For the Golden Halo: Maria Skobtsova vs. Anna Alexander

2017 Golden Halo winner Florence Nightingale prepares to anoint the 2018 winner.

It's hard to believe Lent Madness 2018 is coming to an end. We started this Lenten journey five weeks ago on "Ash Thursday" and it will conclude tomorrow as the Golden Halo is announced at 8:00 am Eastern Time on Maundy Thursday. We began with 32 saintly souls and, with your help, we have whittled down the field to just two: Maria Skobtsova and Anna Alexander.

Along the way we’ve met some truly remarkable holy women and men. Perhaps you learned about some folks you’d never heard of or maybe you renewed acquaintances with saints who have long offered inspiration. Of course the entire notion of placing saints in a bracket is absurd — each “contestant” has already earned a crown of righteousness in addition to a “golden halo.” But at the heart of Lent Madness is the abiding conviction that Lent need not be gloomy or depressing. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically devoted to being drawn into deeper relationship with the risen Christ?

In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we have made some new online friends, encountered a community of believers who take their faith but not themselves too seriously, learned some things, were inspired by saintly witnesses, and had a lot fun along the way.

We literally couldn’t have done this without our “Celebrity Bloggers” to whom we offer sincere gratitude. Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Fitch Courie, David Creech, Neva Rae Fox, Marcus Halley, David Hansen, Carol Howard Merritt, Emily McFarlan Miller, and David Sibley — you guys rock! Thanks also to Bracket Czar Adam Thomas and Celebrity Chef Maria Ross.

We're also grateful to the entire team at Forward Movement, especially Lexi Caoili, Alyssa Finke, Theo Lambert, Jason Merritt, and Richelle Thompson.

Finally, thanks to all who have participated in this devotional journey. We’ve loved having each one of you along for the “madness” and on behalf of the Supreme Executive Committee we wish you a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.

To make it to the Championship Round, Maria made it past Thomas à Kempis, Quiteria, Martin de Porres, and Esther. Anna defeated Peter Claver, Edith Cavell, Eglantyne Jebb, and Richard Hooker. (Click on the names of the vanquished saints to refresh you memory about what has been previously written about these saintly souls).

Everything you need to know about Maria and Anna has already been written. For this final round we simply ask our two remaining Celebrity Bloggers (Megan Castellan for Maria and Anna Fitch Courie for Anna) to supply a single image of their saint and their favorite quote either by or about their saint.

Maria Skobtsova

Christ, who approached prostitutes and tax collectors, and sinners, can hardly be the teacher of those who are afraid to soil their garments, who are completely devoted to the letter, who live only by the rules, and who govern their whole life according to the rules. -- Maria Skobtsova

Anna Alexander

In a calling of sixty years or more, her indomitable spirit and fierce devotion to God still illuminates our understanding of ministry. -- Bishop C.K. Nelson, Bishop of Georgia.

Let's award the 2018 Golden Halo!

Maria Skobtsova vs. Anna Alexander

  • Anna Alexander (62%, 4,676 Votes)
  • Maria Skobtsova (38%, 2,903 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,579

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