Phillips Brooks vs. Marguerite d’Youville

In yesterday’s Biblical action, Tabitha nailed Dismas 76% to 24% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, where she’ll face the winner of Ananias vs. Photini.

Today we leap forward nearly two millennia to encounter a nineteenth century Boston preacher and the second Canadian to appear in Lent Madness 2019. Phillips (don’t call me Phillip) Brooks faces Marguerite (don’t call me Margaret) d’Youville.

In case you missed yesterday’s Creativity Episode of Monday Madness, you can watch it here. In it, Tim and Scott highlight some of the creative endeavors (show tunes! limericks!) being shared by the Lent Madness faithful in the comment section. You haven’t been reading the comments? Unlike literally everywhere else on the internet, it’s okay! We promise.

Phillips Brooks

“I do not know what will become of me and I do not care much,” a young Phillips Brooks wrote, shortly after being fired from teaching at the Boston Latin School. “Somehow or other I do not seem in the way to come to much now.” When he died some thirty-eight years later, Phillips Brooks had built one of Boston’s landmark churches, authored a famed Christmas carol, taken his place as the preacher of record of his day, and brought countless numbers of people into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Indeed, he proved that in Jesus, nothing is lost.

After losing his job teaching, Brooks studied for ordination; he was ordained priest in 1860, and by 1869 he became rector of Trinity Church in Boston. By 1872, the church lay in ruins, a victim of Boston’s great fire. Brooks’ vision, character, and charismatic preaching led the church to thrive even in temporary structures. “The great hunger everywhere,” Brooks wrote, “is for life…all living things are craving an increase in it.” For Brooks, that life came from Jesus Christ, and Brooks’ sermons attracted crowds, Sunday after Sunday. Brooks’s leadership spurred the construction of the present-day Trinity Church, an innovative architectural marvel. In 1891, Brooks was elected as the Bishop of Massachusetts. In 1893, he died at age 57.

Years before, in 1865, while attending a six-hour Christmas Vigil service in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, “a new carol was faintly formed in [Brooks’] mind.” Three years later while writing for the children of his Sunday School in Philadelphia, the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was born. It remains, of course, a favorite of millions of Christians to this day.

When asked by a student near the end of his life to name the key to his success, Brooks wrote “these last years have had a peace and fullness which there did not used to be. I am sure that it is not indifference to anything I used to care for. I am sure that it is a deeper knowledge and truer love of Christ…I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me, and I know him. It is no figure of speech. It is the realest thing in the world. And every day makes it realer.”

Collect for Phillips Brooks
O everlasting God, you revealed truth to your servant Phillips Brooks, and so formed and molded his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all whom you call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in your Word, and conform their lives to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

David Sibley

Marguerite d’Youville

Marguerite was born in 1701 in Varennes, Quebec, the oldest of six children. When she was seven, her father’s death plunged the family into abject poverty. At 21, she married François d’Youville. While Marguerite was dedicated to her husband, he was dedicated to a life of illegal liquor trading and gambling. After eight years of marriage and six children (four of whom died in infancy), François died, again leaving Marguerite in poverty.

In the midst of her hardship, despair, and poverty, Marguerite found the wealth of God’s comfort. Her faith and belief in God’s love for all, especially those who were outcast and downtrodden, flourished, and she began devoting her life to small acts of care and comfort to those in need.

Her acts of love inspired other women, and during the Christmas season of 1737, Marguerite and three other women consecrated themselves to a life of serving God in the poor people Jesus so loved.

While we may see their acts of faith as loving and noble, Marguerite and the other women were derisively called, “Les soeurs grises” or “the tipsy nuns,” a reference to the many scandals of Marguerite’s late husband.

Nevertheless, the women persisted.

Their numbers grew. By 1744 the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, also called the Grey Nuns, was a recognized religious order and their numbers increased, despite objection from the community and the church. As what some called an act of appeasement by the church, the Grey Nuns were given the decaying and indebted General Hospital of Montreal. The religious authorities of the day expected the women to fail at this ministry.

Instead, the Grey Nuns created a hospital that cared for all, including soldiers from both sides of the Seven Years’ War, orphans, the aged, and all in need regardless of ethnicity (which was quite scandalous at the time). The hospital became known as the Hôtel Dieu, the House of God.

The hospital was destroyed by fire in 1766. Upon seeing its destruction, Mother Marguerite and the Grey Nuns knelt in the ashes, sang the Te Deum, and began rebuilding. Marguerite died on December 23, 1771. Her legacy of the Grey Nuns remains. The sisters have served the poor and needy on almost every continent. She is called the “Mother of Universal Charity” and was the first native-born Canadian to be declared a saint.

Collect for Marguerite d’Youville
Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Marguerite, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with her attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Laurie Brock

Phillips Brooks vs. Marguerite d’Youville

  • Marguerite d’Youville (70%, 6,033 Votes)
  • Phillips Brooks (30%, 2,618 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,651

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Phillips Brooks: By unattributed (Kentucky Digital Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Marguerite d’Youville: By N.N. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

233 Comments to "Phillips Brooks vs. Marguerite d’Youville"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 19, 2019 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    When dismissed from old Boston Latin, he
    Turned his hand to the field of divinity.
    His church, lost to the flame,
    Rose to phoenix-like fame;
    Faith, words, deeds: thus Brooks built a Trinity.

    • Christina Swidrak's Gravatar Christina Swidrak
      March 19, 2019 - 10:15 am | Permalink


    • Geoffrey Farnsworth's Gravatar Geoffrey Farnsworth
      March 19, 2019 - 11:57 am | Permalink

      I am detecting a pattern of gender bias favoring women in the voting…

      • Carolyn Mack's Gravatar Carolyn Mack
        March 19, 2019 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I feel you after Dismas and some others I voted for lost, but here I read both, felt for both in their early losses and rebuildings, but ultimately was moved more by Marguerite’s story.

      • Amy Ernest's Gravatar Amy Ernest
        March 19, 2019 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I do too, and I’m a woman! Dismas should have won. I don’t think I’ve chosen a winner yet. Except of curse, they’re all winners.

        • Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
          March 19, 2019 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

          I’m with you, Amy. I chose Dimas yesterday, and I don’t think I’ve selected a winner today. I knew the story of Marguerite, and while it is admirable (as most nun’s stories are), I didn’t really know Phillip Brooks story and that he gave us one of our most beloved Christmas hymns.

          • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
            March 19, 2019 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

            Uh huh!

          • Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
            March 20, 2019 - 6:28 am | Permalink

            I’m with Amy and Mary Lou.

      • Kerri Meyer's Gravatar Kerri Meyer
        March 19, 2019 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry, *what?* What ‘pattern’ do you see, Geoffrey, and how does it reveal gender bias to you?

      • Annie Brown's Gravatar Annie Brown
        March 19, 2019 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I think not gender bias, but saintly bias!!

      • Christine CO's Gravatar Christine CO
        March 19, 2019 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

        What sort of sinister plot are you implying? Can we help it if the woman chosen for this match-up are consistently superior to the men?

      • Cai Armstrong's Gravatar Cai Armstrong
        March 19, 2019 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

        or maybe there’s no statistical basis for more men to receive more votes than women.

      • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
        March 19, 2019 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Uh huh!

      • Bob's Gravatar Bob
        March 19, 2019 - 6:13 pm | Permalink


        • Maggie Rose's Gravatar Maggie Rose
          March 19, 2019 - 6:50 pm | Permalink

          And…… that’s a problem, why?

      • Liz Parmalee's Gravatar Liz Parmalee
        March 19, 2019 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

        That was the consensus in our group also! Marina/Marino???? Really

      • Christine's Gravatar Christine
        March 19, 2019 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Actually, we have had 6 match-ups of men vs. women so far: William Wilberforce vs. Agatha Lin Zhao, John Chrysostom vs. Margaret of Cortana, Richard Allen vs. Hannah Grier Coome, Dominic vs. Marina, Tabitha vs. Dismas, and today’s match-up. So far, the men won the first three and (if Marguerite pulls through today) the women will have won the last three. So there is no bias at all–the results are perfectly gender balanced! 🙂

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 19, 2019 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Well turned!

    • March 19, 2019 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

      John Cabot and his poetic skills – genius! Have enjoyed ALL of his verses! Keep ’em coming!
      My LentMadness vote today,too, went to Phillips Brooks. Here’s a quote: “Whatever happens,” he wrote, “always remember the mysterious richness of human nature and the nearness of God to each one of us.” Amen to that.

    • Jena Harris's Gravatar Jena Harris
      March 19, 2019 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Your prose are admirable. Loved this one!

      I have to admit I’m sorry Brooks isn’t getting more votes. His legacy is so far-reaching and so impressive. To think he was the man who brought to the forefront of the Christian beliefs the Holy Trinity. Wow!

  2. Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
    March 19, 2019 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    We celebrate Marguerite and Phillips with this musical interlude sung to the tune of “Dear Theodosia” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton”. Enjoy!

    Marg’rite d’Youville, what to say to you?
    Born in Quebec.
    The eldest child of six.
    When your father left this world, you cried,
    And your life was hard.
    You’re dedicated to Francois d’You…
    Illicit life was always Francois’s style.
    When he died…
    Now with two kids, poor like the start.
    How you thought life fell apart!

    Your faith came to fruit when you were needy.
    Gave ordained life a run – became a “tipsy nun”.
    The church gave a hospital – so seedy.
    They wanted you to fail, but the Grey Nuns prevailed –
    And you blew them all away.
    Someday, today.
    Yeah, you blew them all away.
    Someday, today.

    Oh, Phillips, you were fired, became undone.
    Not done.
    A priest bar none.
    Fire destroyed the Boston church you led.
    Raised it from the dead – and made it grow.
    Oh, Phillips’ sermons shine like morning sun.
    Each one.
    Christmastime, you wrote for them
    Little Town of Bethlehem.

    For Phillips, Christ’s all around. (You feel Christ always around.)
    Christ’s love and presence surrounding you.
    If Jesus knows and loves you (and you know and love Christ, too),
    His love and presence abound in you.

    You each lived through strife and pure frustration.
    Your lives you did adjust instead of fume and fuss.
    And you both laid such a strong foundation
    You passed it on to us. Gave your lives’ works to us.
    And you blow us all away.
    Today, today
    Yeah, you blow us all away.
    Today, today.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 9:09 am | Permalink

      I didn’t know this song, so I listened to it verse by verse, alternating with your rendition. By Jove, you did it again! Such clever plays on words, Michael. I wonder if “Phillip”/“Phillips” is what started this one for you.

      • Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
        March 19, 2019 - 9:33 am | Permalink

        I actually started with the opening line – the cadence of Dear Theodosia and Marguerite d’Youville just kinda worked. And then when I recalled Phillip(s), I knew it would work.

        (not-so-)Fun Fact: Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton sing “Dear Theodosia” to their newly-born children in “Hamilton”. Historically, both fathers outlive their children – Theodosia dies at sea in a storm and Phillip is killed in a duel. So, they are both “blown away” – which is horribly sad.

        • Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
          March 19, 2019 - 10:07 am | Permalink

          Your songs have added SO much enlightenment and fun to Lent Madness. Many thanks!!

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 19, 2019 - 11:56 am | Permalink

          That IS sad. I read a historical romance novel in high school called “My Theodosia”; I’ve thought ever since “Hamilton” became a thing that I should dig that out for another look.

          • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
            March 20, 2019 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

            I read it too, Susan. I guess I’ll have to go and see the show, even though I don’t think it’s primarily about Theodosia.

    • Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
      March 19, 2019 - 1:50 pm | Permalink


    • Christine P.'s Gravatar Christine P.
      March 19, 2019 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Wow, this could not be more perfect! I hummed the whole things while I read your tune, and it really fit . . . . I think it’s cool that you preserved the original girl/boy structure of the song. 🙂 Well done!!

    • Diane Sawko's Gravatar Diane Sawko
      March 20, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      That is awesome!

  3. Ann G.'s Gravatar Ann G.
    March 19, 2019 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Marguerite because #Quebec and #Montreal

    • Vance Tilton's Gravatar Vance Tilton
      March 19, 2019 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      Nevertheless, the women persisted.

  4. Dottie's Gravatar Dottie
    March 19, 2019 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    While Marguerite certainly deserves our admiration, I voted for Brooks because music can draw us all nearer to God, as it did Brooks, and perhaps inspire us to also do good deeds.

    • JE HAGGARD's Gravatar JE HAGGARD
      March 19, 2019 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Dottie usually votes for the underdogs..making a compelling argument – music. <3 U Dottie! But the Grey Nuns are ruling this day! Your Sister In Christ, Joy H from SMEC-Alex

  5. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 19, 2019 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    “Where Charity stands watching
    And faith holds wide the door,
    The dark night breaks, the glory wakes,
    And Christmas comes once more.”
    I can’t remember these words without tearing up, so the author gets my vote today.

    • Sally in Dallas's Gravatar Sally in Dallas
      March 19, 2019 - 9:46 am | Permalink

      Elaine, thank you for the reminder of that verse. Phillips Brooks’ music has been part of my life always and he’s been one of my favorite saints for many years. Thank you for your beautiful comment!

  6. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 19, 2019 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I must vote for Phillips Brooks. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was my mother’s favorite carol. She asked that it be played at her funeral, no matter when she died. Her death came in April of 2002, and I made sure that carol was a part of her service. (You’re welcome, Mother, and I also followed your instructions and buried you in your yellow bathrobe.)

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      That is lovely! Especially the yellow bathrobe! Your mom sounds like a joyful person.

    • Barbara Pyle's Gravatar Barbara Pyle
      March 19, 2019 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      Laura, I voted for Phillips Brooks for the same reason! Although my mother passed 55 years ago, hearing that lovely carol still brings a tear to my eye.

    • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
      March 19, 2019 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

      My favorite color!

    • Pat Watson's Gravatar Pat Watson
      March 19, 2019 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for sharing your mother’s wishes, her spirit brings joy that is timeless

  7. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 19, 2019 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    As much as I love the Bethlehem carol, in this age of divisiveness, the Grey Nuns’ helping “all in need” got my vote today. I guess it’s my small way of thumbing a nose at those who prefer helping Only the familiar.

  8. Donald Harting's Gravatar Donald Harting
    March 19, 2019 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Amid all the heartbreak, sorrow, and grief of today’s news headlines, how can we NOT vote today for the inspired poet who composed these lines about the town of Bethlehem?

    “Yet in thy dark streets shineth
    the everlasting light;
    the hopes and fears of all the years
    are met in thee tonight.”

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 19, 2019 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      Oh yes! And this: “Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches but for wings.”

      • Sunderland Em's Gravatar Sunderland Em
        March 19, 2019 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Pray for wings! Now THAT quote brings me to tears, even though the quotes from Brooks’s beloved carol came close. I’ve had a rough few months with hip issues, sciatica, and now cellulitis—all in the same leg—so those words hit me hard and make me re-think my own prayer. Not crutches but wings! Wow!
        I did vote for Brooks; a tough call vs Marguerite and her nuns, but I lived and worked in Boston for several years and his legacy, along with his magnificent church, still thrives.
        If you’re ever in Copley Square, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Trinity Church.

    • VenNeil's Gravatar VenNeil
      March 19, 2019 - 10:25 pm | Permalink

      But which tune?

  9. Jill's Gravatar Jill
    March 19, 2019 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I am a group exercise instructor, who works with older adults. Two of the communities I work in are Youville Communities, so I know who I will be voting for. I also live and work in the Boston area, so Phillips Brooks would have been a good choice too! Both great in their own ways!

  10. Gloria F. Ishida's Gravatar Gloria F. Ishida
    March 19, 2019 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    This was so difficult. My first inclination was to go for Marguerite, but as I reread, Phillips various lasting words stood out as guidance, Nothing to do with Oh Little town of Bethlehem”. I may lose out on this one, but my choice stands.

  11. Rev. Steve's Gravatar Rev. Steve
    March 19, 2019 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    O Little Town of Bethlehem gets my vote

  12. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 19, 2019 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Please, please tell me that the silver-tongued writer of “O little town” did not really write a sentence containing the phrase, “which there did not used to be.”

    • Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
      March 19, 2019 - 9:22 am | Permalink

      I think that usage was common in his day

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 19, 2019 - 9:43 am | Permalink

        If so, that’s fascinating. Currently, of course, we say, “didn’t use to be,” while the British say, “used not to be.” Brooks ‘s conflation arises from the fact that in the phrase “used to” the “s” is unvoiced, so that “used to” and “use to” sound almost alike, whereas in the sense of “made use of” it’s pronounced as a “z”.

        (Word Nerd’s helpful observation of the day.)

    • Karen Hoyer's Gravatar Karen Hoyer
      March 19, 2019 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

      And this?
      It is the realest thing in the world. And every day makes it realer.

  13. Hugh's Gravatar Hugh
    March 19, 2019 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    ‘Tabitha “nailed” Dismas’. Sorry, but that is in poor taste.

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 19, 2019 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Also inaccurate, if memory serves.

    • Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
      March 19, 2019 - 9:46 am | Permalink

      I agree.

  14. March 19, 2019 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Phillips Brooks has my vote this go round. We need to uplift outstanding American broad-church preachers as inspiration for us clergy today (and for a world that is increasingly fractured into camps)!

    • William Connors's Gravatar William Connors
      March 19, 2019 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      Just noting…Canada is part of America too… 🙂

      • March 19, 2019 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

        D’oh! And I cringe when others make the same error!

  15. Jo's Gravatar Jo
    March 19, 2019 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Love both of these saints but Marguerite because I am in Quebec City today, eh?

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 11:58 am | Permalink

      Eh, indeed!

  16. Kate the Catechist's Gravatar Kate the Catechist
    March 19, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Outside of Trinity Church in Boston is a memorial to its founder, it reads: “Phillips Brooks, Born in Boston, Died in Boston”. I admire his dedication and I am voting for him today.

  17. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 19, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Love “O Little Town of Bethlehem” but the work of the Grey Nuns in service even today is remarkable. So to the Grey Nuns goes my vote!

    • March 19, 2019 - 9:22 am | Permalink

      Well, Debbie, it looks like my man, Phillips Brooks is going down in flames, but in my Contemplative efforts he has been an inspiration. I particularly love his prayer, printed each month in Forward Day by Day #plug. Including, “Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness … Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth; Inspiree with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls …” The guy was definitely a contemplative. Plus, look at all the nice things people are saying about “O Little Town of Bethlehem”! #votePhillips

      • Lynne's Gravatar Lynne
        March 20, 2019 - 12:34 am | Permalink

        I love this prayer, and pray it every day. That’s why I voted for Brooks.

  18. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 19, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    Another very difficult match up, both are worthy saints. In the end my vote was won by the powerful and moving words of Philips Brooks. “I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me, and I know him. It is no figure of speech. It is the realest thing in the world. And every day makes it realer.” c

    • Sheila Kurtz's Gravatar Sheila Kurtz
      March 19, 2019 - 11:48 am | Permalink

      I do love that sentence too.

  19. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 19, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    But even if he did, my vote today has to go to perhaps the most illustrious bishop of the diocese in which I live, move, and have my being. I wish I could have known the man: his portraits have always put me off somewhat, but his writings reveal a humility that the photography of the day failed to convey.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 19, 2019 - 8:38 am | Permalink

      [Even if he wrote the ghastly words referred to in my comment at 8:25.]. I should have replied to myself instead of declaring my vote in a new posting at this busy hour of the day.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      Maybe idiomatically “grise” means “tipsy”? I know that it literally means “gray,” but that’s a new one for me.

      Both of these candidates are connected by tragic fires and Christmas. Isn’t that a funny coincidence?

      As much as I love “O Little Town” especially sung to the non-chromatic “Forest Green,” I voted for Marguerite. I can’t imagine surviving a drunken husband, poverty and shame, and the death of four—four!—precious bebés, to go on to found a religious order of service to a still-broken world. What a woman!

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 19, 2019 - 9:30 am | Permalink

        My guess is that they were called “grey” because of the color of their habits, and that their detractors then punned on the colloquial alternative meaning of the word. Unless the nuns really had drunken habits . . . .

        • March 19, 2019 - 9:52 am | Permalink

          They didn’t have anything to do with Gandalf, did they?

          • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
            March 19, 2019 - 10:02 am | Permalink

            Left out of the story of Middle Earth: St Brigid’s Way lined with pubs. House specialty: India Grey Ale with frodo hops.

          • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
            March 19, 2019 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

            Haha! Thank you, all three!

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 19, 2019 - 10:05 am | Permalink

      I am a little troubled by the idea of failing at teaching and then going to seminary. But I do not know the whole story.

  20. Christine Parkhurst's Gravatar Christine Parkhurst
    March 19, 2019 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    The Grey Nuns and Marguerite started with nothing and built a hospital that treated absolutely everyone. They had no support from anyone, and yet they persisted. They are loving kindness and charity personified. I think that Leonard Cohen, that other saint of Montreal, had them in mind when he wrote The Sisters of Mercy, and that helps get my vote, too:
    Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone….

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

      That was a new song to me. Thank you.

  21. Susan C's Gravatar Susan C
    March 19, 2019 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Marguerite overcame so much to accomplish so much. She inspired so many not just to pray but to do God’s work and love all people without regard to faction or race. She is the easy choice for me.

  22. March 19, 2019 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    There is a story that Phillips Brooks as Bishop of Massechuesetts once visited an elderly woman who was housebound. She was frustrated that she could not clean her floor, so he got on his knees, and, as bishop, scrubbed her kitchen floor. That kind of compassion, humility, and love inspires.

    • LauraR's Gravatar LauraR
      March 19, 2019 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      Reading through the comments, I couldn’t choose one over the other, but this story clinched it for me. My vote goes to Brooks for his selfless service to others in need. Thank you, Dirk Reinken!

    • Drew's Gravatar Drew
      March 20, 2019 - 8:19 am | Permalink

      That little story got to me.
      I won’t forget it.

  23. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    March 19, 2019 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    “Souers grises” means “grey nuns.”

  24. Catherine Linberg's Gravatar Catherine Linberg
    March 19, 2019 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Phillips Brooks for the extraordinary prayer found always inside the back cover of Forward Day by Day:
    “O God: Give me the strength to live another day; Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; Let me not lose faith in other people; Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness; Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; Help me keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity; Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

    • Jendi's Gravatar Jendi
      March 19, 2019 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      I needed this prayer today. Phillips has my vote!

    • Greg's Gravatar Greg
      March 19, 2019 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      This prayer was one of the first treasures I encountered in Day by Day.
      I am inspired by Phillips’ overcoming of personal failure – imspiation I appreciate, news I can use!

  25. Pete's Gravatar Pete
    March 19, 2019 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    This matchup is the perfect example of how one can excellently play the game. When writing about some figures like Books the author keeps things pretty Vanilla. Yet many who author bios of women use action phrases as happens with M. d’Y – “Nevertheless the woman persisted.” A sentence like that one raises the drama wonderfully while making the early matchups no brainers if you know for what to look. (Final match prediction = Martha of B. v. Wilberforce).

  26. Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
    March 19, 2019 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    As much as I feel awed by Brooks and his powerful example and I am from Boston and am familiar with his great contiributons, I have to vote for
    Margaruite . Jesus sat with Mary and Martha and removed the gender barrier but somehow women have continued to have that still to contend with and this , to me, always makes their fight harder and their achievements all the more powerful .

    • March 19, 2019 - 10:06 am | Permalink

      Likewise. I honor Phillips Brooks not only for O Little Towns of Bethlehems and as an examples of a churchmans of greats statures, who also recognized the greatnesses of another preachers heroes of mines, Georges MacDonalds, when he came to Americas, today I had to vote for the singular power of Margaruite, and her less limelighted witness.

  27. Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
    March 19, 2019 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    A difficult choice today, so I went to Wikipedia for further education. It seems Marguerite’s hospital kept slaves, both African and Indian, ‘because everyone did’. And Phillip Brooks is credited with introducing Helen Keller both to Anne Sullivan and to Christianity!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      Who knew? Thanks!

    • Shannon Reel's Gravatar Shannon Reel
      March 19, 2019 - 9:20 am | Permalink

      I’m disappointed this has been left out of the summaries. They certainly didn’t treat everyone with charity if they were buying (and selling!) slaves.

    • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
      March 19, 2019 - 11:34 am | Permalink

      Googled and found this — quite sordid, sadly:
      Indian slaves were also owned by the Sisters of Charity (or “Grey Nuns”) which ran Montréal’s Hôpital Général. In fact, “the foundation of the physical support” for this hospital, says Cambridge historian Wil- liam Foster, was an impressive variety of unfree laborers: female and male convicts, Indian slaves, self-indentured Canadians, and at least 27 British soldiers taken pris- oner in the Seven Years’ War. Foster shows that the Grey Nuns who ran Montréal’s Hôpital Général “formed the apex of a pyramidal structure of over a hundred individuals, mostly men, in various states of dependency.” Besides Indian slaves, the nuns had indentured servants who were “bound … to the community for a specific term of service.” They also had servants called donnés who “obligated themselves legally to serve the Grey Sisters in perpetuity.” The donnés, mostly men, were “not free to leave” and were the nuns’ “movable property.” English prisoners of war, “held against their will,” were bought and sold for a profit. These working inmates were “as unfree as any slave on the sister’s property.” The Grey Nuns also “imprisoned young women of questionable virtue,” held them “confined in cells” “designed for the purpose of correction” and forced them into a “harsh” and “exhausting schedule of domestic work.” When the Intendant of New France, François Bigot, tried unsuccessfully to close down the Grey Nuns’ hospital in 1750, he cited complaints from their female inmates. (Richard Sanders, Breaking the Bonds of Ignorance and Denial: Slavery, Genocide, Historical Fiction & other Canadian Values)

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 19, 2019 - 12:03 pm | Permalink


    • Karen Hoyer's Gravatar Karen Hoyer
      March 19, 2019 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

      That’s interesting concerning slavery & the Grey Nuns. We specifically looked up Phillips Brooks because he was preaching during the time of the Civil War and in the booklet’s bio there was no mention of his stand on slavery. (He sided with the north, denounced slavery, and preached “nationally notable” sermons at the death of Lincoln and in commemoration of the Civil War dead.)

  28. Susan Stewart's Gravatar Susan Stewart
    March 19, 2019 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Phillips, yes; Margarite, yes! Oh who will get my vote? A fiery preacher or a compassionate healer?
    I choose the Sister of Charity. Why you ask? First, because she is a guiding light on my path of love for all God’s children and second, because I am here and a Sister’s of Charity hospital made that possible.

  29. Mary E. Winston's Gravatar Mary E. Winston
    March 19, 2019 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    But nevertheless, she persisted. Amen

  30. Manny Faria's Gravatar Manny Faria
    March 19, 2019 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Oh, Phillips, it looks like you’re getting the Boston Latin treatment again today…but I am with you and the everlasting light that shineth in the dark streets of Bethlehem.

  31. Catherine Tamasik's Gravatar Catherine Tamasik
    March 19, 2019 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Marguerite, because, nevertheless, she persisted.

  32. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 19, 2019 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Nevertheless, the women persisted! Voting for Marguerite.

  33. LOIS Strait's Gravatar LOIS Strait
    March 19, 2019 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    anyone who survives 4 dead children and a drunken husband and still rises to found a hospital
    will certainly get my vote

  34. March 19, 2019 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Both persevered despite great odds, but one did it backwards in high heels.

  35. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    March 19, 2019 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Oh I was taken in by the “tipsy” nuns!

  36. Debbie Brewin-Wilson's Gravatar Debbie Brewin-Wilson
    March 19, 2019 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    As another proud alum of VTS, I’m with Phillips today. (Is it wrong to go around humming “O Little Town of Bethlehem” during Lent? Well. . . maybe not on St. Joseph’s Day!)

    • Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
      March 19, 2019 - 9:49 am | Permalink

      It should be okay to sing. Not an “alleluia” in sight or sound. But outside of that without Easter, we wouldn’t find a reason to celebrate Christmas. Without Christmas, there would not have been an Easter. And without Joseph there may not have been a Christmas. A little simplistic, but valid.

  37. Cathy Schuyler's Gravatar Cathy Schuyler
    March 19, 2019 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Phillips Brooks House at Harvard is where spoiled smart rich kids learn to give of themselves for others. Tutoring kids in inner-city Boston, working at soup kitchens, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, etc, all originate at the organization named for today’s Bostonian saint, reminding the whole Harvard community that life is better and closer to complete when you love your neighbor and care for the needy. Three cheers for Phillips Brooks and his witness of discipleship!

    • LauraR's Gravatar LauraR
      March 19, 2019 - 10:51 am | Permalink

      Your story gave me even more reason to vote for him. Thanks for sharing!

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 19, 2019 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Cathy Schuyler, for that encouraging word about Harvard.
      My main reason, though, for voting for Phillips Brooks is the _last_ verse of “O Little Town…”, which I think could be a dismissal prayer for any Christmas service.
      “O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray,
      Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.
      We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell.
      O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”

  38. Anthony-Paul Larson's Gravatar Anthony-Paul Larson
    March 19, 2019 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Marguerite, because as a monastic I feel a connection to and therefore a need to vote for the founder of a monastic order. That and truth be known I just do not like “O little town of Bethlehem”, would be happy to go even one Christmas season with out having to sing it.

  39. etupper's Gravatar etupper
    March 19, 2019 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    What happened to Marguerite’s two surviving children when she declared herself a nun? They couldn’t have been any older than early teens.

    • Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
      March 19, 2019 - 9:45 am | Permalink

      I wondered about her children, too. According to, they were grown when she became a nun. Although I suppose that could still mean they were teens; you were considered grown at age 14 or so back in those days, weren’t you? Citation from Franciscan Media:

      Even though she was caring for two small children and running a store to help pay off her husband’s debts, Marguerite still helped the poor. Once her children were grown, she and several companions rescued a Quebec hospital that was in danger of failing. She called her community the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal;

    • CLynk's Gravatar CLynk
      March 19, 2019 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      The two surviving sons became priests, from another saint source that I read this morning.

  40. Shorty F's Gravatar Shorty F
    March 19, 2019 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    I wish I could have voted for Marguerite but she and the Grey Nuns were “some of Montreal’s most prominent slaveowners.”

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 19, 2019 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      You’re citing Wikipedia without attribution. Wikipedia also does not cite any source for this charge.

      • Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
        March 19, 2019 - 9:52 am | Permalink

        I was troubled by the use of slave labor, too, and because it’s a good point that Wikipedia can lack citation and make errors, I went looking. I found an article about Canadian slavery in the Montreal Gazette.

        Here is a quote from a person interviewed in the article, pertaining to Marguerite’s order: “Despite their belief in Christian charity, orders like the Grey Nuns and the Jesuits, and the Ursulines in New Orleans, didn’t see a problem with having slaves,” Ndiaye says.

        Link to article:

        • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
          March 19, 2019 - 10:17 am | Permalink

          That was interesting. Thank you. I was struck by how the use of slaves was tied to “social status” in Quebec. That chimes with the derision directed toward the nuns for having low-class connections. The Quebecois particularly favored black slaves from Africa because they were “rare” and robust. While Marguerite’s husband was illegally selling liquor to the Indians, for profit (with the secondary effect of enfeebling them), the larger society admired artsy, decorative, dusky folk. I find myself perplexed how to assess and value historical actions. If I am deeply troubled at how to solve today’s social ills, I am utterly stumped at how to judge yesterday’s inequities.

          • Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
            March 19, 2019 - 10:31 am | Permalink

            I decided to vote for her, anyway, because everything else about her was compelling. She was from a time period when the Bible was used to justify slavery.

      • NittanySharon's Gravatar NittanySharon
        March 19, 2019 - 11:29 am | Permalink

        These are the citations from Wikipedia:
        Walker, James W. St. G. (2006). “Race,” Rights and the Law in the Supreme Court of Canada: Historical Case Studies. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 137.
        Foster, William Henry (2003). The Captors’ Narrative: Catholic Women and Their Puritan Men on the Early American Frontier. Cornell University Press. pp. 104, 105.

    • Mary's Gravatar Mary
      March 19, 2019 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      Wikipedia can be edited by pretty much anyone. As a graduate of D’Youville College, founded by the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart and named for St. Marguerite d’Youville I have studied her history and that of the order she founded. There is no supporting documentation to substantiate the Wikipedia reference to slavery existing at the hospital, beyond the care for those who escaped their bondage.

      • Shannon Reel's Gravatar Shannon Reel
        March 19, 2019 - 10:06 am | Permalink

        A Google search brings up multiple sources stating the hospital used slaves, not just Wikipedia. I’m sure the hospital is not proud of that history. But it shouldn’t be hidden. We should be able to debate the good and bad works of the saints.

        • Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
          March 19, 2019 - 10:32 am | Permalink


    • March 19, 2019 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      “Slaveowners”? The poor and sick women that the Grey Nuns helped were happy to show their gratitude to the Sisters and to their community by living and working along side of them. That doesn’t sound like slavery to me. It sounds like a mission of faith by all.

      • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
        March 19, 2019 - 11:41 am | Permalink

        “The Grey Nuns also “imprisoned young women of questionable virtue,” held them “confined in cells” “designed for the purpose of correction” and forced them into a “harsh” and “exhausting schedule of domestic work.” When the Intendant of New France, François Bigot, tried unsuccessfully to close down the Grey Nuns’ hospital in 1750, he cited complaints from their female inmates.” See longer quote and citation above under Ruth Douglas Miller’s 8:51am post.

  41. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 19, 2019 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    I chose Marguerite d’Youville, not because I’m a Canadian, but because I live in a city (in Western Canada) where one of the largest – and best – hospitals was founded by Les Soeurs Grise over 150 years ago, where excellent long-term care homes for seniors are operated by the not-for-profit group Action Marguerite, inspired by Mme. D’Youville’s care and concern for all, and because, while I love ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and applaud Brooks’ eloquence as a preacher and community builder, I believe Marguerite D’Youville’s legacy of love for all others is the most profound and most far-reaching.

  42. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 19, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    O diocese of bean and cod,
    Beside thy namesake bay,
    Thy bishop, in his quest for God,
    Showed many folk the way.

    • LauraR's Gravatar LauraR
      March 19, 2019 - 10:53 am | Permalink

      Love it!

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 19, 2019 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      Excellent! Especially the beans and cod part…

      Also, it can easily be sung to the tune of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”!

  43. Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
    March 19, 2019 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” my family’s favorite carol

  44. Mary Jane Key's Gravatar Mary Jane Key
    March 19, 2019 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    In today’s world, of divisions, we need to be more like Marguerite. She did not choose to help just those that were “on her side” — she chose to help all those in need – just like Jesus would have.
    I have known and worked with the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart for 37 years, and have come to know and admire their strength, determination to serve all in need as they follow in Marguerite’s footsteps.
    With all of the hardships that Marguerite suffred, she never backed away from serving God and creation.
    The motto of Marguerite’s community is ‘we never refuse to serve”. May we all have a little more “Marguerite” in us.

    • Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
      March 19, 2019 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      I wonder if Hard Rock Cafe stole their motto, “Love all. Serve all.”

    • March 19, 2019 - 10:06 am | Permalink

      Beautifully said, Mary Jane Key.

    • Maggie Rose's Gravatar Maggie Rose
      March 19, 2019 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I wholeheartedly agree! Marguerite and her Grey Nuns are in the trenches helping those most in need. We need models like her. When “given” a broken-down hospital by those who thought she would fail, she took charge and made it work. When it was burned to the ground, she and her sisters knelt in the ashed and prayed, and started rebuilding it. She deserves to win for her persistence.

  45. Patrick Alther's Gravatar Patrick Alther
    March 19, 2019 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hard choices. But I went with Marguerite brcause she had so many obstacles to overcome in her life, and yet instead of yielding to despair and degradation went on to a fulfilling life.
    Love O Little Town of Bethlehem though.

  46. Jane Fenicle's Gravatar Jane Fenicle
    March 19, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Phillips. His prayer in the Forward Day by Day is also an inspiration. He, as a young man, didn’t give in to despair and self doubt. He could stand for an inspiration to today’s youth who seem to be choosing suicide over life. Might it be accounted to the lack of connection to the church and a relationship with God? Phillips also had a relationship with the young people at Harvard if I remember correctly and thus I see him as a beacon to what we might wish to emulate as we relate to the youth around us no matter what our age may be.

  47. DiAnne Walsh's Gravatar DiAnne Walsh
    March 19, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    This one was difficult. Two very dedicated people who found their way to a fuller and dedicated life through their relationship with God.

  48. Susan Reeves's Gravatar Susan Reeves
    March 19, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Yep. “They persisted.” got me. Perseverance in pressing forward for God and leading the charge for care and concern for others matters.

  49. St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
    March 19, 2019 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    I’m going for the native Canadian and the Grey Nun. I cannot do otherwise. She has 69% of the vote. Nice.
    I’m impressed by how this woman met poverty with resilience and fortitude. I am impressed this Lent Madness by all these women who did those small acts of kindness that keep others’ faith alive. I appreciate her organizing skills.
    According to Wikipedia, the Grey Nuns used forced labor in their building works. I do not know what to make of that. Slavery itself was not abolished in the British Empire until 1833. I also wish I knew whether the order tackled alcoholism and even more whether it addressed the social issues–classism–that had marred Marguerite’s life to begin with. Quebecois society despised “outsiders” and social low-lifes. It would be nice (as in really nice) to know whether the nuns’ ethos included the sorts of social service that we now think important for the long-term raising up of people’s economic conditions. Still, I vote for the mother of universal charity today.

    March 19, 2019 - 9:26 am | Permalink


    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 19, 2019 - 9:47 am | Permalink

      love too magnify Christ’s love with all caps

  51. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 19, 2019 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    It’s a toss up today here. Sorry we can’t vote for both of them. But today, Marguerite gets our vote, not lessening Phillips Brooks, as our pastor often uses one of his benedictions to close our worship services.

  52. Rose's Gravatar Rose
    March 19, 2019 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I am a nurse
    Today is certified nurse’s day
    My vote for Marguerite – a woman who rose above and persisted

  53. Kate Mason's Gravatar Kate Mason
    March 19, 2019 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    Two Saints, fiery hearts.
    Both move me. But Phillips:
    Transforming those hearts.

  54. Judith Genaway's Gravatar Judith Genaway
    March 19, 2019 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I live near Montreal! My colleague, Carolyn Gervais, graduated from D’Youville College near
    Buffalo, NY. She & I practiced Nursing together for years.

    “O Little Town of Bethlehem” makes Phillips Brooks
    a tough voting choice today. I’ve played that Carol
    @ church many a holiday.

  55. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    March 19, 2019 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Another day pitting two individuals against one another, both of whom I would have loved to see move forward! As a choir singer with a tendency towards teariness, O, Little Town of Bethlehem is definitely a trigger. And I was greatly moved by his words: “I am sure that it is a deeper knowledge and truer love of Christ…I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me, and I know him. It is no figure of speech. It is the realest thing in the world. And every day makes it realer.”
    But because I live in Buffalo, NY, where we have D’Youville College which primarily focuses on health care majors, I am also aware of the loving care of Marguerite for the poor who are often overlooked.
    Bishop Brooks won the coin toss today.

  56. Mark Bialkowski's Gravatar Mark Bialkowski
    March 19, 2019 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    I owe the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart a great debt of gratitude! Because of what St. Marguerite began I became the first in my family to receive a higher education. D’Youville is a transformative place that had a great impact in transfiguring my understanding of the world, of faith, and of friendship. Attending D’Youville meant that I not only gained knowledge but family. I am good friends with many of the professors that I had and with the Grey Nuns, whose legacy continues to thrive at D’Youville. St. Marguerite was devoted to the idea of Divine Providence and so far that same Providence has not led me astray. The work St. Marguerite began so long ago has touched so many lives! For these reasons I vote for St. Marguerite D’Youville and thank her for her prays for me.

  57. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    March 19, 2019 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Nevertheless she persisted. Margaret’s dedication to all people … what a story! What an example to follow!

  58. Sai's Gravatar Sai
    March 19, 2019 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    In spite of his use of ‘realest’ and ‘realer’, I am moved by Brooks’ words: “He [Jesus Christ] is here. He knows me, and I know him. It is no figure of speech. It is the realest thing in the world. And every day makes it realer.” His life and achievements are significant, but I am deeply moved by Marguerite ‘s life. Her hardships created in her a loving, caring heart, which translated into a life of serving those in need. Being dubbed “The Mother of Universal Charity” pretty much says it all, and I see Marguerite as a definite contender for the Golden Halo.
    Needless to say, I’m voting for her.

  59. Amy Kornacki's Gravatar Amy Kornacki
    March 19, 2019 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Marguerite D’Youville has a college named for her in Buffalo, New York. The college is dedicated to serving the West Side community and specializes in health care professions! I think Marguerite would be very proud of its dedication to those less fortunate in the community. Go St. Marguerite!!

    • Alyssa Kornacki's Gravatar Alyssa Kornacki
      March 19, 2019 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Yay! Go D’Youville College!

  60. Michael Fay's Gravatar Michael Fay
    March 19, 2019 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Professor Armentrout taught us of Phillips Brooks so well. I cannot not vote for him.

  61. Linda Mackie Griggs's Gravatar Linda Mackie Griggs
    March 19, 2019 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    “Nevertheless, the nuns persisted.” That line sold it for me.

  62. Anita's Gravatar Anita
    March 19, 2019 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    Singing O Little Town of Bethlehem was a memory from childhood in Boston. So along with that Bishop Brooks wa my choice

  63. Ven Neil's Gravatar Ven Neil
    March 19, 2019 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    We’ve just celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and whether or not you’re Irish, who can ignore the legacy of Marguerite D’Youville! When no one wanted the starving Irish, Montreal’s Grey Nuns cared for the new immigrants, many of whom were stricken with typhus. Several of the nuns would die. As would the mayor of Montreal.

    A new exhibit titled Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger running this week at the Centaur Theatre chronicles their heroism and that of other religious orders and Montrealers.

    When the coffin ships started arriving from Ireland in 1847, unloading passengers into fever sheds in the south of the city, many residents wanted the new arrivals pushed into the St. Lawrence. At one point Montreal’s mayor deterred a mob from doing so.

    There were only 50,000 people in Montreal, and many were terrified. More than 100,000 emaciated, often diseased Irish were on their way to Quebec after the potato crop in Ireland failed two years in a row. The British government was unable to care for the starving and America had enacted strict standards for immigration that included costly ship fares out of reach of the impoverished Irish.

    So they came to Quebec, paying cheap fares to be packed by the hundreds in dank holds, used as ballast in British trade ships that usually shipped lumber. Five thousand died on the crossing, their corpses tossed overboard. Unable to handle the deluge at the immigration depot on Grosse Île near Quebec City, where as many as 5,000 would die, many of the ships were waved on to Montreal by immigration officials.


    The ill and the dying were quarantined in the 22 fever sheds built near where the Victoria Bridge now stands.

    The Grey Nuns, or Sisters of Charity as they are also known, were the first religious order called in to assist the Irish. Only about 40 in number, most of them would become infected with typhus themselves, carrying the ill from the ships to the sheds and administering to them. Seven of them would die. Those who didn’t convalesced, then came back to continue caring for the Irish. They would nurse them back to health and find homes for more than 1,500 orphans, either with other Irish families or, in most cases, with French Canadians, which is why Quebec’s Irish roots run so deep. God bless Marguerite and God bless her Grey Nuns!

    • Isabel Stanley's Gravatar Isabel Stanley
      March 19, 2019 - 11:28 am | Permalink

      What an inspiring augmentation to Marguerite’s story! We are standing on the shoulders of saints like Marguerite!

  64. Btown's Gravatar Btown
    March 19, 2019 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    The end of knowledge, is service to others. Marguerite was all about service, so do a random act of service and vote for Marguerite!

  65. Tom Downs's Gravatar Tom Downs
    March 19, 2019 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Brooks was an alumnus of Virginia Theological Seminary. Legend has it that “O little town of Bethlehem” was in fact inspired by the vision of the twinkling lights of Washington DC as seen from the tower on the Holy Hill. “O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend on us, we pray; cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.” A prayer for the nation (and God knows we need it). Collections of his sermons can still be found. I remember one in which he preached against state sponsored prayer in schools. A 19th century man whose example would well serve the Church of the 21st century.

    • Judith Hurley's Gravatar Judith Hurley
      March 19, 2019 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      I was educated by Grey Nuns and they were wonderful women. I encountered Phillips Brooks as an adult and am a parishioner at Trinity Church.
      I chose Marguerite. Very difficult-I can’t believe they were pitted against each other.

  66. Barbara M Waters's Gravatar Barbara M Waters
    March 19, 2019 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    In spite of being from Boston and loving ” O’ Little Town of Bethlehem” I feel I must vote for Marguerite over Phillips because of all she did for those in need.

  67. Frank Impicciche's Gravatar Frank Impicciche
    March 19, 2019 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Brooks was a fiery preacher and a prophet in his day. We need more lay and clergy leaders who of this ilk! Come on P.Brooks, I’m pulling for you!!!

  68. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 19, 2019 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Today’s a tough choice. I feel the spirit of both these saints. Had to go with Marguerite.

  69. Julie Ort's Gravatar Julie Ort
    March 19, 2019 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    “Nevertheless, the women persisted.” That says it all. Marguerite d’Youville gets my vote.

  70. Mark C Bigley's Gravatar Mark C Bigley
    March 19, 2019 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Phillips Brooks was one of the most powerful preachers of our country, illuminating the souls of many in a deeper spiritual consciousness. I imagine that many his hearers went on to do good works like Marguerite d’Youville. A VTS grad, I recall the words of Phillips Brooks etched above the entrance to the library that I saw daily during those three years: “Seek the truth, come whence it may, cost what it will.” Those words have stuck with me for 40+ years and linked me to Christ during trying times. When the Word is linked to what comes out of the mouth of the one who hears, the Light that creates true change results. Often, people try to change things without God consciousness and the results are nil or damaging.

  71. Mary Deza's Gravatar Mary Deza
    March 19, 2019 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    The hardships that women had to face to maintain their own livelihood was a tremendous challenge in an age when women had few choices. Given this scenario, it is always a wonder such a woman as Marguerite could see beyond her own circumstances and look to the want and neediness of others- she gets my vote today

  72. NittanySharon's Gravatar NittanySharon
    March 19, 2019 - 11:09 am | Permalink
  73. Doug Kuhlmann's Gravatar Doug Kuhlmann
    March 19, 2019 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Marguerite d’Youville sounds like a Dr. Suess name. That is not the reason I voted for her, though.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 19, 2019 - 11:22 am | Permalink

      Cindy Lou Who from Whoville is not a saint. The Grinch’s heart expansion has not yet been classified a miracle.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 19, 2019 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

      You made me laugh, Doug!

  74. Jane Wirth's Gravatar Jane Wirth
    March 19, 2019 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    I always think about how hard it was for women verses men. I mean, set up by the church to fail? Lost for children in infancy and still full of hope and vision. Marguerite’s story filled me with awe. She has my vote!

  75. Carolyn Gehron Martin's Gravatar Carolyn Gehron Martin
    March 19, 2019 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Sung to the tune of “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”

    I am aware of Phillip Brooks
    Not just for his great “song”
    But for the prayer I pray each morn
    And try to live day long.
    I’d even know not of it
    Except for FDD.
    But since I do, i think of him
    In song on Christmas Eve.
    I love his hymn and sing it,
    But now love evn more
    His prayer that sets me on my way
    More cnter than before.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 19, 2019 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Well done! Tough choices today.

  76. Carolyn Gehon Martin's Gravatar Carolyn Gehon Martin
    March 19, 2019 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Note from cgm: This should correctly read:

    “More centered than before.”

  77. John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
    March 19, 2019 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    A tough choice for me. But, i had to go with Phillip, having lived for some 30 plus years in Bethlehem, PA. (the official “Christmas City of the US POstal Service).
    MIllions upon millions sing or hear that carol every year. It lifts the spirits and reminds us of the meaning of Christmas before commerce hijacked it

  78. Victoria's Gravatar Victoria
    March 19, 2019 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    This was a difficult one. I love that nevertheless, the women persistent, and did some excellent compassionate and inclusive ministry to those who needed it most. I also liked Phillip Brooks’s attitude that to heck with everything else; he is going to spread God’s love. Both have commitments I really like!

    • Victoria's Gravatar Victoria
      March 19, 2019 - 11:42 am | Permalink

      I meant, the women persisted.

  79. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 19, 2019 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Marguerite’s slaves built that hospital! And no, they were not happy and well cared for. I am relieved that I did some further research before casting my vote. Whatever hardships she overcame, Marguerite’s legacy is not a pretty picture. Please see more info and references in threads starting at 8:51 above. I’m voting for the preacher.

  80. Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
    March 19, 2019 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Those words that Phillips Brooks penned toward the end of his earthly life really mean so much to me today. As do the verses of O Little Town. And the wonderful Forward Day by Day prayer. Much to admire in both of these nominations. Phillips gets my vote.

  81. Carolyn Gehron Martin's Gravatar Carolyn Gehron Martin
    March 19, 2019 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Sung to the tune of “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”

    I am in awe of Phillips Brooks
    Not just for his great “song”
    But for the prayer I pray each morn
    And try to live day long.
    I’d evenknow not of it,
    Except for FDD
    But since I do, I think of him
    In song on Christmas Eve.
    I love his hymn and sing it
    But now love even more,
    His prayer that sets me on my way
    More centered than before.

  82. Martha's Gravatar Martha
    March 19, 2019 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Phillips called to me today. Who of us haven’t had a period of unknowing, a feeling of being lost or in the wrong place. Yet he used that and turned it around to find a role that was broad and impacted so manny. I bet that young man would have been very surprised if told what his life would be like in 20 years!

  83. Cap'n Black's Gravatar Cap'n Black
    March 19, 2019 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    I think “the Grey Nuns” would serve well on a keepsake in the Lentorium!

  84. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 19, 2019 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Several years ago when I worked for the Salvation Army we had a Major who was from Alabama. It was customary to sing a few Christmas carols at our annual Christmas luncheon. At the appointed time the Major rose to his feet and invited us all to join in singing a rousing chorus of “O Little Town of Birmingham”. Now every time I sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” I’m reminded of that luncheon and it brings a smile to my face.
    All that being said I still voted for Marguerite today, but either one winning is fine as they are both deserving of moving on in their bracket.

  85. A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
    March 19, 2019 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I did not know the ‘grey’ of Grey Nuns implied ‘a bunch of drunks’. Love it. They are in good company: Luke 7:34, Matthew 11:19, Acts 2:13. They persisted AND they leaned in. According to wiki their original habits were grey, so ‘les soeurs grises’ was both accurate and subject to mocking French pun. They switched to taupe/brown habit early on (or white for hospital work), but they kept the nickname. Teeth to the wind, ladies – teeth to the wind!

  86. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    March 19, 2019 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if “Nevertheless HE persisted” would work for bloggers of male saints as well. They’re the magic words for girl saints, it seems!

  87. March 19, 2019 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I grew up in Buffalo, NY very near d’Youville College. I volunteered at a hospital in Buffalo as a teenager that was run by the Grey Nuns. The choice for me today was very easy. These nuns were so dedicated to their patients and so kind to those of us who were volunteers there.

  88. Rian Restau's Gravatar Rian Restau
    March 19, 2019 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    i went with Maurgreture because I have a close friend named that

  89. Wynne Osborne's Gravatar Wynne Osborne
    March 19, 2019 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Not an easy choice, but few are. I went with Marquerite because valiant women need all the help they can get. What internal strength she exhibits!

  90. JOAN OGDEN's Gravatar JOAN OGDEN
    March 19, 2019 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I was sure that Marguerite would triumph, but my vote was for Phillip Brooks — who turned himself around, brought the community around, and left as just one part of his legacy the name of the headquarters of the Harvard student-run non-profit social service entity.

  91. Maggie Proctor's Gravatar Maggie Proctor
    March 19, 2019 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I am interested in why Phillips Brooks was fired from his teaching job. Anyone?

    • March 19, 2019 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Life and letters of Phillips Brooks
      . . . too young, too gentle, not a rigid enough disciplinarian . . .

      • Maggie Proctor's Gravatar Maggie Proctor
        March 19, 2019 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Thank you!

      • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
        March 19, 2019 - 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Boy, Google Books is getting a workout today! My hat’s off to you, Sister Mary Winifred.

        It sounds like his classroom was the stuff of teachers’ nightmares: A 20-year-old recent graduate, charged with overseeing 35 boys aged 15 to 17, who had already chased away three (presumably more experienced) predecessors.

        Rather like St. Trinian’s, but with boys…

  92. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    March 19, 2019 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Phillips, until I read about Margarite. I’ve always pondered why we’ve ordained so many who simply can not preach! Here we have a second career gifted preacher! Then there’s Margarite. I voted right away, before I’d read the comments. Thank goodness for those who who’ve benefited from Margarite’s persistence in our lifetimes, and are commenting in Lent Madness. Laurie Brock was Margarites blogger. I clicked on her name and was blown away by her posts. After her very moving piece, I hope one day, I can be in her congregation when she’s the celebrant.

  93. Pat Muller's Gravatar Pat Muller
    March 19, 2019 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I pass. We have an (unmarried?) guy who is terminated as a teacher and moves to be a priest, In Boston, no less!? And a gal who manages to make religious order a source of anger and target of bullying. Methinks you need to find better sources than Wikipedia

  94. Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
    March 19, 2019 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I had a feeling that Brooks would be trounced. Sigh. But the statement about the deeper knowledge and truer love of Christ being personal and real moved me greatly. “He is here. He knows me, and I know him.” What faith. Beloved hymn and many accomplishments aside, this statement is what inspired me. I wish, hope to be able to say that.

  95. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    March 19, 2019 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Phillips Brooks and Marguerite d’Youville are both worthy of golden halos, despite the Grey Sisters’ objectionable association with slavery. Ultimately, founding a charitable order that has done much good in the world gets my vote. That, and the coincidence of my being Canadian and a onetime resident of la belle ville.

  96. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 19, 2019 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Great writing – kudos to both celebrity bloggers today; they made it a difficult choice!

  97. Kaye's Gravatar Kaye
    March 19, 2019 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Hard choice!
    Do we know what happened to her two surrviving children?

  98. Thomas Coleman's Gravatar Thomas Coleman
    March 19, 2019 - 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.
    Oh little town of Bethlehem, vs. 3 last line
    My favorite Christmas carol line, just about brings me to tears

  99. Grace's Gravatar Grace
    March 19, 2019 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I found it interesting that both heroes in today’s match up saw their places of ministry fall to ruin in fires! Two inspiring stories of renewal and persistence.

  100. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 19, 2019 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    “She is called the “Mother of Universal Charity” and was the first native-born Canadian to be declared a saint.”
    “…and was the first native-born Canadian to be declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.”
    There, I fixed it for you.

    Phillips Brooks, an Episcopalian, gets my vote.

  101. Betsy Elliot's Gravatar Betsy Elliot
    March 19, 2019 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Definitely Phillips Brooks. Can’t believe it wasn’t mentioned that he wrote the inspiring “For Today” prayer on the inside back cover of Forward Day by Day. I’ve prayed it nearly every day for many years.

  102. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    March 19, 2019 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m thinking maybe I SHOULD be reading the comments before I vote; I glean so much. That being said, acknowledging I am both female, Canadian and love Phillips contribution to every Christmas I have ever celebrated, I voted for Marguerite. If I’d had the slavery piece of the history, my vote might not have been as spontaneous. Just saying.

  103. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    March 19, 2019 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I urge you to read some of Phillips Brooks sermons. Who would think they could be relevant or moving in today’s world? But they are. So beautifully written, so gentle and so deeply meaningful. I wish the writer had spoken more of his profound effect on people. Certainly on me, and I have barely met him, seeing that we are separated by so many years. I hope that he wins so that you can learn more about this complex, lovely and loving man. No surprise to me that he would scrub a floor in love.

  104. Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
    March 19, 2019 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I love me a persistent woman, but Phillips Brooks perfectly articulates my feelings for Christ. Got to be Phillips for me.

  105. Jody Phillips Clark's Gravatar Jody Phillips Clark
    March 19, 2019 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Marguerite is running away with this one. Marguerite is certainly very saintly, but I voted for Phillips Brooks. While I am female, I am also a Bostonian. I was a lost former Catholic, craving a church home, and the moment I set foot in Trinity Copley on a Palm Sunday back in 1992, I knew I was home in the Episcopal Church. (“All Glory, Laud, and Honor” still makes me cry, but that’s beside the point.) Phillips Brooks left a monumental imprint on the city of Boston, penned a beloved Christmas hymn, but to top it off for me, we share a name! (His first name is my maiden name, so how could I not vote for him.)

  106. Donna Kerry's Gravatar Donna Kerry
    March 19, 2019 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    My husband did rehab at a hospital that was originally known as Youville Hospital. There were pictures of Marguerite everywhere. How can I not vote for her?

  107. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 19, 2019 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Marguerite is splendidly worthy, but I am voting for Phillips Brooks. Partly to up his stats, and partly because the world needs spiritual and emotional inspiration just as much as we need deeds that focus on people’s physical wellbeing. His sermons, prayers, and carol continue to lift hearts. And his life and ministry lived up to his words. (Unlike some—I’m looking at YOU, John Chrysostom.) We need that.

  108. Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
    March 19, 2019 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough one. Usually I tend to vote for the “doer” which Marguerite certainly was and her legacy today is. But the words “Brooks wrote “these last years have had a peace and fullness which there did not used to be. I am sure that it is not indifference to anything I used to care for. I am sure that it is a deeper knowledge and truer love of Christ…I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me, and I know him. It is no figure of speech. It is the realest thing in the world. And every day makes it realer.”” resonated with me. I would like to be able to achieve such peace and deep relationship with Jesus. Besides, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” is one of my favorite carols. So, Phillips Brooks for me today.

  109. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    March 19, 2019 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Terrible to have to choose between these two, but to directly touch so many lives for so long, Marguerite gets the nod today.

  110. Nancy Pierce's Gravatar Nancy Pierce
    March 19, 2019 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Thankyou, this is so much fun for me

  111. Art's Gravatar Art
    March 19, 2019 - 5:19 pm | Permalink

    It was hard to vote against O Little Town of Bethlehem, but I did.

  112. Leonora Will's Gravatar Leonora Will
    March 19, 2019 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    The Sainthood relied on the enslaving of human beings in order to care for other more worthy human beings? Struggling to make sense of this. There is no moral purity.

  113. Carol Miro's Gravatar Carol Miro
    March 19, 2019 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    My father, in 1928, was abandoned by his mother, and ended up in an orphanage/boarding school run by the Grey Sisters until family could take him back, so I had to vote for Marguerite!

  114. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 19, 2019 - 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Marguerite! She was a defender of the poor, an overcomer of obstacles, and reputed to be a “tipsy nun.” LOL

  115. Janet MacFarland's Gravatar Janet MacFarland
    March 19, 2019 - 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Because my mother worked at the D’Youville College library in Buffalo, NY, I had to vote for Marguerite. Even though she had cancer during that time, my mother’s friends at D’Youville were a great comfort to her. I know she was better off working there than anywhere else she could have been. Whether or not it was the legacy of the Grey Sisters, they were very supportive in her time of need, and I am grateful to them.

  116. March 19, 2019 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad to learn more about Philips Brooks! Loved the prayers and quotes. He already had a special place in my heart because a musician friend who had been at Trinity told me that in the late 20thc. at the height of the AIDS crisis, Brooks’ church was the only one in the area which welcomed PWAs and their funerals. I want to read more about him now, especially his sermons. Could never vote for someone who supported slavery. Also, after experiencing herself the horrors of a bad marriage, someone who would imprison women for “fallenness” and work them to exhaustion is hardly a relevant or positive model for Episcopalians.

  117. John B Swanton's Gravatar John B Swanton
    March 19, 2019 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I met my wife at Trinity Church 56 years ago. A magic, wonderful place.

  118. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 19, 2019 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

    O landmark church of Trinity,
    How still thy Facebook feed:
    Stained windows gleam, but of a meme
    No hint for us to heed.
    Yet in thy parish teemeth
    A most uncommon crowd;
    Canst stay awake for Brooks’ sake,
    To do the old man proud?

  119. Louise Forrest's Gravatar Louise Forrest
    March 19, 2019 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I have seen the rather large statutes of Phillips Brooks at Harvard University and in front of the Trinity at Copley Square. This is a large plaza with fountains before the entrance to the church. Rev. Brooks engaged his classmate H.H. Richardson (Harvard) to help design and build the Trinity Church after it burned. I can really relate to Brooks story of being fired and finding a new calling. He was also instrumental is envisioning a religious building at Harvard Yard. After his death it was build from moneys from all over the world. It houses The Phillips Brooks House. A service organization with a wide wide distribution of help, tutoring, etc etc in Cambridge and beyond.

  120. Deacon Carol's Gravatar Deacon Carol
    March 19, 2019 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    What did Marguarite do with the children that survived while she was off starting the Grey Nuns?
    Well it doesn’t matter, I voted for Phillips who wrote one of my favourite hymns and was the builder of Trinity Church where my mother used to go.

  121. Candace Taylor's Gravatar Candace Taylor
    March 19, 2019 - 8:10 pm | Permalink

    OK–Had to vote for Brooks because apparently he is a distant relative!

  122. AJ's Gravatar AJ
    March 19, 2019 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Not sure how to play Lenten Madness, I was just introduced to it by my choir director. So far I have picked all winners, it’s just luck!
    Although I was moved with Phillips story I went with
    Marguerite, powerful women, doing there thing for Jesus,

  123. SandiK's Gravatar SandiK
    March 19, 2019 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Local lore has this to say about the Bishop:
    Phillips Brooks, an Episcopal priest and long-time Rector of Trinity Church, Boston, and later Bishop of Massachusetts, wrote the hymn ―O Little Town of Bethlehem after a visit to Bethlehem in 1865. Later, in 1877, he was inspired by Christ’s presence and light when he stayed with Mrs. Pattie Hicks Buford of Lawrenceville, Virginia, and visited her class of young people, sons and daughters of newly freed slaves. He was so moved by her selfless service to these little ones, as he witnessed their wide-eyed wonder and joy in learning, contrasted with the poverty in which they lived, that he wrote the fourth verse to that now famous carol: “Where children pure and happy pray to the blessed Child, where misery cries out to thee, Son of the mother mild; where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door, the dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.”

  124. Claire from Quincy, MA's Gravatar Claire from Quincy, MA
    March 19, 2019 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I have voted for D’Youville on the merits of her dogged accomplishments. As an ambivalent alumna of Boston Latin School, I have kept a fondness for Phillips Brooks because of gorgeous Trinity Church designed by H.H.Richardson and also his Christmas hymn. I always cherished the fact that Ben Franklin dropped out of the #$&*!?@?! school. (Oh how I envied him.) Now I’m especially pleased to learn Brooks was fired. He had a lucky escape. BLS’s loss was the world’s gain.

  125. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 19, 2019 - 10:00 pm | Permalink

    This was no contest for me. I have been a fan of Phillips Brooks almost as long as I have been an Episcopalian. I used to have his lovely prayer “For Today” pinned to the wall of my cubicle, until I unfortunately lost it in a move. The Church needs more Phillips Brookses.

  126. Janet Sternenberg's Gravatar Janet Sternenberg
    March 19, 2019 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Voting on 19th?

  127. Karen in Florida's Gravatar Karen in Florida
    March 19, 2019 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Michael… your songs are amazing and add so much to the learning and fun of Lent Madness! I’m patiently waiting for someone to sing your songs and share with this wonderful community. I’m so very curious to know… what do you do for your day job?

  128. Anne Lemay's Gravatar Anne Lemay
    March 19, 2019 - 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I love Phillips Brooks! From the first time I ever heard of him I wanted to meet him. There is a window for him in St. Mary’s in Rockport, Massachussetts.

    • Cathy Schuyler's Gravatar Cathy Schuyler
      March 19, 2019 - 11:42 pm | Permalink

      Oooh. I’ll have to look for that window next summer when I’m there!

  129. March 20, 2019 - 12:15 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Brooks today. He was one of my favorites from Lent Madness some years ago (I forget which one), and I wished he had made it further. I find his failed-teacher-turned-powerful-preacher story very inspiring. But I will not begrudge Mother Marguerite her victory. Her ministry certainly bore fruit worldwide.

  130. Beverly Nichols's Gravatar Beverly Nichols
    March 20, 2019 - 6:36 am | Permalink

    I keep voting for the underdogs! Had to vote for Phillips, Trinity Church in Boston is a marvel

  131. Ann Tottenham's Gravatar Ann Tottenham
    March 20, 2019 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Delighted to see that Marguerite prevailed over Philips. Was about to write a rant about U.S. xenophobia so prevalent today but l was wrong. Brooks was undoubtedly a good and holy man who wrote a memorable hymn especially when sung to the Vaughan Williams tune rather than the more common draggy one. On the other hand, he was Boston establishment all the way. That a prominent prep school was named after him says it all. Love Lent Madness is!

  132. Ann Tottenham's Gravatar Ann Tottenham
    March 20, 2019 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Delighted to see that Marguerite prevailed over Philips. Was about to write a rant about U.S. xenophobia so prevalent today but l was wrong. Brooks was undoubtedly a good and holy man who wrote a memorable hymn especially when sung to the Vaughan Williams tune rather than the more common draggy one. On the other hand, he was Boston establishment all the way. That a prominent prep school was named after him says it all. Love Lent Madness!

  133. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 20, 2019 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been absent from Lent Madness for two days. (It’s Wed. now.) If I could have, I would have voted for Phillips Brooks. His carol, not my favorite, but still beloved, has been part of my Christmas tradition all my life. As retired clergy and still functioning musician, and a respecter of one who was led to rebuild his church and had such success in using the gifts God gave him, I find his story inspiring.

  134. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    March 20, 2019 - 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi all I purchased a framed 1928 class photo from Phillips Brooks School. The frame is old but everything is in great shape. The quality of the photo is amazing to me. I’m not sure what to do with it as I would hang it up as a cool piece of Americana but maybe it belongs with someone attached to the school or the church? I’m assuming this is the same man. Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated.

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