Zenaida vs. Nicholas of Myra

Congratulations! You survived another weekend devoid of voting. We realize this can cause Itchy Mouse Finger Syndrome (IMFS) for which we recommend sleeping all weekend. But, sleepers wake! For it is time to begin the last FULL week of Lent Madness 2019.

As a reminder, on Friday, Gobnait washed away Paula of Rome 73% to 27% to reach the Elate Eight, where she’ll face Ignatius of Loyola.

Today, in the final matchup of the Saintly Sixteen, Zenaida faces Nicholas of Myra with the last remaining spot in the Elate Eight on the line. After today we bid farewell to Quotes & Quirks and set our minds upon the Saintly Kitsch of the Elate Eight. Stay tuned later today for another exciting episode of Monday Madness as Tim and Scott break it all down.


Move over Mother of Dragons, it’s time to meet the Mother of Modern Medicine. In the time of Jesus, when winter was coming, the woman who faced off against what was known as “mercenary medicine” or healthcare for only those who could afford it, was Zenaida of Tarsus. She, along with her sisters Phionella and Hermione (hello ancient Harry Potter reference), were the first women to enter formally into the profession of medicine and establish what is known as “unmercenary” medicine. Unmercenary medicine was care that focused on the holistic integration of clinical practice with prayer, mental hygiene, and spiritual wellness and was offered to not only those who could afford it, but also to those who could not.

Even in earliest times, the idea of “universal healthcare” was seen as a need. Today, that tradition continues through the Spiritual Works of Ministry in which we heal the sick and care for the poor as a part of our Christian practice. On the healthcare side of the house, integrated medicine is making a comeback as more and more people see a connection between their physical ailments and other mental and spiritual ills.

Zenaida and her sisters were drawn to medicine after studying philosophy at the school of Tarsus. Following her baptism, the marriage of philosophy, Christian practice, and medicine appealed to her. The idea that salvation and redemption were a part of the healing process struck a chord for Zenaida and she saw how Christ is fundamental to the healing of the whole person: mind, body and spirit.

As a result, Zenaida is often attributed to be one of the first practitioners of psychiatry (along with gynecology and pediatrics—she really was a forerunner of the modern family physician) recognizing that mental illnesses often have specific causes and cures and are intricately interwoven with the health of the body and spirit.

Another name for Zenaida and her sisters is the “friends of peace.” They built their hospitals in areas of extreme poverty rather than in city centers where wealth was concentrated. Her sister Hermione is attributed with establishing “xenodochia” of “hostel hospitals” which became a ministry of the early Orthodox church. It is not surprising to learn that Christianity was spread concurrently with spreading health and healing across the lands. Indeed, can one really be healthy or whole without Christ?

Anna Courie

Nicholas of Myra

“Everybody loves Saint Nicholas, because Saint Nicholas loves everybody.” – Father Andrew Phillips

The impact of and admiration for Nicholas of Myra cannot be overstated. He provides an example and a hope that reaches across denominational, historical, ethic, and religious lines.

Writing in her famous diary, young Anne Frank penned these lines:

Once again St. Nicholas Day
Has even come to our hideaway;
It won’t be quite as fun, I fear,
As the happy day we had last year.
Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt
That optimism would win the bout,
And by the time this year came round,
We’d all be free, and safe and sound.
Still, let’s not forget it’s St. Nicholas Day,
Though we’ve nothing left to give away.
We’ll have to find something else to do:
So everyone please look in their shoe!

How has Nicholas remained so important for so many? How was it his story that inspired countless other stories about generosity and kindness?

It could be that Nicholas was known to stand up for the innocent and the wrongly accused – as when he intervened at the moment of execution for three innocent young men.

Or it could be that Nicholas is remembered for acts of great generosity – whether it was the story of providing the dowry for three girls, or providing food for two years in the middle of a famine.

But most of all, perhaps it is Nicholas’s care and love for children – those most vulnerable and innocent in every society – that has endeared him to history. There was the story beloved in the medieval church of Nicholas resurrecting three boys who had been murdered and then placed into pickling barrels. Or the infant that he rescued from being burned in an overheated bathtub. And on and on, countless stories told of Nicholas caring for, providing for, and protecting children.

The example of Nicholas – generous, kind, protector of children and the innocent – can be as daunting as it is inspirational. While no writings of Nicholas have survived, one of the few quotes attributed to him give us a hint of how Nicholas lived such an amazing life, and how we can follow in the same direction:

“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.”

David Hansen

Zenaida vs. Nicholas of Myra

  • Zenaida (59%, 4,183 Votes)
  • Nicholas of Myra (41%, 2,930 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,113

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Zenaida: https://owhm.org/saints.html
Nicholas: “Saint Nicholas of Myra saves three innocents from death”, Public Domain 

108 Comments to "Zenaida vs. Nicholas of Myra"

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

    That Christian physician Zenaida
    To nobody treatment denaida;
    Brought affordable care
    To the poor everywhere,
    So for her make your vote the decida.

    • John's Gravatar John
      April 8, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink


    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 8, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      I love these crazy rhymes the best!

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 8, 2019 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      John Cabot, I am impressed and humbled by your rhyming talent and appreciate the wisdom of your choice. Zenaida for the Golden Halo!

      • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
        April 8, 2019 - 11:47 am | Permalink

        And thanks for the “proper” way to pronounce “Zenaida”!

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      April 8, 2019 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      The Lord of the Limerick triumphs again.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      April 8, 2019 - 2:04 pm | Permalink

      “I say Zenayda, and you say Zen-ida…”

    • Robin DeHate's Gravatar Robin DeHate
      April 8, 2019 - 3:30 pm | Permalink


    • Kathy Puffer's Gravatar Kathy Puffer
      April 8, 2019 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

      As a Threshold Choir Int’l member, singing to the sick, hurt, and dying, I had no choice. Zenaida!!

    • April 8, 2019 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Voting really late and voted for S. Claus. Which gives me an almost perfect record of voting for the loser every time. But my wounds are much easier to tolerate because of John Cabot’s amazing tip toe through the English language usually not in support of my candidate. Stay with us into the Eight, John. Maybe I’ll even hit a winner or two.

  2. Michael Wachter's Gravatar Michael Wachter
    April 8, 2019 - 8:03 am | Permalink

    Our tribute to Zenaida and Nicholas takes it cue from a show tune with a loose holiday-theme. Well, the word “Christmas” is in the title. This can be sung to “Hard Candy Christmas” from “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” – enjoy!

    Hey, these saints had stellar wins;
    Outshone two might-have-beens.
    First, Apollonia lost
    Then Rudolph paid the cost
    With margins wide.
    In a word, landslide.

    Nick was a lock, because
    Who votes ‘gainst Santa Claus?
    Then there’s Z who endures –
    Not charging for her cures, plus no complaint.
    Now, they’re in the

    Saintly Sixteen
    This is not a routine saints’ match-up.
    I’m really not sure who I’ll vote for,
    But I’m certain
    One of them’s goin’ down.

    Yes, they’re Saintly Sixteen:
    Bishop and a Thess’lian doctor.
    Each won by such a mammoth margin,
    I don’t know which
    One of them’s goin’ down.

    Hey, Nicholas has some cred.
    As bishop, Myra led.
    Guardian of the poor,
    Innocent kids, and more – his piety
    And generosity.

    Zenaida proved that she
    Healed with humility.
    Could have had fame and wealth,
    But she cared more for health
    Than bottom line.
    These two are both

    Fine and dandy.
    Still, Lent is a no candy season.
    And choosing Nich’las or Zenaida
    Gives me a headache.
    Which one is movin’ on.

    Still we have to pick one.
    Squeeze your eyes shut. Click one – then enter.
    The choice gets harder as we progress.
    Will you pick the
    Doctor or Santa Claus?

    Now, we sing the last verse.
    Lent Madness is our perverse obsession.
    We barely made in through the sixteen.
    Tuesday starts our
    Trek through the Elate Eight.

    Cause, we’ll be fine.
    Oh, we’ll be fine.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 8, 2019 - 9:12 am | Permalink

      Well, you have introduced me to another new song! And Dolly Parton comes to Lent Madness! A match made in–where else? Heaven! “Lent is no candy season” is hilarious, and I can’t believe you got “Thessalonian” in there! Bravo!

    • Roy Peterson's Gravatar Roy Peterson
      April 8, 2019 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Actually one of my favorite Christmastime songs! Thank you Michael!

  3. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 8, 2019 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Zenaida a doctor sublime;
    Insurance did not cross her mind.
    When people were ill
    She did not just give pills.
    She gave love, she gave prayer, she gave time.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 8, 2019 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Very clever, Diana! I love that last line.

      • Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
        April 8, 2019 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Jolly ole St. Nick.

    • Margaret Sharp's Gravatar Margaret Sharp
      April 8, 2019 - 9:21 am | Permalink

      The way healthcare was meant to be!!

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      April 8, 2019 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Diana. (And John and Michael too.) Your words are a great way to start the day.

  4. Kit Mackenzie's Gravatar Kit Mackenzie
    April 8, 2019 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Nicholas has had accolades galore. Let’s give some recognition to Saints who gave so much of themselves w/o the historical accolades.

  5. April 8, 2019 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Blessed be one who stands up for and with the innocent – voting for Nicholas.

  6. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    April 8, 2019 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’m going with Zenaida, because one of the great contributions of Christianity to our world was the invention of the hospital (see Basil of Caesarea). But Zenaida was an early precurssor of the care of the everyone regardless of their ability to pay. We can look at Zenaida as a model in this day and age with the need for universal healthcare.

  7. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 8, 2019 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    The following is to the tune of Songs of Thankfulness and Praise:

    Nicholas is better known
    This fine bishop’s fame’s full blown.
    But Zanaida’s care for all
    Barely known in hallowed halls
    Rings with joys in courts of heav’n
    For her love was holy leav’n.
    Should fame win o’er selfless doc?
    She charged naught and gave a lot!

    • Sandy Warren's Gravatar Sandy Warren
      April 8, 2019 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      Love this hymn and love your new verse for it Diana!
      I was surprised not to vote for Nicholas but you capture the essence of why I had chosen Zenaida.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 8, 2019 - 9:23 am | Permalink

      Nice, Diana! It fits the Salzburg setting perfectly! Are you the same Diana who wrote the limerick?

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 8, 2019 - 10:11 am | Permalink

        Susan Lee Hauser, that would be me. Sometimes the rhymes just demand to come forth.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          April 8, 2019 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Good for you!

  8. St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
    April 8, 2019 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    You had me at “psychiatry.” Also “gynecology” and “pediatrics.” I’m voting for universal healthcare and for women’s role in the healing arts. My day is going to be haunted by the gruesome image of the thin boy in chains. He looks as if he faces starvation rather than execution. I’m staying loyal to the Zed sisters today. Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good. When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move. May we all be raised to full health and the levee of the beloved community repaired to protect us all.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 8, 2019 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      I’m with you St C. I had to look up your song reference–you are a woman of eclectic tastes! Thanks for broadening my horizons.

      • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
        April 8, 2019 - 9:46 am | Permalink

        goin’ down, goin’ down to Chicago; today’s vote is for the blues over carols

  9. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    April 8, 2019 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    This was a particularly hard vote. I wanted both but the quote from Anne Frank’s diary got the vote for St Nick.

  10. Susan C's Gravatar Susan C
    April 8, 2019 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. One who loved and protected children and is now beloved over much of the globe versus one who pioneered spreading health and healing across all Lands. As a physician I have to go with Zenaida, who addressed mental, physical and spiritual health and ministered to the poor.

  11. Joline's Gravatar Joline
    April 8, 2019 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    We need more Zanaidas in this world…..hope she makes it all the way!

  12. Ali's Gravatar Ali
    April 8, 2019 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    We clearly need more people like these two in the world right now, but since i must choose one I have to vote for St. Nick. When I think of all the good he inspires to this day, I can’t think of anyone else to go all the way to the Golden Halo! Hope is the most powerful gift that can be given.

  13. April 8, 2019 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Today I’m voting for Zenaida and universal healthcare!

  14. William Osborne's Gravatar William Osborne
    April 8, 2019 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    This promises to be a lively contest. Both of them are very deserving. St. Nick has received a lot of acclaim while Zenaida hasn’t.

  15. Pat Smith-Huntoon's Gravatar Pat Smith-Huntoon
    April 8, 2019 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    This was a difficult choice today as both had high social justice themes but the end I went for spiritual, psychological and physical health.

  16. Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
    April 8, 2019 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Nicolas the front runner for me in this battle but Zenaida too is awesome among saints always

  17. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    April 8, 2019 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    From when. I first saw the name Saint Nicholas of Myra on the bracket I thought Santa’s getting a Golden Halo to go with his North Pole. Also, there could finally be a new reindeer game: ring toss.

    Seriously, though I need Saint Zenaida’a help today. I have to call the billing office for the health care system my PCP and explain to them, as I very clearly explained when I checked in for my annual exam that as long as the doctor’s office billed for an annual exam the insurance would pay. I had doubly clarified that with Aetna in advance, both before I had made the appointment and again a few days before the actual appointment.

    That was in February. Friday night I come home exhausted from work and find a freaking bill for over $200! And of course it is eight thirty and the billing office is already closed for the weekend.

    I pray Saint Zenaida can help me convince them that if they want to get paid they’d better send Aetna a bill for an annual exam, cause I’m not paying for what I was told I would not have to pay for. Firstly, because I don’t have the extra money (see loans, student); secondly, I only made the appointment because high-deductible Aetna said they’d cover it 100%; and thirdly, I now know that a visit to out-of-pocket-until-you-meet-your-deductible urgent care is considerably less than a covered annual exam billed incorrectly as an office visit.

    Seriously urgent care is financially more affordable than seeing my regular doctor. I wouldn’t have guess that in a million years.

    #MakeAmericaBritishAgain so we can have National Health (which even includes dental).

    [How I’ll vote depends on how helpful Saint Zenaida is in dealing with this billing mess.]

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      April 8, 2019 - 9:09 am | Permalink

      sending you a quick prayer for speedy resolution of your billing issue

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 8, 2019 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      Miss Jan, I always look forward to your very thoughtful posts. I hope Zenaida can help you. Maybe if you vote for her, she will? Haha

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        April 8, 2019 - 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Susan.

        Update: the billing office is going to submit a code review, which means it’ll probably get re-billed to Aetna with the correct coding. I won’t know for a fortnight.

        • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
          April 9, 2019 - 5:11 am | Permalink

          Very glad to hear that.

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      April 8, 2019 - 9:44 am | Permalink

      St. Zenaida, pray for us!

    • Victoria's Gravatar Victoria
      April 8, 2019 - 9:44 am | Permalink

      Miss Jan, may Sts. Zenaida and Nicholas advocate for you in moving God’s Spirit upon those imprisoned by the drudgery of bureaucracy and make right this wrong. Christ’s healing on you.

    • Waynecarlos's Gravatar Waynecarlos
      April 8, 2019 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

      “#MakeAmericaBritishAgain so we can have National Health (which even includes dental).”
      Seriously? Go over there and be a royal subject.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        April 8, 2019 - 9:43 pm | Permalink

        It was a tongue in cheek comment, though I wouldn’t mind having a head of state who spends more time working and less time golfing.

        And for the record some of my ancestors arrived less a century ago while others were already here when Columbus got lost in 1492.

        • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
          April 9, 2019 - 5:13 am | Permalink

          Britain might be better off if Theresa May golfed full-time.

        • Waynecarlos's Gravatar Waynecarlos
          April 9, 2019 - 11:39 am | Permalink

          I apologize for coming off as rude. My folks are also from here and there.
          I’d like to have a head of state.

  18. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 8, 2019 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed Diana’s poem and hymn verse! Very creative and right on!

  19. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    April 8, 2019 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Right believing. Right acting. The whole deal. How can Saint Nicholas not be ahead? Friends of the Saint Nicholas Center VOTE!

  20. Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
    April 8, 2019 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe Lent Madness is making me vote against Santa Claus! But Zenaida sounds amazing!

  21. Mary Beth's Gravatar Mary Beth
    April 8, 2019 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    These pairings are always harder as the weeks go on. As wonderful as Zanaida and her sisters are, I vote for St. Nicholas for his generosity in response to the Giver of all . . . In that vein, his memory has given hope, and inspired generosity, for centuries –

  22. Margaret Sharp's Gravatar Margaret Sharp
    April 8, 2019 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    As a Wellness Nurse of 30+years (when did that happen?!), I chose the universal and wholistic approach of Zenaida – mind, body, and spirit care. Sorry Santa….

  23. Mama J's Gravatar Mama J
    April 8, 2019 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    There is so much to recommend both of these inspiring saints. . . they are ‘timely,’ as well! Today I cast lots to see who gets my vote, knowing that ‘the other’ is just as dear to me and a beacon for out times!

  24. April 8, 2019 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Oh gee. Universal healthcare and holistic medicine are close to my heart. But I do want the final to be Bees v. Reindeer. So it’s Nick for me this morning. ‘Cuz we need a little Christmas now.

  25. beachcomberT's Gravatar beachcomberT
    April 8, 2019 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Zenaida’s bio seemed more factual, while Nick comes across as mostly legend (but, yes, Virginia, I do believe in Santa Claus.)

  26. Victoria's Gravatar Victoria
    April 8, 2019 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    I have wanted to see St. Nick go all the way . . . but a medical practice of 3 women who cared about those who could not pay? So timely and impressive in many ways . . . I had to go with Zenaida.

    How cruel to pair them against each other! How heartless to make us choose!

  27. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    April 8, 2019 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, “I’m a health care voter.” Today, that seems to apply to Lent Madness as well! Zenaida’s witness is still sorely needed today.

  28. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 8, 2019 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    I thought I’d be voting for St. Nicholas all the way. But good St. Nick will have imitators and admirers for a long time. It seems Zenaida could use more help. So, for all the Christmases I spent working in a pediatric hospital (even silently putting gifts in kid’s rooms during the night shift) and with apologies to St. Nick, my vote goes to Zenaida.

  29. Ronnie Warren's Gravatar Ronnie Warren
    April 8, 2019 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Found out several years ago that our family actually has a patron saint! Who knew? There’s a tiny chapel in St. Mauro, Italy, built in the sixteenth century by our ancestors and dedicated to St. Nicholas. I have an entire cabinet of Nativities from around the world. As an (Incarnationsl) Episcopalian, I have to keep it all in the family. Good St. Nicholas gets my vote today.

  30. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    April 8, 2019 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    I so want to vote for Zenaida — I’m a doctor’s daughter — but I can’t vote against Santa .

  31. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    April 8, 2019 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    Could someone please give me the story of today’s St. Nicholas picture? Thanks!

  32. Nancy C.'s Gravatar Nancy C.
    April 8, 2019 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    With all apologies to Santa, as a proponent of Universal Health Care and a nurse, it’s Zenaida for me!

  33. Len Freeman's Gravatar Len Freeman
    April 8, 2019 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Just couldn’t vote against St. Nick…. but wow, that Zenalda. Wish I could vote twice.

  34. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    April 8, 2019 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Tough choice! Both are very worthy of the Golden Halo but I was worried about retaliation next Christmas so I voted for Nicholas. He seems to know everything about us…

  35. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    April 8, 2019 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    A though I am not in favor of voting for Saints we know very little about and are rich I like the ideas they promote. I voted for ZenaIda because of her health care for all.

  36. April 8, 2019 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    I feel like my dearly departed nephew, Nicholas, has reached out to me recently, and in various ways, so I’ve got to vote for Saint Nicholas of Myra with heartfelt thanks. Love and miss you, Nicky. xo

  37. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    April 8, 2019 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    This is the first painful matchup of this year for me! I love them both. I am voting for Zenaida, because Nicholas is already a superstar, but without Lent Madness I would never have known about her. I think the gentle, generous, and courageous Nicholas would approve!

    • Carole, sjv's Gravatar Carole, sjv
      April 8, 2019 - 11:25 am | Permalink


    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      April 8, 2019 - 11:57 am | Permalink

      Barbara, your comment was the tie-breaker for me. Learning about saints is what Lent Madness is really about, right?
      (Also, I worked with a lovely woman named Zenaida, even though it wasn’t in a health-care facility.)
      And I just added Zenaida to my computer’s dictionary.

      • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
        April 8, 2019 - 1:13 pm | Permalink


  38. Evelyn Czaja's Gravatar Evelyn Czaja
    April 8, 2019 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    I have to go with Nicholas. Universal healthcare is still a debatable work in progress. But protecting children is not! There are so many wacked out abortion laws hitting the books in this day and age I just have to go with someone who protected the children. Kids need all the help they can get in life! Nicholas just warmed my heart.

  39. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 8, 2019 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    For me, it has to be Nicholas, a leader in the church, protector of the vulnerable and outcast, a saint because he joyed in love.
    It also helps that my wonderful parish is well named after him.

  40. John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
    April 8, 2019 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Since universal health care and the relevance of integrated medicine is on the national agenda, Zenaida is relevant for our times. This was a hard choice, because we are also dealing with cruelty of children at our borders.

  41. Michael Fay's Gravatar Michael Fay
    April 8, 2019 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    Ambrose Pare, Napoleon’s surgeon said, “I dress the wounds. God heals them.” Beware of taking too much credit, healers.

  42. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    April 8, 2019 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    I am so impressed with the ministry of Zenaida and her sisters that I have to vote for her. Once again I am astonished that such a significant Saint is so little known. Thank you, Lent Madness, for educating me.

  43. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    April 8, 2019 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Both Saints whose intercession is needed at this time. Zenaida’s comprehensive health care system won me over, and I wish her luck in the Elate Eight!

  44. Sai's Gravatar Sai
    April 8, 2019 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    While I admire Zenaida immensely, she’s also getting credit for what her sisters did, as well, which makes the competition uneven and, hence, unfair.
    Unlike many of the other saintly contestants, there is nothing negative about Nicholas. He’s pure love. What could be more Christ-like? Additionally, I was very moved by Anne Frank’s poem.
    So, Nicholas gets my vote! I hope he goes all the way.

  45. April 8, 2019 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Both saints are incredibly worthy of the vote. I really thought I would vote for Zanaida, but the mom in me won out…when I think about all the joy and love that is spread during the Christmas season, and when I think about the joy in telling the legend of St. Nick, I just gotta go with Santa.

  46. Anne McCorkle Garrett's Gravatar Anne McCorkle Garrett
    April 8, 2019 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I believe that her colleague’s name is Philonella. Just a typo, I’m sure!

  47. Deacon Carol's Gravatar Deacon Carol
    April 8, 2019 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Zenaida, why? Well I am a nurse and Canadian where we have Universal Health Care. Who else COULD I vote for?

  48. Grace Kennedy's Gravatar Grace Kennedy
    April 8, 2019 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I almost always vote before I read the comments. I voted for Zenaida, thinking she was the underdog, and was surprised to see she was ahead of St. Nick! LM keeps surprising me.

  49. Cynthia Cravens's Gravatar Cynthia Cravens
    April 8, 2019 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Zenaida because her ministry of “NOT mercenary health care” needs to be uplifted right now. Also, because so few people know about her and her righteous works.

    Of course, Old St. Nick is most worthy of the Golden Halo, but he already more than enough exposure.

  50. Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
    April 8, 2019 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Anne Courie’s words today were the clincher for me. “Following her baptism, the marriage of philosophy, Christian practice, and medicine appealed to her.” As a nurse practitioner and a bioethicist, these are the reasons I left clinical practice for the field of bioethics. Care for the body AND the soul, regardless of the ability to pay? AMEN! Zenaida for the Golden Halo!
    (but two-thumbs up for St. Nicholas and his care for children, so sorely needed today as well).

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      April 8, 2019 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Oops, I meant ANNA Courie. My apologies for the typo, Anna.

  51. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    April 8, 2019 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see that through the centuries s.d ome things never change, especially wes here healthcare is concerned . . . NOT! We need a modern Zanaida!

    Loved the Limerick, John!

  52. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    April 8, 2019 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s Nicholas, by the flip of a coin, today for us. We’d be happy if either got the Golden Halo.

  53. Annette Lynch's Gravatar Annette Lynch
    April 8, 2019 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Nicholas, though I’m not sure I believe the Anne Frank poem. She wrote in Dutch, so how did the English rhyming work?

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      April 8, 2019 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been trying to find the Dutch original, so far without success.

      • April 8, 2019 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

        The lines quoted from Anne Frank occur in the Diary of a Young Girl in the entry for December 6, 1943

        • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
          April 9, 2019 - 4:38 am | Permalink

          With that information, I found the poem in the complete Dutch text, available at https://wikilivres.org/wiki/Het_Achterhuis_(Anne_Frank) . The English translation does very accurately capture the meaning and spirit of the Dutch original, though I’d prefer “such fun” to “so fun.”

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      April 8, 2019 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Translators often render their translations in rhyme. Just think of “Silent Night” and all the other hymns that are translated from other languages.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      April 9, 2019 - 4:44 am | Permalink

      Dutch is the closest major language to English, so the rhyming and meter of the original aren’t too hard to approximate. The English meter is actually more regular than the Dutch.

  54. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    April 8, 2019 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Zenaida gets my vote today. I just finished reading about a diabetic who died because he couldn’t afford the insurance that would made it possible for him to continue taking insulin. Zenaida it is. Nota bene, Big Pharma.

    • Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
      April 8, 2019 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

      correction: “…would have made it possible…” I hope that, when”that great gettin’ up morning’ ” (as it says in the Spiritual) comes, I won’t be judged on my typing.

  55. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    April 8, 2019 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I badly want Santa Claus to win, but in the end I had to vote for Zenaida.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      April 8, 2019 - 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I am deeply suspicious of Santa’s universal surveillance system. The commandment is to “love thy neighbor,” not surveil thy neighbor. I understand that the reason is to cajole recalcitrant children into observing bedtime, but “let the little children come unto me” applies even after 7 or 8 or 9 pm. Besides, Mrs Claus bakes cookies all throughout the off season for Santa. He’s fine.

  56. Annie Brown's Gravatar Annie Brown
    April 8, 2019 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I did not know that St. Nicholas could be a patron saint for criminal justice reform. I will add that to my thoughts about him. For her holistic approach to treatment, and health care for all, I will vote for Zenaida.

  57. DjMcMikeyMac's Gravatar DjMcMikeyMac
    April 8, 2019 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    No, Virginia. It’s not happening this year.

  58. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    April 8, 2019 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Had to go for Zenaida. Her name is also the genus of several dove species including the mourning dove. The dove of peace named for the friend of peace. Plus, universal health care. We all need it.

  59. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    April 8, 2019 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for Zenaida and praying she and Santa will help Miss Jan with her medical bill and her student loan.

    • andrea's Gravatar andrea
      April 8, 2019 - 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Me too. I voted for Zenaida, for integrated medicine and that she treated everybody, even if they couldn’t afford it.

  60. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    April 8, 2019 - 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised Saint Nick is not ahead. I do wonder how easy it will be to find Saint Zenaida kitsch for the next round.

    (If I had the time I’d go back through the nine previous years and attempt to locate the least kitschy Saint.)

  61. Mary Lou M.'s Gravatar Mary Lou M.
    April 8, 2019 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that no one considers that St. Nicholas saved those 3 daughters from prostitution when he gifted them with dowries. Sex trafficking remains a hidden secret today, often considered the only option for poor undereducated children living on the streets or controlled by pimps who force them into feeding their addiction. Men and women, boys and girls, have been destroyed through the centuries because of this “victimless” crime.

    For them, and for my father who loved to portray St. Nick’s alter ego, seeing the faces and innocence of children who believe in goodness and generosity, I vote for St. Nicholas.

  62. Amy Kendall's Gravatar Amy Kendall
    April 8, 2019 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Tough choice today! I was torn, but ultimately went with Nicholas because I am a teacher and love children, so I felt a connection to him.

  63. Barbara A.K. Franklin's Gravatar Barbara A.K. Franklin
    April 9, 2019 - 1:02 am | Permalink

    how can St. Nicolas not win this? Come on folks? Where is your sense of gratitude?

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