Ignatius of Loyola vs. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Welcome to the one and only Saturday matchup of Lent Madness 2019. Grab your coffee, cook up some Eggs St. Benedict, read about some saintly souls, and cast the third and final vote of the week. But first, an update on yesterday’s battle: William Wilberforce forced his way past Agatha Lin Zhao 59% to 41% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, where he’ll square off against the winner of Hannah Grier Coome vs. Richard Allen.

Don’t forget, our online bracket is updated and filled in with the latest results each morning by Adam Thomas (along with his inimitable headlines) on our Bracket Page. This will come in especially handy in later rounds when you need a quick reference guide to refresh your memory on the brilliant earlier write-ups provided by our Celebrity Bloggers. If you’re curious about when your favorite saint will be competing, you can scroll down on the bracket page to check out the invaluable and handy Matchup Calendar.

Today we take our first stab at the Monastics & Martyrs side of the Bracket as Ignatius of Loyola faces off against Tikhon of Zadonsk. And we should note that, in a Lent Madness scheduling quirk, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger Megan Castellan has had a saint doing battle on the first three days of this new season – Mary, Wilberforce, and Tikhon. Whew!

So, go vote, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour tonight, go to church on Sunday, (where you’ll tell everyone at coffee hour to join in the fun over at Lent Madness), and we’ll see you bright and early Monday morning as John Chrysostom squares off against Margaret of Cortona.

Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of LoyolaIn 1521, few confused Íñigo López de Loyola for a saint. He was vain, enjoyed combat, and sought glory. While recovering from battle wounds, he longed to read about chivalry; he could only find books on the life of Christ and the lives of the saints. Íñigo followed the spirit of consolation he experienced with God and abandoned his plans for glory. It transformed his life and the life of the church. He is now known by the name he came to be called in his life and ministry—Ignatius of Loyola.

After his recovery, Ignatius made an extended retreat where he had mystical experiences and discerned a deeper call from God; this retreat inspired his great work, Spiritual Exercises, which many today use as a guide in their walk with Christ. While studying in Paris, Ignatius met companions who would become the first members of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order. Bound together by a vow of poverty and chastity, their aim was “to help souls” wherever the church had need of them. Yet for a group of willing servants, they had a hard time winning approval from the church’s hierarchy. Ignatius’s spirituality attracted suspicion.

Ignatius believed in a simple but profound truth: God is present in all things. If we want to find God, we must look not only to the cloisters of a monastery and the four walls of a church but also to the canvas of our lives as they are lived out in the world. If we wish to find where God calls us, we should listen to our feelings of comfort and consolation, and move away from our experience of anxiety and desolation. This “way of proceeding,” found in Spiritual Exercises, has influenced how countless Christians perceive God’s presence in everyday life and has given many more a way of understanding where God is calling them.

But in sixteenth-century Europe, such a notion was considered radical, and Ignatius was brought before the Spanish Inquisition as early as 1526, and Spiritual Exercises was examined by the Roman Inquisition in 1548. Still, Ignatius insisted that the Society of Jesus be a group of contemplatives in action—present in the world around them where God is found, not confined to the walls of a monastery.

Collect for Ignatius of Loyola
Almighty God, who called Ignatius of Loyola to the service of your Divine Majesty and to seek you in all things; Give us also the grace to labor without counting the cost and to seek no reward other than knowing that we do your will; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

-David Sibley

Tikhon of Zadonsk

TikhonTimothy Savelyevich Sokolov (Tikhon’s given name) was born in 1724 in Novgorod, Russia, and grew up to be a famous bishop and monk known as the “Russian Chrysostom.”

His family was very poor: often, he would work an entire day to earn a single piece of bread. At age 13, he was sent to a clergy-run school, where he worked his way through as a vegetable gardener. Because of his intellect, he was awarded a state grant to attend seminary in Novgorod and stayed on at the seminary after graduation to teach. In 1758, he took vows as a monk and received the name Tikhon. At the same time, he was made prefect of the seminary.

People were drawn to his intellect, piety, and humility. In 1759, he was transferred to Tver and became the archimandrite of the Zheltikov monastery. Soon after, he was also made rector of Tver monastery, as well as the head of the nearby Torch monastery. And on Easter Sunday, 1761, he was accidentally selected as the bishop of Novgorod. The metropolitan (chief bishop) of the area had intended to move him to another monastery, but instead, the bishop of Tver cast lots upon his name three times in a row, and Tikhon was selected as the new bishop.

Tikhon took his new role very seriously. He wrote a series of books for his clergy so that they could perform their tasks with diligence. He required every clergy person to study the New Testament daily. Tikhon founded a school in 1765 and emphasized the importance of education for everyone.

In 1767, he retired because of overwork and exhaustion and went to the monastery in Zadonsk to recover. However, the notion of “rest” was a bit foreign to him; while at the monastery, he wrote a Rule of Life for the local clergy, as well as three more books on the nature and mystery of Christianity.

Throughout his life, he slept on straw, covered by a sheepskin. He was strict toward himself but kind to others. One Palm Sunday, he happened upon two fellow monks eating fish soup, and when he saw their distress, he said. “Sit down, for I know you. Love is higher than fasting.” He shared their soup to calm them.

Collect for Tikhon of Zadonsk
For love does not seek its own, it labors, sweats, watches to build up the brother: nothing is inconvenient to love, and by the help of God it turns the impossible into the possible…Love believes and hopes….It is ashamed of nothing (-Attributed to Tikhon)

-Megan Castellan

Ignatius of Loyola vs. Tikhon of Zadonsk

  • Ignatius of Loyola (65%, 6,027 Votes)
  • Tikhon of Zadonsk (35%, 3,208 Votes)

Total Voters: 9,235

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Ignatius of Loyola: Public Domain, Peter Paul Reubens, Ignatius of Loyola.
Tikhon of Zadonsk: By Неизвестный художник [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

169 Comments to "Ignatius of Loyola vs. Tikhon of Zadonsk"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 9, 2019 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    Of Loyola churchmen were critical
    His order had leanings political;
    Yet his spirit and mind
    Were so great that I find
    Such arguments quite jesuitical.

    • Ann G.'s Gravatar Ann G.
      March 9, 2019 - 8:02 am | Permalink

      #VoteIgnatius for me! (I’m a Jesuit at heart)

      • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
        March 9, 2019 - 8:05 am | Permalink

        Another #Loyalist!

        • Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
          March 9, 2019 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Once a year i go to a Jesuit retreat center to go through the exercises…#VoteIgnatius all the way for me!!!
          Still say we need a like button for the comments!!! 😉

    • Elizabeth Foster's Gravatar Elizabeth Foster
      March 9, 2019 - 8:22 am | Permalink

      Sounds like it could be sung to a Gilbert and Sullivan tune

      • Katharine Graham's Gravatar Katharine Graham
        March 9, 2019 - 10:18 am | Permalink

        Reminds me of “The Mikado”.

        • Sharon Dianne Pattison's Gravatar Sharon Dianne Pattison
          March 10, 2019 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Yes I agree

    • Manny Faria's Gravatar Manny Faria
      March 9, 2019 - 9:20 am | Permalink

      And if he hadn’t found God he was the very model of a modern major general.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 9, 2019 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

        I love the musical turn this competition is taking! “Modern major general”! Haha!

    • Kate the Catechist's Gravatar Kate the Catechist
      March 9, 2019 - 9:22 am | Permalink

      The “political” rhyming with “jesuitical” is nothing less than masterful. <3

    • Karen's Gravatar Karen
      March 9, 2019 - 9:23 am | Permalink


    • KHatch's Gravatar KHatch
      March 9, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

      Bravo, John Cabot, for your lyrical limerick!

    • March 9, 2019 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      Jesuitical! Calling Gilbert and Sullivan.

    • Sai's Gravatar Sai
      March 9, 2019 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      SEC: We really need a ‘like’ button!

      • Donna's Gravatar Donna
        March 9, 2019 - 9:52 am | Permalink

        no we don’t

      • Glenda Lagerstedt's Gravatar Glenda Lagerstedt
        March 9, 2019 - 10:02 am | Permalink

        I have so often thought that we need a ‘like’ button!

        • Linda's Gravatar Linda
          March 9, 2019 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Soooo agree!!

      • Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
        March 9, 2019 - 10:48 am | Permalink

        If we have a like button, we will need a “groan” or an “eye roll” button…. it could go on and on.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 9, 2019 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

          I’m good with that!

          • Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
            March 9, 2019 - 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Me too! Robyn2

    • Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
      March 9, 2019 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      As others have said, fits Gilbert & Sullivan tune so well that that is what went through my head when I read it. Even before reading the other comments. Great poem.

    • Yvonne W's Gravatar Yvonne W
      March 9, 2019 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      Fabulous job! A March Madness hack with a limerick to boot. Well done, my friend.

    • Doug Kuhlmann's Gravatar Doug Kuhlmann
      March 9, 2019 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Awesome. I am stealing it–or rather borrowing it permanently.

    • Missy Hallenbeck's Gravatar Missy Hallenbeck
      March 9, 2019 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Touche and Amen

  2. Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
    March 9, 2019 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    To honor today’s competitors, we are kickin’ it real ol’ skool with this musical tribute sung to the tune of “Summertime (and the Livin’ is Easy) from Porgy and Bess.

    Íñigo (also known as Ignatius)
    Once sought fame and some glory on high.
    He gave that up for the llivin’ that mystic,
    So hush, little Jesuits, your founder is nigh.

    His greatest work is still used to guide seekers.
    “Find God in all things” was his defining cry.
    Twice he was tried for suspicion of heresy
    For not letting walls his world define.

    Timothy (later they called him Tikhon)
    Smart, but poor-born, made his monk’s vows to God.
    By casting lots, they elected him bishop
    So hush, little Tikhon, lead Novgorod.

    He wrote several books on the orders for clergy.
    And he built a school, then it’s time to retire.
    He went to Zadonsk – where the livin’ ain’t easy.
    With straw beds and more books. Good Russian friar.

    • Duchess's Gravatar Duchess
      March 9, 2019 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I am already searching the comments for your songs. They’re really fun. Thanks.

      • Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
        March 9, 2019 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Your Grace!

  3. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 9, 2019 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    I am living the new hymn writers and poets!

  4. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 9, 2019 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    I meant LOVING the new hymn writers and poets!

    • VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
      March 9, 2019 - 8:31 am | Permalink

      Me, too!

    • Carole, sjv's Gravatar Carole, sjv
      March 9, 2019 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Both living & loving! Lent Madness in spirit, song and rhyme. We are blessed. Merci.

  5. Thom's Gravatar Thom
    March 9, 2019 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Iggie, but I admit the title of “archmandirite” sounds awfully cool.

  6. St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
    March 9, 2019 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    I do the examen daily, so I had to vote for Ignatius. “Contemplatives in action” borders on oxymoron but seems right for our paradoxical human life. Tikhon seemed like a nice man. The fish soup anecdote makes no sense to me. It must have been a Friday. But I “get” Ignatius’ doctrine of the “two standards,” that in the battle of life we need to look up occasionally to see which flag we are fighting under. Are we still fighting the good fight, or in the heat and dust, have we strayed over to the devil’s side? The Jesuits have much to answer for in their history, but they are a teaching order, and I have to side with teachers today. And stick a thumb in the eye of all Inquisitions. And put on a beautiful pair of boots in honor of the courtly, martial early Ignatius, who’s still looking pretty sharp in his scarlet and gold vestments.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 9, 2019 - 11:30 am | Permalink

      St. Celia, perhaps Palm Sunday is/was regarded as a day of fasting.

      • March 9, 2019 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes. The Lenten fast, for the Orthodox, is very strict: vegan, no oil either, and no Sunday breaks.

        • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
          March 10, 2019 - 1:42 am | Permalink

          No Sunday breaks! That’s more than 40 days! Sundays are always a feast day because they’re a day of Eucharist! I’ll have me a bowl of fish soup now . . .

  7. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    March 9, 2019 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Tikhon the Accidental Bishop — I LOVE it!

  8. Johanne Hills's Gravatar Johanne Hills
    March 9, 2019 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I have not been on the winning side of any votes so far. and I suspect I will not be today. I know and appreciate the great ideas that Ignacio’s of Loyola inspired. but the Russian church, which has held true its devotion to Christ through millennia, needs to be honoured too so, today, despite all the not fake news about Russian interference, I am voting for a compassionate and caring leader!

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 9, 2019 - 8:23 am | Permalink

      The Russian Orthodox church survived by preaching obedience to secular authority and allied itself with the power structure. I tend to think the best representative of Russian piety is Alyosha Karamozov, and he’s fictional.

      • Robert Garrett's Gravatar Robert Garrett
        March 9, 2019 - 9:43 am | Permalink

        Some say that Dostoyevsky was influenced by the writings and teachings of St. Tikhon in developing the character of Alyosha. I voted for St. Tikhon because I wanted to see some more involvement of Orthodox saints in Lent Madness (as well as for his own saintly qualities). I think the Western Church would benefit from a wider experience of Orthodox Christianity and its saints and teachings.

        • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
          March 9, 2019 - 10:07 am | Permalink

          Agree: both Greek and Russian. Also some “monophysite” (false terminology, I know) figures. Interesting that Dostoyevsky had used Tikhon for Alyosha, or perhaps for Father Zosima.

    • Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
      March 9, 2019 - 8:30 am | Permalink


    • Tim Rhea's Gravatar Tim Rhea
      March 9, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      I’m right there with you. It’s a great story, but voting for another Timothy made it a no-brainer!

    • Lynn Uzans's Gravatar Lynn Uzans
      March 9, 2019 - 9:12 am | Permalink

      So am I – his story is truly inspiring and the idea of a New Testament literate clergy needs repeating

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 9, 2019 - 11:42 am | Permalink

      me too, he did the work!

    • Thomasine's Gravatar Thomasine
      March 9, 2019 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

      I also haven’t been on the winning side yet, but I wouldn’t change my votes. And like you I probably will not be on the winning side today. I loved the story of Tikhon. I grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church so he gets my vote.

  9. Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
    March 9, 2019 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Jesuits can be found everywhere ministering and teaching. I went to a Jesuit college, my kids went to a Jesuit college, and my spiritual directors have all been Jesuits. I guess I bleed Jesuit! AMDG ( ad majorem Dei gloriam- Jesuit motto- for the greater glory of God)

  10. Susan Reeves's Gravatar Susan Reeves
    March 9, 2019 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Love is everything. I vote for Tikhon, who made love his objective in everything.

  11. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 9, 2019 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Learning more about these saints.

  12. Kirk's Gravatar Kirk
    March 9, 2019 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Ignatius’ message that God is present in all things gave me the thought that if God is present in all things, then the opportunity for discipleship must also be present in all things. I admit I don’t know much about Jesuit teachings, but I wonder if that thought is part of it.

    • March 9, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      I really wrestled with my vote this morning. I’m drawn to monastics, and scholars anyway, and both these guys are that. Eventually, my vote went to Ignatius because of his (and his order’s) work in the world. I, too have a degree (a masters) from a Jesuit University.

  13. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 9, 2019 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I’m a rooter for the underdog. Tikhon did not become a bishop by accident, but by act of God. Loyola may win the golden halo, but Tikhon gets my praise and honor.

  14. Priscilla Szerdi's Gravatar Priscilla Szerdi
    March 9, 2019 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    It looks and sounds to me like Tikhon followed the way of love. I love the collect attributed to him! Go Tikhon, spread the love!

    • Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
      March 9, 2019 - 8:53 am | Permalink

      I’m with you on this one, Priscilla. I have great respect for the Jesuits, particularly in their valuing the study of Creation, but the words on love speak most strongly to me today.

    • Germaine Bergeron-Lynn's Gravatar Germaine Bergeron-Lynn
      March 9, 2019 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

      After prayerful consideration and study, I voted for Tikhon. I love Ignatian spirituality. It speaks to my soul and sustains me, so I assumed yesterday that I’d be voting for St. Ignatius. Lo, that was before I read up on St. Tikhon, whom I’d not heard of prior to Lent Madness. Once I knew more about this Saint, he had to have my vote. I refer you to one of the articles I read: ST. TIKHON OF ZADONSK: VICTOR OVER MELANCHOLY found at http://orthochristian.com/105992.html.

  15. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 9, 2019 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    I went with Ignatius because his intuitive approach to faith mirrors my own.

  16. March 9, 2019 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Out of love and respect for the Orthodox Church, this graduate of Fordham votes for Tikhon

  17. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    March 9, 2019 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Eating the fish soup.

  18. Judy's Gravatar Judy
    March 9, 2019 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Ignatius is my guy. Once again God chooses an unlikely and hardly saintly person to do Hos work. The Holy Spirit must have been at work curating Ignatius’ library while he recovered. But, mark of a saint, ignatius followed Gods will in face of big human “push back” (think Inquisition) and gave us spiritual pathways and education through the ages. Oh but not to ignore Tihkon. The Holy Spirit had to be at work anointing him bishop. He too deserves his saintly glory and more study on my part. Next year, Tikhon.

  19. Susie Stanley's Gravatar Susie Stanley
    March 9, 2019 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    I love Learning About Saints I didn’t know before. I am fascinated with the life of Tikhon he as diligent in following Christ and helped
    The other leaders of the Faith follow Christ more diligently. I love that he became a Bishop in the Biblical way of casting Lots. Three times makes me wonder if they were looking for a different answer.

    I started out knowing I would choose Ignatius but found I was compelled to change my mind

    • Carol Hessler's Gravatar Carol Hessler
      March 9, 2019 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

      It feels like anything that happens “accidentally” three times was meant to happen. Decided I wanted to know more of what was meant to happen in this saint’s life.

  20. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 9, 2019 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Accidentally becoming bishop and eating fish soup. Couldn’t resist him.

  21. Helen Hunt Sigler's Gravatar Helen Hunt Sigler
    March 9, 2019 - 9:07 am | Permalink


  22. March 9, 2019 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Loyal to the saint of Loyola.

  23. Ann Cooper's Gravatar Ann Cooper
    March 9, 2019 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    So many wonderful things come out of “accidents” that open unexpected opportunities and reveal hitherto unexpected talents. Ignatius is widely known and admired. Today I am going with Tithonus, fish soup, and love.

  24. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 9, 2019 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    There are a lot of things about Ignatius I admire, but he’s already winning in a landslide and I’m gonna go for the underdog this time. My brother was remotely associated with Russian Orthodoxy when he was teaching Russian language/literature/culture and gave a few well-received classes on Russian Orthodox iconography. Plus, the modern British composer John Tavener was Russian Orthodox (converted from a proper Anglican upbringing–irony alert) and did a stunning (and little-known) setting of Akathist of Thanksgiving based on a Russian Orthodox text.

    • Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
      March 9, 2019 - 9:23 am | Permalink

      Those reasons don’t have much to do with Tikhon himself, do they?

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

    Because folks were so intrigued by the dragon in Martha of Bethany’s story, I want to point out that Ignatz also had a very interesting vision of a something like a dragon (maybe the devil?). This page quotes the story from his autobiography:

  26. Debbie S.'s Gravatar Debbie S.
    March 9, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    As a retired educator, my vote went for Tikhonwith with his emphasis on the importance of education for everyone.

  27. Kate the Catechist's Gravatar Kate the Catechist
    March 9, 2019 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    I’m with Ignatius this round!

  28. March 9, 2019 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t quite get it, Tikhon showed his kindness by eating the poor monks’ soup? I’ll vote for him anway, but I think he should have invited them to lunch.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 9, 2019 - 2:45 pm | Permalink

      I think the context was that they were supposed to be fasting and he caught them mid-slurp. Instead of chiding, he reached out and joined in. Love was more important than law.

      • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
        March 9, 2019 - 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for clearing that up! I was confused about that also.

  29. Gillian's Gravatar Gillian
    March 9, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    St. Ignatius for me! I follow Richard Rohr and love the idea of contemplatives in action. Both contemplation and action are necessary in our world. Also, when I was a child, our neighborhood Catholic church/school were named for St. Ignatius. My sister and I both took music lessons there and got their over-flowing folk masses inspired our Episcopal youth group to start doing folk masses too.

  30. Carolyn Albright's Gravatar Carolyn Albright
    March 9, 2019 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    I vote for the underdogs, too. Tihkon’s story resonated with mine, a Mennonite pastor, from a tradition that chose their pastors by drawing lots. I am also an elementary school teacher, and loved reading that Tihkon promoted education for all. I am more educated, having read of him today!

    I practice Ignatius’s daily examen, however, but he is so famous, I went with my gut feeling to help make some lesser known saints more well known.

  31. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 9, 2019 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    I didn’t understand this graf.

    Throughout his life, he slept on straw, covered by a sheepskin. He was strict toward himself but kind to others. One Palm Sunday, he happened upon two fellow monks eating fish soup, and when he saw their distress, he said. “Sit down, for I know you. Love is higher than fasting.” He shared their soup to calm them.

  32. Donald Harting's Gravatar Donald Harting
    March 9, 2019 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Having made the Spiritual Exercises in 1999 and having had a spiritual awakening resulting in a sense of calling and vocation that has changed my life for the better over the past two decades, there is no way I can vote today for anyone but St. Ignatius. Little did I know, while I was growing up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, or going to high school in New Jersey and Delaware, or college in Massachusetts, or teaching in England or riding my bicycle across Europe, or starting my first career as a newspaper reporter, that I would one day be called into service on behalf of my fellow children of divorced parents. It’s not a calling I sought out, or wanted, or prepared for in any way, at least not on a conscious level. (None of my formal education has anything to with helping children, per se.) But I find this calling, discerned in the context of the Ignatian exercises, makes sense in a peculiar way, grounded in the particular details of who I am, where I come from, and how I was raised. The shoe fits, so I wear it. And I plan to continue wearing it, God willing, for the next 20 years. Perhaps the most wonderful part is how I’ve discovered that I am not walking alone along this road. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are also trying to help children of divorced parents. And one of them is my marvelous, loving, committed, skilled, experienced, and hard-working wife! (Laura is a child and family therapist, God brought her into my life in 1986.) So far I’ve discovered more than 100 books written in English, aiming to help kids at different ages and stages of life. I’ve also discovered a number of small group programs, some secular, some religious; and some are quite good. Thanks to hundreds of good-hearted souls (many of whom are parents, grandparents, school counselors, and teachers) who request our free children’s books via the Internet, we’ve been able to help kids in 49 states and 13 foreign countries as of this writing. (Rhode Island is the lone holdout, go figure.) Donors in our parish (St. James Episcopal Church in Downingtown, PA) have opened their pocketbooks in most generous fashion, our rector and vestry are solidly behind us, and we’ve even just received our first grant from an agency affiliated with the national denomination in New York. As I pray for continued guidance, wisdom, and strength in decades ahead, I cannot help but be struck by how my family of origin, my immediate family, my extended family, my church family, and even my denominational family are saturated with divorce, all the way back to the establishment of the Anglican Church in 1534 about the same time Henry VIII was excommunicated by Pope Clement VII because he divorced Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn! I’m also alternately discouraged and tantalized by the vast dimensions of the divorce problem: an epidemic of marital instability has been raging in the United States for decades, and by now the number of children of divorced parents in America must range in the millions, or tens of millions. So true, what our Lord said, about the harvest being plentiful, but the laborers few. As Episcopalians we say we wish to evangelize; would this not be a marvelous mission field, so close to home? It seems like the disintegration of marriage, as an institution, could be our denomination’s undoing, or our salvation. Certainly I’m not the first to notice how the Episcopal Church is ripe for renewal. So much depends on how we respond. To me, it comes back to forgiveness, in this case, one generation forgiving another. And to me, the capacity to forgive my parents and other members of their generation comes from the Holy Spirit. Ideally, we will all respond as Jesus prayed that we (his disciples) would on the night before he died: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23) As David Sibley’s brief biography points out, Ignatius encourages us to seek and find God’s presence in all things, not just inside monasteries and church buildings. Would it not be a marvelous sign to the world of God’s presence within and among us if we were able to forgive each other inside our homes and families?

  33. March 9, 2019 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    I went into this certain I would vote for Igantius, but Tikhon the accidental bishop who was hard on himself but kind to others. He stole my heart.

  34. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    March 9, 2019 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    I know the Jesuits have done much good, but they also have done a lot of harm, so that kind of turned me off to Ignatius. But I’m curious about the rest of Ignatius’ life. What happened after the Inquisitions, what did his Jesuits do in his lifetime, what are his miracles, how did he die? Inquiring minds….

    I loved the story of Tikhon’s accidentally becoming a bishop! That’s the way it goes in this life—you’re walking down one path, and suddenly you’re called down another. The things you think you can count on suddenly fall away; best laid plans get scrapped on you and you have to start over. How to do that gracefully—that’s the key!

    The sentence that really struck me was “He took his position very seriously.” Did he know he had been elected accidentally? It didn’t matter. He followed his new path and took it to heart.

    And this is extrapolating way too much, I guess, but it’s good to remember that Russia has such a rich Christian history; politicians may do dirty work, but we have brothers and sisters there to love as well.

    I vote for Tikhon, for trusting enough to take new paths, for love, for taking things seriously and doing your best when life isn’t what you’d planned on.

    • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
      March 9, 2019 - 11:54 am | Permalink

      Thanks for highlighting that neat point! When I’ve been in (or perceived that I was) in Tikhon’s position, I’m afraid I tended to focus on the negative.
      Food for reflection!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 9, 2019 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

        You are welcome!

  35. Mary Miers's Gravatar Mary Miers
    March 9, 2019 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice—given the pool of candidates, it seems appropriate. But I did not hesitate to vote for Ignatius. My faith was shaped by my father, a graduate of Marquette, who helped me sort through the mix of truth and mythology that shaped much of Roman Catholic education when I was growing up pre-Vatican 2. And my dearest friend was proudly christened Anne Loyola! And I share the love of political and Jesuitical.

  36. PatriciaTerry's Gravatar PatriciaTerry
    March 9, 2019 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Jesuits rock!

  37. Timothy's cousin's Gravatar Timothy's cousin
    March 9, 2019 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Ignatius has my deepest gratitude for establishing the Jesuit order, but I fell for Tihko’s spirit: love is stronger than fasting.

  38. Carolyn Mack's Gravatar Carolyn Mack
    March 9, 2019 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    “Love is higher than fasting.” Given his youth, Tikhon understood Jeses’s message better than any aristocrat could do. I voted for God’s love, not military discipline.

  39. Irene's Gravatar Irene
    March 9, 2019 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    I was the first person in my family to graduate from college thanks to Fordham University which gave me very generous financial aid AND a great education. With gratitude to Fordham and to two of the best teachers I ever had, Fr William (W.M.A.) Grimaildi, sj, and Fr. Thomas Bermingham, sj, my vote goes to St. Ignatius.

  40. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 9, 2019 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Tikhon, who knew that love was and is the higher law.

  41. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    March 9, 2019 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    The Jesuits have had such a profound influence on me and while I seem to be going with all the front runners, I gotta go with Iggy today!

  42. Madame Senora's Gravatar Madame Senora
    March 9, 2019 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Iggy’s prayer is one worth remembering.

    Dearest Lord,
    teach me to be generous;
    teach me to serve You as You deserve;
    to give and not to count the cost,
    to fight and not to heed the wounds,
    to toil and not to seek for rest,
    to labour and not to ask for reward
    save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.

  43. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 9, 2019 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    It’s about the halos and the bright infinities.

    I entered the Madness this morning predisposed to vote for Tikhon because of his name (which he shares with my rector Timon of Khingamsk, aka Father Tim of Hingham, Massachusetts) and a vague mistrust of things Jesuitical. After reading the bios I know a lot more about Íñigo and infinitely more, but still very little, about Timon, whom the Wiki article on Zadonsk describes as “a miracle-working starets” [monastic spiritual advisor]. The Wikiscoop on Timon suggests that he was canonized by the Orthodox Church largely because of posthumous miracles associated with his reportedly incorrupt body.

    What I found lacking in these sources, as well as the bio, was what would distinguish Timon from so many, many other saintly women and men as an aspirant to the Halo of Haloes. No doubt his halo, like theirs, is bright as the noonday, but GOLDEN? As one who dares hope to squeak into Heaven and will be very content with “a rusty ol’ halo and a skinny white cloud,” I am much impressed by Tikhon’s résumé, but not awed as I trust I will be by that of our eventual haloee.

    With Ignatius, on the other hand, the question seems to be not the metal from which his halo is forged but its carat content. For yes, as the mathematicians tell us is true of infinities, there are orders of golden haloes. They range from one carat (23/24 copper but very bright withal) all the way up to Our Lady’s ineffable twenty-four-carat crown, and Ignatius’s is surely well over the 1K threshold. Of course he was imperfect and, as has been said in an earlier posting, his order has much to answer for; but the Wilberforcean power of his transformation, the purity of his soul, and his great and good accomplishments have unexpectedly won my vote today.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 9, 2019 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Davis, I like what you said, and I especially like the way you said it. You really have a gift!

  44. Canadian Pip's Gravatar Canadian Pip
    March 9, 2019 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    A vegetable gardener, who enjoys fish soup with others and who accidently became a bishop definitely gets my vote.

  45. Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
    March 9, 2019 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    I love thee words attributed to Tikhon in his collect “Love believes and hopes….It is ashamed of nothing”. It sounds like something Bishop Curry would say.

    However, I had to vote for comtemplatives in action (Ignatius) today. I know that the Jesuits have some not so good history but that is true throughout Christian history. Their dedication to education for all resonates with me. Check out St. Joseph’s Indian School (https://www.stjo.org/) in South Dakota.

  46. March 9, 2019 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, Ignatius is tainted by the blood purity regulations of the Society he founded. The resolution passed by the Fifth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in 1593 remained until repudiated in 1946 – “No one shall be admitted to this Society who is descended of Hebrew stock”. This restriction was extended to “parents” back to “the fifth degree of family lineage”. The Russian Orthodox Church is implicated in the sad history of programs, but the Jesuit position that fed into the genocidal antisemitism of Western Christianity. A difficult choice – but Tikhon gets my nod.

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 9, 2019 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      The 1593 resolution occurred thirty-seven years after Ignatius’ death in 1556, and ran directly counter to his actions in life. In a time when Jews and marranos (descendants of Jewish-Christian descent) were routinely persecuted, Ignatius’ views were far more moderate. In his “Life of Ignatius of Loyola”, his biographer Pedro Ribadeneira writes:

      One day when many of us were dining together, [Ignatius], speaking of himself about a certain topic, said that he would take it as a special grace from our Lord to come from Jewish lineage; and adding the reason, he said: “Why imagine! That a man could be a kinsman by blood [secundum carnem] of Christ our Lord and of our Lady the glorious Virgin Mary!” He spoke these words with such a facial expression and with so much emotion that tears welled into his eyes. This was something that deeply impressed everyone.

      For a great deal more information, see “St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews” by James W. Reites, S.J., in which I found this passage.

      I’ve got to hand it to Lent Madness; it makes you dig deeper.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 9, 2019 - 11:51 am | Permalink

      I had not been aware of the anti-semitism embedded in Jesuit documents. I see that it was repudiated after WWII. I’m not defending this stance, but it is worth noting the comparative history. France’s “Code Noir” of 1685, which regulated the new world colonies, expelled both Jews and Protestants from all the colonies. The Code Noir lasted until 1848. The reformed church in France condemned anti-semitism in 1942. Prior to 1962 the Roman Catholic church included a prayer in its Good Friday service for the conversion of the Jews. So acknowledgement of a strain of anti-semitism infecting Christianity has been slow in coming and efforts to eliminate it are highly belated. Nevertheless, such work has made good progress. (I would caution however that “evangelical” support for Israel has nothing to do with anti-semitism but instead promotes reactionary policies that employ fanatical fervor as fuel.) I trust today’s Jesuits would combat anti-semitism as vigorously as they would combat poverty and the darkness of ignorance.

  47. monica irwin's Gravatar monica irwin
    March 9, 2019 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    as an ex-lutheran i grew up believing ignastiness had horns and a tail—so go Tikhon, go, go, go

  48. June's Gravatar June
    March 9, 2019 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Tikhon for me! Love makes all things possible!

  49. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 9, 2019 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Light dawns: Inigo Jones! The ever-resourceful Wikipedia has an interesting piece on the name, which is unrelated to “Ignatius” and turns out to have enjoyed a period of popularity in Wales as well as the Iberian Peninsula. Who knew?

  50. Greg's Gravatar Greg
    March 9, 2019 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    I am at this time undertaking the Spiritual Execises, and have found Ignatius a very real saint of very real humanity. There is so much wisdom in his teachings and his descendants (Richard Rohrbaugh, James Martin) have taught me so much … I must vote for St Ignatius!

  51. Janet S, TSSF's Gravatar Janet S, TSSF
    March 9, 2019 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Vegetable gardening as the first step on the path to sainthood! Hooray! I’m on the right path!

  52. Millie Ericsom's Gravatar Millie Ericsom
    March 9, 2019 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Loving all the comments today. G&S and Bernstein! A very erudite music group in our midst!! And, yes indeed, we need a “like” button. Such brilliant observations, one and all.

    I am devoted to Ignation spiritualality and the Daily Examen, but found the fish soup story very compelling – so the Russian Chrysostom it is!

  53. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 9, 2019 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    “Love believes and hopes…it is ashamed of nothing”. Tikhon. Yes, my choice.
    And maybe it had something to do with the vegetable garden, and fish soup recipies in the kitsch round?
    Perhaps I am actually voting for Megan Castellan—she has such a way with words!

  54. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    March 9, 2019 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    I usually look for the link of the 2 candidates – why these particular saints and what do they have in common? Today they are both Accidental Bishops andat j they both teach love, education, and finding God in the everyday.
    As to the fish soup: Fast Days abounded in all Christian churches, and Palm Sunday was no exception. It was not the celebration that it is today and it would have been more forgivable to find the monks drunk and naked than eating on a Fast Day. Tikon saw and acknowledged that eating on a Fast Day is not a great a sin and joined them to prove it. He could have been sleeping on a feather mattress as the Accidental Bishop, but chose to live as humbly as he expected his clergy to.
    They are both great men, teachers, lovers of God and Christ, and seers of God’s love in the everyday. I think I have just talked myself into voting for Tikon.

  55. Ann B's Gravatar Ann B
    March 9, 2019 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    If by Lot 3 times he was chosen to be Bishop then who am I to go against the lots? So my vote goes to the accidental Bishop.

  56. The Tysons's Gravatar The Tysons
    March 9, 2019 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    One Catholic and one Lutheran debating and voting after breakfast each morning. Ignatius
    gets our vote today.

  57. Barbara Kurtz's Gravatar Barbara Kurtz
    March 9, 2019 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Ignatious of Loyola has always inspired me. I’m so glad he’s here!

  58. Sandy W's Gravatar Sandy W
    March 9, 2019 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    I am glad to learn of Tikhon. His commitment to love and the importance of education for all gets my vote.

  59. Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
    March 9, 2019 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Interesting that both men concerned themselves with penning a Rule of Life that adherants might follow. Great minds inspired by the Great and Holy Spirit!
    I’ve been a fan of Ignatius since I stumbled across that British Pray-As-You-Go.org podcast, which was my first intro to his “finding God in our day to day” contemplative practice. As to Tikhon, I got lost in the story of the clergy who in such distress over their fish soup… but it was fun imagining his show of solidarity and calming influence as he sat and ate with them. Like a modern day teacher joining the kids in the lunch room eating food made from gross USDA commodities.
    I’m tempted to vote for the edgy Orthodox – the underdog, and, I have a neighbor named Sololovsky….perhaps their related?

  60. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 9, 2019 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    A close race today. I voted for St. Ignatius because of his faith that God was not confined to churches and monasteries. Also, my son graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas.

  61. Rupert's Gravatar Rupert
    March 9, 2019 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    This was a tough choice!

  62. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    March 9, 2019 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    Love believes and hopes…It is ashamed of nothing. This is a powerful statement.

  63. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 9, 2019 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Megan writes that Tikhon of Zadonsk was accidentally chosen as Bishop of Novgorod.

    Was Matthias accidentally chosen to replace Judas? Did Joseph accidentally end up right hand man to Pharaoh? Did Abram & Sarai accidentally move west from Mesopotamia towards the Jordan River? Did Noah accidentally build an ark? Did the BVM accidentally end up pregnant with the Christ child? Was the birth of the prophet Samuel an accident? Did David’s slingshot stone accidentally take down Goliath?

    One does not end up accidentally a Bishop any more than one accidentally ends up a Priest or Deacon.

    And since the Jesuits, by no accident, got one of their own as Bishop of Rome, I voted for the far from accidental Bishop of Novgorod.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 9, 2019 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      Matthias became the replacement apostle by lot, which is by definition “accidental,” by chance.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 9, 2019 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

        It was no accident that they cast lots to determine the will of God.

        • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
          March 9, 2019 - 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Well, by that logic, it was no accident that they got up that morning and ate in order to have strength to determine how to fulfill the will of God. 😉

  64. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    March 9, 2019 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    I voted for Tikhon–“Love is higher than fasting” pretty well sums it up.

    It was interesting that Ignatius’s given name was Inigo of Loyola. As an avid “Princess Bride” fan, the first thing that popped into my head was (you guessed it), “My name is Inigo of Loyola….”

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      March 9, 2019 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Me too. We aren’t alone. There are a few good memes around that would make great t-shirts if he makes it to the kitsch round eg “My name is Inigo Loyola. Your sins blaspheme our Father. Prepare to die to self.”
      I’m pleased Loyola is doing so well (great write-up) but Tikhon got my vote today. Gotta love an “accidental” bishop who tries so hard.

  65. Weezie's Gravatar Weezie
    March 9, 2019 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    I’ll side with humility and simplicity every time. My vote goes to Tikhon.

  66. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 9, 2019 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Delighted to discover Tikhon and his commitment to education. (I do hope that the school he founded took girls). The lovely story of Tikhon sharing fish soup with embarrassed monks on Palm Sunday, and the moving prayer attributed to him won my vote today.

  67. Helen of Middletown's Gravatar Helen of Middletown
    March 9, 2019 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Tikhon, the accidental Bishop, promoter of education, and advocate of Love is my guy today. There is no such thing as accidents when it comes to the spreading of God’s Word.

  68. Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
    March 9, 2019 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    While living for several years in Nepal, I knew so many Jesuits who were truly “men for others,” who had given up so much to spend their entire lives in the service of the poor. They did it joyfully and with great respect for the Hindu and Buddhist culture. Two of them were my companions and support on a journey to freedom and faith. I converted to Catholicism in Kathmandu, and left to become an Episcopalian after 33 years. My Jesuit friends still alive have accepted that decision with grace and blessings. I could not do otherwise than vote for Ignatius.

  69. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    March 9, 2019 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I love the Collect attributed to Tipton of Zadonsk.

    • Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
      March 9, 2019 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

      My oh so careful spelling of Tikhon was sabotaged by the spell crustacean.

  70. Doug Kuhlmann's Gravatar Doug Kuhlmann
    March 9, 2019 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Went to Jesuit high school and Jesuit college. Had to vote for Ignatius. I too became an Episcopalian 37 years ago but am still inspired by the Jesuits.

  71. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 9, 2019 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Like many Western Christians I have deepened my spiritual life through the example and instructions of St. Ignatius Loyola, but my heart overrules my head with this one. Orthodox Spirituality has always called me from this world, and Tikhon will be among the first I look for in the Kingdom of God.

  72. Barbara Garner's Gravatar Barbara Garner
    March 9, 2019 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I was surprised to find just now that a maxim attributed to Ignatius Loyala expressing his concern for educating the whole man: “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man” may not have been penned by him.
    “Jesuit maxim widely attributed to Ignatius Loyola; according to Three Myths, by A. Beichman et al. (1981), p. 48, this saying was “attributed to him (perhaps mischievously) by Voltaire.” Partly because of this teaching maxim, I voted for him.

  73. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 9, 2019 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Happy Saturday! Ignatius for me.

  74. Rufus Hallmark's Gravatar Rufus Hallmark
    March 9, 2019 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius is, to my mind, obviously the more important of the two–(and his ideas and devotional practices have played a role in my life)–but I had never read about Tikhon of Zadonsk before, and I took quite a liking to him. So today I’m voting for him!

  75. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    March 9, 2019 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Tikhon as the underdog, but I am going to start reading the comments before I vote. There is such a wealth of information coming from so many of you, that it would inform my decision more to read more before I vote next time. Also, I truly admire the many musical references and lyrics from several of you. Thanks for making my Lents so informative and even exciting!

  76. Martin 11's Gravatar Martin 11
    March 9, 2019 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I chose Tikhon because I loved his prayer

  77. DONNA's Gravatar DONNA
    March 9, 2019 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Ignatius for a couple of reasons:
    1. His given name “Inigo” made me think of Inigo Montoya and who doesn’t love a good “Princess Bride” reference.
    2. That “church” extends beyond the four walls of building.

  78. Venitra DeGraffenreid's Gravatar Venitra DeGraffenreid
    March 9, 2019 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I mean, I’m from Cincinnati. I had to vote for Ignatious.

  79. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    March 9, 2019 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

    At first alarmed I was getting to the vote so late in the day this year, I am now humbled and thrilled with all I am learning from those who arrive here before me. Thank You All!!! While initially entertained by the very name Tikhon of Zadonsk of whom I had never heard, and therefore went into friend of the underdog mode, AND despite a dear to my heart message of “Love being higher than fasting”, Ignatius it is. Contemplatives in action, the examen – speaks to my own intuitive dimension of my current faith journey.

  80. Pamela P.'s Gravatar Pamela P.
    March 9, 2019 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    As a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, I had to vote for Ignatius. But I have to say I am glad to learn of Tikhon, who is new to me. An “accidental bishop” who thinks Love is higher than fasting…what’s not to like?!

  81. Mary-Theresa Anderson's Gravatar Mary-Theresa Anderson
    March 9, 2019 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Love is the most powerful virtue!!! He believed in love!!

  82. Passer Solomon's Gravatar Passer Solomon
    March 9, 2019 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The accidental election piece of Tikhon’s story made me chuckle (in this season when we might be led by an accidentally-elected person, who happens to be Russian).

  83. John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
    March 9, 2019 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I have always liked underdogs. I admire a person who has deep humility (something I lack) in a world of loud, clashing opinions and life styles. Loyola is too much of a swashbuckler for me.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 9, 2019 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

      He washed his buckler and swapped it for a chasuble and swore when he stored his shield to obey a basic belief in Jesus. (translated from the Basque)

      • March 10, 2019 - 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Holy Cow, Celia! You read Basque. Almost nobody reads Basque.

        • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
          March 11, 2019 - 7:31 am | Permalink

          Actually I didn’t even know if Basque was a written language. I am afraid I cannot blame Basque for my hyperbolic alliteration. But thanks for your faith in my ability! Now I feel honor bound to go learn Basque. Enjoy Lent.

  84. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 9, 2019 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius for us today. My nephew went to St Ignatius, and God visible in many things and ways is a good thing.

  85. Patricia H Laybourn's Gravatar Patricia H Laybourn
    March 9, 2019 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m learning about a lot of people, saints I’d not known before. I voted for Ignatius, I could picture the fish story.

    • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
      March 9, 2019 - 4:01 pm | Permalink

      So Jesus Himself could not be accepted as a member of the Society of Jesus?

      I’m not being sarcastic. It sounds like a fact. Yet, I am drawn to much that is written about Ignatius, and I have a dear friend named Ignacio who used to be a Jesuit. That was before he and I became friends, I introduced him to my roommate, (not knowing that he was planning to leave the Order), and they fell in love. She was United Methodist, as I am, and they wound up in an Episcopal church when they retired. But given all that, and my contemplative nature, I am still voting for the stranger, the one I never heard of, but who found love to be more important than rules. I hope to be able to search him out in whatever corner of Heaven is sheltering him when I get there.

  86. Carole, sjv's Gravatar Carole, sjv
    March 9, 2019 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    From Marquette through Loyola High School and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (GO JVC), ours has long been a Jesuit family, so I’ve voted for St. Ignatius of Loyola. Through basketball, from which we draw the brackets of this wonderful Madness, I’ve learned there’s a powehouse team, Nizhny Novgorod. Long my they make baskets in your honor, Tikhon. I loved, as a cheeky Jesuit Volunteer, signing my name with “SJV” at the end. After all, women and men, weren’t we “in the Jesuits” :-). Blessings all.

  87. Kaye Bellot's Gravatar Kaye Bellot
    March 9, 2019 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m going with Tikhon. I’ve read too much history about what the Jesuits did in the course of colonization of native lands.

  88. Olga Joloud's Gravatar Olga Joloud
    March 9, 2019 - 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I wote for Tikhon. He lived very simple all his life. Being strict to himself he was kind to others. He promoted education

  89. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    March 9, 2019 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Tikhon of Zadonsk wrote on the nature and mystery of Christianity and he ate fish soup to calm them down. One Sunday after church a group of us went to a Wake Forest basketball game and were having a glass of wine in the pre-game lounge, and joined a couple at a stand up table who were also having a glass of wine. In the course of conversation someone mentioned we’d come from church (We all looked like we had)– and the man in the couple said they had too he and he was the Baptist minister. Then he said something clever about having wine. He was quite upset. We told him the Baptist had it all wrong. Jesus was holding a glass of wine…By the time we were done I’m quite sure he knew he had been absolved. Now I have to try find those books what’s his name wrote.

  90. Laurie Eiserloh's Gravatar Laurie Eiserloh
    March 9, 2019 - 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    • Isabelle Melese-d'Hospital's Gravatar Isabelle Melese-d'Hospital
      March 9, 2019 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Their chief weapons are surprise…
      LOL! Thank you, Laurie, i needed the laugh as i agonize over today’s choices…

  91. Stephen Griffith's Gravatar Stephen Griffith
    March 9, 2019 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Elected bishop by accident! That’s too good to overlook. I vote for Tikhon.

  92. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 9, 2019 - 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Having been born into the Russian Orthodox faith, I have a soft spot in my heart for St. Tikhon. Having visited Peru I have a special disregard for the religion and ways of the Conquistadores. Sorry, My vote was for St. Tikhon.

  93. Nora's Gravatar Nora
    March 9, 2019 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I want to read Spritiual exercises.

  94. Martha Cook's Gravatar Martha Cook
    March 9, 2019 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much to Tim, to Adam, and all the rest who are giving up their valuable time to enlighten us. I had never heard of Tikhon….

  95. Sai's Gravatar Sai
    March 9, 2019 - 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I am as baffled by people who voted for Tikhon because of his ‘accidental’ selection as bishop as I am by those who wouldn’t vote for Ignatius because of what was done by the Jesuits after Ignatius was long gone. Neither reason seems to apply to the men themselves. Ah, well, this is Lent ‘Madness,’ so one’s reasons needn’t make sense to anyone else.

    • March 9, 2019 - 11:55 pm | Permalink

      If “accidental” actually means “thru the intervention of the Holy Spirit”, it makes sense to me!

  96. KarenB's Gravatar KarenB
    March 9, 2019 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Such a difficult decision today: “God is present in all things” versus “Love … turns the impossible into the possible.” I finally went with St. Ignatius because of the good done by those who have followed in his path, but also in spite of the harm done by other Jesuits who claimed to follow the same guidance. Tikhon simply puzzled me…

  97. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 9, 2019 - 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Tikhon. Gardener and I liked the Collect.

  98. Diane in Maine's Gravatar Diane in Maine
    March 9, 2019 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Continuing the Tikhon quote: Love believes and hopes …. It is ashamed of nothing. Without it, what is the use of prayer? What use are hymns and singing? What is the use of building and adorning churches?
    Amen to that.

  99. Victoria Gaile's Gravatar Victoria Gaile
    March 9, 2019 - 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Ignatius, the Jesuits, & the Spiritual Exercises are so well known already, and I was drawn to honor Tikhon’s vocation as a teacher in so much of his life. Plus yay Orthodox saints!

    Also, gotta admit, it seriously bothers me that Ignatius intentionally excluded women from the Society of Jesus, an exclusion that holds to this day: unlike many Catholic religious orders, there is no women’s order of Jesuits. During Women’s History Month, that was the last straw.

  100. Terrie Wallace's Gravatar Terrie Wallace
    March 9, 2019 - 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I chose Tikhon and I too loved his prayer. His simple, short words to the monks” love is higher than fasting,” I also thought were very deep, and thought-provoking.

  101. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    March 10, 2019 - 12:10 am | Permalink

    Tikhon sounds like an admirable fellow…I love the fish soup story. But I can’t not vote for Ignatius and the great influence he had in founding the Jesuits.

  102. Terrie Wallace's Gravatar Terrie Wallace
    March 10, 2019 - 12:47 am | Permalink

    I had also forgotten there is no way to edit comments and after I had posted the above got to thinking I might elaborate a little. There were the brothers engaging in a meal with their community… on Palm Sunday which was considered a fast day at the time. Ummmm… wait a second- WHen were they having dinner? A fast day… Oops… major rule of the church at that time broken, and what’s more- Bishop Tikhon saw them! Not only would they be in distress, but probably absolute fear as well where any repercussions they were aware might be forthcoming would be concerned. None of those preconceived worries and fears become reality though- Instead they only hear the gentle words “love is higher than fasting” which probably also leaves the monks pondering, Then to their further astonishment, Tikhon shoves aside protocol, trappings of years and years of tradition, and all the bindings of religious rules, and regulation and to probably by then their astonishment- sits down probably fellowshipped and treated them as equals and ate with them.

  103. James Oppenheimer-Crawford's Gravatar James Oppenheimer-Crawford
    March 10, 2019 - 5:18 am | Permalink

    Tikhon, a man of peace. I loved the way he spoke love to the monks who were having some soup, and then sat down to join them. An echo of a comment of Paul about eating meat.

  104. Janet Robinson's Gravatar Janet Robinson
    March 10, 2019 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Takhon, worked hard to teach monks and priests, set up a local school for all, very caring to others- Showed love by sharing the soup, circumstances over ran the rules.

  105. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 14, 2019 - 7:39 am | Permalink

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