Nominationtide has arrived!

The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness wishes everyone a most blessed season of Nominationtide! For the next week, we will  accept saintly nominations for Lent Madness 2019. This holy season will run from Monday, April 23, at 8:00 am Eastern Time and conclude on Monday, April 30 at 8:00 am.


As we highlighted in a recent post, there are several Pharisaic rules and regulations in place to successfully nominate a saint. For easy reference, we are reprinting them here:

  1. The nominee must, in fact, be dead.
  2. The nominee must be on the official calendar of saintly commemorations of some church.
  3. We will accept only one nominee per person.*
  4. You must tell us WHY you are nominating the one person that you enter.*
  5. Your deceased pet, as wonderful as she or he may have been, is not eligible.
  6. The ONLY way to nominate a saint will be to leave a comment on this post.
  7. That means comments left on Facebook or Twitter don’t count.
  8. Scott and Tim may or may not be open to bribes.

* This is a new guideline as the SEC has received huge lists from individuals in the past.

Based on long-standing and byzantine criteria, certain saints are ineligible. See below to insure you don't waste your precious nomination. Oh, and Jesus and Mary are never eligible. Obviously.

The Saints of Lent Madness 2018 (all ineligible)

John the Evangelist
Anna the Prophet
Michael the Archangel
John of Beverley
Martin de Porres
Gertrude of Nivelles
Thomas à Kempis
Maria Skobtsova
Peter Claver
John Wesley
Edith Cavell
Eglantyne Jebb
Seraphim of Sarov
Isaac Watts
Catherine Winkworth
Isidore the Farmer
Phocas the Gardener
Katharina von Bora
Mary of Egypt
Richard Hooker
Margaret of Scotland
Charles I

Past Golden Halo Winners (ineligible)

George Herbert, C.S. Lewis, Mary Magdalene, Frances Perkins, Charles Wesley, Francis of Assisi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Florence Nightingale, Anna Alexander

From 2015 to 2017 (ineligible)

Franz Jagerstatter
Amelia Bloomer
Augustine of Canterbury
Raymond Nonnatus
Martin Luther
Julian of Norwich
Sojourner Truth
Molly Brant
Vida Scudder
Albert Schweitzer
Absalom Jones

As you contemplate your nomination, you may want to take a moment to visit the Lentorium and order your Anna Alexander 2018 Golden Halo winner mug or purple Lent Madness travel mug. Both mugs are new, and they'll be shipping out very soon.

And remember, nominations are now like voting: just one per person. Let the Nominations for Lent Madness 2019 start rolling in!


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668 comments on “Nominationtide has arrived!”

  1. Jacob Riis, author of "How the Other Half Lives," led to a revolution in social reform. Newly honored with a place in "The Great Cloud of Witnesses."

    1. I would like to nominate Saint Marianne Cope, because of her selfless and heroic work with the lepers in Molokai.

  2. I would like to nominate Saint Nicholas. I think it would be good for people to learn about the real Saint Nicholas and what he did to help poor girls avoid a life of probable prostitution and definite poverty. Plus, he punched out Arius at the Council of Nicaea. How cool is that?

    1. I would like to nominate Roswitha/Hroswitha, a 10th century German nun who wrote plays about saintly people, usually ones who died for their faith. Her works may have been the only dramas written in Europe between the fifth century and the fifteenth!

    2. Second St. Nicholas! Everyone has heard of him, but few know much about him. Perfect opportunity to learn during Lent Madness!

    3. I would like to nominate St. Laura, abbess and martyr.( Feast day October 19) A lot of people may not know there is a St. Laura--would be a good teaching saint, plus I have some kitsch, but would love to find more!

  3. I nominate William Wilberforce. He devoted his life to the abolition of slavery until his death. This is a man who could have lived a posh life. Yet he chose to serve those who did not have a voice, ever sinful of the needs of others. Truly living with a servant heart, one of my favorite quotes, (taken from the British Abolitionists Page):
    "'Thank God', said Wilberforce, 'that I have lived to witness a day in which England is willing to give twenty millions sterling for the Abolition of Slavery'. Three days later, on 29 July 1833, he died. He is buried in Westminster Abbey."

    1. Great recommendation! Hope he's on an "official calendar of saintly commemorations of some church" somewhere. If he's not, he should be.

      1. As required by the SEC, St. William has an official feast day. William Wilberforce's feast day is July 30. He is listed in the Episcopal Calendar, "Holy Women, Holy Men" (2010), p. 495.

        Just sayin'.

  4. I would like to nominate John Paul XXIII. He bought a the fact that all churches should work together not against each other, a type of dialogue that never happened before.

    1. I think you mean Pope John XXIII.
      I nominate him too. He opened the windows of the church and allowed the Holy Spirit to blow through. And he was a very happy person.

  5. St. Alexis (the Roman one, not the Russian ond). Great a d rather funny story. He ran off on his wedding night in order to remain a virgin and returned years later to live the rest of his life unrecognized under the stairs in his parent's house. Patron of the poor, pilgrims, peoplr looking for a home, and pur little Episcopal church in Jackson, MS.

  6. I nominate Martin Luther King, Jr., who was powerfully Christ-like in his astonishingly non-violent, loving method for protesting racism and bigotry. He fought hatred without hatred - how cool is THAT?

  7. I nominate Mother Katherine Drexel. Drexel came from a privileged background, but one of pious support for those in need. Her heart for the Black and Indian populations provided a sturdy foundation for their betterment at a come when the was much disregard for their well-being. What a role-model!

  8. I nominate Mother Theressa. Her work in India speaks for itself. Besides, Billy Graham is not eligible due to your rule #2. (Unless these rules were made to be broken

    1. I heartily second Mother Teresa of Calcutta, someone truly deserving of the jGolden Halo. She definitely has been one of the most inspirational religious figures of my lifetime. There are so many quotations attributed to her that touch me. For me the most memorable was, when someone asked why she spent time helping those who were beyond hope, and she said that "though they lived like animals, they could die like angels."

  9. I nominate Florence Li-Tim Oi, a previous Golden Halo contender, who embodies the gifts of the spirit and deserves a comeback.

  10. I would like to nominate Zita of Lucca. Her feast day is April 27 and on that day they parade her mummified body through Lucca. She worked as a housekeeper for a wealthy family. She is remembered for her extreme generosity and for an encounter with an an angel on Christmas Eve.

  11. I would like to nominate the Irish medieval female saint Gobnait. She is fascinating, not only as an abbess and leader of the faithful but for her connection with bees, as a keeper and the patron saint of beekeepers. Bees need all the help they can get these days and highlighting Gobnait's life is both spiritually and environmentally sound right now.

    1. I second this nomination, Gobnait's connection to bees and her faithful life recommend her as a Golden Halo contender.

    2. Yes, I third this! I've recently learned about her because of the novel In Praise of the Bees. Great read, btw.

      1. Fourth! St. Gobnait was also said to have cured one of her sick nuns by using honey and she is credited with saving the people at Ballyvourney from the plague. She is also known for driving off invaders with her superhero bees! She was also a patron saint of iron workers. I first learned about her some years ago from a priest at a Celtic service.

  12. I would like to nominate Pauli Murray. Honored on July 1 on the Episcopal Calendar, Murray lead an amazing life, as detailed in the 2017 biography Jane Crow: the Life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg. Among her accomplishments, she was the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest, the first black to receive a law degree from Yale, and a co-founder of the National Organization of Women (NOW). She was influential on Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

    1. Fourth. Her autobiography is amazing. (Also, she was the first woman to serve on the vestry of her church, because vestries didn't have women on them.)

  13. I'd like to nominate St Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of acolytes, as an encouragement to the youngest members of our ministry teams.

  14. I would like to nominate St. James the Greater. We conducted a Lenten series entitled: Saints, Myth, Magic, Mortal, and St. James really fits that bill. Everything from being the first apostle martyred to his journey to Spain and the many myths surrounding this mortal "son of thunder" makes for a wonderful candidate.

    1. Definitely "third" St. James the Greater's nomination. He bravely traveled to an unknown land to preach the Good News and then returned to Jerusalem. We can only imagine how this "son of thunder" fearlessly challenged the ruthless Herod, probably knowing that his preaching would result one day in a martyr's death!

  15. I nominate St Sebastian. He has feast days in Roman and Greek churches ( Jan 20 and Dec 18). He was martyred twice, and his cranium got moved around and used for communion, both of which make for interesting Lent Madness reading! He is also the patron saint of athletes, which ties him to the March Madness namesake of Lent Madness. Now that I write this, it might not be fair to have Sebastian in the competition because he would have an unfair advantage!

  16. I would like to nominate St. Hildegard, also called Hildegard of Bingen or Hildegard von Bingen. She was born in 1098 and died on September 17, 1179.She was canonized on May 10, 2012. Her feast day September 17. She was a German abbess, a visionary mystic, and composer.

  17. I nominate Saint Photini. She is recognized by the Orthodox Church. She was the woman Yeshua met at the well. She was the first person to whom Yeshua revealed himself as the Messiah.

    1. Second! Although I know her as "Photina" She, her son and sisters were martyred by Nero for being Christians (and converting his daughter, Domnina!). The son and sisters were beheaded, but Photina, a few weeks later, was thrown into a well where she "joyously gave her soul to the Lord".

  18. I nominate Blessed Jonathan Myrick Daniels. On August 20, 1965, in the small Black Belt town of Hayneville AL, this white Episcopal seminarian from New Hampshire jumped in front of a shotgun wielded by Tom Coleman to take the blast meant for a 17-yr-old African American girl, Ruby Sales. He fell, mortally wounded, on the steps of the Cash Store. His martyrdom had an enormous impact on the consciousness of whites in AL, particularly on Episcopalians. In no small part because of Blessed Jonathan, AL has moved, however slowly, from blatant racism towards a more equitable and just society. For many years now, thousands of Alabamians gather for an annual pilgrimage held in Hayneville, in August, to remember the life of Blessed Jonathan and to reaffirm the ideas for which he died.

  19. I would like to nominate Marianne Cope of Molokai. Marianne Cope OSF, also known as Saint Marianne of Molokaʻi, (January 23, 1838 – August 9, 1918) was a German-born American religious sister who was a member of the Sisters of St Francis of Syracuse, New York, and administrator of its St. Joseph's Hospital in the city. Known also for her charitable works, in 1883 she relocated with six other sisters to Hawaiʻi to care for persons suffering Hansen's Disease on the island of Molokaʻi and aid in developing the medical infrastructure in Hawaiʻi. Despite direct contact with the patients over many years, Cope did not contract the disease. In 2005, Cope was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI. Cope was declared a saint by the same pope on October 21, 2012, along with Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Native American. Cope is the 11th person in what is now the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

  20. I nominate Pauli Murray
    .... This was Murray’s lifelong fate: to be both ahead of her time and behind the scenes. Two decades before the civil-rights movement of the nineteen-sixties, Murray was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus in Richmond, Virginia; organized sit-ins that successfully desegregated restaurants in Washington, D.C.; and, anticipating the Freedom Summer, urged her Howard classmates to head south to fight for civil rights and wondered how to “attract young white graduates of the great universities to come down and join with us.” And, four decades before another legal scholar, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, coined the term “intersectionality,” Murray insisted on the indivisibility of her identity and experience as an African-American, a worker, and a woman.

    Despite all this, Murray’s name is not well known today, especially among white Americans. The past few years, however, have seen a burst of interest in her life and work. She’s been sainted by the Episcopal Church, had a residential college named after her at Yale, where she was the first African-American to earn a doctorate of jurisprudence, and had her childhood home designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior. Last year, Patricia Bell-Scott published “The Firebrand and the First Lady” (Knopf), an account of Murray’s relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, and next month sees the publication of “Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray” (Oxford), by the Barnard historian Rosalind Rosenberg.........

    1. So excited to see multiple nominations for Pauli Murray! She broadened my understanding of feminism as a young woman, including how the Christian faith connects to social justice.

  21. I nominate Saint Spyridon. He is the Wonderworker and Bishop of Tremithus. His feast days are:
    East: December 12, Cheesefare Saturday
    West: December 14

    He did many wonderful miracles, however, I nominate him as I believe he has interceded on my behalf with our Lord and Savior. I ask him to help my son in the military for peace and a return to the faith. I ask him to beseech the Lord for his safety and to return whole in body, mind, spirit. My son is in Afganistan.

    My son has had shall we say some issues and I strongly feel the Lord has protected him and I feel St Spyridon has helped.

  22. I nominate Father Theodore Hesburgh:
    Hesburgh, one of the country's "most respected clergyman,was a strong supporter of interfaith dialogue. From his position within the American political establishment and as a major figure in the Catholic Church from the 1950s to the 1990s, he used his influence to urge support of political policies and legislation to help solve national problems.As a fifteen-year member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Hesburgh took a public stand against racism and prejudice. He used his skills as a leader to forge strong alliances, even with those who held different political philosophies. For Hesburgh, civil rights were a moral issue, as he once declared:
    "Our moral blindness has given us a divided America and ugly America complete with black ghettos. …We allow children to grow up in city jungles, to attend disgraceful schools, to be surrounded with every kind of physical and moral ugliness, and then we are surprised if they are low in aspiration and accomplishment."

  23. I would like to nominate Pandita Ramabai, the tireless reformer for women's rights in India. A scholar and a poet, she fought all her life for the education of women, for freedom from child marriage and oppression of widows, and for better living conditions and access to medical care for her sisters.

    Beyond her work in India, she traveled the world lecturing on the need for female education. In an address to Lord Ripon's Education Commission, she declared with fervor, "In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the educated men of this country are opposed to female education and the proper position of women. If they observe the slightest fault, they magnify the grain of mustard-seed into a mountain, and try to ruin the character of a woman." How little some things have changed!

    She is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 5 April...and yet many of us have never heard her story. I hope this year, that can finally change!

  24. St. Bernadette (of Lourdes).

    She would provide fascinating conversation about the role of "things" in the spiritual life: are all those "tacky" souvenirs sold by the truckload in Lourdes really awful, tawdry, and unworthy, as so many would have it, or are they sincere mementos of a genuine spiritual experience, expressions of hope for a sick loved one or oneself? how much weight should we give to the esthetics of sacramentals and other objects of piety-- are only "pretty" and "sophisticated" items worthy? are people of more refined taste (and bigger budgets) the only ones allowed to own physical objects that express their faith?

    St.Bernadette's story would also open a conversation about the role of the Blessed Virgin in the Anglican Communion and how that role both compares and contrasts to the traditions and theology of Roman Catholics (cf. the Anglican/Roman "Seattle Statement" of 2004, "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ", fruit of a commission co-chaired by Frank Griswold). In fact, a conversation about the various dispositions vis-a-vis the BVM on the part of "Catholic" and "Protestant" Episcopalians would be worth having.

    Lourdes asks challenging questions about the relation, both contemporary and historical, between religion and science.

    St.Bernadette, as the first saint to be photographed and whose cult was propagated by way of various modern technologies (not only photography but also the railroad, the postcard, and mass-produced objects), provides excellent fodder for conversations about the role of technology in our spiritual lives and about pilgrimages both ancient and modern and indeed about saints both ancient and modern (surely a hot topic for Lent Madness).

    She is also a saint largely known by way of film (cf. The Song of Bernadette, dir, Henry King, 1943, nominee for Best Picture) -- a first for Lent Madness? Jennifer Jones's Oscar-winning performance as St. Bernadette inspired countless women, mostly but not exclusively, Catholic women, to name their daughters "Bernadette."

    In closing, two words: unparalleled kitsch.

  25. I nominate George Herbert, priest and poet. He is commemorated on February 27th in the Episcopal Church. His poetry and the honesty of the spiritual struggles he describes have often moved me to tears. He reminds me that no effort to glorify God is too small.

    1. Since he already won the Golden Halo, he is ineligible. Please, everyone, check the lists of ineligible saints before you use your one nomination!

  26. I think Hildegard of Bingen for her work at a time women in the Church were often seen, but not heard. She was a German abbess and mystic. Her visions are inspiring others to this day.

  27. I wish to nominate Absolom Jones. Born a slave on a plantation in what is today the State of Delaware around 1746 his owner, recognizing that Absolom was intelligent, ordered that he be given instruction in reading. Absolom quickly learned and soon had several books, including the Bible, to read. He was allowed to marry and was eventually able to purchase his freedom after first obtaining his wife's freedom from slavery. Together with Richard Allen they founded the Free African Society. Absolom Jones was ordained a Deacon in 1795 by Bishop William White, and a priest in 1802. He was an earnest preacher, and an outspoken opponent of slavery, but was best known for his constant visiting and mild manner. Known as the Black Bishop of Delaware, he is that State's only Saint. Jones was an example of persistent faith in God and the Church as God's instrument. He died in 1818

  28. I would like to nominate Mr. Rogers, that is Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood fame. I have always believed in this man's saintly qualities, and then recently saw a documentary called Mr. Rogers and Me. It was so inspiring. This man believed that everyone had good qualities and was worthwhile. He lived that belief everyday. If you have never watched the video of him saving public television, watch it. The man he addresses visibly changes and softens as Mr. Rogers speaks. In these days of intolerance and hate experienced almost without ceasing, Fred Rogers is the kind of saint we need.

    1. I second Kathy's nomination of Fred Rogers heartily. I cannot find him on any list, so I imagine I am breaking a nomination tide rule... but that is just like me. Few have personified the "Love your neighbor" commandment more effectively or more widely than Fred Rogers. This wonderful article in the Atlantic sums it all up more succinctly and completely than I can. I offer this quote "Using puppets rather than a pulpit, he preached a message of inherent worth and unconditional lovability to young viewers, encouraging them to express their emotions with honesty. The effects were darn near supernatural."

      I agree with Kathy. He is the kind of Saint we need.

    2. I nominate Jackie Robinson who in broke baseball's color barrier in 1947. Robinson was a pioneer for people of color and was breaking racial barriers an entire decade before the Dr. King's civil rights movement.

      Jackie Robinson is celebrated on April 15 throughout the Church of Baseball which is far closer to having a date on a church's calendar than Fred Rogers.

      "I've tried 'em all [religions], I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball." - Annie Savoy, Bull Durham

    3. Agree wholeheartedly!! Surely some church somewhere has had the good sense to commemorate this lovely, saintly man who helped so many children of all ages in his life.

    4. I concur. I knew Fred Rogers when I was a small child living in Pittsburgh. He was as sweet and gentle in real life as he was on TV.

  29. I ask the Supreme Executive Committee in their bountiful wisdom and mercy to please consider John Kline for Lent Madness. Kline was a Brethren elder and martyr who was outspoken against slavery and the civil war, and refused to let the boundaries between the union and confederacy get in the way of his dual vocation as a minister of the gospel and Doctor to those in need. He was murdered my his own neighbors, who believe him to be a union spy. His witness is needed now more than ever. It would require the Supreme Executive Committee to in their mercy make an exception, as being Anabaptists Brethren do not included saints on our liturgical calendar, but if we did John Kline would definitely be on it. There is a memorial at the site of his martyrdom, and his homestead has been preserved and is open to visitors.