Dominic vs. Marina the Monk

In yesterday’s saintly action, Richard Allen defeated Hannah Grier Coome 61% to 39% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, where he’ll face William Wilberforce for a shot at the Elate Eight.

Today it’s Dominic vs. Marina the Monk in this intriguing battle of monastics. The winner of this matchup will square off against Ignatius of Loyola in the next round.

Yesterday’s contest is, to our mind, one of the best things about Lent Madness (besides the swag in the Lentorium): Two lesser known saints with fascinating backstories amplified under the warm glow of the purple lights, to our collective inspiration and edification. Plus, while she didn’t win, the electioneering by the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Canada on behalf of Hannah Grier Coome was something otherworldly (she was one of their early leaders). We encourage you to like their Facebook page, where you can see the good work they’re doing and watch the slick (okay, heartwarming) campaign video they produced on Hannah’s behalf. Nicely done, good sisters!


Dominic Born in Castille, Spain, in the twelfth century, Dominic became an Austin Canon (a priest following the rule of Saint Augustine) and lived in a religious community at the cathedral of Osma. In this role, he gained a reputation for both zealous scholarship and care for the poor. When forced to choose between the two, Dominic sold his books to help the infirm and needy.

As he moved up the church ranks, he traveled on diplomatic missions and in France, he met Cathars, members of a religious sect deemed heretical by the Roman Catholic church. Dominic understood that the only way to convert the Cathars was with missionaries who were both intellectually strong and living under a vow of poverty.

To that end, in 1215, he established the Order of Preachers in Toulouse, France, to supply the church with learned clergy who could travel two-by-two throughout Spain, France, and Italy. The newly founded Dominican Order had a democratic structure with superiors occupying positions of power for short terms. Support from several bishops as well as the pope were critical in Dominic’s success. By design, the Order of Preachers was also closely linked with universities all over Europe. Though he never converted the Cathars, the Dominican Order and Dominic’s ministry has transformed people throughout the ages.

Dominic died in Bologna in 1221 at the age of 51, worn out by his hard work, travel, and austerities. True to his vow of poverty, he was known to fast, wear threadbare clothing in winter, and refuse a bed. Iconography often shows Dominic with a lily, holding a torch, and with a black-and-white dog, which in Latin is a pun of the name domini canes (Dog of our Lord). He is the patron saint of astronomers because when he was baptized, his mother saw a star shining in his chest.

Although several Dominican friars became associated with the Inquisition, Dominic died before it began. However, the Spanish inquisitors had a painting made of Dominic as a sort of anachronistic justification of their actions, and Protestants ran with the characterization, using it to criticize the Dominicans of their day.

Collect for Dominic
Almighty God, Grant unto all your people a hunger for your Word and an urgent longing to share your Gospel, that like your servant Dominic we might labor to bring the whole world to the knowledge and love of you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Amber Belldene

Marina the Monk

MarinaBefore Joan of Arc led the French army to victory, Marina the Monk shaved her head and entered the monastery.

The details of Marina’s life are sketchy, but it’s generally believed she lived in the fifth or eighth centuries in Lebanon. Her mother died when she was young, and she was raised by her devout Christian father, who planned to retire to the Monastery of Qannoubine after she was married. When she was old enough to marry, Marina asked her father why he would save his own soul and “destroy” hers. He answered, “What shall I do with you? You are a woman.”

She immediately shaved her head, dressed herself in men’s clothing, and took the male name Marinos.

Seeing his child was serious, Marinos’ father was supportive, and the two entered the monastery together, sharing a cell there until he died. After that time, Marinos lived an increasingly ascetic life of fasting and prayer.

But that’s not what the monk is most remembered for.

Some time later, Marinos was traveling on business for the monastery and spent the night at an inn. The innkeeper’s daughter was raped, and when she became pregnant, her abuser told her to name Marinos as the child’s father.

The abbott confronted Marinos. Because the monk did not immediately offer a defense, the abbot took it to be an admission of guilt and forced Marinos to leave the monastery.

Marinos remained at the gates, living as a beggar and raising the child born to the innkeeper’s daughter. A number of years passed before the monks convinced the abbot to allow Marinos to return.

Marinos died at age forty after a brief illness. While preparing the body for burial, the monks were shocked to discover Marinos could not have fathered the child.

Unlike Joan of Arc, Marinos was not dismissed as a heretic or witch. Rather, all reportedly were convicted of how unjustly they had treated the pious monk. Another monk who was blind in one eye even claimed he miraculously recovered his sight during the funeral prayers.

Collect for Marinos
Teach us, Lord God, to refrain from false judgments about the sins of others, and to hold fast to our path of discipleship when we suffer unjustly because of judgments made by others. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

Emily McFarlan Miller

Dominic vs. Marinos the Monk

  • Marinos the Monk (62%, 5,305 Votes)
  • Dominic (38%, 3,205 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,510

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Dominic: Fra Angelico [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Marinos: By Richard de Montbaston, from Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea (traduction de Jean de Vignay), France, Paris [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

208 Comments to "Dominic vs. Marina the Monk"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 14, 2019 - 8:00 am | Permalink

    Let Lenten commotion begin again;
    Which saintly contender will win again?
    This monastic, I ween,
    Heads to Saintly Sixteen:
    If anyone can, St. Dominican.

    • Ann G.'s Gravatar Ann G.
      March 14, 2019 - 8:03 am | Permalink

      #OP #VoteDominic #AdrianDominicans

      • Monica H's Gravatar Monica H
        March 14, 2019 - 8:58 am | Permalink

        Yes! I tutor adults in literacy in Detroit with the Adrian Sisters. Dominic gets my vote for them and for the Rosary – how was that omitted from this write up?

        • Ann G.'s Gravatar Ann G.
          March 14, 2019 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

          We don’t learn everything in the first round. If she’d gotten to the Elate Eight, maybe the Rosary would be mentioned in the “saintly kitsch”? Just a thought…or you could ask Amber Belldene.

      • Renee D's Gravatar Renee D
        March 14, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

        We live about 8 miles away from the Dominican Motherhouse in Sinsinawa, WI. We’ve attended lots of events there, and the Sisters are wonderful, so Dominic got my vote.

      • Sandra Chambers's Gravatar Sandra Chambers
        March 14, 2019 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Love the Adrian Dominicans.

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 14, 2019 - 8:21 am | Permalink

      For those of you who thought you’d missed your chance:

      “Domini canis” = “Dog of the Lord”


      • Jenny's Gravatar Jenny
        March 14, 2019 - 8:30 am | Permalink

        The excitement over dogs gives me hope that SOME year my nomination of St. Guinefort for Lent Madness will succeed.

        • Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
          March 14, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink


          • Jim Wiant's Gravatar Jim Wiant
            March 14, 2019 - 12:32 pm | Permalink


          • Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
            March 14, 2019 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

            I am batting 1000 this vote for my voting record! All on the losing side. Well, I have never sought out, nor been in the company of the popular ones, so this is nothing new. But I think that maybe there is a bit of saintliness in most of us!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 14, 2019 - 9:32 am | Permalink

      “Ween”!! Haven’t come across that word this decade! And “Dominc-can”! John, you outdid yourself today.

      • ninga's Gravatar ninga
        March 14, 2019 - 10:46 am | Permalink

        i like this

    • lazer beam's Gravatar lazer beam
      March 14, 2019 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      marina all the way

    • March 14, 2019 - 10:31 am | Permalink

      Hey John Cabot, I read your limericks before I read the biographies and vote. I don’t always agree with your choice but I always agree with your use of the language.

      • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
        March 14, 2019 - 11:09 am | Permalink

        Nancy, I agree with your opinion above! I’m a great fan of wordplay, especially puns, and greatly appreciate John Cabot’s contributions to this community. As for my choice today, I go with Dominic, for many reasons, but one of which is that, when I was a hospital chaplain, I worked alongside some wonderful Dominican sisters, and I value highly his lasting contributions to the practice of Christianity. I don’t blame him for the Inquisition.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 14, 2019 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      Major, major groan! (Which is high praise for a pun.) I was going to vote for Marina the Monk, partly for her wonderful story and partly because the only woman so far in the Saintly Sixteen is Martha of Bethany.
      But your limerick–and having known a pair of amazing Dominican priests–is moving me toward the founder of the Order of Preachers.

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 15, 2019 - 9:01 am | Permalink

      Oh, somewhere in the Promised Land the Halo’s shining bright;
      the choir is singing praises, and the church is filled with light,
      and other men are chuckling as they watch children clown;
      but I’ve got a broken bracket — Saintly Dominic’s gone down.

      — with respects (and apologies) to Ernest Thayer

  2. March 14, 2019 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Let’s make it up to Marina, and anybody else we might have misjudged in our own day.

    • Barb Morris's Gravatar Barb Morris
      March 14, 2019 - 10:36 am | Permalink


  3. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    March 14, 2019 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Dominic. My sister’s a Dominanican nun!

    • Shelley M's Gravatar Shelley M
      March 14, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      Same here!

    • Sherrie Petrochuk's Gravatar Sherrie Petrochuk
      March 14, 2019 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I had to go for Dominic. My daughter attended a Dominican school from kindergarten on up, receiving an excellent education and giving her a love for social justice!

  4. Thomas's Gravatar Thomas
    March 14, 2019 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Striking a blow for inclusion, let’s vote for the transgendered monk.

    • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
      March 14, 2019 - 11:40 am | Permalink

      Thomas, Marinos wasn’t transgender. Women of her era who dressed or lived as men did so for safety or security or because of restrictions imposed on them by patriarchal oppression. Please don’t disrespect people by posthumously and anachronistically assigning identities to them that they probably did not assume for themselves. (The same thing is often done to Joan of Arc, who wore men’s clothes in prison to prevent being raped. It needs to stop.)

      That said, I cast my vote for Marinos for her courage in infiltrating a religious world that excluded women. Had she been discovered or revealed herself, she likely would have been tortured to death or burned at the stake as a witch. Ironically, assumed to be a man, the price she paid for a false accusation of rape was much lower.

    • Alyssa's Gravatar Alyssa
      March 14, 2019 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

      How do we know Marinos’s self-understanding of gender? I don’t think we can assume one way or the other–that Marinos understood herself to be a woman hiding her gender, or that Marinos understood himself to be a man, despite the gender assigned to him at birth. “Transgender” as a category may not have been understood at that time, but people fully embracing lives outside of the gender categories assigned to them at birth is not a new thing nor has it always been for reasons of safety, security, or restrictions, though cross-dressing for those reasons still happens today. I don’t think wondering if a historical person would understand themselves to be transgender if given today’s vocabulary and gender categories is disrespectful, because being transgender is just one more wonderful way to live out the image of God!

      Even though we can’t go back and ask Marinos to clear this up for us, Marinos is a wonderful saint who can be a hero for cisgender women, a hero for transgender people, and a hero for adoptive parents (we could list more groups…) because Marinos shares life experiences with each of these groups.

      • Rufus Hallmark's Gravatar Rufus Hallmark
        March 14, 2019 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Alyssa, I appreciate you for your mediation! I had similar glimmers of thought about Kathleen’s remarks, but could not have expressed them so clearly.

      • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
        March 14, 2019 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Eloquently put – thank you!

      • Liz's Gravatar Liz
        March 14, 2019 - 11:29 pm | Permalink

        Is this Alyssa Milano? That would be do cool if she was participating in Lent Madness!

    • Mary Palmer Legare's Gravatar Mary Palmer Legare
      March 14, 2019 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Amen to that!

  5. Linda Mackie Griggs's Gravatar Linda Mackie Griggs
    March 14, 2019 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    What a heart-grabbing story of Marinos–thank you for bringing it to light.

  6. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    March 14, 2019 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    We are all made of star stuff! Had to vote for Dominic, patron saint of astronomers!

    • Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
      March 14, 2019 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      Yes! A star shining in his chest. And then Dominic went on to fulfill the promise of that star. Dominic for me today.

      • March 14, 2019 - 8:58 pm | Permalink

        I guess this wasn’t the Dr. Seuss variety.

  7. Carolyn Mack's Gravatar Carolyn Mack
    March 14, 2019 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Marina, who had a wonderfully supportive earthly father and who supported the wronged girl led to bear false witness by her rapist, gets my vote.

    • Shannon Reel's Gravatar Shannon Reel
      March 14, 2019 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Agreed! What incredible strength to not only not reveal herself when accused but also to care for the child herself. Let’s hear it for mothers!

  8. Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
    March 14, 2019 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    «Dominique, -nique, -nique s’en alle’ tout simplement… »

    Sœur Sourire’s song from my high school days will be in my head all day!

    Marina is a new saint to me, and more than a little fabulous. I’m sticking with my old friend. « Il ne parle que du bon Dieu! » Plus, my rector is a former Dominican. And John Cabot’s limerick is the best ever. Sorry, Marina.

    • janet roth's Gravatar janet roth
      March 14, 2019 - 9:26 am | Permalink

      This song was the first thing that occurred to me. too! And it is especially pleasing to see you on this line, Mollie! Though I should have expected it. Smallish world, TEC. Greetings from Oregon!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 14, 2019 - 9:33 am | Permalink

        Me, too! A very pleasant earworm for the day!

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 14, 2019 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I had the single as a kid. My mother grew up next door to a convent of French-Canadian nuns, and across the street from a French parish (St. Anne’s in Salem, Mass). I inherited the 45 from someone in that house, and wore the grooves off of it on my little boxed turntable. Merci Beaucoup, Mollie, for mentioning the song.

      I did vote for Marinos, nonetheless, because Marinos has something unique to share with the world, and we know the teachings of Dominic so well already.

      • Robin Rosbolt's Gravatar Robin Rosbolt
        March 14, 2019 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

        I had this record, as well.

  9. William W. Connors's Gravatar William W. Connors
    March 14, 2019 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    With science under attack at every turn, the contributions of scholars like Dominic MUST be remembered.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 14, 2019 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I think you may have just helped me determine my vote.

  10. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 14, 2019 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    As thankful as I am for intelligent and educated preachers, I had to vote for Marina who probably had a tougher time during her short life.

  11. Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
    March 14, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’d like to propose a toast…

    Here’s to the monk from Castile
    Known as Dominic.
    Scholarly and helping the poor with such zeal.
    One he had to pick.
    To aid the poor,
    Infirm, and needy,
    Sold his books, stat!
    That opened doors
    He rose quite speedy:
    Does anyone like a diplomat?
    I’ll drink to that.

    Here’s to conversions in France.
    Dom’s idea’s a gas!
    Monks converse with Cathars in delicate dance,
    But they reach impasse.
    And yet the pope deigns to approve
    Dom’s new monastic order!
    Dominicans are on the move –
    Transforming across borders.
    I’ll drink to that!
    And one for Dominic!

    Here’s to Marina the Monk,
    Brought up by her dad.
    If she’d wed, he’d sleep in an aesthetic’s bunk:
    His monastic pad.
    Marina knelt down and pled,
    Told him she’d rather not wed.
    They shaved all the hair from her head.
    Dressed her like a him.
    I’ll drink to them!
    Let’s all drink to them!

    Here’s to the monks in the cell
    They shared ‘til papa died.
    The life of fasting and prayer went quite well,
    ‘Til a raped girl lied.
    She blamed “Marinos” for the child.
    The ex-monk raised the baby.
    She begged for bread and when she died.
    They found out she’s a lady.
    I’ll drink to that.

    So, here’s to the saints on the chart!
    Living lives of note.
    On the poor they’d dote
    And you saw they had heart.
    Much too meek to gloat!
    A toast to this most unlikely pair.
    Two monks with gave up more than their share.
    For Dominic/Marina who cared,
    Everybody vote!
    Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!

    • Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
      March 14, 2019 - 8:35 am | Permalink

      Ok this was amazing.

    • Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
      March 14, 2019 - 8:38 am | Permalink

      (sung to the tune of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from :Company”

    • Deborah's Gravatar Deborah
      March 14, 2019 - 9:09 am | Permalink

      Thank you! Starting the day with a little Sondheim is a good thing! I’ll drink to that!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 14, 2019 - 9:38 am | Permalink

      Michael, you really are a musical theatre fan: Sondheim! That one’s a little harder to sing, but your lyrics are brilliant. Per usual!

      • Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
        March 14, 2019 - 10:04 am | Permalink

        Sondheim is a tough sing – plus the rhyme schemes and rhythms change with every verse.

        • theblackdog's Gravatar theblackdog
          March 14, 2019 - 10:37 am | Permalink

          That and he seems to hate letting singers have a moment to breathe.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 14, 2019 - 11:01 am | Permalink

          Love Sondheim! You did him justice. And yes, blackdog, I agree!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 14, 2019 - 9:40 am | Permalink

      Genius! I hear Elaine Stritch in my head. This is divine madness!

    • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
      March 14, 2019 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      Love it!!! Though I’m trying envision an aesthetic’s bunk — darned autocorrect!

    • Rita Chenoweth's Gravatar Rita Chenoweth
      March 14, 2019 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      You’ve outdone yourself…the match-up of song, lyric and the refrain of “Vote!” is magical! And I heard Elaine Stritch in my head…

    • Denese Edsall's Gravatar Denese Edsall
      March 14, 2019 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Loved this! I’ll drink to that!

  12. Amy Cousineau's Gravatar Amy Cousineau
    March 14, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    So disappointed by the defeat of Hannah Greir Coome. The Sisters’ campaign was awesome and I’m sorry it wasn’t successful!!

    • Ann G.'s Gravatar Ann G.
      March 14, 2019 - 9:17 am | Permalink

      I hope she will “run” for the Golden Crown in another year! #Hannah

      • March 14, 2019 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

        I can’t speak of future brackets, but I hope Hannah fans will not despair. When Francis was in the bracket the first time, he did poorly. Second time, he went all the way to the Golden Halo. Lent Madness is, among other things, a place for second (and third) chances.

  13. Jane Christmas's Gravatar Jane Christmas
    March 14, 2019 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Wow. What a story. Marina/Marinos for me. She swallowed her pride and comfort (and saved her skin and likely that of two other people) in a show of compassionate action. And she made the additional sacrifice to raise a child.

  14. March 14, 2019 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Having been wrongly accused by others, I have to cast my vote for Marina, all the way to the Golden Halo.

    • March 14, 2019 - 8:55 am | Permalink

      Same here, Ann Smith!

    • Terrie Ann Wallace's Gravatar Terrie Ann Wallace
      March 14, 2019 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Ann Smith, same here!

    • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
      March 14, 2019 - 11:03 pm | Permalink

      When I read Dominic’s bio, I thought I would vote for him. But the superb prayer for Marinos and the fact that she humbly endured being falsely accused made me change my mind. I was falsely accused once of assault by a man who, it seems, makes a living bringing criminal charges and then suing for damages. I remember sitting at the defendant’s table, listening to him tell his lie, and realizing that he had convinced himself it was true. I leaned on the Lord, knowing He knew what I was experiencing, since He Himself was falsely accused.

  15. March 14, 2019 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    I’m stunned and deeply moved by the story of Marinos/a.

    • March 14, 2019 - 8:50 am | Permalink

      I posted before I was finished – not enough caffeine! Marinos/a’s story particularly moves me after having worked with wonderful, gifted people of faith who are non-gender-binary and who have felt pushed aside, overlooked, or even unsafe. It is so important to find our stories in the faith story. To their core, Marinos/a is about love and compassion, truly the embodiment of Christ.

      • Marie's Gravatar Marie
        March 14, 2019 - 10:15 am | Permalink

        Yes. That is why I am voting for Marina/Marinos. A saint for our times.

  16. Jenny Neat's Gravatar Jenny Neat
    March 14, 2019 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Selling his books to help the infirm and needy got my vote.

    • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
      March 14, 2019 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

      It affected me the same, Jenny. Selling his books hooked me.

  17. Bill Lesshafft's Gravatar Bill Lesshafft
    March 14, 2019 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Dominic who’s powerful legacy is felt even today.

    As for that Inquisition thing, we’ve had a number of Bishops of Canterbury that were, well, you get the point.

  18. Irene's Gravatar Irene
    March 14, 2019 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Domenic. Because I want to see him go up against St. Ignatius; I think those two are pretty evenly matched. Plus I am not 100% sure Marina actually existed though I will take your word for it.

  19. MaryLynn's Gravatar MaryLynn
    March 14, 2019 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    ‘Marina’ the monk! She devoted herself to God. Followed the footsteps of her father. Cared for a child that was clearly not hers, fast, and prayed.
    Blue ribbon for any sitting on the back burner.

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 14, 2019 - 11:22 am | Permalink

      It’s the raising the child part that I love.

  20. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 14, 2019 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Marinos/ a / gained my strong sympathy, but I went with Dominic as dominant in influencing history. I now celebrate that one who truly sacrificed personal self for faith triumphs over one who kept the faith in a steady, rational way.

  21. Patricia Evans's Gravatar Patricia Evans
    March 14, 2019 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    “…her devout Christian father…planned to retire to the Monastery of Qannoubine after she was married.. Marina asked her father why he would save his own soul and “destroy” hers. ”
    There is no indication of who Marino/a was to marry, but clear indications in this story that remaining unmarried (upholding the virginal ?) is the better choice.
    As a happily married, book-loving child of a diplomat, my vote goes to Dominic who “sold his books to help the infirm and need” This makes the list of saints in my (um) book. – (yes I know he was unmarried also.)

    • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
      March 14, 2019 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      I think Marina just felt called to monasticism, so being unmarried was the better choice for her, personally. Not a judgment on others.

  22. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 14, 2019 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    I feel like I am betraying my “Sisters” today, but but I had to vote for Dominic – Intellect and alif life devoted to Christian principles.

  23. Robert Schwaller's Gravatar Robert Schwaller
    March 14, 2019 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    I’m surprise that this would be labelled a battle of monastics. Dominic and his order are mendicants not monastics.

  24. Stewart Tabb's Gravatar Stewart Tabb
    March 14, 2019 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    He sold his Books?!!!! That’s quite a sacrifice!
    Still, Marina gets my vote for her defiance of gender norms and for her care of the child.

    • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
      March 14, 2019 - 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes, as a lifelong bookworm, I can imagine how much of a sacrifice selling his beloved books must have been. But, like you, I voted for Marinos.

  25. Sheila's Gravatar Sheila
    March 14, 2019 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Our daughters were taught by Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia. What a legacy of devout prayer and teaching was left by St. Dominic. He gets my vote and the Sisters get my eternal gratitude.

  26. Gena Gilliam's Gravatar Gena Gilliam
    March 14, 2019 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    This one was really difficult! I had to vote for Dominic because my children are being led in the faith by the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecelia, whose motherhouse is here in Nashville. So many worthy Saints!!

  27. Deborah's Gravatar Deborah
    March 14, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Marina/Marino has a compelling story. But I stand on the shoulders of the Adrian Dominican Sisters who educated me in grade and high school. Today I am in training to be a spiritual director at the Siena Retreat Center, a holy place offered by the Racine Dominican Sisters. So I go with those who taught me!

  28. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 14, 2019 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    Marina for me because our society is so quick to judge and to jump to conclusions and confusions.

  29. Kate the Catechist's Gravatar Kate the Catechist
    March 14, 2019 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    A haiku for my favorite today, Marina the Monk:

    Marinos the Monk
    Holy man? Holy woman?
    The Lord knew their heart.

    I am so grateful to Lent Madness for the introduction to this saint today!

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 14, 2019 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

      When reading Marinos’ bio, I could not help thinking of Ellis Peters’ novels “One Corpse Too Many” and “An Excellent Mystery”, which both feature young women seeking refuge in a Benedictine abbey. The second one in particular shares elements with Marina’s tale.

      I won’t go further and spoil it for you; however, if you have not yet read the Brother Cadfael novels, you are in for a treat: mystery, history, herbal lore and above all, a rich appreciation of the power of God’s grace in a time of brutal treachery.

      The TV series was OK (although I always enjoy Sir Derek Jacobi chewing the scenery); the novels are far better. I’ve enjoyed them all; go forth and do so likewise.

      • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
        March 15, 2019 - 12:53 am | Permalink

        Yay, Ellis Peters! And thank you for reminding me of the title “An Excellent Mystery”; I thought of that story when I read about Marina, but couldn’t remember the title (and was too lazy to go to my bookcase to find it).
        Yes, the novels are better, but watching Sir Derek Jacobi playing any part is always worth the time.

      • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
        March 15, 2019 - 2:33 am | Permalink

        I love Ellis Peter’s books! Thanks for the memory!

  30. Mary Beth Butler's Gravatar Mary Beth Butler
    March 14, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Grateful to learn about Marinos, and to repent of my judgements of the past, praying to do better when I know better.

  31. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    March 14, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Not sure about the existence of Marina/Marinos. Not to mention that the whole sharing the cell with the father is a bit creepy. Also, since when did marriage mean loosing one’s soul? Dominic for me, especially since I tried to learn the song from the Singing Nun record.

  32. Rev. Steve's Gravatar Rev. Steve
    March 14, 2019 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    Voted for Dominic. With the news of all the people being arrested for fraud in getting their children into top name colleges, how can I vote for a person who fraudulently entered a monatary? Deception and fraud is never a virtue

  33. Mary-Theresa Anderson's Gravatar Mary-Theresa Anderson
    March 14, 2019 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    They both suffered. Marina made the decision not to marry and choose her suffering. Dominic spent his life teaching and sharing God’s message and establishing the Order of Preachers. Although he was criticized, he was true to his beliefs.

  34. Jane Pedler's Gravatar Jane Pedler
    March 14, 2019 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Well, when I saw Dominic’s connection with the Cathars I just couldn’t vote for him, even though he had died before the persecution began. Unfair I guess, but I did go with my feelings. His rival, though, raised a child that otherwise would have been cruelly treated throughout life through no fault of its own, bringing a great good instead of being bitter over the falsehood he was accused of.

  35. Grace's Gravatar Grace
    March 14, 2019 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    While Marina/os was interesting, I’m voting for a dear family friend, my parish’s patron and namesake of my son, Dominic! #OP #HoundsoftheLord

  36. Larry Williams's Gravatar Larry Williams
    March 14, 2019 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I see I’m in the minority, but, what can I say? I’m a dog person.

  37. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 14, 2019 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    In honor of a former Dominican priest and college professor, Dr. William Finan, I voted for Dominic. Nevertheless, all credit to Marina for raising a child she could not have “fathered” if her life had depended on it.
    Thanks to all celebrity bloggers for fascinating backstories.

  38. Tobu's Gravatar Tobu
    March 14, 2019 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Marina all the way for me today! I may have tossed her name into the ring a few times on Nominationtides past, and I’m delighted that she’s finally in the running! More people need to learn this fascinating story. Imagine the kindness and faith it would require to lovingly raise a child not your own, for whose sake you were (even temporarily) kicked out of the monastic brotherhood that you gave up everything to join.

  39. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 14, 2019 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Both of today’s Saints are equally impressive in their ways. As a person passionate for reading and study who does not believe that there is such a thing as too many books, I find Dominic’s willingness to sell his books to feed the poor particularly grace-filled and loving. His longing to bring people back to the faith to which he was committed, and his life of strenuous effort to that end are extraordinary. Would that we had more people today willing to give their all to help people know Christ’s love both in immediate ways (feeding the hungry) and in helping people to think through what they truly believe, why they believe it and how most faithfully to live it.

    All of that being said, my vote goes for Marina. Her sense of vocation was so strong, so deep, that she was willing to offer to God a core part of her identity in order to follow it. As well as the inherent challenges of the religious life (joys too, but it’s a hard life in many ways) she had to live totally dependent on God in the monastery without the support of other women. It’s a lovely ideal, being totally dependent on God, but we were made to need each other. She followed the example of Christ who, when he was accused, didn’t open his mouth in self-defense. We can’t know her motives, but I wonder if her choice had anything to do with protecting the young woman who had been raped and knowing that, if she didn’t so something, the baby would suffer. So she accepted ignominy, lived with great humility, cared for the baby at great cost to herself and did not let her ego get in the way of what needed to be done to help two innocent victims. I also love the tender part of the story that some of her brothers pleaded with the Abbot to let her back in. Then, can’t you just imagine the shock after her death, the witness to true faithfulness offered to her brothers in the monastery? Her quiet, humble ministry continued. She is giving me much to think about, especially when my ego gets in the way of living love.

    • Carole, sjv's Gravatar Carole, sjv
      March 14, 2019 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your thoughtful and articulate comments. I’m the daughter of an astrophysicist and definitely believe one cannot have too many books. However, I am deeply moved by Marina/O’s protection of a young woman who was raped – and then to raise her child. An extraordinary, selfless sacrifice and act of solidarity.

    • Karen's Gravatar Karen
      March 14, 2019 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Diana, you have expressed my thoughts most eloquently. Two such worthy candidates! Sadly though, your facility with thought and word has not helped me decide on where to cast my vote. I am so torn.

  40. Lois Alworth's Gravatar Lois Alworth
    March 14, 2019 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Voting for Marina because you cannot make this stuff up. What a strange life she must have lived, posing as a male in a monastery! Brave woman, if a bit odd.

  41. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 14, 2019 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    I’ve just surprised myself by voting for Marinos. Why, when Dominick’s (my preferred spelling, after DiMaggio and others) well-documented résumé clearly qualifies him for the Gold, and Marina’s fabulous tale spans three centuries of confusion? Because I see him, like many figures of fable, as iconic: iconic of the countless women who over the millennia have been compelled by their cultures to distort or deny their identities in so many, many ways. Marina may have been exceptional in the mode he chose, but her predicament is universal.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 14, 2019 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      Yes, Davis. (And you handle the pronoun issue the way I like to: with variation.

  42. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    March 14, 2019 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    So much of Dominic’s story is appealing: the lily, the star, his gentle way of love and service. The line about his giving away his books to help the poor really hit me hard: My books are my dearest companions; some of them I read over and over. Could I give them up? And then there’s the Singing Nun….

    But my new approach is to vote for the saint of whom we need to learn more. Marinos/Marina seems like a good saint to represent the trans community, not only because she was a woman living as a man, but because she truly lived out both her “masculine” and “feminine” selves (although I guess I shouldn’t be labelling behavior as one or the other). I love that she stood up for herself, but only insofar as no one else was hurt. (I wonder if Marina kept quiet because the life of the woman who was raped might have been endangered; in some circles, then as now, a rape victim is often blamed (“She made me do it”). But to keep silent of your innocence and raise the child as your own–that’s really something!

    For devotion and service, I vote for Marina.

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      March 14, 2019 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Agreed. Marina speaks of many women who must hid their identities in their own communities- gender, faith, and nationality She definitely felt the call of God at an early age and recognized the importance of family, being with her father and of community with the brothers. What a challenging time for a woman.

  43. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 14, 2019 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    Dominic for us today. Marina/os has too many holes in the story to be believable, sorry. And Dominic did more good and the extensive work of the Dominicans continues today, something we should celebrate.

  44. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    March 14, 2019 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Tough one. Marina’s devotion in the face of adversity is moving, but as someone noted above, it is hard to pin down the historical facts. Dominic, on the other hand, is well remembered and his eponymous order known for its intellectual tradition. But I’m still ambivalent about an theologian who gives away his books. Whatever is he going to read and think about? On the other hand, there’s the catchy song. So, Domi-nique -nique -nique gets my vote.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 14, 2019 - 10:40 am | Permalink

      Even that song reminds us that Dominic was all about the conversion of others. Two of the lyrics speak of his work against heresy and against the Algibensians:

      À l’époque ou Jean-sans-Terre
      D’Angleterre était le roi
      Dominique, notre père,
      Combattit les Albigeois.

      Certain jour, un hérétique,
      Par des ronces le conduit,
      Mais notre père Dominique,
      Par sa joie le convertit.

      I am afraid that song convinces me that what Dominic was valued for (by the church) was his role in converting “others” and not his service or scholarship.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 14, 2019 - 10:53 am | Permalink

        You got me there with the “Albigeois,” but–Wikipedia to the rescue! The last line seems to mitigate the whole, though.

        • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
          March 14, 2019 - 10:55 am | Permalink

          He converted him by his joy. The only way to change hearts imho.

          • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
            March 14, 2019 - 10:58 am | Permalink


      • Bob A-B's Gravatar Bob A-B
        March 14, 2019 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

        The Albigensian (sp?) crusade was one of the blots on the Church’s history. “Kill them all…let God sort them out”

      • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
        March 14, 2019 - 8:31 pm | Permalink

        It seems to me that Sœur Sourire’s song gets it wrong there: In 1203, rather than “combating” the Cathars, who rejected the wealth and pomp of the Catholic Church, Dominic realized that they would not respond to defenders of that church who did not themselves exemplify traits the Cathars admired: humility and austerity.

        He left the Languedoc well before Pope Innocent III initiated what became known as the Albigensian Crusade in 1208, taking with him the seeds of an idea that soon became the Dominican Order: teams of intellectual preachers who would live humbly, travel widely and speak powerfully for the Faith.

        One might well say that Dominic chose to emulate, rather than fight, the Cathars’ ideals:

        “Dominique, notre père,
        Imitait les Albigeois.”

    • Grace's Gravatar Grace
      March 14, 2019 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Dominic memorized the Gospel of St. Matthew, so I expect he had plenty to contemplate.

  45. Leon P Spencer's Gravatar Leon P Spencer
    March 14, 2019 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    One of the highlights of my studies at VTS was its place in a consortium of theological institutions in Washington, which took me to the Dominican House of Studies over several years. The high caliber of their courses, plus their sense of community (I would stay for lunch and prayers), are a modern tribute to Dominic.

  46. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 14, 2019 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Marina. What a story! She concealed her gender to follow her deep calling to the monastic life, and then risked and suffered being denied that call in order to care for an infant in need. I’d like to think that she managed to discreetly nurse that poor baby under her tattered monk’s robe. And her fellow monks only learning the depth of her sacrificial nature after her death.

  47. Cai Armstrong's Gravatar Cai Armstrong
    March 14, 2019 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for Dominic because it disturbs me that he is being blamed for the actions of his followers and for the general attitude to Cathars in his day. He may very well have gone to preach to the Cathars because he opposed the treatment they received. I did vote for Marina/os because her story spoke to me more.

  48. Morris Burnham's Gravatar Morris Burnham
    March 14, 2019 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    I am so deeply moved by Marina’s story. For me, she is a saint’s saint. No gradiousity, no fame, just love to God and neighbor. While other’s have fostered noble causes that the world has needed, it is this kind of selfless love that Christ Jesus asked me to be. It is almost unbelieveable to have given up so much of self while supporting the young child and it seems that she gave implicit support to the young raped woman as well. She gets my vote!

  49. Evelyn Czaja's Gravatar Evelyn Czaja
    March 14, 2019 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Dominic…Dominicans. My last church in River Forest Illinois was Dominicans (before moving to Boston). They have 2 churches int the Oak Park/River Forest area in Illinois right outside Chicago. High School, my college (Dominican Univ), the Dominican Priory…in short, a HUGE presence in the area. I was taught through college level by some of the finest, most educated Dominicans. I think that speaks volumes about Dominic’s influence in the world…faith, education…to this day.

  50. Barbara Kurtz's Gravatar Barbara Kurtz
    March 14, 2019 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    While I admire Marinos’ faith and strength in not accusing, or even judging her accusers, a life of piety based on a lie is a poor example of being in full Communion with God.

    • Alyssa's Gravatar Alyssa
      March 14, 2019 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it interesting, though, that Marinos’s brother monks, who knew Marinos for many years, are not reported as understanding the monks life as “living a lie”? Their shock over the monk’s body humbled them into even more fully honoring Marinos. Those who knew Marinos best didn’t seem to think Marinos was a poor example of being in full Communion with God.

  51. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 14, 2019 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    The Golden Halo goes to…. Marina

    • Alyssa Sali's Gravatar Alyssa Sali
      March 14, 2019 - 11:24 am | Permalink

      I hope so, too.

  52. Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
    March 14, 2019 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    First time I’m voting with what seems the majority so far. Voting for the woman so oft maligned and under valued and yet just as saintly throughout.

  53. Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
    March 14, 2019 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    Oh, no – Dominic is falling behind? How can that be? Intellect, piety, compassion, humility,organizational skills, and he was willing to sell his books to help the needy and infirm! Sell his books!! I shudder at the thought (despite the fact that I have no more room for bookshelves.) Dominic for the Golden Halo.

  54. March 14, 2019 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Where is Oliver?

  55. St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
    March 14, 2019 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t for one second believe that there is a word of truth (I mean, historical accuracy) in the story of Marinos the Monk. It’s fantastical, practically a fable; I expected talking animals as well. But I voted for her because Shakespeare is filled with women crossdressing in order to have efficacy in the world. My world is filled with transwomen right now, men who appear publicly in the accoutrements of women, but whose big hands give them away. It’s very confusing. I thought of father and daughter in the same cell for decades, and then Marinos protecting her own “daughter” for years. What crossed my mind was that trauma and poverty are intergenerational. In this fantastical story, I saw a glimpse of people attempting to find niches in society in which they could survive and even protect the weak. I thought I might vote for Dominic, a scholar and pious man, but his obsession to convert the Cathars, who though their thought may have been Manichaean were off in their own area not attempting to overthrow the papacy, was not out of a desire to serve them but to change them. And I simply cannot get past his role in the Inquisition, which not only destroyed Cathar culture, but played a virulent and violent role in the counter-Reformation as well, attempting to destroy Protestantism. Ironic that the Dominican charism is the pursuit of truth. Perhaps Dominic himself is “innocent” of evil intent toward the Cathars, but I find it impossible to separate him from his order enough to pass him forward.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 14, 2019 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      And this is always the issue that drives me crazy in this wonderful Madness: Why some people just cannot vote for someone with “holes in their story,” someone who wasn’t “real.” Have we lost our ability to find truth in story? (yes) I’ll never get over Christina the Astonishing losing in my first Lent Madness competition for this very same reason: Too fantastic, not real, not factual. <>

      • Bob A-B's Gravatar Bob A-B
        March 14, 2019 - 1:13 pm | Permalink


    • Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
      March 14, 2019 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

      I really don’t understand what is so fantastical about Marina’s story. It seems perfectly plausible to me.
      (For example, look up medical causes of amenorrhea — perhaps the asceticism she practiced helped her hide among men.) To me her story is very inspiring.

  56. March 14, 2019 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    vote for mariana the monk

  57. Rian Restau's Gravatar Rian Restau
    March 14, 2019 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Go Marina the Monk

    • Sharon Pattison's Gravatar Sharon Pattison
      March 14, 2019 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Hey, has anyone out there, thought maybe Marinos Father RAPED The young woman and Marinos raised her own half sister? With DNA this could be proven! Just a thought!

  58. theblackdog's Gravatar theblackdog
    March 14, 2019 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I went with Marinos as it’s a very fascinating story. I also appreciate that the author switched to gender neutral language after Marinos declared their intention to enter the monastery.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 14, 2019 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      I am trying, but for this daughter of a collegiate English professor, “their” as a neutral, singular pronoun is like fingers on a chalkboard. I understand very well the need, but it’s too much for me! haha

      • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
        March 14, 2019 - 10:59 am | Permalink

        “their” here seems like an attempt to port the ordinary use of “they” (already non-standard) to an application as “non-binary”

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 14, 2019 - 11:04 am | Permalink

          I think that’s the way it’s headed.

      • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
        March 14, 2019 - 11:35 am | Permalink

        Nancy, I agree with your opinion above! I’m a great fan of wordplay, especially puns, and greatly appreciate John Cabot’s contributions to this community. As for my choice today, I go with Dominic, for many reasons, but one of which is that, when I was a hospital chaplain, I worked alongside some wonderful Dominican sisters, and I value highly his lasting contributions to the practice of Christianity. I don’t blame him for the Inquisition.

      • Alyssa's Gravatar Alyssa
        March 14, 2019 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Good news for grammatically precise people everywhere!
        “They/Their” has ALWAYS been used as a singular pronoun. In limited ways, we all *already* use it this way regularly. 🙂 (make sure to read to the end)
        It’s hard to teach this old dog (me!) new tricks, but it helps to know the dictionary is on my side as I push through the discomfort for the sake of my siblings in Christ.

        • March 14, 2019 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, and the Associated Press just joined that camp.

  59. Barbara Kurtz's Gravatar Barbara Kurtz
    March 14, 2019 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    I do admire Marinos’ faith and strength in not judging her accusers. However, living a lie is not a good example of being in full Communion with God.

    Dominic all the way!

    • Alyssa's Gravatar Alyssa
      March 14, 2019 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it interesting, though, that Marinos’s brother monks, who knew Marinos for many years, are not reported as understanding the monks life as “living a lie”? Their shock over the monk’s body humbled them into even more fully honoring Marinos. Those who knew Marinos best didn’t seem to think Marinos was a poor example of being in full Communion with God.

  60. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 14, 2019 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Wow, glad you cleared up that fake news report about Dominic’s involvement in the inquisition.
    But Marina the Monk got my vote. She showed heart in a time before “cis” and “gender fluid” were a thing.

  61. Stephen Lusk's Gravatar Stephen Lusk
    March 14, 2019 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    Sabine Baring Gould notes that Marina’s miraculous deeds did not stop with her death:
    “The relics are said to have been brought to Venice in 1113 . . . from the suburbs of Constantinople, and were placed in the church of S. Liberalis at Venice, now called by
    her name. The body is entire, with the skin covering the dry flesh and bones. Not a single bone is missing. However, another body is shown at Pavia as that of S. Marina. ‘A thorny question between the Pavians and the Venetians,’ say the Bollandists ; ‘for it is clearer than the noon-day sun that the same saint cannot repose in two places at the same time.’ But a third body of S. Marina is preserved in the abbey of S. Marina de Flastris, near Tolentini, in the marches of Ancona. A fourth body, like the other three, incorrupt, is at Spoleto. But a church in Paris, dedicated in 1228 to S. Marina, claimed, before the Revolution, also to possess the relics of S. Marina; other portions of a body of S. Marina at Tournai, and in the church of the abbey of S. Marie Descouvier, in the diocese of Rouen.”

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 14, 2019 - 11:24 am | Permalink

      Well, for heaven’s sake…

  62. Sarah P's Gravatar Sarah P
    March 14, 2019 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    Although my priest is a Dominican, and I was ready to vote for his guy, I was moved by Marinos, and reminded that we are so judgmental. THERE is a vice to give up for Lent.

  63. Wendi's Gravatar Wendi
    March 14, 2019 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    I have just found the patron saint for my transgender boy!!!

    • Alyssa's Gravatar Alyssa
      March 14, 2019 - 11:41 am | Permalink


    March 14, 2019 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Love this!!

  65. Mary Jane C. Ingalls's Gravatar Mary Jane C. Ingalls
    March 14, 2019 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Gender identity is such an interesting and baffling part of the human experience.

  66. thedoctor's Gravatar thedoctor
    March 14, 2019 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    I just met a monk name Marina!
    And suddenly that name
    Will never be the same to meeeeeee!

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 14, 2019 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh, dear! I may have to vote for Marina/os after all, just because that song is going to be today’s ear worm.

      But then, there’s the longing for life close to God, taking the blame for someone else’s wickedness in order to spare the woman, and raising the child. I’m not sure Marina/os was indeed transgender or if s/he was doing what other women have done over the years to protect themselves and/or to have the life they truly chose, but my vote is going to her/him.

  67. Kathleen Connell's Gravatar Kathleen Connell
    March 14, 2019 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    I had Sisters of St. Dominick in elementary school, hence, I did NOT vote for Dominick. I voted for the unknown woman (on so many levels) because it’s time she was acknowledged.

  68. March 14, 2019 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    Love Marinos story, and happy they honored her on discovering her gender.

  69. Michael DeVine's Gravatar Michael DeVine
    March 14, 2019 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Marina, when I read her prayer about not judging for the sins of others – since I was judging Dominic by the sins of the inquisition and the poor administrators of Dominican Colleges (PC for one.)

  70. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    March 14, 2019 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    The legend about Marinos is a fascinating one that resonates with present day gender concerns, but it is of dubious historical value. We don’t even know what century Marinos might have lived in, if indeed the monk existed at all. Therefore I voted for Dominic, a great and worthy saint who actually lived, whose life reflected heroic sanctity, of whose history we know a great deal and whose life and influence still enrich the Church today, including of course through the learned religious order of Dominican friars he founded. The Latin pun on Dominic’s name should be “Domini canis,” using the singular, not the plural, of the word for dog in Latin.

  71. Kim Morse's Gravatar Kim Morse
    March 14, 2019 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    This is so difficult … Dominic’s intellectualism, service, and dog pull so. Yes, the Dominicans became enmeshed in the Inquisition, but they were also influential, if not decisive, in later debates on indigenous humanity. Pedro de Gante and Bartolomé de las Casas, Dominicans who did Dominic proud. But Marina, patron saint of all people who had to pretend to be something they weren’t in order to live who they were, how is she not worthy of honor? Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, 17th century Mexican nun who refused marriage to become a nun so she could be an intellectual, and died serving the poor … yes, Marina is most worthy. Who to choose?

  72. Lynn Bonney's Gravatar Lynn Bonney
    March 14, 2019 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    My cousin is a Dominican sister. In honor of her service, I vote for Dominic.

  73. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 14, 2019 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Although I’m partial to black and white dogs, Marina’s my girl.

  74. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 14, 2019 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Interesting fact: Dominos Pizza is named after the order of Dominican nuns, as the founder once was cared for by one of their orphanages.

    I’m a cat person and I was moved by what Emily wrote, so I voted for the one who in the example of Saint Joseph raised someone else’s child.

  75. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 14, 2019 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    According to my Oxford Dictionary of Saints, there is no evidence that Marina ever existed outside pious fiction. Even had she been a real person, my vote would not have gone to her because the hagiography you give is very different to that provided by the Oxford Dictionary. As a former teacher and a promoter of literacy, my vote goes to Dominic, a real person, whose work continues to this day through the order he founded.

  76. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 14, 2019 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    For all our transgender/non-binary family and friends, vote St. Marina/Marino!

  77. Diane Manko-Cliff's Gravatar Diane Manko-Cliff
    March 14, 2019 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    This is a tough one… As a librarian, the thought of giving up ones books to serve the poor is wonderful, however, giving up ones reputation to serve the needs of a innocent child causes me to cast my vote for Marina.

  78. Kelsey Cooper's Gravatar Kelsey Cooper
    March 14, 2019 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    HOW CAN YOU NOT VOTE FOR CHRISTIAN MULAN? 😀 Marinos all the way!
    Also I’m surprised no one else has brought up whether Marina/Marinos was a trans man or just living as a man because being a woman was so much more restrictive… It’s always hard to discern whether we’re participating in trans-erasure or acknowledging how determined and cunning women can be to live the life they want!

  79. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    March 14, 2019 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    If only it was the parable of St. Marina. I so hope her day has arrived! The lesson of such harsh judgement and punishment and the revelation of the undeniable truth, is profound. The story has lived and died since the 8th century. We still seem to require just such irrefutable proof as this.

  80. Beth L Galbreath's Gravatar Beth L Galbreath
    March 14, 2019 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Seems a very appropriate contender in this time of coming to understand transgender brothers and sisters.

  81. Joyce Morrow's Gravatar Joyce Morrow
    March 14, 2019 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I think the greatest joy of Lenten Madness is discovering lesser/unknown saints. They are like jewels tucked into our history and I appreciate your efforts to discover more about them and bring this to us. Do I need to add that St. Marina won my vote?

  82. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 14, 2019 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Dominic, for the sake of nostalgia for the songs we used to learn about him when I was a kid.

  83. Ellen from Worcester, MA's Gravatar Ellen from Worcester, MA
    March 14, 2019 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    While there is not way for us to know if Marina/Marinos was transgender, she/he/they give us a way to think about trangenderism in our communities of faith. Does it matter whether she/he/they were male or female, or does their faithfulness and willingness to endure matter more. This is why I am voting for Marina/Marinos.

  84. John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
    March 14, 2019 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I always have an aversion to people spend spend time and/or treasure attempting to covert people who are already in the Christian fold. So I vote for Ste. Marina…although neither of them stand out for me as examples to follow.

  85. Colleenrose's Gravatar Colleenrose
    March 14, 2019 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    What to do? What to do. This is the 2nd time, this year, that I wished I could have voted for the dog. I actually voted for Marino’s because of her discipleship to care for and protect an innocent child who would have been marginalized by society at that time.

  86. March 14, 2019 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Marina/Marinos certainly has an interesting story, but I’m going with Dominic and his missionary zeal. They’re both monastics, but it seems to me that Dominic’s goal was to reach out to the world outside the monastery while Marinos’ goal was to retreat from it.

  87. Heather C's Gravatar Heather C
    March 14, 2019 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote Dominic in honor of my favorite O.P., Fr. Joe Gillespie. Nobody leads a Lenten Fish Fry bingo night like he does!

  88. Caroline Sloat's Gravatar Caroline Sloat
    March 14, 2019 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for pointing us to the SSJD Facebook page. Great production–cues taken from the Supremes, and even embellished–, well thought out. I hope Hannah will be back on board again in the future.

  89. Gary Harris's Gravatar Gary Harris
    March 14, 2019 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I always like the underdog. Dominic has made a lasting impression on the church and most traditional Christians know his name if not his story. The story of Marina/Marino’s is a compelling testimony of a deeply personal faith. She lived in Christ rather than in the world.

  90. Jor's Gravatar Jor
    March 14, 2019 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know what became of the
    He must have still had a hard life
    Being raised by a beggar
    Where was the mother
    And I think if she had told the truth
    Maybe the monks might have helped
    Them more rather then ostracizing her
    I voted for Dom because as a leader
    Of Christ’s teaching he was straight
    Forward was did not have to lie
    To show his love for God

  91. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    March 14, 2019 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Voting as usual with my heart – for Marina/Marinos – and before looking at the comments, I was shocked and surprised Dominic wasn’t in the lead. And of course I have to say thank you to all for what I have come to consider my daily humbling – willingly assumed – before minds so much more theologically/historically enriched than mine.

  92. Sai's Gravatar Sai
    March 14, 2019 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Reading the thoughts, reasons and arguments of one saint over the other is one of the best things about Lent Madness. I love the poems and songs, but I am especially moved by people’s arguments for the saint of their choice. It gives me much to ponder before I vote. While I don’t believe I am actually swayed by the comments, they do serve to bolster my initial gut reaction. So, thank you, everyone, for your insightful posts. They are sincerely appreciated.
    As for my vote, I’m going for Marina/os. She/he is obscure while Dominic has an entire religious order named after him. Somehow, it feels as if he’s already received his ‘halo’. Like others who treasure their books, I am impressed he sold his to care for the poor. However, giving up one’s books hardly compares to giving up one’s gender identity (I’m steering clear of the whole transgender issue), as well as giving up the food, lodging and community of the monastery to care for a child she/he was falsely accused of ‘fathering.’ As for sharing a cell with her/his father, we’re applying modern Western sleeping arrangements to an era where parents and children often all slept in one room. To me, Marina/os seems to have had a very selfless soul. Dominic, for all his virtues, had an agenda.
    Yes, my vote is for Marina/os.

  93. Barbara Kurtz's Gravatar Barbara Kurtz
    March 14, 2019 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Well said, Caroline. I wholeheartedly agree, although I voted for Dominic.

  94. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 14, 2019 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I don’t find anything in Marinos’ story implausible. These are not the sorts of stories that typically get latched onto saints. There are no dragons, talking decapitated heads, food-carrying doves, etc. On the contrary, all the little bits of oddness ring true to life for me. I’m struck by how Marinos’ fellow monks begged the abbot to let him return. That says a lot to me about what kind of a person Marinos was. I wish the story had come down about what happened to the child after Marinos went back to the monastery, but I think we’re safe in assuming that Marinos would have made sure they were cared for somehow. I’m also impressed by how when Marinos’ secret was reveal in the burial preparations, the reaction of the whole monastery from the abbot on down was not, “Oh horror, a woman was living among us!” but “How terrible on our part that we misjudged this innocent person!” That speaks well for the monastery! There’s a lot of love going around in this very human tale. Alyssa put it so well: “Marinos is a wonderful saint who can be a hero for cisgender women, a hero for transgender people, and a hero for adoptive parents.”

    • Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
      March 14, 2019 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Like! 🙂

  95. Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
    March 14, 2019 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I really dislike the fact that Marinos allowed a rapist to go freely out into the world. I admire the fact that Dominic put a lot of thought into the method most likely to convert the Cathars and implemented it. My wonderful experiences with Dominican Friars during my years at Providence College seal the deal for Dominic.

  96. Museoffire's Gravatar Museoffire
    March 14, 2019 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

    @missjan Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, was not cared for at an orphanage run by Dominican nuns. Rather he lived in an orphanage run by Felician Sisters. So Domino’s was NOT named after Dominic.

    My vote is for Marina the Monk.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 14, 2019 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I read some interview or article years ago about the origins of the name. Maybe the Felician Sisters had a Sister Dominica . . . ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . . . I just remember the name was inspired by one or more nuns.

  97. Amy C.'s Gravatar Amy C.
    March 14, 2019 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Marina’s story brought tears to my eyes. So much about society and gender identification is embedded in this brief account. Thank you for opening my eyes to this monk in drag. “We are all born naked, drag is what we put on every day.” Ru Paul paraphrase…

  98. Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
    March 14, 2019 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I am rather shocked that Aquinas wasn’t mentioned in the write-up, the renowned, premier theologian. Lent Madness is not into theology? I didn’t expect Dominic to be applauded for the artistic masterpiece in Bologna–his sarcophagus. But that’s part of of my voting rationale–plus my birthday is his saint’s day 8/8.

    • OP's Gravatar OP
      March 14, 2019 - 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. There were many wonderful facets of Dominic and Dominican history left out. Although I’m sure being a celebrity blogger is not easy, especially writing for saints who really lived…

  99. Charles E's Gravatar Charles E
    March 14, 2019 - 5:19 pm | Permalink

    While I like Dominic, I have to vote for Marina, since my sister is named Marena.
    (OK, it’s spelled a little differently, but pronounced the same.)

  100. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 14, 2019 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

    A reluctant vote today for Marinos. I am struggling with the ascetic practices of early saints. I also suspect that the Order of Preachers may have attempted to suppress the cult of St Guinefort. Not Dominic’s fault of course, but …

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 14, 2019 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

      “The Greyhound Saint.” That is a discalced saint indeed.

  101. Kathy Rooney's Gravatar Kathy Rooney
    March 14, 2019 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Anyone but Dominic. I had Dominican nuns in elementary school in the dark days of the 50s. Just couldn’t do it.

  102. Ann Post's Gravatar Ann Post
    March 14, 2019 - 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Yet another amazing story of gender bending …
    Trans Christians rock !

  103. Amy L. Varin's Gravatar Amy L. Varin
    March 14, 2019 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Dominic because selling one’s books is a major sacrifice.

  104. Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
    March 14, 2019 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I was almost swayed by Dominic’s dog pun, but Marinos the trans monk gets my vote today!

  105. Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
    March 14, 2019 - 7:50 pm | Permalink

    “Dominic sold his books to help the infirm and needy.” That did it for me. Am currently trying to divest myself of books and more books. Very difficult, emotional, hate and resist it. Dominic inspires. Much to ponder and then act upon, I hope.

  106. James Ross Anderson's Gravatar James Ross Anderson
    March 14, 2019 - 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but shout out that I was the first vote recorded for Marina! Dominic was up 3-0 at the time so I like to think I turned the tide but statisticians no doubt would say otherwise.

  107. Terrie Wallace's Gravatar Terrie Wallace
    March 14, 2019 - 9:25 pm | Permalink

    For me, I didn’t see living a lie near as much as I saw a young woman who not only wanted so much to be a Monastic and didn’t wish to marry because of that but a daughter who cared about her father. Later when he grew older and eventually was dying she was then able to be there for him, show the famlial love he needed, as well as help, and care for him.

  108. Gloria F. Ishida's Gravatar Gloria F. Ishida
    March 14, 2019 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I am abstaining. I cannot get excited about either of these.

  109. Chaplain Tom Chapman fsj/ssje's Gravatar Chaplain Tom Chapman fsj/ssje
    March 14, 2019 - 9:55 pm | Permalink

    What are the reasons We are using all these Roman Catholic personages?

    • OP's Gravatar OP
      March 14, 2019 - 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Probably because Anglicans were united with Roman Catholics for 1500 years.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 15, 2019 - 7:52 am | Permalink

        And because Roman Catholicism continues to raise up holy people that merit our praise and veneration. Not to recognize them as we do our own only deepens the schism.

  110. Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
    March 14, 2019 - 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, as a lifelong bookworm, I can imagine how much of a sacrifice selling his beloved books must have been. But, like you, I voted for Marinos.

  111. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 14, 2019 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers!(and scientists) Happy Pi Day! Also I like dogs, and that he sold his books to feed the needy.

  112. March 14, 2019 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    In these times, I have to vote for Marina the gender-non-conforming monk.

    St Marina, pray for our trans, nonbinary, intersex, and GNC siblings.

  113. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 15, 2019 - 6:02 am | Permalink

    He sold his books!! That’d be soooo hard for me!

    He sent missionaries by two, so “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 (KJV)

    Dominic got my vote. I’m sad to see he’s so far behind, but he definitely received one from me.

  114. Amy Kendall's Gravatar Amy Kendall
    March 19, 2019 - 12:10 am | Permalink

    My vote went to Marina for accepting her “sentence” even though she didn’t commit the crime.

Comments are closed.