Nicholas of Myra vs. Rudolph of Gubbio

After Monday’s cardiac arrest-inducing battle between Pandita Ramabai and Damien of Molokai, it was a bit easier on our Lenten hearts to have a close-but-not-too-close contest to determine the Battle of Rome yesterday. Paula of Rome came out on top, defeating Marcella of Rome 57% to 43% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, where she’ll face Gobnait.

Today, in the 16th and final pairing of the Round of 32, it’s the long-anticipated Santa vs. Rudolph Showdown, as Nicholas of Myra faces Rudolph of Gubbio. After this battle is complete, will Nicholas remain jolly with his belly shaking like a bowlful of jelly? Will Rudolph’s nose remain bright or will he no longer be allowed to join in any reindeer games? These are the questions of the day as we continue to whittle down the field of saintly souls.

Tomorrow, the Saintly Sixteen begins as Martha of Bethany takes on Nicodemus. But that’s a contest for another day. Let’s go finish up this first round, shall we?

Nicholas of Myra

nicholasTelling the story of Nicholas presents a unique challenge because of the sheer volume of historical record, legend, facts, and rumors about his life and impact. It is probably impossible to fully untangle the facts from the legends—and perhaps we don’t want to.

The bare facts are these. Nicholas was born in 270 CE to a wealthy Greek Christian family in Asia Minor. Following the loss of his parents, he went on a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine and was likely briefly imprisoned during an outbreak of Christian persecution. On returning from this journey, Nicholas was made the bishop of Myra, and in this role, he likely attended the Council of Nicaea. Nicholas died in 343, and shortly after his death he begins to be venerated for his kindness, generosity, and compassion.

In one of the best-known legends, Nicholas encountered a man with three daughters whose poverty did not allow him to provide them a dowry. Without a dowry, the young women would likely be sold into slavery. And so Nicholas secretly gifted the gold for their dowries—and according to legend, threw the gold through the window whereon it landed on their socks or shoes.

Again and again, the stories of Nicholas’s life come back to this theme of generosity and gift-giving. Whether it is the resurrection of the three youths, sparing the lives of those falsely accused, or returning children to their parents, Nicholas is remembered as the protector of the innocent, especially of children.

Within just a few short generations after Nicholas’s death, churches began to be dedicated to the memory of this kind and generous bishop. As his veneration spread across Europe, the traditions of Saint Nicholas combined with other local traditions, giving us the historical roots for Santa Claus. The remembrance of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker—patron of children, sailors, the falsely accused, and many others— continues to be observed on December 6.

Regardless of where one chooses to draw the line between the history and the legend of Saint Nicholas, his story has inspired generations of faithful women and men to acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion. Nicholas reminds us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to act on behalf of those who have no defender.

Collect for Nicholas of Myra
Almighty God, in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: Grant, we pray, that your church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

David Hansen

Rudolph of Gubbio

Rudolph of Gubbio was born in 1034 just outside of Gubbio, Italy. His father was a feudal lord. When he was about 17 years old, Rudolph encountered Saint Peter Damian and was converted to Christianity. He, along with his mother, now a widow, and brothers, decided to give their castle and possessions to the church. He became a disciple of Saint Peter Damian and joined the Benedictine Order.

While in the monastery, he studied philosophy and theology and excelled in Latin. He became a priest and practiced a rigorous asceticism. Rudolph wore a hair shirt and avoided meat, eggs, and cheese. He slept on a wooden board without blankets. Self-torture was routinely engaged. His body was so weakened by the ascetic practices that he developed a system of ropes to support him as he recited the psalms.

Rudolph’s piety was so well-known that although the church law said he was not yet old enough, Rudolph was made bishop of Gubbio at around age 25. Rudolph reluctantly accepted the charge, but his elevation to bishop did not change his piety. He continued to live humbly and austerely. He would only eat the food that was given to servants. He would often walk barefoot, using wooden clogs only in the winter. As bishop, he paid particular attention to those who were poor and vulnerable. His concern for those in need led one of his biographers to call him a “miracle of unselfishness.”

His long fasts and the severe treatment of his body ultimately took their toll. On October 17, 1066, still in his early 30s, Rudolph died. He was buried in the Cathedral of Gubbio. His body disappeared when the cathedral was renovated in 1670.

Collect for Rudolph of Gubbio
O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Rudolph of Gubbio, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

David Creech

Nicholas of Myra vs. Rudolph of Gubbio

  • Nicholas of Myra (92%, 7,073 Votes)
  • Rudolph of Gubbio (8%, 623 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,696

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Nicholas of Myra: Image: Saint Nicholas, by Jaroslav Čermák (1831 – 1878)
Public Domain.Čermák_(1831_-_1878)_-_Sv._Mikuláš.jpg
Rudolph of Gubbio: Illustration by Alexis Fortuna Caoili

182 Comments to "Nicholas of Myra vs. Rudolph of Gubbio"

  1. Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
    March 27, 2019 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    As a musical tribute, we will honor Nicholas and Rudolph to the tune of that holiday favorite “We Need a Little Christmas” from the Jerry Herman classic, “Mame” – Ho, Ho, Ho!

    Nich’las of Myra
    Went on a pilgrimage and was imprisoned there.
    They made him bishop.
    Helped make Nicaean Council’s bold decisions there, now.

    But we need the Nich’las legends:
    Tales of kids and giving.
    Gifting gold for dowries,
    Raise dead boys now living.
    Yes, we need the Nich’las legends:
    Aid to all the blameless.
    His veneration grows because
    St. Nick is known as Santa Claus, so…

    Let’s turn to Rudolph!
    Met Peter Damien and gave all his wealth away.
    Turned Benedictine.
    They made him bishop though he had too few birthdays, now.

    Rudolph lived as an aesthetic:
    Won’t eat meat, eggs, cheeses;
    Hair shirts and self-torture;
    All of this for Jesus.
    His long fasts and body treatment
    Killed him in mid-thirties.
    Rudolph is so sainted, now.

    Nich’las of Myra:
    The legends of this man made him a well-known saint.
    Rudolph of Gubbio:
    Aesthetic living brought this young man to a faint, now.

    For we have the Nich’las legends.
    Everybody’s talking.
    Gold thrown through the windows
    Ends up in a stocking.
    And, let’s not forget our Rudolph.
    Rigorous aesthetic –
    Tied some ropes onto his arms
    To keep him up while singing psalms.

    So, review their profiles.
    Just one last vote to end the Round of 32.
    Click on the email.
    Follow the voting link. You should know what to do, now.

    For we need to do our voting.
    Need it bold or faintly.
    Need for one to join the
    Sixteen who are Saintly.
    And we need the Golden Halo
    Which will crown our winner.
    Need to have Lent Madness, now!
    Need to have Lent Madness, now!

    • Sue's Gravatar Sue
      March 27, 2019 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much for all your amazing songs.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      A Christmas song for these two. How perfect is that?

      • Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
        March 27, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

        What else?

    • Laura of Ohio's Gravatar Laura of Ohio
      March 27, 2019 - 9:41 am | Permalink

      Oh, my! You outdid yourself today! I can’t stop laughing — such clever lyrics! I’m going to have that tune stuck in my head all day now, you know, and you’ll be the one to blame for it, you know. 😉

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 27, 2019 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      I had already voted when I read your splendid lyrics, but I sang the words in my head anyway.
      Thank you, Michael, for starting out our days with a song.

    • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
      March 27, 2019 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant. This will be stuck in my head all day now.

    • Grace's Gravatar Grace
      March 27, 2019 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

      This is awesome, as all your songs have been!

    • Diane in Colorado's Gravatar Diane in Colorado
      March 27, 2019 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

      This is the best one yet! Thank you!

  2. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 27, 2019 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    My ballot today goes to Nicholas
    Foe of butchers who’d murder and picholas.†
    As we finish Round One
    With our brackets undone,
    May the tale of St. Nicholas ticholas.

    † ”Another famous late legend tells how he resurrected three children, who had been murdered and pickled in brine by a butcher planning to sell them as pork during a famine.”

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 27, 2019 - 8:02 am | Permalink

      …As an aspiring Lenten poet, I consider this a direct sign of God’s presence in my daily life. 🙂

      • March 27, 2019 - 10:54 am | Permalink

        John Cabot, If your rhymes are a direct sign of God’s presence in your daily life, they are a sign of great joy in mine. I read them first and then go read the biographies. Someone who uses words to entertain and enlighten without asterisks to block out the obscenities is wonderful–and unusual. I look at the daily news and then, just when I am considering resigning from the human race, I go to Lenten madness and there you are and Susan Hauser, and Michael Wachter and St. Celia and all the other good people. Thank you.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 27, 2019 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Oh, Nancy, you are a dear. This community is so important to me; I feel much as you do!

    • Sue's Gravatar Sue
      March 27, 2019 - 8:09 am | Permalink

      You really out did yourself today. Love it. Thank you for all your great entertainment during Lent Madness.

    • Kate Mason's Gravatar Kate Mason
      March 27, 2019 - 8:20 am | Permalink

      Not just an homage to Nicholas, but a reflection on where we are with the brackets. Nicholas isn’t the only one to tickle us! Thank you, John!

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 27, 2019 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      Best limerick yet!

    • Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
      March 27, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink

      Brackets undone? Counting St. Nick, I am 14 out of 16 in the Round of 32.

      • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
        March 27, 2019 - 7:11 pm | Permalink

        “…brackets near-won” in your case, Michael.

    • etupper's Gravatar etupper
      March 27, 2019 - 8:45 am | Permalink

      As I begin my day with the “Need a Little Nicholas” earworm, do consider me ticholed.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 8:45 am | Permalink

      I love it love it love it! Do more of those invented rhymes, because they are hilarious!

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 27, 2019 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      GROAN, which is the appropriate way to praise a pun.
      Thank you, John, and keep ’em coming.

    • Grace's Gravatar Grace
      March 27, 2019 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I think this is your best yet!

  3. Carolyn Mack's Gravatar Carolyn Mack
    March 27, 2019 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Inspiration acts of kindness and God’s love (caritas or charity) versus wearing a hair shirt. Nicholas all the way!

    • Carolyn Mack's Gravatar Carolyn Mack
      March 27, 2019 - 8:09 am | Permalink

      Oops! Inspirational!

  4. St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
    March 27, 2019 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Santa Claus. So far it’s 7 to 0. I was not going to vote for Santa, but I cannot support yet another extreme ascetic who died from excessive self-mortification. Actually I didn’t vote for Santa but for the legendary (emphasis on “legend”) figure who provided a dowry for girls who would otherwise have been sold into slavery. Today’s WaPo has a story on (yet another) group of boys who rated girls on their looks. Since that is how Mark Zuckerberg made his start to infamy and fortune (some stories never change, and fortune compensates for lots of infamy), I think it’s worth posting the link. The other story is that Individual 1 thinks Puerto Ricans shouldn’t get disaster aid. Puerto Ricans are not white enough to count as Americans. So as a vote against misogyny and racism, I seem to be choosing Santa. May children everywhere have education and healthcare and a thriving planet for their future.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      I can’t even read the news anymore; taking a sanity break as I am close to panic attack zone. You may get a kick out of this: My husband says he can’t vote for Rudolph, because when he hears “Rudolph,” all he can think of is “Giuliani”!

    • Michele's Gravatar Michele
      March 27, 2019 - 9:01 am | Permalink

      Same here. Self mutilation isn’t sanctity; it’s stupidity. Rudolph was just suicidal. I believe my body is a temple to God and take good care of it. Thanks to Santa for his example if compassion and sharing.

      • March 27, 2019 - 9:37 am | Permalink

        It’s so nice to see another Michele with 1 L. We think alike, I could have written your exact statement as that was what I thought. Rudolph only has 6 % 134 votes. It’s going to be a landslide today.

        • Bob A-B's Gravatar Bob A-B
          March 27, 2019 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

          My daughter is Hilary with 1 L. She was born in 1988. The 1992 election cursed the spelling of her name for EVER! Even while typing this, I had to fight with autocorrect, which wanted to add a second L.

    • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
      March 27, 2019 - 10:00 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the link, St Celia. I read every word—including the comments from WaPo readers.

      • Katharine's Gravatar Katharine
        March 27, 2019 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

        furor! Read comments??? Are insane, woman?!?! Only Lent Madness comments are safe to read!

        • Teopa's Gravatar Teopa
          March 27, 2019 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

          FOR sure!

    • Sue's Gravatar Sue
      March 28, 2019 - 8:06 am | Permalink

      So perfectly stated! Thank you! I’m in complete agreement.

  5. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 27, 2019 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    At least according to his LM biography, Rudolph of Gubbio is best known for torturing and starving himself into an early grave. Could this be the most unequal contest ever?

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 27, 2019 - 8:14 am | Permalink

      They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.

      • Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
        March 27, 2019 - 9:14 am | Permalink

        Hilarious! THank you! Love it!

      • Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
        March 27, 2019 - 9:17 am | Permalink

        Of course not, because he was too weak to play from starving himself.

    • Nina's Gravatar Nina
      March 27, 2019 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but I voted for him anyway. Gubbio is so beautiful, and I’ve walked his streets.

  6. Patricia Evans's Gravatar Patricia Evans
    March 27, 2019 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    ” Rudolph wore a hair shirt and avoided meat, eggs, and cheese. He slept on a wooden board without blankets. Self-torture was routinely engaged….Rudolph’s piety was so well-known …”
    Sorry, not into this form of self-piety.
    Which will you follow? He who “paid particular attention to those who were poor and vulnerable” by what (mimicking the poor?)- or he who inspires ” generations of faithful women and men to acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion.”

  7. Shan's Gravatar Shan
    March 27, 2019 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Nicholas because, well, Santa Claus.
    And my daddy died one year ago today. He was in the Navy so St. Nicholas was his patron saint.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 8:54 am | Permalink

      So sorry for your losing your daddy. Perfect reason for voting for St. Nick.

  8. Madame Senora's Gravatar Madame Senora
    March 27, 2019 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Saint Nicolas, Patron saint of children. An easy vote for this teacher.

    O, grand Saint Nicolas
    Patron des écoliers
    Apportez-moi des pommes
    Dans mon petit panier
    Je serai toujours sage
    Comme un petit mouton
    Je dirai mes prières
    Pour avoir des bonbons
    Venez, venez, Saint Nicolas
    Venez, venez, Saint Nicolas
    Venez, venez, venez Saint Nicolas
    tra la la

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 27, 2019 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      Personne ne penserait jamais qu’un mouton était sage!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 27, 2019 - 9:01 am | Permalink

        C’est un miracle de Noël!

        • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
          March 27, 2019 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

          Zut alors!

  9. Stephen Lusk's Gravatar Stephen Lusk
    March 27, 2019 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    A new low in bracketology. St. Nick and Rudolf are a pair, one and inseparable. .
    I can’t vote against St. Nicholas, but how will he find his way without Rudolf to guide him?

  10. Tonya Eza's Gravatar Tonya Eza
    March 27, 2019 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    One of my favorite legends (or is it truth?) about St. Nicholas of Myra is that, when attending the Council of Nicea, he punched out Arius. Makes him more human for me. 🙂

    • Grace's Gravatar Grace
      March 27, 2019 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Me too! I hope this comes up in the next round!

    • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
      March 27, 2019 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

      My husband was raised Unitarian, and I am not kindly disposed toward a man who bullied (and possibly poisoned) his theological opponents, whatever his apocryphal association with children. Also not a big fan of self-harm in the name of extreme piety: depriving oneself of food and shelter to which the poor do not have access is one thing, but deliberately destroying one’s own body, rather than using it as God intended, is another altogether. Think I’ll sit this one out.

  11. Kathy Heikkinen's Gravatar Kathy Heikkinen
    March 27, 2019 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Is it a coincidence that St Nicholas was paired up with Rudolph?

  12. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    March 27, 2019 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Wait a minute — Rudolph of Gubbio was converted to Christianity around 1050? Surely the author meant to say something else. There wasn’t anything an Italian nobleman’s son could have been except a Christian. Or is there some story here?

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 9:07 am | Permalink

      Maybe he was converted from nominal faith to true faith? Excellent question, Beth!

  13. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    March 27, 2019 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Nicholas gets my vote. My grandson is a Nicholaus is one reason. I think Rudolf should have taken care of himself and joined a few reindeer games. We are better able to help when we are healthy. I think he wasted his life. This was piety too far. Go Saint Nick Rudolf will not be pulling your sleigh tonight.

  14. Barb's Gravatar Barb
    March 27, 2019 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Defender of women, children, and the falsely accused; patron of sailors; the inspiration for Santa; paragon of loving kindness; the name on hundreds (thousands?) of local churches and religious communities in multiple traditions throughout the world: that’s impact! Nicholas for the Golden Halo!!

  15. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    March 27, 2019 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Having attended St. Nicholas’s in Prestbury for midweek services for a time and being concerned about Rudolph’s excesses of asceticism, I vote for Nicholas.

  16. Laurie Eiserloh's Gravatar Laurie Eiserloh
    March 27, 2019 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Benjamin Britten’s cantata, St. Nicholas is colorful retelling of the life of the Saint. Rarely performed but so good!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 9:08 am | Permalink

      True that!

    • Mary Sue Evers's Gravatar Mary Sue Evers
      March 27, 2019 - 9:46 pm | Permalink

      I got the unconcontrollable giggles at a performance of this cantata, having never heard before of the pickled boys. My then-boyfriend, singing in the choir, was not amused.

  17. Ruth Davis's Gravatar Ruth Davis
    March 27, 2019 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Nicholas. I think he also the patron saint of barbers. He was known for his charity and compassion for children and poor girls. Something about Rudolph’s excessive mortification is ‘off-putting.’ Even Jesus ate with sinners.

  18. Susan Reeves's Gravatar Susan Reeves
    March 27, 2019 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion and the idea that Nicholas reminds us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to act on behalf of those who have no defender led me to vote for him rather than Rudolph, an ascetic whose piety seems to be pretty extreme and inward facing.

  19. March 27, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Patron saint of those falsely accused . . . got to go with Nicholas!

  20. Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
    March 27, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Nicholas is basically the saint of generosity and that spirit has stood ,by God’s Grace ,the test of time .

  21. lelele's Gravatar lelele
    March 27, 2019 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! vote for Rudolph (the red nose reindeer)

  22. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    March 27, 2019 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Methinks Rudolph was not familiar with Matthew 6:1… I suppose Rudolph’s asceticism amazed/horrified a lot of people, and maybe back in that day that’s what brought people to Christ. But it was with a very disturbing concept of God. Ick.

    Great bios, bloggers; it’s a slam-dunk for Nicholas for me.

  23. Joy Cass's Gravatar Joy Cass
    March 27, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    If Rudolf had taken better care of his body, which was a gift from God, he could have lived longer and done more good for others.

  24. Michael Cawthra's Gravatar Michael Cawthra
    March 27, 2019 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    As a professional Santa Claus, I had to vote for Nicholas.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 9:22 am | Permalink

      This begs a photo, Michael!

  25. Thomas Van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas Van Brunt
    March 27, 2019 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    “Gift” is not a verb. Just use “give.”

  26. Steven Niccolls's Gravatar Steven Niccolls
    March 27, 2019 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Nicholas. Two reasons 1) close to my last name 2) I cannot vote for someone whose practices weakened his body

  27. Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
    March 27, 2019 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    Yes, I think it is St Nicholas for me too; starving yourself to get closer to God does not leave energy for good works. Though I’m sure he meant well…And the reality or not of Nicholas’s acts of generosity is not the important point, is it? It is that was should see his example and aim to match it.

  28. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 27, 2019 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    On behalf of immigrant and refugee children and their families, and all those detained unjustly, we sorely need the spirit of Nicholas of Myra. Can’t help but wonder who he’d be tempted to punch out were he among us today!

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 27, 2019 - 9:41 am | Permalink

      I would like to think he’d start by punching out Stephanie Borowicz. I would be willing to say 100 Hail Marys in penance to make that happen.

      • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
        March 27, 2019 - 10:08 am | Permalink

        Throw a punch for me as well!

      • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
        March 27, 2019 - 11:20 am | Permalink

        St. Cecelia, this might be the first time I’ve seen one of the LM Faithful directly link a current event to our saintly contenders. We’re all doing that of course, but specifics aren’t directly discussed in the comments.

        I was glad to see how your contemplation of Nicholas’s gifts and service informed the lense you viewed the politician’s odd, dreadful, miscarriage of Christian piety. Normally, I wouldn’t have seen St. Nicholas as the antidote to xenophobia and now, because of you, I can. Another Lent Madness miracle!

        (Don’t make Santa sad, Rep. Borowicz!)

  29. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    March 27, 2019 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    One saint inspires gifts of chocolates, speculoos cookies, and (for raw-food enthusiasts) oranges while the other models the repudiation of all such pleasures. Too easy for this bon-viveur. My vote is for Saint Nick.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      One of my favorite comments ever!

  30. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 27, 2019 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    This was an easy choice for me. St. Nicholas is reflected in the Taize hymn ‘Ubi Caritas’, and was an example of a positive Christian life, attainable for all, because he shows us how we can go about the world doing good in Christ’s name without resorting to sitting on pillars in the desert, shivering in caves, or beating ourselves up. While Rudolph may indeed have been one like Nicholas, who cared for the poor and marginalized, his over-the-top self-mortification and dietary limitations overshadow his Christian works . Heretofore, the only thing I knew about Gubbio was the story of St. Francis and the Wolf. Frankly, I much prefer that story to the story of Rudolph.

  31. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 27, 2019 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Finally a contest that didn’t break my heart! Nicholas Of Myra May not have done many of the charitable deeds he was credited with, but he has been a blessing worldwide. Rudolph Of Gubbio was selfless to a fault, and his story provokes admiration rather than love. His excessive mortification reminds me of the bizarre doings at the unnamed monastery in Umberto Eco’s “The Name Of The Rose,” Where rival theologians from different orders debate whether Jesus was poor.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 10:33 am | Permalink

      I’ve been meaning to read that again; thanks for the reminder!

  32. Mama J's Gravatar Mama J
    March 27, 2019 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    (tears streaming down face. . .) Michael and John, you are both wonders for your postings of parodies and limericks; I marvel at such talent! The SEC has out-done itself! With sides aching from laughter I can only vote for Nicholas! Ruth, you and Lisa summed things up well! Thank you ALL for putting joy (and even prayerful hilarity) into this Lent!

  33. Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
    March 27, 2019 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Poor Rudolph needed an intervention from St. Nick.

  34. Margaret Smist's Gravatar Margaret Smist
    March 27, 2019 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    We all need a lot more Nicholas’ these days.

  35. Sandy Warren's Gravatar Sandy Warren
    March 27, 2019 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    “It is probably impossible to fully untangle the facts from the legends—and perhaps we don’t want to.” So true! I might have voted for Nicholas just based on this sentence, though after reading all the way through there was every reason to vote for Nicholas.
    It seems like we’ve had a lot of ascetics this year and with each one I find it harder to understand how this could possibly be what God wants from a faithful person’s life.

    • Katrina S Soto's Gravatar Katrina S Soto
      March 27, 2019 - 10:13 am | Permalink


  36. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 27, 2019 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    I just have to support someone who is a giver. I know the legends probably are a stretch but such a good example for the rest of us.

  37. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    March 27, 2019 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Rudolph sounds decidedly non-jolly. Hair shirts have got to be one of the worst ideas and practices ever. I find myself meditating on the figurative ways we apply them to ourselves and others still. Go Santa Baby – and hurry down the chimney tonight.

  38. Doris Cook's Gravatar Doris Cook
    March 27, 2019 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    Off putting to be distroying the temple of God by lack of care.

  39. Katrina S Soto's Gravatar Katrina S Soto
    March 27, 2019 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    I didn’t want to vote for jolly ol’ Saint Nick, because the legend of his acts of giving are used to justify the obscene excess of gift-giving and holiday madness that permeates our society today, obliterating the most supreme gift of all, the birth of Jesus. I do admit that I relish both forms of “Christmas” but I keep them separate in my mind: Secular Christmas and Sacred Christmas. I don’t use Sacred Christmas to rationalize Secular Christmas. They are two different observances. However, I voted for him anyway, because I’m not convinced that God approves of any of us abusing the temple of the body that God has given us while we dwell on Earth. How much more Rudolph could’ve done if he had taken care of his physical needs? We’ll never know. So, I cast my reluctant vote for Nicholas.

    • Janet Irvine's Gravatar Janet Irvine
      March 27, 2019 - 10:52 am | Permalink

      I love Saint Nicholas, and love what Carol Myers is doing to reacquaint us with how wonderful a saint he is through her wonderful website, the Saint Nicholas Center! He gave to the poor, and that is what has made him so beloved. It was not just giving extravagant gifts for no reason!

  40. Greg's Gravatar Greg
    March 27, 2019 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    My mother died on 6 December and we have made an annual celebration of St. Nicholas in honor of her memory. I agree with the others regarding Rudolph’s aesectism – that is not the example Jesus set.
    I am with Nicholas!

  41. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    March 27, 2019 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t blame Rudolf for his misplaced piety – he doubtless had heard the virtues of such extreme asceticism extolled, as “self-mortification” was thought to be a good thing. But I can’t vote for that form of piety today. As others have said, self-abuse only wastes a life, wastes the strength with which Rudolf might have lived longer and served more. Something about him must’ve been admirable enough that they made him bishop so young. But my vote’s still with St. Nicholas, particularly for his creative generosity and care for the vulnerable. (I’ve always loved the story about him pitching coins into the window of the three young women’s home.)

  42. Mary Jane C. Ingalls's Gravatar Mary Jane C. Ingalls
    March 27, 2019 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Wow! So early in the day and Nicholas of Myra is pulling a Secretariat at Belmont. Nicholas’ protection of innocense addresses so well the terrible loss of today’s children by exposure to social media and internet marketing. Childhood, that blissful period when the world is full of wonder and exploration. Happily, the senseless of self-torture as a form of piety so dominant in Rudolph’s story is losing its power as a virtue and being replaced by the giving of self in service to others.

  43. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    March 27, 2019 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Poor old Rudolph wasn’t even at the back of the line, so to speak, when I went to vote, so I voted for him,
    even though I’m not a big fan of extreme asceticism.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 27, 2019 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      It was a mitzvah.

  44. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 27, 2019 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    For many, especially children, St. Nick is the stand-in for the concept of a Loving God until their faith matures. (Hopefully it does.) Go St. Nick!

  45. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 27, 2019 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    I find myself not able to vote for the extreme self-mortification crew, so yup, it’s Saint Nicholas for me today.

    (I get fasting on certain days of the calendar, but to the point where you can’t support yourself while doing the Rosary? Nopeing out of that!)

  46. Linda Davidson's Gravatar Linda Davidson
    March 27, 2019 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Judging ancient practices by today’s standards and psychiatric diagnoses is not what Lent Madness is all about for me. If we excluded those saints and the ones known more by legend, we’d miss out on a lot of inspiration and learning. There’s a great book called, “Saints Behaving Badly,” that reminded me how glad I am that no one has my life under a microscope, and that every saint’s life has something to teach me. It’s also very funny!

    March 27, 2019 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Is today the biggest wipe-out in Lent Madness history, or did someone else surf to success even more spectacularly?

  48. A. Tottenham's Gravatar A. Tottenham
    March 27, 2019 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Agreement with all those horrified by Rudolph’s creepy, self-destructive asceticism. NOT

  49. Jennifer B Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer B Seaver
    March 27, 2019 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    With a nephew named Nicholas, I had to vote for Nicholas.

  50. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    March 27, 2019 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Nobrainer for me I’m am not a fan of self abuse. It isn’t saintly in my mind. Nicholas is my choice today. Whether you look at history or legend, who can vote against Santa Clause?

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 27, 2019 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      Burgermeister Meisterburger, Toy Santa, and Jack Frost.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 27, 2019 - 12:34 pm | Permalink


  51. Janet Irvine's Gravatar Janet Irvine
    March 27, 2019 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    I love Saint Nicholas, and love what Carol Myers is doing to bring him back into Christmas with her Saint Nicholas Center website and resources. I’ve learned so much about him and what he did to love Jesus by giving to the poor. There’s lot of crazy folklore about him but at the bottom of it all, he must have been quite a guy to be so revered in the Eastern World for so many centuries. And now he’s coming back to the Western World to help us return to the real meaning of Christmas.!!

  52. Claudia's Gravatar Claudia
    March 27, 2019 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Nicholas. We live in times when the youngest and most vulnerable need his kind of kindness. Asceticism doesn’t help anyone.

  53. Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
    March 27, 2019 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    As a former newspaper editor, I see the page 1 headline “Santa trounces Rudolph” in 60 pt bold font. Make that 72 pt.

    • March 27, 2019 - 11:10 am | Permalink

      As a journalist I’m with you there. “Rudolph loses lead position” 60 pt bold. Subhead “Confidence lacking” And the daily comments would make a great feature story, especially the back and forth. And has Oliver grown up and left us?

  54. Deacon Deb McLaughlin's Gravatar Deacon Deb McLaughlin
    March 27, 2019 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Who could vote against Santa?
    Though Rudolph is admirable
    For his self denial and aid
    Nicholas broad giving to the poor and lame
    Makes a clear winner & Santa is his name!

  55. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 27, 2019 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    Rudolph seems to be in need of hearing a few good sermons on the amazing grace of God.

    But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, – Titus 3:4-6 (ESV)

    And I expect Saint Nick will make it to the Kitsch round, which should be interesting.

    Fun fact, the Canadians claim the North Pole as being a part of Canada. The postal code they assigned to it is H0H 0H0.

    • Mark Willems's Gravatar Mark Willems
      March 27, 2019 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes!!! There is no question that St. Nick will provide ample examples of Kitsch.

  56. Irene's Gravatar Irene
    March 27, 2019 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Funny, folks here tend to lean to the folk legend saints. I usually don’t, preferring real people over legends, but this time , I went with Santa Claus. It helped that Rudolph didn’t really jazz me, despite his solidarity with the poor.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s pretty well documented that Nicholas and Rudolph were” real people”; time has encrusted their “real” bios with “legends” that often show us Real Truth. These ancient saints didn’t just do fantastic tricks; the legends served as demonstrations of God’s power. We don’t have independent documentation of much of anyone in the Bible or what they did, including Jesus. Does that make them “less real”? Are only people for whom we have photographs real? What is “real” anyway?

      • Irene's Gravatar Irene
        March 29, 2019 - 8:37 am | Permalink

        I’m not questioning the existence of these two, but, no, I do not believe that Saint Nicholas resurrected three murdered and pickled boys. Saints are supposed to be role models we can try to emulate. I can certainly try to emulate St Nicholas’ extraordinary generosity and spirituality, but I don’t expect to be resurrecting anybody. That’s what I mean by having a preference for real people. I would pick a Dorothy Day or Angela Merici – whose lifetime of corporal works of mercy were extraordinary and humbling to learn about- over a St Christopher any day. The real live saints are astonishing enough for me.

  57. Rhee Howard's Gravatar Rhee Howard
    March 27, 2019 - 10:57 am | Permalink


  58. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    March 27, 2019 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Although I voted for Nicholas for many of the same reasons everyone else did, i.e., a compassionate saint for our troubled times, I do think today’s matchup can offer us a deeper Lenten reflection. Instead of judging Rudolph’s extreme medieval asceticism from a modern lens, perhaps we could instead be moved to ask ourselves, “What would I give up for Christ? What comforts would I sacrifice to become a better reflection of God’s purpose for me?”
    Not to take anything from Nicholas and the more inspirational gifts his legend adds to the Christmas season, but it has also led us down a path of materialism and commercialism. During Lent we should perhaps be a little more open to the message of sacrifice and doing without. I know I should.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point, Patrice!

  59. NoraB's Gravatar NoraB
    March 27, 2019 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Not a fan of self torture. Our bodies are temples. Vote for St. Nick!

  60. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    March 27, 2019 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    Rudolph could have done so much more had he taken care of his own Temple of the Holy Spirit. So, Nick for the win.

  61. Colleenrose's Gravatar Colleenrose
    March 27, 2019 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    It’s Nicolas of Myra for me. When in doubt choose kindness.

  62. Linda Hanson's Gravatar Linda Hanson
    March 27, 2019 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Who votes against Santa Claus?

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 27, 2019 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Those who want to be on the naughty list?

  63. Patricia Samuel's Gravatar Patricia Samuel
    March 27, 2019 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    I have always had a hard time trying to reconcile extreme mortification of the flesh with the idea that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. The body is not evil; after all, God created us, body & soul.

  64. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 27, 2019 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Nicholas for the Golden Halo! Poor Rudy. I feel sorry for him in a strange way. He was his own worst enemy. Hair shirts, starving, torture. Good heavens! It was an easy choice to go with kind and loving Santa. Nice write ups by the Davids.

  65. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    March 27, 2019 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    I do not think either of these men will reach the halo bracket. Although True Saints They Both Did NOT Follow God’s teachings. Rudolph Hurt His Own Body When God told us to take care of our bodies. Much of Nicholas gift giving was inherited and/or done in secret(legend)
    We need more compassion and kindness in this world and these men truly exemplify these traits.

    • Greg's Gravatar Greg
      March 28, 2019 - 1:42 am | Permalink

      How did Nicholas not follow God’s teachings?

  66. C. Brent Hoy-Bianchi's Gravatar C. Brent Hoy-Bianchi
    March 27, 2019 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    How can you not vote for Santa Claus!

  67. William Moorhead's Gravatar William Moorhead
    March 27, 2019 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    “Lenten Madness” or the Forward Movement or somebody needs to publish the Collected Saintly Limericks of John Cabot!

  68. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 27, 2019 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    I always think that the character of the legends that accrue around a person are clear evidence for the kind of person they were. Nicholas’ legends all involve, as David Hansen writes, “kindness, generosity, and compassion.” Plus modesty, and a gentle sense of humor. The key element in the story of the dowries tossed through the windows at night is that he didn’t want any credit for making the gift. Nicholas is an inspiration!

  69. Heather C's Gravatar Heather C
    March 27, 2019 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    Really looking forward to the Kitsch round on this one!!

  70. March 27, 2019 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    I voted for St. Nicholas (who is definitely not Santa Claus) – he’s one of my saints for obvious reasons. Also, he’s inspirational for his faith, generosity, kindness and compassion. I love him.

    As for St. Rudolph, I can imagine that he was well regarded and respected during his day when extremes such as his were seen as deeply pious. I don’t want to judge him from the perspective of my own culture. I also don’t find enough specifics about what distinguishes him beyond his asceticism.

  71. Jane Christmas's Gravatar Jane Christmas
    March 27, 2019 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    With a surname like mine, it wasn’t a tough choice. Better to celebrate someone who lives generously, than someone who engages in self harm and calls it piety.

  72. Richard Lamb's Gravatar Richard Lamb
    March 27, 2019 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    I applaud your gentlemen’s efforts at digging up these saints for comparison. It is rather enlightening to read about all of them. Just curious how many saints have been so designated by the church. I guess I could go look it up on google. Or maybe there are categories of saints.

  73. drlulu's Gravatar drlulu
    March 27, 2019 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    My mother was born on St. Nicholas’s Day–Dec. 6. She was a great Santa Claus fan, although at that time in my life we didn’t pay attention to saint’s days. I’m not a big fan of extreme ascetics–they make me think of extreme anorexics. So St. Nicholas gets my vote.

  74. Marjorie's Gravatar Marjorie
    March 27, 2019 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

    What else needs to be said?

  75. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 27, 2019 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps by coincidence, though we should never underestimate the deviousness of the Supremes, Gubbio boasts the world’s biggest Christmas tree, an array of lights up the side of the mountain that overlooks the city. It is, however, dedicated not to San Rodolfo but to Sant’Ubaldo or, if you will, St. Hubald, the city’s patron. (AHA, evil spellchecking demon, you changed “Hubald” to “Hubble,” but I caught you at it!)

    I wonder what, if anything, is dedicated to St. Rudolph? Gubbio has a small museum of torture instruments, but it’s secular.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 27, 2019 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Ah, we can always count on your clarification of things Italian. Thank you!

  76. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    March 27, 2019 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Kindness to others vs. Self-Mortification – an easy choice. I appreciate the SEC for the “fun” matchup of Santa vs. Rudolph, but this is a pretty obvious choice. Besides, Nicholas (Nicole) is my Saint’s name from when I was baptized – my birthday is near Christmas. As a child, my birthdays were always held near Dec. 6th and involved Christmas activities. So, I’m very pleased to cast today’s vote for my Patron Saint!

  77. Marti Kahn's Gravatar Marti Kahn
    March 27, 2019 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “He only ate the food given to servants”
    Yes, I voted for St Nicholas but there is something saintly about Rudolph ‘s diet. How much meat, cheese, eggs were /are provided to the slaves of America? The captives in WWII concentration and work camps? The homeless and refugees of today’s world? Where do they get their protein smoothies? Lean meat and fish? Fresh cheese? Three egg omelets?

    • Grace's Gravatar Grace
      March 27, 2019 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      That’s the origin of soul food. The slaves took the scraps and refuse and made it taste good.

      • Grace's Gravatar Grace
        March 27, 2019 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

        And I think you make a great point. Rather than focus on the negatives of Rudolf, perhaps we should think about what we can learn from him. I love cooking and eating good food but is my stomach my god?

  78. Victoria's Gravatar Victoria
    March 27, 2019 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Cheeses/Jesus, Michael? Brilliant.

    I’m not such an appreciator of self-Torture for God, so I went with Nicholas, who is one my favorites anyway.

  79. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 27, 2019 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Nicholas, in spite of the story about his losing all patience with Arius and decking him at the first Council of Nicaea. While I don’t approve of St. Nick’s way of expressing his disagreement, I understand his distaste for bad theology, which led to my years at Perkins. Here’s a link to an especially cute bobblehead representation of the conflict:

  80. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 27, 2019 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Nicholas has 93% of the votes so far (about 9:30AM, west coast time). No contest, today. When reading about poor Rudolph I was reminded of Psalm 107, which I was surprised to see has a description that sounds like anorexia nervosa, which I had thought was a modern affliction. See v.18 (“They abhorred all manner of food / and drew near to death’s door.”) In later verses the afflicted cry out to the Lord, and he “heals” them, saving them from the grave. I’m sure Rudolph’s heart was sincere, but his example is not one I’d encourage people to follow.

  81. John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
    March 27, 2019 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    no comment today

  82. Rian Restau's Gravatar Rian Restau
    March 27, 2019 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I went with Nicholas of Myra because his fest day is my mother’s birthday.
    -God Bless all

  83. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 27, 2019 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Went along with the crowd today in voting for Nicholas. Yes, the Britten St. Nicholas is wonderful too.

  84. Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
    March 27, 2019 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    While I love St. Nicholas, I’m going for the vegetarian again: Rudolph. (Reindeer are vegetarian, too, by the way.)

  85. John Holz's Gravatar John Holz
    March 27, 2019 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Being Vicar of St. Jude’s in North Pole Alaska, I have the opportunity to Chat with St. Nick at the Santa Clause house in North Pole, last summer I dumbfounded when he told me he belonged to the Church of the Nazarene. Nevertheless, in the spirit of ecumenism, he gets my vote.

  86. Michael Cadaret's Gravatar Michael Cadaret
    March 27, 2019 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

    So, looking at the numbers as of 1:40 EDT, I’m wondering if there is a skunk rule.

  87. lmacaroon's Gravatar lmacaroon
    March 27, 2019 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Being in my early 30s and learning the difference between humility and masochism the hard way, my body and mind bearing witness to trauma and mismanaged stresses, I’m going against the grain today and voting for Rudolph. May his extreme asceticism and early demise remind us we must replenish our bodies and souls in order to share life with others. There’s no point in crucifying ourselves for our sins, perceived and real. It is finished.

  88. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    March 27, 2019 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    With Paula’s win yesterday, I reached the zenith of success with my first unbroken bracket EVER; I can live the rest of my life in peace. Had to vote for Nicholas – simply had to.

  89. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 27, 2019 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I was ordained on December 6th. Enough said, Nicholas it is for me.

  90. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    March 27, 2019 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Nicholas, mostly because this same Catholic priest keeps popping up telling me I’ve used too many of their sites and now need to make a donation. That isn’t about to happen. I was already mad over Stephanie Borowicz’ prayer. Another judgmental, raging self described, uneducated Christian who will give us a very bad name. I’d much prefer the all genders and gay ordaining, bishop consecrating, same sex marrying, rainbow flag waving Episcopal “bad” reputation I’m currently so proud of. Besides that, I don’t know all these show tunes, however, the lyrics work just as well as Gregorian chants.

  91. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 27, 2019 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I dont usually bring politics into Lent Madness but today I am in support of the children separated from their families on our border. I’m going with Nicholas because if he were here with us today I think he would be found advocating for them. St Nicholas, please pray for us that we as a nation will do the right thing by these families and that they will be reunited quickly.

    • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
      March 27, 2019 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Linda Burnett, this was brought up by several people today. Something about Nicholas and perhaps the stark contrast between him and Rudolph, triggered deep thinking about current events.

  92. Glenn Rohrer's Gravatar Glenn Rohrer
    March 27, 2019 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    St. Nicholas should be the number 1 seed in this whole tournament.

  93. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    March 27, 2019 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Rudolph, but I just can’t get my head around such extreme asceticism.It just reeks of ego, to me.

  94. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 27, 2019 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Really struggling with the stories of extreme asceticism this year. Kindness, generosity and compassion are always worth celebrating so my vote goes to Nicholas. I am also swayed by the story of Nicholas punching a heretic. Even those known for their kindness, generosity and compassion can get angry and frustrated at times :O)

  95. Terrie Wallace's Gravatar Terrie Wallace
    March 27, 2019 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

    First, a question- Is the page having any issues today? I had read through the profiles and comments then went to vote and received a message that stated “Lent Madness says we are still dealing with your last request and can’t process the current one yet; please try again later.” This was also very odd as I hadn’t submitted a vote yet as well.

    Next, on to comments: I have always had a hard time with the idea of going overboard and endulging in self-torture and asceticism for God so like many others chose to cast my vote for Nicholas instead. Nicholas all the way and everything he is also known. and stands for is so deserving of the Golden Halo!

  96. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 27, 2019 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Fifty shades of Rudolph? Or not. Maybe I’ll just wait for the movie.
    Go, Nicholas.

  97. Sue Fisher's Gravatar Sue Fisher
    March 27, 2019 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I just didn’t want to end up on the naughty list.

  98. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 27, 2019 - 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I know Santa would never actually beat his reindeer, but it looks like St. Nick is beating the peewhittles out of poor Rudolph. (And Rudy’s response is probably something like, “Yah missed a spot!”)

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 27, 2019 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

      “The peewhittles . . . . Did you just make that up?

      • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
        March 27, 2019 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

        My significant other, who loves words, uses this expression. I don’t know if he heard it from his grandmother, read it in Faulkner, or invented it, but it certainly fits this situation.

  99. Bonnie Caudell's Gravatar Bonnie Caudell
    March 27, 2019 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

    First thought was to vote for Rubbio because Nicholas would be a runaway. But I cannot vote for a man who would waste the body God gave him when he had so many opportunities for service. Nicholas allm tyhe way.

  100. James Nicholas Lodwick's Gravatar James Nicholas Lodwick
    March 27, 2019 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I think David Hansen did an excellent job of threading the needle among the facts and legends of St. Nicholas’s life and drawing wonderful conclusions and lessons for our own piety and practice. And so I voted for Nicholas. Besides Nicholas is my middle name and I rejoice in his patronage and pray that I might learn to imitate his generosity.

    While I have a certain admiration for saints, like Rudolph of Gubbio, who lead strictly ascetic lives (I’m a wimp at that!), I’m also somewhat bothered by those whose observance is so extreme that it ends up damaging their health. Simplicity of life is good, especially when it leads to generous sharing (a challenge that I’m still working at), but self-torture does not seem to me necessary for Christian living. Nevertheless, perhaps there is something positive to be learned from those who ardently seek in their imitation of Christ to conform their lives to his cross and passion. Nicholas and Rudolph, pray for us!

  101. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 27, 2019 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Hello, SEC. Is this the biggest blow-out in Lent Madness history? Has Lent Madness set yet another record in this, the TENTH year of the Alt-Madness Bracket?

  102. March 27, 2019 - 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I went into this with an open mind, willing to be swayed by Rudolph, but I couldn’t possibly vote for someone who tortured himself to an early grave. We may not know much for sure about Nicholas, but he was a leader of the early Church through a time of persecution and survived to lead his flock through that very critical period surrounding the Council of Nicaea. His reputation was such that it supported the legends that grew up around him, making them plausible whether or not they were true. That’s worth a great deal. Nicholas of Myra it is.

  103. Doris Udry's Gravatar Doris Udry
    March 27, 2019 - 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Have to support Nicholas. Rudolph really bothers me…I don’t find his extremism beneficial.

  104. Marguerite Judson's Gravatar Marguerite Judson
    March 27, 2019 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I have to vote for Nicholas. The celebration of his feast in Holland – on December 5th – was an essential part of my conversion to Christianity in 1971.

  105. Teacher Tom's Gravatar Teacher Tom
    March 27, 2019 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I used to give my students oranges and gold (chocolate) coins on December 6th “in an effort to keep them from scurvy and prostitution.” I’m not sure that any of them were truly comforted by my largess, but I think it could only help.

    I’m for Nic!

  106. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 27, 2019 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Nicholas seems like a generous but balanced individual. Rudolph creeps me out. I don’t find depriving yourself into poor health and an early grave to be the best example of how to get closer to God.

  107. Rosemarie Sulek's Gravatar Rosemarie Sulek
    March 28, 2019 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Didn’t bother to even cast my vote,
    For Damien when the Hawaiians awoke,
    So Pandita narrowly tipped the scale,
    And left, in the dust, this remarkable male.
    Today my vote will most certainly matter,
    Hoping Nicholas will all records shatter,
    Poor Rudolph will hold his head very high,
    And pass the baton with a mere little sigh.

  108. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 28, 2019 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    What a choice! Of course I would pick Santa Claus over his reindeer.

Comments are closed.