar Laura N
        March 1, 2018 - 10:30 am | Permalink

        Terrific! Thank you! I knew how to pronounce it but this was just a treat!

      • Margaret L's Gravatar Margaret L
        March 1, 2018 - 10:57 am | Permalink

        Thank you for sharing the video clip.

      • Lee W.'s Gravatar Lee W.
        March 1, 2018 - 11:12 am | Permalink

        LOL! Love that movie, and as soon as I saw this saintly match-up, that song started playing in my head – Eglantyne, Eglantyne…..

      • Megan O Jones's Gravatar Megan O Jones
        March 1, 2018 - 11:18 am | Permalink

        Thank you!!!

      • Yvonne's Gravatar Yvonne
        March 1, 2018 - 11:47 am | Permalink

        Thank you ,,,

        • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
          March 1, 2018 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

          Fabulous! Thank you from me too!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 1, 2018 - 6:57 pm | Permalink

        You’re all very welcome!

      • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
        March 2, 2018 - 1:00 am | Permalink

        Very charming use of the library equipment for the dancing routine! Is the lady Angela Lansbury? I can well see why the poor man is smitten!

  17. Dorrie Johnson's Gravatar Dorrie Johnson
    March 1, 2018 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    While in high school the students supported a child from Save the Children. Followed that way after marriage for many years. Eglantine’s has my vote.

  18. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 1, 2018 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    As a teacher and advocate (I hope) for children, I thought Eglantyne would be the one for me. The ASPCA snark was unnecessary to her biography, and made me think twice. My Lenten study group have so many causes we care about, and so many problems we try to be praying thoughtfully about that it becomes overwhelming. So I chose Seraphim, and am trying to “acquire a peaceful spirit.” That may include a donation to Save the Children, by the way.

    • Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
      March 1, 2018 - 8:59 am | Permalink

      I like your combination action, Sara, and think I may follow. Despite the heartstring pull for Eglantyne’s story, the Spirit led me to click Seraphim for the vote, but my next donation could go to Save the Children.

    • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
      March 1, 2018 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you, Sara, about the ASPCA snark. Sometimes people who advocate for abused and neglected animals are subjected to “What about?” “What about the children, the poor, the sick…” as if it is somehow wrong to care about animals as long as one of our own species is suffering somewhere.

  19. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    March 1, 2018 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Self denial- Does That mean obeying the ten commenments and denying adultery, false gods, etc than great. If that means hurting your body by denying its needs or physical hurt to self than I can not understand how that is a good thing.

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      March 1, 2018 - 9:35 am | Permalink

      I think it usually means, primarily, not reacting to your own self-preservation instincts first and foremost, and not easily giving in to your appetites. We all do it to some degree, whenever we think, “But am I *really* hungry, or do I just want to eat?” or don’t buy something we want but don’t need, or let someone go ahead of us in line, etc.

  20. Joyce Rush's Gravatar Joyce Rush
    March 1, 2018 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Both were important and did good deeds but, for me, Save the Children won out. Eglantyne got my vote today.

  21. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    March 1, 2018 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    You must run the race set before you…….sometimes the race is a hard one in this life and in Seraphim’s time……….am in need of that peaceful spirit! Seraphim for me today!

  22. Sister BJ Brown's Gravatar Sister BJ Brown
    March 1, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Seraphim has been one of my favorite saints for years. He is, what I call, a “rustic” sort of saint.

  23. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    March 1, 2018 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    This was a hard one. I had to go away and cogitate for awhile before choosing Eglantyne because of her concern for refugee children.

  24. Gillian's Gravatar Gillian
    March 1, 2018 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Eglantyne. I feel that white hot- flame burning for justice. We need a little righteous indignation in these times.

  25. March 1, 2018 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    The thought of someone who didn’t enjoy working with children being called to work for children is pretty awesome to me. Though Seraphim is a wonderful and worthy saint, I had to go with Eglantine.

  26. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 1, 2018 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    A hermit monk who only counseled those who trekked to him vs. someone who went all over to assist children in need? Incarnation theology wins — no contest.

  27. March 1, 2018 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    When presented with a choice between being and doing, we often discount being. What I love about Seraphim is that he realized that caring for our being matters to our doing. Both saints today are commendable, but as one whose work as a spiritual director is soul care, I chose Seraphim. Imagine what could happen in our world if more people took seriously the need to acquire a peaceful spirit. The needs of all would be provided for.

    • March 1, 2018 - 10:21 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I’m going to guess that the Lent Madness Global Voting Public will go for doing over being, but today I need the contemplative and peaceful too.

  28. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    March 1, 2018 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    I feel bad for Seraphim having to go up against Eglangtyne. Both are commendable, but I have to go with Eglangtyne. Her work lives on in the world today.

  29. Timothy J. Mannion's Gravatar Timothy J. Mannion
    March 1, 2018 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    “Don’t feed the bears.”. Besides, what happened to the copper cross when he was beaten? Did they leave it behind with him? And what true monk keeps personal possessions?

    Eglantyne for the win!

    • Jeanne Stevens's Gravatar Jeanne Stevens
      March 1, 2018 - 11:33 am | Permalink

      That’s funny because I thought the same. If he wore the cross his whole life, where was it when he was robbed?

  30. March 1, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    I voted for Eglantine in large part because of the write up by our celebrity blogger. You had me at the opening with the mention that she didn’t like children, but founded the NGO Save the Children, and gave up teaching after a year because of the whole “didn’t like children” thing. Her story is a testament to God using us for God’s purpose despite ourselves.

  31. Rodney's Gravatar Rodney
    March 1, 2018 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Being a not-so-crazy-about-kids person, but for all the work she did for them I went with Eglangtyne. Also, I totally agree with Jane (8:20 am) – she went out to do the work of God, not camping out as a hermit for 25 years!

  32. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    March 1, 2018 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I’m a layperson, but I know a lot of priests (and monks, for that matter). So it really cracked me up that Seraphim became a priest, and then became a hermit. Having worked in several churches, I kinda get it!

    • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
      March 2, 2018 - 1:01 am | Permalink


      ! ! !

      Good one!

  33. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 1, 2018 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    While I’m in awe of Seraphim’s devotion and don’t consider the active life necessarily superior to the contemplative, Sreaphim’s life just doesn’t much move me, while Eglantyne’s moves me greatly. Today my emotional response will guide my vote.

  34. Amy Clayton's Gravatar Amy Clayton
    March 1, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    As I was reading Seraphim’s bio I was overwhelmed with a Valley Girl feeling of, “Gag me! Really? OMG! Give me a break!” Perhaps it was because I had just read Jebb’s bio, so very inspirational.

    But then, I wondered how his choices formed his spirit to be at one with beasts and robbers. That is truly transformational.

    “Acquire a peaceful spirit and thousands around you will be saved.” My kind of evangalization

    • Nancy Rich's Gravatar Nancy Rich
      March 1, 2018 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Amy,
      When I read about Jebb I thought she’s be my choice no matter what. But when I read the “Acquire a peaceful spirit…” quote, it lept out at me–hightlighter-like–and I knew that was what needed to be spoken again, especially in our time. So, the ascetic hermit wins for me today. May thousands upon thousands be granted the Spirit of peace, and keep on spreading it. My kind of evangelization, too!

      • KG's Gravatar KG
        March 1, 2018 - 11:15 pm | Permalink

        I voted for the Seraphim too. Perhaps it was because I recently finished the book Godric by Buechner. The book made me laugh and cry but mostly cultivated a new respect for the aspirations and devotion of a hermit. Certainly quite commendable that Seraphim’s spirit drew the public to him.

  35. Mike from Ohio's Gravatar Mike from Ohio
    March 1, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    This seems like a gender versus gender year and the women keep winning. I’m a little disappointed in the seeding.

    • Terry W's Gravatar Terry W
      March 1, 2018 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I noticed this too. Feels like it lacks discernment here.

      • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
        March 1, 2018 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Like beauty discernment is in the ey of the beholder!

  36. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    March 1, 2018 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Eglantyne Jebb because even though she was a character on The Beverly Hillbillies show, she put her best effort where her heart wasn’t.

    • Mary Jane Jane Ingalls's Gravatar Mary Jane Jane Ingalls
      March 1, 2018 - 10:26 am | Permalink

      Nice trivia

  37. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    March 1, 2018 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    Seraphim: the original Throeau vs. Jebb: Crusader for Children
    Gotta go w/the kids benefactor.

  38. Richard Adams's Gravatar Richard Adams
    March 1, 2018 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    After reading all 64 Saint bios, I had pinned my hopes on one of Lent Madness’ stellar nominees, Peter Claver, to go all the way. That he lost in the first round left me reeling, not that his opponent was undeserving. But is this an America first contest?

    Here we have the estimable lives one British and one Russian saint. Of course both have merit. I am attracted to the more complex case of Eglantyne. She was no goody-goody, but Save the Children is a great legacy: she really worked to make the world a better place.

  39. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    March 1, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    What a tough choice! On the one hand, the White Flame and her work for the least of these (“for in this world they have no voice/they have no choice”).

    On the other hand, Seraphim for his commitment to nonviolence. Certainly his asceticism is unappealing to us now, but consider the time and place he lived. For us to know about him today, his life must have had a huge impact on those folks back in the day. Nice to see a brother from the Orthodox tradition on the bracket!

    Oh, great lamentations in the Hauser haus today! How shall I decide?

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 1, 2018 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      “Eglantyne, Eglantyne, oh how you shine!”

      • March 1, 2018 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Eglantyne Jebb. Now that’s a name I’d like to see people saying they’ll give to their cat.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 1, 2018 - 6:58 pm | Permalink


  40. Notch from minecraft's Gravatar Notch from minecraft
    March 1, 2018 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    I voted for Jebb because her name reminds me of Jeb from minecraft

  41. Hannell Thompson's Gravatar Hannell Thompson
    March 1, 2018 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    God has a sense of humor and chose Eglantyne to care for those she didn’t care much about. Good for her for watching and listening to God’s call.

  42. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 1, 2018 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Voted for Eglantyne partly because of current events. Save the Children is now under scrutiny for its handling of “inappropriate behaviour” on the part of two male executives, and debates as to whether the UK should continue its financial support for Save the Children is happening in the Westminster Parliament week after week. Loss of funding for this charity would be tragic. Voted for Eglantine, donated to Save the Children. As for Seraphim, my devotion to Orthodox faith and spirituality would normally have carried the day; this is a rich tradition to which Episcopalians owe a great deal. My partiality may owe something to my visit to Russia (then part of the Soviet Union) and observed the church there under state persecution, but devotion to Russia has run deep in my family for several generations, so there’s that.

  43. Eileen Fisher's Gravatar Eileen Fisher
    March 1, 2018 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    As a retired developmental pediatrician, I spent my career advocating for disabled children (and adults, too). Who knows what kind of children she taught? That wasn’t discussed. She may have faced some very challenging children who would try a saint. Eglantyne, no contest.

    • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
      March 1, 2018 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that few people actually like other people’s children very much, but fortunately most people like and love their own.

  44. Jennie Olbrych's Gravatar Jennie Olbrych
    March 1, 2018 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Seraphim because of this “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.”

  45. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 1, 2018 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    I knew even before I cast my vote that Eglantyne (such a great name!) was going to win. And there is much to admire in her. I doubt very much that she disliked children; rather, I think she was a woman “in the day” with strong managerial skills and no societal/economic outlet for them. Nevertheless, she persisted. She is a beautiful Eg in our Easter basket of saints.

    But this is a group (we have commented about this for years) that goes in a big way for modern organizers of NGO’s. So I’m voting for Seraphim because the eastern church gets regularly neglected. Asceticism is not a popular form of spirituality these days. Yesterday a “church” group in Pennsylvania married their guns: Could there be any liturgical act more self-indulgent and fleshly than to bless an unholy alliance of religiosity and death-wielding capitalism? (Only $689 to outfit oneself with an AR-15 for the ceremony; white dress and crown extra.)

    So I am giving a nod to the hermit/prophet and to the theotokos icon he was devoted to. Seraphim recalls to us the fathers and mothers of the desert in the early church, who vied to be the most ascetic and who attempted to embody the sufferings of Christ in order to be saved. Again, this sort of “athletic” self-denial is alien to our way of thinking today. Also the veneration of icons. And yet I am thinking that we (as a society) are giving some very powerful images to the world and to our next generations of death. I would place the images of the women’s march against the images of people running from shooters. We are all being asked to choose what we worship. Seraphim (named for the highest angelic order) chose to gaze on the mother of god and tackle the aggression in his own heart in order to sow a seed of love for an aggressive, violent culture. Both versions of sainthood are necessary, but today I want to support Seraphim and the spiritual resources of the eastern churches.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 10:11 am | Permalink

      Special shout-out with respect to the two collects today. Let’s hear it for muscular alliteration: “Encourage us with the same fierce and fiery spirit to defend the least, the lost, the lonely.” And Paul’s heart would be warmed by the encouragement to “persevere in running the race that is set before us.” Faithfulness is a form of exercise. As Milton wrote: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 1, 2018 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks as always for your thoughts. That’s where my heart is moving, too.
        So I’m wondering if you were an English, theology, or psychology major . . .

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          March 1, 2018 - 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Yes . . . all of the above in various ways (interpreting “major” broadly). 🙂

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 1, 2018 - 10:51 am | Permalink

      The people running, with sorrowing angels as in many images of the Crucifixion, would make a moving icon. Maybe with the Mater Dolorosa looking on, as a focus for devotion.

      There’s an iconographer in Orvieto who might actually be interested in the idea. I’ll mention it the next time I’m there.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 1, 2018 - 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Can I put in an order now?

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 1, 2018 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I’m voting for Seraphim because the eastern church gets regularly neglected. Also, because of the gorgeous icon of Seraphim that we are treated to this morning. My daughter and I were both born with fiery spirits, which we find are both gifts and stumbling blocks in our lives with others. I am enjoying taking mental breaks while gazing at Seraphim and thinking, “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.” I doubt our spirits will ever be consistently peaceful, but to be able to summon peacefulness when needed would be a blessing.

  46. John Cliffe's Gravatar John Cliffe
    March 1, 2018 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    I am voting for Eglantyne but remain concerned over our faith. I vote for her because some force moved her to help. My concerns are simple, based upon Eglantyne’s elevation to Sainthood, when will we start accolades for Bill and Melinda Gates or Microsoft.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      Assume you’re being ironic. I believe Jesus would say they have been well paid in public acknowledgement for their charity. Their left hands know very well what their right hands are doing. The poor widow’s mite is worth more in God’s eyes.

      • Bee's Gravatar Bee
        March 1, 2018 - 11:09 am | Permalink

        Beautifully put, St Cecilia. It would also be a strange and tragic thing indeed if those who did good were all considered worthy of sainthood, as though doing good is something that we aren’t all capable of and called to do. And why should those who have a great deal of money to do good be held up above those who have nothing and invisibly do good every day.

    • Constance Santana's Gravatar Constance Santana
      March 2, 2018 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly!

  47. S.R. Niccolls's Gravatar S.R. Niccolls
    March 1, 2018 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    I voted for Eglantyne. Her working with children even when she wasn’t fond of them struck a chord with me. Also, giving credit to the Virgin Mary instead of God for healing is a theological issue for me.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 10:16 am | Permalink

      What a lonely world it must be for God never to be able to share credit with anybody for anything. We give credit to surgeons for healing us. Why should not theotokos be given credit for healing when the apostles were given credit for the same? Can we not allow any feminine element to God’s nature at all?

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 1, 2018 - 10:44 am | Permalink

        Every time I start to reply, “But that’s not a gender issue,” a small voice says, “Whoa.” So I’m making some progress, at least. It’s not easy for an old white male to get woke, I must say.

        • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
          March 1, 2018 - 11:15 am | Permalink

          Davis, your comment warms my heart. Thank you for sharing that!

        • Robin Nicholls's Gravatar Robin Nicholls
          March 1, 2018 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

          Davis, you are awesome!

      • March 1, 2018 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

        I respectfully disagree that it’s a gender issue. I can’t speak for S.R. Niccolls, but I suspect it’s a veneration of saints issue. Some are for it, some are against it. For many, giving the (male) apostles credit for healing after said apostles have already gone to their reward would also be a problem.

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          March 1, 2018 - 2:11 pm | Permalink

          S. R. Niccolls is not explicit about this, but I sense more than simply “gender” or the “veneration of saints.” There seems to be a residual Protestant animadversion (which SRN might or might not share) against Mary in particular. It seems, for some, to be the Maginot line between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. I find the anti-marianism sad, because she is such a beautiful aspect of Christian iconography. I don’t know that that is playing a role here, but I feel that if we could explore her role in Christian theology, we would find a richer version of the trinity. I am not troubled by the idea that many people, living and dead, are conduits to healing. I am troubled by a “unitary,” restrictive notion of “healing” that places an impermeable barrier between human and divine. (Again, I am not saying that that is what is at issue here, only that I detect the “flavor” of that idea in any discomfort about Mary Theotokos.)

          • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
            March 1, 2018 - 3:22 pm | Permalink

            A nice meditation, St. C.

            I’ve always imagined Mary as embarrassed by all the attention but putting up with it for the sake of the good it does.

          • March 2, 2018 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

            St. Celia, it’s true that Mary has become a particular focus (or target, rather) of Protestants in their effort to distance themselves from Roman Catholicism. I see it as being a difference of degree…as the God-Bearer, she is the most invoked saint in the pantheon, and understandably so. This also makes her the most obvious target for those who don’t agree with invocation of saints. I agree that this virulent anti-marianism is sad. However, I would hesitate to chalk it up to simple misogyny, or as you stated, an unwillingness to allow any feminine element to God’s nature. That could certainly be one aspect of it for some people, but it would be difficult to prove given Mary’s unique position among the saints.

  48. rm gens's Gravatar rm gens
    March 1, 2018 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    I know it may have been noblesse oblige but Eglantyne did so much for children.

  49. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 1, 2018 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised this is so lopsided. Seraphim won me over, even though he lacks a cute theme song.

  50. Mary Jane Jane Ingalls's Gravatar Mary Jane Jane Ingalls
    March 1, 2018 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    Seraphim embodies so much of the folkloric traditions memorialized in Pushkins fairytales he is almost irresistible. Feeling very serious this morning (perhaps to much morning news), I feel I must make the more rationale choice of Eglentyne. I can’t help but feel that if we gave Eglentyne some fairy godmother attributes, somebody might remember her very real
    accomplishments. TTFN!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Pushkin? I am impressed. Can you say more?

  51. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 1, 2018 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Seraphim’s story made me think of Julian of Norwich, similarly a contemplative who helped many people who sought her wisdom and healing care. He may have been a hermit, but with his “peaceful spirit” brought healing to many. Incidentally, a pectoral cross is a symbol of devotion, not so much a “personal possession”. He had been healed of serious illness in childhood. He forgave those who beat him and left him mangled for life, not an easy thing to do. He is a good model for this retired clergy woman. I cast my vote for him.

  52. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 1, 2018 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Seraphim and his peaceful spirit.

  53. Marie Jones (Mama J)'s Gravatar Marie Jones (Mama J)
    March 1, 2018 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Much needed asceticism versus much needed actionism. . . what to do? (Ah, DO is the operative for my choice today.) Sing with us ye Seraphim as we raise a toast to Eglentyne.

  54. Georgene Kruzel's Gravatar Georgene Kruzel
    March 1, 2018 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    This match is particularly hard for me. While the desire to recognize the value of “doing and lasting” bodes well for Eglantyne the witness of “being” won me over this time. There are many today who “be” as Seraphim lived out his faith. That we don’t know them publicly as we know Save the Children doesn’t diminish their impact that threads through many lives across the world. I go with Seraphim.

  55. Megan O Jones's Gravatar Megan O Jones
    March 1, 2018 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    The saint who took action out in the world speaks to me today. Go Eglantyne!

    • eljay's Gravatar eljay
      March 1, 2018 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Megan! It’s not about who’s more worthy, but who speaks to me today. Save the children of Syria, of Sudan, of all the places in the world where there is abuse of power.

  56. Gloria's Gravatar Gloria
    March 1, 2018 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Ah Seraphim, the monastics get my vote today. Embracing the Holy Spirit did it for me. The life he lived is one I attempt to adapt to modern contingencies.

  57. Lia's Gravatar Lia
    March 1, 2018 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    But I love kids…

  58. Joyce Thewalt's Gravatar Joyce Thewalt
    March 1, 2018 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    So far I have only missed on one match-up which was between Peter and Paul. Unbelievable. Let’s see how long this streak lasts.

  59. Lia (A 13 yr old)'s Gravatar Lia (A 13 yr old)
    March 1, 2018 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    That’s great Oliver.

  60. Marie's Gravatar Marie
    March 1, 2018 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    I vote for E. Jebb….gotta love a lady who knows her dislike of children is about her and not the kids; and is open to God’s calling to protect the most vulnerable, no matter how pesky they may be!

    • Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
      March 1, 2018 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

      *like* Pawpaw said pretty much the same!

  61. hiii's Gravatar hiii
    March 1, 2018 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    go jebb
    p.s love that name

  62. Suanne's Gravatar Suanne
    March 1, 2018 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    I’m no W.C. Fields and I’m not a natural coo-er over kids…so I find kinship with Eglantyne. And like her – God has called me to work on behalf of foster care children & youth here in Los Angeles. “Systemic” love and care matter, too — God in her infinite wisdom has created a place for us to be of service in spite of our natural inclinations.

    • Belle's Gravatar Belle
      March 1, 2018 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Could not have said it better! I, too, am not a kid person, but I care very much about them and, ironically, have on many occasions found myself championing them despite myself. Eglantyne got my vote.

  63. March 1, 2018 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    I had the privilege as an undergraduate to learn from the late Donald Nicoll. He often gave people a little card made by his printer son with this St Seraphim quote: “You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives. Never condemn each other, not even those whom you catch committing an evil deed. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves.”
    I also recommend Seraphim’s “On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit” to anyone interested in personal prayer.

    • March 1, 2018 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

      After reading the comments, adding that Seraphim wasn’t always a hermit. He became a Confessor, welcoming all who came to him and listening to them and advising them.
      Hoping Eglantyne comes back around NOT up against one of my inspirations!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 1, 2018 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

        My understanding of the term “Confessor” as applied to the early eastern churches is that it pertained to those who had been tortured for the faith and refused to abjure Christianity (but weren’t killed), as opposed to those who had also been killed, and who were known as the “Martyrs.” I am wondering what the technical term is later for those who heard confession. Perhaps the term “confessor” evolved over the centuries. Just an interesting question. Julian of Norwich was also an anchorite, and she counseled people who came to her cell window.

    • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
      March 1, 2018 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for posting that, Angela.

    • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
      March 1, 2018 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

      “We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves.” WOW. Thank you for sharing that!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

      That is a very powerful prayer. Need to add this to my repertoire.

  64. John Mears's Gravatar John Mears
    March 1, 2018 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    As much as I admire, and sometimes attempt to practice, asceticism, my vote had to be for Eglantyne. Children in harms way, which is all too common a condition in this country as well as in many places throughout the world, need advocates to cry out for their relief – and do something about it – because they can neither cry out for themselves or do much to protect themselves or escape their situation.

  65. George Carlson's Gravatar George Carlson
    March 1, 2018 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    I haven’t the time to read all the posts, but has anyone asked why Seraphim (the Hebrew plural) and not Seraph (the singular)?

    • March 1, 2018 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

      My best guess is that it has something to do with the Russian language; “Seraphim” may be the masculine singular form. FromСерафим (translated to English via Google Translate): “Reverend Seraphim of Sarovsky (in the world: Prohor Isidorovich Moshnin, according to some sources: Maškun, 19 July 1754 (or 1759), Kursk – 2 January 1833, Sarovsky Monastery) is a hieromonk of the Sarov Monastery, among the most revered Russian saints. Founder and patron of the Dievev Monastery. Glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1903 on the initiative of Tsar Nicholas II.” From here, the article goes on, in Russian, of course.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 1, 2018 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I took the plural as generic, avoiding the suggestion that he himself was an angel.

  66. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 1, 2018 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I found todays choice surprisingly difficult. Having worked in a homeless shelter for 14 yrs my heart is for anyone who supports making the lives of displaced children better. (The largest percentage of people experiencing homelessness are children, a fact that the media seems to ignore). That being said, my personality and spiritual journey are much more in line with our brother Seraphim’s hermetical life, so wanted to vote for him as well. In the end I shut my eyes and hit a button- and Eglantyne got my vote.

  67. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    March 1, 2018 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    We are commanded to love our enemies, and Eglantyne “protested the Allied blockade” after the end of the war in order to save starving children. She gets my vote, hands down.

  68. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    March 1, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Save the Children, and save Lorelei. She’s two. She was a premie born with the rare disease Mitochondria. Yesterday was Rare Disease Day. Lorelei’s grandma is friends with Esther Ann who was in my car pool when we were about 6. She has flu for the fourth time in the last 49 days. She was in PICU in FL on vacation. Stopped breathing twice. Intubated and tube fed. She’s a warrior. They made it home to VA. Another flu. Beat it. Now for the fourth time. She sat up for the first time a few days ago. Pray for her. Follow her on Facebook at Friday’s with Lorelei. There’s a link for donations. A researcher is studying her particular strain. She needs a cure, she deserves a cure. Take a look. Please. She’s adorable. Her mom, Suz, is amazing. This family will cause you to give thanks–even if you don’t like children. Lorelei deserves your prayers. Learn about Mito. I voted for Eglantyne.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      The need for healing is overwhelming. No wonder Jesus did so much of it. Bless your Lorelei. Someone near and dear to me has the very same thing. It is a very hard row to hoe.

  69. March 1, 2018 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Recent interest in the history and workings of Orthodoxy led me to vote for Seraphim, even though I was pretty sure his biography would seem the less stellar of the two.

  70. March 1, 2018 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Ack! This makes the second day in a row that I’m unable to connect much with the story of either saint. I finally decided on Seraphim, though it looks like few are joining me in that.

    I do appreciate the fact that he asked the judge for mercy on those who attacked him, and I like his quote: “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.” I also like his unique status as a hospitable hermit, who welcomed visitors though he remained in his cabin in the woods. And he reportedly greeted his guests with the exclamation “Christ is risen!” He is risen indeed!

    Eglantyne’s work was admirable, but I’m unable to find anything about a Christian motivation behind it. That’s my basic requirement #1 for a saint. So I’m sticking with Seraphim.

    • Julie Watt Faqir's Gravatar Julie Watt Faqir
      March 1, 2018 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I love reading people’s thoughts about why they vote the way they do. Particularly yours today because the reason I selected Englantyne to win the whole thing was exactly because I find her work with Save the Children to fit in completely with my notion of Christianity.

      There is Matthew’s text about “Suffer the Little Children” afterall.

      And to me, looking out for those less fortunate and loving our neighbors is so much part of Christianity and Christ’s message.

      • March 2, 2018 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

        It certainly is, Julie. And I’ve voted for many saintly souls who, motivated by the love of Christ in their hearts, have looked after the less fortunate and loved their neighbors.

        However, Christians aren’t the only folks who are capable of doing good things like these. People can do good with different motivation, and that’s great too. It’s just that here in LM I think we’re looking at the contributions of Christian saints who did good in Christ’s name, and whose good deeds point ultimately to Him.

        In the case of Eglantyne, I was searching for even the slightest mention of religious conviction on her part, and found none. I suppose the fact that the Church of England recognizes her contribution means that she was at least a member. But even when I googled her to find out more, I still came up empty there. If anyone can find some evidence in that area from an outside source, I will be most happily proven wrong.

        BTW, I’m a big fan of Mahatma Ghandi, and if he popped up as a candidate for LM, I wouldn’t vote for him either. I’m not saying that Eglantyne wasn’t a Christian. It’s just that I’d like to see that come out more explicitly in the life of any saint I vote for. 🙂

  71. Jim Fox's Gravatar Jim Fox
    March 1, 2018 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Eglantyne for me! She found her niche despite her intolerance for brats. Actions speak louder than words. But to be honest it was her song that sold me.

  72. Jeanne King's Gravatar Jeanne King
    March 1, 2018 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I felt that Dymphna and Gertrude of Nivelles could have been part of the #metoo movement. So far only one of my picks have not advanced. I chose Thomas a Kempis over Maria Skobstova. My bracket is not busted. I think it will be soon. My final 4 is John the Evangelist, Dymphna, Edith and Katherine Von Bora.

  73. Carie's Gravatar Carie
    March 1, 2018 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Devoted to God is important and forgiveness, however the children are always our future and they are the innocent.
    I had to vote Eglantyne, her work is carried on and still helps our children. I feel blessed that my children and grandchildren have lived in a home where there was enough. I have always thought what would I have done if I did not have enough to feed my own children, That I cannot say and I continue to want to support those that help children worldwide.

  74. Carolyn Fishwick's Gravatar Carolyn Fishwick
    March 1, 2018 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Seraphim. I think we undervalue a life devoted to prayer at our peril. Paul exhorts us to pray constantly, which Seraphim certainly did, and his prayers were most likely for the rest of the world, including those called to activism. I wish we had more monks and nuns supporting us in prayer, today.

  75. Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
    March 1, 2018 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was pretty inspiring that Eglantyne Jebb did so much to help children when she didn’t really like them. I wish more people followed her example of showing Christ’s love to those they don’t really like.

  76. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 1, 2018 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m not surprised that Eglantyne is winning, but I’m sorry the percentage is so high. I voted for Seraphim — it would be nice for a contemplative saint who ministered to troubled souls one-to-one to get some attention. This means of our 12 contests so far, I have only gone with the winning saint 4 times. Ah well. I don’t fill out a bracket ahead of time, but I do have a prediction at this point. For the Faithful Four on the left side, Peter vs Maria Skobstova. That will be an interesting match-up if I’m right.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 4:10 pm | Permalink

      You’re in good company, Kathy. Good to hear from you again!

      • Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
        March 1, 2018 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

        I’m trying to be “good” this year and not doing Lent Madness until my lunch hour. So my comments tend to be way past 100, and I have no idea whether anybody is reading them. I appreciate your comment!

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 1, 2018 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Sure thing. I love reading the comments and reflecting on them.

  77. March 1, 2018 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I used to support Save the Children, and wile bouts of poverty prevents me from continuing to support them financially, I am happy to crown its founder with the golden halo!

  78. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    March 1, 2018 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    A devotee of Mary, Mother of God, Theotokos. Had to vote for Seraphim.

  79. john w miller's Gravatar john w miller
    March 1, 2018 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    the “great cloud of witnesses” mentioned in the Seraphim collect grabbed me…as I age and come closer to the end of my life here, the great cloud is a comfort to me. Seraphim was not flashy, not seeking popularity, not charismatic but was steadfast and steady.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Bless you, John.

  80. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    March 1, 2018 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    When you devise and implement a program to save and salvage numbers of needy children, it is not mandatory that you like/love/adore them..that’s your personal business. Programs to ensure their well-being and development are the crucial elements. I personally know people who just love and adore children and don’t have a clue about their well-being nor upbringing. Eglantyne gets it today ! She didn’t hate nor dislike the kiddies just wasn’t sappy nor maudlin. Give’er a break !

  81. Brenda McHenry's Gravatar Brenda McHenry
    March 1, 2018 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    You don’t have to be personally involved with a cause to appreciate its importance. I can understand the need to care for the earth without living outside in the elements. It was Eglantyne for me.

  82. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 1, 2018 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Much as I admire Orthodox spirituality, I have to go with someone else who doesn’t like children. God has always had a fine sense of irony. I briefly conducted a children’s choir once, and some of the kids told me after they grew up that they were terrified of me. (But they loved me anyway.)

  83. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 1, 2018 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I read “contemplation and self-denial” in the first sentence about Seraphim, I knew he was going to get whupped. He’s getting my vote, though. I Googled him for more details and learned it was in 1815, after he had a mystical vision, that he opened up his hermitage to visitors. So he spent nearly 20 years sharing what he had learned from his solitude and his previous life’s journey before he retired to the woods. I love the image of people trundling out to the forest for spiritual and emotional counseling and healing from this peaceful and merciful man. Fierce and fiery activists are awesome, but we need the quiet and constant saints too.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Speak, sister.

      • Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
        March 1, 2018 - 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Ditto. Quiet sounds good – my favorite oxymoron.

  84. Bruce Freeman's Gravatar Bruce Freeman
    March 1, 2018 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The Spirit does work in mysterious and compelling ways. Although not enamored of children per se, Eglantyne Jebb ended up with fire in her Spirit to protect them in the face of misery brought on by wars, disease, etc. Today, the Save the Children Foundation is serving in 120 countries (US included) and serves 157 million children worldwide! Not bad for someone who was a former teacher who ended up handing out pamphlets on a London Street in 1918 protesting the Allied blockade.

  85. March 1, 2018 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    One meal a day, and fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays! Now HE should be the patron saint of dieters.
    True, I’m more impressed with work and witness of Eglantyne, but Seraphim has spoken directly to my eating habits this lent. I feel like repenting now. Might as well give him my vote, too.

  86. March 1, 2018 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Eglantyne—voted for her out of empathy for that name—Actually for the good work!

    “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

  87. Joan Reyes's Gravatar Joan Reyes
    March 1, 2018 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry! When I first saw Eglantyne Jebb’s name in the subject line of the email, I thought I saw Eggplant.

    I’ll see myself out.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 2:31 pm | Permalink

      That’s Ms. Aubergine to you.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 1, 2018 - 3:19 pm | Permalink


      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 1, 2018 - 4:13 pm | Permalink


  88. March 1, 2018 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Seems as if we’re going with saints who are out in the world, actively organizing and improving the lives of others this year over the contemplatives. Perhaps there’s an undercurrent of need. To say nothing of what’s going on in the world today. I wonder how much we are being inspired by movements such as #metoo, the women’s matches and the (frankly inspirational) work of young people post Parkland.

  89. R. Reimer's Gravatar R. Reimer
    March 1, 2018 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Eglantyne – sadly our world needs those who carry on her work more than ever – so glad to have learned about this amazing woman -her life and work are an inspiration –

  90. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    March 1, 2018 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Eglantyne because I work for one of Save’s peer organizations, have many good friends at Save, and know what good work they do. I love St. Seraphim, but guys like him always seem so remote to me.

  91. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 1, 2018 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that Eglantyne loved children very much but found, when she turned to teaching them, that she didn’t actually like them very much. So she found a way to express her love that didn’t require her to like children personally. They can be little monsters; some people, including many parents on at least certain occasions, find that hard to deal with.

  92. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 1, 2018 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Did I miss something? There is nothing in the description of Eglantyne that indicates she had any kind of spiritual life. As a loyal British subject, she might have been a member of the established church but that’s pretty weak tea in the running for sainthood. Is a good track record as a humanitarian now all that it takes to qualify? For his many sacrifices on behalf of all the people of Middle Earth, I nominate Frodo for a run at the Golden Halo next year.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Okay, I’m going to joust with you a little on this one. Must one be a Christian to be a saint, or to be a saintly person? Ghandi comes to mind. . .

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 6:58 pm | Permalink

      I hate to pop your balloon, but Frodo was corrupted by the ring at the edge of the lava. If his finger hadn’t luckily been bitten off, Middle Earth would be enslaved to Mordor. No ring for Frodo, no golden halo. Next! But Tolkien, now he could be nominated for the golden halo . . .

    • Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
      March 1, 2018 - 6:59 pm | Permalink

      She was a faithful member of the Church of England, and her Christian faith informed her social activism. I have read sermons that she preached. She was influenced by Gore whilst at university.

  93. Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
    March 1, 2018 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

    The children won me over for Eglantyne, but must admit the video was also a plus.

  94. Lou Ritter's Gravatar Lou Ritter
    March 1, 2018 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I am a retired pediatrician with special interest in infants and toddlers and their emotional development. My heart aches for children in poverty, war torn countries, refugee camps, victims of abuse–all children without loving families and communities to grow up in. I had to vote for Eglantyne. But I have become more aware of the Orthodox Church because my daughter-in-law is originally from Bulgaria. It was hard not to vote for Seraphim.

  95. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 1, 2018 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Chaucer’s prioress in the Canterbury Tales was also named Eglantyne. I’m just saying.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 1, 2018 - 4:16 pm | Permalink


    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Amor Vincit Omnia. Unfortunately Chaucer’s prioress had her mind not on agape but on eros. Sad.

  96. FR Richard Asmussen's Gravatar FR Richard Asmussen
    March 1, 2018 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Seraphim of Sarvo Prokhor Moshnin embraced the Holy Spirit, contemplation & self-denial hermit twenty-five years we have no choice we must forgive mankind left for dead Holy Spirit not yet we must go on

  97. Michael Spring's Gravatar Michael Spring
    March 1, 2018 - 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Social Service seems necessary for sainthood. Though I voted for her I doubt she could hold her arms up for a thousand nights

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 7:05 pm | Permalink

      These British women reformers were very fit: Girl Guides and all. She doubtless did situps and pushups and could hold the “plank” position for a thousand days and nights. Did our emaciated Seraphim (whom I voted for) have a core to match hers?

  98. Gian's Gravatar Gian
    March 1, 2018 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Russian is my second language so I have to vote for Seraphim.

  99. RuthNL's Gravatar RuthNL
    March 1, 2018 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    This will probably make me 0 to 12, but I’m voting for Seraphim and I’m learning so much about the saints but nothing about going with the flow.

  100. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    March 1, 2018 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Astonishing that she did not care for children, but saw their need and helped them. God does indeed prepare us for his work, not just using the prepared. So glad she saw, heard, and then acted. Bless her.

  101. Melissa Ridlon's Gravatar Melissa Ridlon
    March 1, 2018 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Save the Children is often told that its aims are impossible – that there has always been child suffering and there always will be. We know. It’s impossible only if we make it so. It’s impossible only if we refuse to attempt it. -Eglantyne Jebb
    That says it all for me.

  102. Bonnie Caudell's Gravatar Bonnie Caudell
    March 1, 2018 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Eglantine went out into the world to find and meet the needs rather than retreat into the woods. I loved the video, too.

  103. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 1, 2018 - 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Having nominated Eglantyne Jebb I can do other than vote for her. A remarkable woman whose work continues to improve the lives of children around the world. A faithful member of the Church of England, she approached the Archbishop of Canterbury asking for churches to donate to famine relief. When he refused, she went to the Pope, who committed the catholic churches to collections thus shaming the ABC into supporting relief work.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Way to work the system! Watch and learn, children.

  104. Carol from the North's Gravatar Carol from the North
    March 1, 2018 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I worked with refugee children and saw the work the Save The Children do. I could not not vote for Eglantyne.

  105. Ekaterina Seraphimova's Gravatar Ekaterina Seraphimova
    March 1, 2018 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

    St. Seraphim is my husband’s saint, and “On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit” by St. Seraphim is one of my favorite writings. So I voted for him.

  106. Leslie McDonnell's Gravatar Leslie McDonnell
    March 1, 2018 - 7:37 pm | Permalink

    For quite a while I’ve been on the Lent Madness mailing list, but today (March 1) I didn’t receive the email about Eglantyne Jebb and Seraphim of Sarov — I had to go to your website. I enjoy Lent Madness so much. Please put me back on your emailing list.

  107. Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
    March 1, 2018 - 7:37 pm | Permalink

    To answer the question posted by the SEC, yes, I filled out a bracket, yes it’s still intact, but no, of course I haven’t been 100% accurate. Come on – Peter vs. Paul was a coin flip (I lucked out on that one) and who knew deacons and their faithful fans wouldn’t help Phoebe advance? I know you can’t reveal your own personal picks . . . but I’d pay $ to see ’em. Just saying.

  108. Margaret brenneman's Gravatar Margaret brenneman
    March 1, 2018 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    No doubt about it,the lady in question is deserving. However, the anti-puppy comment by the author of the paragraph alerted me to his/her bias against the animal kingdom and to whom I would never, ever entrust the care of a canine or feline, let alone any other member of the non-human population, and that bias led me to vote for the priest hermit without reservation.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 1, 2018 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

      I had to go back up and look for an “anti-puppy comment.” I believe the comment about Precious Moments-eyed puppies was a tongue-in-cheek commentary about how gosh-darn cute puppies are and how hard it is overcome any appeal that uses them. The larger point was that Jebb’s organization was ahead of its time in using celebrities; Sarah McLachlan and those too-cute puppies are but one example. I would entrust Emily with living creatures; after all, we’re in her hands today, aren’t we? and we’re doing fine. But I can immediately think of a certain bassett-eyed politician whom I would never trust with any human or animal life and would never let Speak in any House I cared about.

  109. Kathy Wicks's Gravatar Kathy Wicks
    March 1, 2018 - 8:29 pm | Permalink

    the women are really cleaning up!

    • Lee Marriott's Gravatar Lee Marriott
      March 1, 2018 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

      From day one, women have been my role-models. From the moment I ‘checked-out’ one of my still favorite albums by Streisand, from the local bookmobile, when I was six … and nobody ‘knew’ I was gay…

  110. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 1, 2018 - 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Wow, how can you not vote for a guy who could tell you the answers to your questions before you even ask them and was seen feeding a bear by hand? These were both very special people.

  111. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 2, 2018 - 12:18 am | Permalink

    Not to diminish her work, but I saw no mention of God or faith with Eglantyne or Save the Children. Looks like a secular social worker to me who had broad impact. I could have voted for her if something was said about her faith but there was nothing. Seraphim was a devout healer and prophet. His faith was very apparent.

  112. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 2, 2018 - 12:39 am | Permalink

    In 2011 as an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University for one of the core courses in my minor in Himan Rights I wrote a 22 page paper on the Declaration on the Rights of the Child and why the two countries that hadn’t ratified it as of that time hadn’t ratified it.

    TL;DR summary of that paper
    Children’s rights are human rights.
    Here is who hasn’t ratified the Declaration and why:
    Somalia – not enough government
    USA – too much government (*cough* Congressional inaction/opposition *cough*)

    I’m with Eglantyne Jebb because she persisted.

  113. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 2, 2018 - 12:56 am | Permalink

    Even though I was tempted to vote for Eglantine as I remembered time in London and the good work of Save the Children, I went with St. Seraphim as I had recently been introduced to him in a sermon about Taming the wild beasts of violence:

  114. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    March 2, 2018 - 1:08 am | Permalink

    The illustrations for the Lenten Madness use paintings done for St. Gregory of Nyssa in — where else? — California.

    If you go to the S. Greg of N website you can see the entire painting of the dancing saints, and there is a page with separate descriptions of each of the saints. One of the saints dancing is Seraphim with his bear. He was indeed feeding the bear, but his comment was, “The poor bear doesn’t know it’s Lent.” So the Bear is one of the four animal saintly figures dancing above as the congregation presumably dances below.
    The guy was obviously a pretty holy guy. His talent for self-torment is certainly remarkable. I like that he went into the wilderness but shared God’s love with the mute creatures around him.

  115. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    March 2, 2018 - 1:32 am | Permalink

    I felt respect and affection for Seraphim, and I also felt a powerful reaction to Ms Eglantyne.

    I feel the same awe I have for Frances Perkins, another noteworthy saint of similar sturdy character in our time. It seems that Eglantyne labored her whole life for the welfare of children, and she was dedicated to her mission in a manner similar to that of Florence Nightingale.
    Read some of her quotes here:

    This lady could very well go all the way.

  116. Noreen Ramsden's Gravatar Noreen Ramsden
    March 2, 2018 - 2:13 am | Permalink

    As a co-founder in the 1990’s, of the Children’s Rights Centre in Durban, South Africa, campaigning for every child’s right to survival, protection, development and ALSO THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE, I had to vote for Eglantine Jebb

  117. Gloria Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Ishida
    March 2, 2018 - 5:13 am | Permalink

    Eglantine herself may have been uncomfortable around children but that did not stop her from loving them and putting her life toward alleviating the terrible situations children so many were found in,

  118. Ellen Woodworth's Gravatar Ellen Woodworth
    March 2, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Nothing is said about her faith, so it would seem that Eglantyne may be a ‘secular saint’ – and God surely uses many to do his work. I can identify with her personal discomfort which did not prevent her urgent compassion toward children. It may have compelled it! And she persevered through ill health to serve when she might have been a social butterfly instead.

  119. Constance Santana's Gravatar Constance Santana
    March 2, 2018 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    When we voted for someone who introduced social security we knew she was also committed to God. There is nothing in the bio about Eglantyne that speaks to her godliness. Seriously? So being a fundraiser in itself makes you saintly? I don’t think so.

    • Beth Landrum's Gravatar Beth Landrum
      March 3, 2018 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Seraphim, because of his forgiveness , Remembering Jesus words ” Forgive them , they know not what they do” and his brave care of wildlife.

  120. Rosemary Tseng's Gravatar Rosemary Tseng
    March 4, 2018 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Eglantyne because she lived and worked in the “real” world. $he faced opposition bravely and took a large step in faith on behalf of children in crisis everywhere.

  121. Chaplain Tom Chapman FSJ's Gravatar Chaplain Tom Chapman FSJ
    March 5, 2018 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Jebb all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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