Herman of Alaska vs. Harriet Tubman

And then there were eight. Over the course of the past several weeks, we have successfully narrowed the field from 32 saints to eight. One of these holy people will be crowned with the coveted 2020 Golden Halo: Herman of Alaska, Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Brother Lawrence, Margaret of Castello, Joanna the Myrrhbearer, Joseph, or Elizabeth Fry. What a fascinating collection of holy women and men!

In yesterday’s saintly action, Elizabeth Fry snagged the last spot by upsetting Clare of Assisi — trouncing might be an appropriate word, actually — 75% to 25%.

The Elate Eight is also known the world over as the Round of Saintly Kitsch. After basic biographies, quirks and quotes, what else could there be? To kick things off, Herman of Alaska faces Harriet Tubman. To get to this point, Herman defeated Elizabeth of Hungary and Thomas More, while Harriet took down Julie Billiart and James Solomon Russell. To read up on these earlier matches, click the Bracket tab and scroll down.

In case you missed yesterday’s episode of Monday Madness, you can watch it here. Also, you should go to confession.

Herman of Alaska
Herman of Alaska was a simple man, small in stature, devoted to God, and dedicated to ministering to others. He was well-known for championing the lives and rights of the Aleuts of Alaska, even against the powerful Russian traders and government. Faced with a serious epidemic, he reacted by tending to the sick and helpless, without thoughts for his own health.

His stamp on society may not be widely known, but his spiritual footprint is acclaimed in many ways. A Russian Orthodox monk, his image is emblazoned on icons, woodcuts, cards, talismans, and stained-glass windows. Herman’s ministry is deftly reflected in each image – kindly and saintly, mostly set against a background featuring the vastness of the Alaskan frontier with snow-covered mountains, tall trees, and Indigenous peoples.

But this quiet man of silent witness made a lasting mark on the landscape of the 50th State as well as the Russian Orthodox Church. Herman, known as the Wonderworker of All America, was the first saint to be canonized by the Orthodox Church in America.

A YouTube film, Relics of St Herman of Alaska, relays the story of Herman, featuring firsthand memories of his contributions. A few books tell his life, such as: Herman: A Wilderness Saint; North Star: St Herman of Alaska; Father Herman: Alaska’s Saint.

You can sing a hymn to Herman: O venerable Herman, ascetic of the northern wilderness, and gracious advocate for all the world, teacher of the Orthodox Faith and good instructor of piety, adornment of Alaska and joy of all America, entreat Christ God that He save our souls.

The few churches and buildings named in his honor truly reflect him: simple, not elaborate, steady and functional. There are St. Herman’s churches in Stafford, VA, Glen Mills, PA, and Sunnyvale, CA. A stained-glass window graces the chapel at the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension in Resaca, GA.

St. Herman’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is aptly located in Kodiak, AK, the place where he dedicated his life’s work. On the seminary website: Father Herman was a monk from Valaam Monastery in northwestern Russia and original member of the first missionary team to North America. He devoted his life and work to the propagation of the Faith in the Kodiak Archipelago. Father Herman’s ministry included beginning a school for orphaned children on Spruce Island. Not only did Father Herman devote hours instilling the basic principles of the Orthodox Christian Faith, he taught agricultural techniques, carpentry skills, and other practical craftsmanship.

Herman of Alaska – a simple man, called by God to tend to the Native Americans, to the sick during epidemics, to children and families. He ministered and he witnessed, without complaint, without remorse, without doubts.







— Neva Rae Fox

Harriet Tubman

If you do a search for Harriet Tubman on the internet, you will find so many the things. And, if you’re lucky to live in Harlem near W 122ndand Frederick Douglass Blvd. (well, at least for a bit), then you know Harriet is very close by (and, she’s also a Pokégym for those of you who play Pokémon go like me).

I love that one of the searches resulted in this book that I have ordered and whose title is one I could associate with a bunch of my friends: She Came To Slay! “Yaaaaassss!” you would have heard me exclaim when I found it. There are so many books and websites on her life, but this title caught my eye.

There are a bunch of places named after Ms. Tubman so I decided to check on my maps which was the closest to me. Turns out it is Harriet Tubman Charter school in New Orleans. Their website’s latest news proudly shares: “Harriet Tubman Outperforming State Growing Scholars Toward Mastery.” I am sure they are!

There have been several films and movies about Tubman’s life and the latest one is Harriet which received critical acclaim and two Oscar nominations including one for the original song “Stand Up” co-written by Union Theological Seminary student Joshua Brian Campbell.

Y’all heard about the $20 bill, right? Well, that’s one of my favorite Harriet items that I am probably not going to buy – the stamp that makes any $20 bill a Tubman bill! It looks so cool, but, I’m not trying to touch cash right now.

If you like to light candles while you pray, there are some cool Harriet candles, like this queen Harriet one. There is a scented candle that described the scent as “an intoxicating fragrance” that include “notes of honeyed mimosa and soft herbal mint supported by subtle woody and musk facets.” Nah, I couldn’t.




If you would rather be able to carry Harriet around, there are a bunch of dolls you can get, but this string key chain one that seems like she could unravel any second is my favorite because we know she never will.

Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, NY is the resting place for our beloved hero Harriet Tubman. And, apparently people love leaving all kinds of things there. This, of course, is my favorite because yes, like Jesus is my homeboy (remember those t-shirts? I still have one), I believe that Tubman is truly our homegirl!

Sandra Montes

Herman of Alaska vs. Harriet Tubman

  • Harriet Tubman (61%, 4,235 Votes)
  • Herman of Alaska (39%, 2,752 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,987

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St Herman’s orphanage circa 1903 Kodiak AK
Woodcut: https://christthesavioroca.org/stherman

Monastery of the Glorious Ascension, Resaca GA

120 Comments to "Herman of Alaska vs. Harriet Tubman"

  1. March 31, 2020 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    Two defenders of the marginalized. A conductor of the underground railroad and a defender of the Aleuts who tended to those afflicted by an epidemic in 1819 – without regard for his own safety.


    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 31, 2020 - 10:16 am | Permalink

      I thought that looked familiar! Still good!

    • Anita's Gravatar Anita
      March 31, 2020 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Harriet Tubman all the way

  2. March 31, 2020 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    The Cathedral of Saint James in South Bend, Indiana painted this year’s Lent Madness saints in February. And now, as I’m working remotely, what better way to use my time than create Lent Madness videos? 🙂 Go Herman of Alaska!


    • Kathleen B Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen B Sheehy
      March 31, 2020 - 8:22 am | Permalink

      This is great! Like those overly dramatic movie trailers that usually start out with someone growling, “In a world…” while passionate orchestral music crashes and swells in the background. Thanks for a good laugh.

    • March 31, 2020 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Absolutely fantastic! Thanks for this!

    • Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
      March 31, 2020 - 8:39 am | Permalink

      What a great little film! Thanks for starting my day with a grin!

    • March 31, 2020 - 8:49 am | Permalink

      Totally excellent

    • Suzy Bennett's Gravatar Suzy Bennett
      March 31, 2020 - 9:38 am | Permalink

      Fabulous video!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 31, 2020 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      I LOVE this! Great trailer, great painting on the dolls, and so perfect on this, the first day of Kitschmas!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 31, 2020 - 10:20 am | Permalink

        “Kitschmas”! Love it!

    • Christina's Gravatar Christina
      March 31, 2020 - 10:08 am | Permalink

      Love this! Thank you for a good chuckle.

    • LA's Gravatar LA
      March 31, 2020 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      Dramatic indeed! Love it! And y’all are in the hometown of one of my best friends.

      I was somewhat anticipating a visual “showdown” of the first rounds with the winners dramatically rising up above their competition or the one who didn’t make it “bowing out” (falling down forward)… and/or a visual bracket with the “winners” advancing towards the center. But that’s how I think. Perhaps inspiration for something in the future?

      The peg dolls are fabulous!

    • March 31, 2020 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      That video wins the internet! I hope you don’t mind, I shared it on facebook. LOVE!

    • Toni Cheshire's Gravatar Toni Cheshire
      March 31, 2020 - 11:30 am | Permalink

      Loved the video and music!! LoveHerman. Fingers crossed. We had a visiting priest from North of Fairbanks stand in for our priest who had a fall. Therefore feeling a real Texas-Alaska connection!

    • Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
      March 31, 2020 - 11:43 am | Permalink

      How exciting. Not knowing who to vote for – how can you decide between too such wonderful saints – I chose Herman based on his peg doll. Thank you!

    • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
      March 31, 2020 - 11:48 am | Permalink

      Loved this! Thanks very much for bringing this video into our lives.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 31, 2020 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Painting Lent Madness saints–what a good idea! And the video of “Steal Away” performed by Cantus was just beautiful!

      Harriet is/was amazing and certainly deserves the Golden Halo, but I went with Herman. I’ve voted for him since the beginning.

    • Bonnie's Gravatar Bonnie
      March 31, 2020 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I loved this and especially the little dolls. Thank you so much.

    • March 31, 2020 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

      You are all very, very kind. We are flattered that you enjoyed the fun, and as many mentioned – kitschy -video! We are very grateful for Lent Madness during this season – it is both an encouragement to live like the saints, and also, well, just a lot of fun. 🙂

    • Andria's Gravatar Andria
      March 31, 2020 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Love the video!

    • MLM in Bethlehem's Gravatar MLM in Bethlehem
      March 31, 2020 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Fabulous job, everyone! From the painting artists to the musical artist to the video artist, I would be inspired to learn more if I wasn’t already a participant in Lent Madness!

    • L R Hoffmann's Gravatar L R Hoffmann
      March 31, 2020 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Love the art. Really great idea and enjoyed the video.

  3. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    March 31, 2020 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Poor Herman, he never had a chance. Tubman may even beat Jesus’s earthly dad. She’s a juggernaut.

    • Chris's Gravatar Chris
      March 31, 2020 - 10:02 am | Permalink

      Well done, Saint James!

    • Michele's Gravatar Michele
      March 31, 2020 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

      This match up seems like a championship match. It was a very hard decision, and it’s a close vote. Thank you to all who write about the saints and share their knowledge!

  4. Neva Rae Fox's Gravatar Neva Rae Fox
    March 31, 2020 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Herman is a hero for our times — caring for all during an epidemic, not caring about his own health. Herman would be busy today on the front lines of what we are facing. Go Herman!

    • Ann's Gravatar Ann
      March 31, 2020 - 8:13 am | Permalink

      Yes, I’m going to be contrary, and Go Herman! Loved his kitch, too.

      • Barbara Ross's Gravatar Barbara Ross
        March 31, 2020 - 8:51 am | Permalink

        Same here. I have no doubt Harriet will win, but I love Herman’s kitsch. And he feels like the right saint for these times when so many – from healthcare workers to the folks stocking grocery shelves and driving delivery vans – are putting themselves at risk for the rest of us.

        • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
          March 31, 2020 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

          I feel the same way, Barbara. I voted for him earlier and I simply had to vote for Herman today especially after listening to the news. I also loved his peg doll, lol!

          • andrea's Gravatar andrea
            March 31, 2020 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

            I agree. Go Herman! I liked the video too.

  5. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    March 31, 2020 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    One of my sons took me on a glorious tripe to Alaska a couple of years ago. In honor that grand brave land, it’s Herman for me.

  6. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    March 31, 2020 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Harriet Tubman mural in Cambridge MD (which is pretty much where she first escaped from):


    • Janice Labonte's Gravatar Janice Labonte
      March 31, 2020 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      This is amazing! I can imagine being there and wanting to reach to take her hand.

      • Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
        March 31, 2020 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Agree–this is truly amazing! Thanks much for sharing. We’d must put Dorchester County on our road trip list for when we dare do such things again.

  7. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 31, 2020 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Much as I admire Herman of Alaska, Harriet Tubman is someone I’ve admired for decades. May her example continue to inspire us in today’s difficult times. “Follow the drinking gourd!”

  8. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    March 31, 2020 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Both glorious, brave, selfless humans. Let the Lord decide.

    • Sherry Musgrove's Gravatar Sherry Musgrove
      March 31, 2020 - 8:35 am | Permalink


  9. Barbara Gutzler's Gravatar Barbara Gutzler
    March 31, 2020 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    It’s a foregone conclusion that Harriet will win the golden Halo. Soon as I saw the brackets, I knew she would go all the way.

    • Sally Mangan's Gravatar Sally Mangan
      March 31, 2020 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

      I can’t agree with you there. I think she will be a finalist, but not a shoe in.

  10. March 31, 2020 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    The conductor rolls on!

  11. March 31, 2020 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    My boy Herman is not going down without a fight. I knew this was coming, but I’m proud that this little-known saint has done so well in Lent Madness. One more vote for Herman of Alaska!

  12. Curt Harker's Gravatar Curt Harker
    March 31, 2020 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    Since Cape May’s Harriet Tubman legacy is only 2 counties away here in South Jersey I feel its important to support her.

  13. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 31, 2020 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    I admire Harriet’s zeal, but I revere Hermann’s compassion. Herman for me.

  14. Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
    March 31, 2020 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Aside from Steven’s wonderful video, Herman didn’t offer much in the krucial kitsch kompetition. It’s a little like swimsuit for beauty queens….
    Harriet, now, well, just look at it all! She carries on!

  15. Ken Albrecht's Gravatar Ken Albrecht
    March 31, 2020 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    It was a difficult decision for me to make. Both of these saints of God are worthy of the golden halo. More importantly, they are worthy of our emulation. I voted for Herman because he is not as well know at Harriet, and I thought more people should know about him.

  16. Gail's Gravatar Gail
    March 31, 2020 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    This was more difficult than most for me. Both are worthy of the Golden Halo, but Harriet gets my vote.

  17. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 31, 2020 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    In honor of all those on the front lines caring for the sick during this pandemic I voted for Herman. Any other time O would have voted for Harriet hands down, but not today.

  18. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 31, 2020 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    I’m here for Herman! Go caregivers.

  19. Deborah Northern's Gravatar Deborah Northern
    March 31, 2020 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Even though I was tempted to vote for Herman because of his caring for the sick during an epidemic is a shining example now and reflects how health care workers are putting themselves at risk, I voted for Harriet because of her risking her life to save her fellow slaves.

  20. Chuck's Gravatar Chuck
    March 31, 2020 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Voted for Harriet. Just a function of what media exposure can accomplish? Who would be our president if “The Apprentice” never aired? Herman should be made patron saint of all our medical personnel who are risking their lives to care for Covid 19 victims. I know they have several but could always use another. I was moved by the story of the 10 year old boy who improvised a mask for his nurse mom when he heard there was a shortage. Put him in next years Madness. Surely we can all do something

  21. March 31, 2020 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    A lifetime of gentle compasion wins my heart. Herman is my hero.

  22. Paige Garner's Gravatar Paige Garner
    March 31, 2020 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I was very disappointed that Harriet’s bio was all about “stuff” and nothing about her extraordinary life and her commitment to God. If I didn’t know much about Harriet Tubman I would be wondering why she was included in Lenten Madness. Herman’s bio reveals so much about his good works and the life he lived. Harriet’s bio makes her seem like a souvenir.

    • Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
      March 31, 2020 - 10:01 am | Permalink

      It’s the Elate Eight–the round of Saintly Kitsch. That’s the way it’s supposed to roll. Previous rounds (and upcoming rounds, should she prevail) will be about her life, faith, and works.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 31, 2020 - 10:30 am | Permalink

        Kitsch Krank on Aisle 5!

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 31, 2020 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Paige, good observation, the writeup in the third round is a supplement to the main bio (first round) and the quotes from the saint that are offered in the second round. The third round, which started today and will go through Thursday, is light relief — in this round the contributors find and share a selection of kitsch associated with the saint. As you can imagine, it’s easier to find popular art for some saints than for others.

      To learn more about Herman, and to read the original writeup for Harriet, I would advise going to the first round bios. Herman was on March 3, Harriet on March 13.

      Hope that puts today’s write-ups in perspective!

  23. March 31, 2020 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Herman received no recognition in his life, and could have been thrown out of his Orthodox Church for bringing up how awful they were being to indiginouse people. Harriet is one of my favorite people, but today, go Herman!

  24. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 31, 2020 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I almost couldn’t find the voting buttons amidst all of today’s kitsch. Can’t beat the Orthodox for icons. Sandra, thank you for pointing out the stamp for putting Harriet on the $20 bill; I have to go “get me one of them.” I fear today’s vote might be a “runaway train,” but I stayed true to Herman. “Joy of America” versus “Homegirl.” There is always a need for agricultural techniques and carpentry skills, and tending to the sick in time of illness. Quiet arts of sustaining human community. For any interested in the story behind that Harlem statue, here’s the link. Those strange things trailing her are the “roots of slavery,” which she is pulling up.

  25. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 31, 2020 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Treat for Gregory of Ravenna: Gregory, you asked for a cocktail with rum. This one is thematically appropriate for today’s round; it’s the Boukman Daiquiri, thanks to Mr. Death. The barman who created it notes: “Boukman Dutty was a slave who helped launch the Haitian Revolution. Using rum over cognac is my nod to the French getting out of the colony.”
    1 1/2 oz. Barbancourt white rum
    1/2 oz. Hine H. cognac
    3/4 oz. lime juice
    1/2 oz. cinnamon bark syrup
    Shake all the ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe glass. No ice.

    Cinnamon syrup: in a saucepan, muddle 1 oz. of cassia cinnamon sticks until broken into shards. Add 2 c. water and 2 c. superfine sugar. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand overnight. Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve. (Basically you’re making a flavored simple syrup.)
    A toast: to the end of all forms of slavery!

  26. March 31, 2020 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    While this observation will not impact the voting, do feel the need to correct a mistake in the write up on Herman today. Alaska is the 49th state. Hawaii is the 50th state. Keep on voting!

  27. Karen Mallon Sharp's Gravatar Karen Mallon Sharp
    March 31, 2020 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Umm…Alaska is the 49th state. Did any of you learn

    “Hawaii, we welcome you
    to Mainland, red, white and blue…
    We sing, ‘Aloha’ to you a far
    Hawaii, our flag’s new star
    We greet you, our 50th state,
    our western pacific date…”?

    Paige, this is the the round of Saintly Kitsch; it is supposed to be tongue in cheek.
    Previous rounds had what you were mentioning.

    SEC, keep up the good work(s)!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 31, 2020 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      Was it Jack Paar who joked to the Hawaiians: “You’re the only state to be admitted to the union in your underwear”?

      • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
        March 31, 2020 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

        On that note, I was glad to see Toni Cheshire’s suggestion of a Texas-Alaska connection above; there was a joke where Alaska said to Texas: “if you dont stop bragging’ about how big you are, well cut Alaska in half and then you’ll be the 3rd latest state!

  28. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 31, 2020 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    We lived in Kodiak from 1970-1972. We attended St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Church. My husband was confirmed there and my 2nd son was Baptized there. And I never heard of St. Herman! So today he gets my vote.

  29. Valerie Hess's Gravatar Valerie Hess
    March 31, 2020 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    BTW, Alaska is the 49th, not 50th, state.

  30. Paul A's Gravatar Paul A
    March 31, 2020 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Harriet Tubman is a principal character in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s fantastic novel “The Water Dancer”. Read about it in his Fresh Air interview (https://tinyurl.com/roaclt3), and then go buy and read the book. But vote here first.

  31. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 31, 2020 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Voted for Herman today, as we have every time. Go Herman!

  32. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    March 31, 2020 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Harriet Tubman is unbeatable, but I was touched by Herman’s story and gave him my vote. I might also have been moved to do so after seeing his South Parkish doll likeness in the wonderfully kitschy video.

  33. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 31, 2020 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    “Also, you should go to confession,” writes the SEC. Our local paper yesterday carried photos of RC priests hearing confessions outdoors, while maintaining 6 feet of distance between themselves and the penitents. I’m not sure the priests of my Episcopal church are even making appointments to hear confessions; I doubt it.

  34. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    March 31, 2020 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    I love both of these folks. Great kitsch for both, but not wanting to touch cash right now swayed my vote toward Herman. As noted, faced with a serious epidemic, instead of becoming more the hermit, he reacted by tending to the sick and helpless, without thoughts for his own health. Quietly.

  35. Deborah Brennan's Gravatar Deborah Brennan
    March 31, 2020 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    Herman was a true Saint of the Orthodox Christian Church. He devoted his life to the work of God ministering to those in Alaska. Harriet was a social reformer. Is this Lent madness about Saints ? I highly respect Harriet’s work in freeing her people. I voted for Herman because this is LENT and he is a recognized Saint in the Christian Faith

    • March 31, 2020 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

      But when it comes down to it, we’re all saints (lower case “s”). In order to qualify as a Lent Madness competitor, you have to have a feast day, and Harriet therefore qualifies. That being said, Herman and I appreciate your support.

  36. March 31, 2020 - 10:26 am | Permalink


    and Alaska is the 49th state. Hawaii is 50th Hawaii 5-0, don’t you know

  37. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 31, 2020 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    I was tempted to vote for Herman today, since he’s the clear underdog at this point in the day and I suspect Harriet is the one who will advance. But in the end I was called to click the box for Harriet. Both of these saints are well deserving of the Golden Halo, but since only one can advance today, I went with Harriet.

  38. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 31, 2020 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    BTW, I love the cover of “North Star – St. Herman of Alaska,” that shows him with a reindeer and an indigenous child. Very tender feelings are evoked by that art.

  39. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    March 31, 2020 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    In honor of all the doctors, nurses and clergy ministering to the sick during thus tone of plague my vote goes for Herman.

  40. March 31, 2020 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    So I know this round is all about the kitsch, I love it. But I am still trying to see where Harriet was motivated by her love for Jesus, that she fought to overcome a great evil is accepted but where is there a demonstration of her devotion to God?

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 31, 2020 - 11:10 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it enough that she saved 70 people from the evils of slavery , that she was willing to lay down her life for others? Saints are stained glass windows to God. They show us what God’s love is like. They don’t have to pass a theology test.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 31, 2020 - 11:33 am | Permalink

        Harriet had messages from God, she said, during her seizures, that told her to do what she did. She sang “Go Down Moses” and other spirituals as signals to slaves to follow her. There’s plenty of religion in her life!

    • Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
      March 31, 2020 - 11:24 am | Permalink

      I’m grateful to the Rev. Susan Kennard, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, TX, for teaching us in Adult Forum about several ways to salvation, one of these being Matthew 25:40, the passage about caring for “the least of these.” I think it’s likely that Harriet was familiar with this passage, and she certainly lived it.

  41. March 31, 2020 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    I know Harriet Tubman will probably win, and she is worthy in so many ways. But I voted for Herman of Alaska because I lived in Alaska for a year and fell in love with the place. Thanks for helping me to learn about him; he will forever have a special place in my heart.

  42. Lynn Beth's Gravatar Lynn Beth
    March 31, 2020 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    St. Herman got my vote. A saint for this time -tending to the sick without regard for his safety. A saint for all times – gently and lovingly bringing the Good News of God in Christ to the people of Alaska.

  43. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 31, 2020 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    This was an even, and therefore tough, match. All honor to St. Herman for caring for the sick without considering his own welfare. May he add his prayers to ours for all first responders. I finally voted for Harriet because, as far as I know, she was not a member of a denomination that confers sainthood. Herman was, and he already has his nimbus, aka golden halo, and this is her chance to get hers.

    • Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
      March 31, 2020 - 11:26 am | Permalink

      That should have been, “May we add our prayers to his for all first responders.”

  44. Diane Quantic's Gravatar Diane Quantic
    March 31, 2020 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    I voted for humble Herman, a man lost in the Alaskan wilderness, a symbol of the early influence of Russia on the future state, someone who brought not only Orthodoxy but practical skills to the Alaska natives. I always vote for the saint doing the most good. This is not to say that Harriet’s practical skills were deficient. But Harriet has become a commercial enterprise. Her face on the $20 bill would be the height or the nadir of her kitsch collection.
    I am always a bit suspicious of someone who has so much attention. She permeates our culture–admittedly an attempt to right the vast wrongs done to her ancestors–movies, scented candles, etc. I’ll admit that the Herman t-shirt is an affront to my sense of appropriate attire, but Harriet beats Herman by a long shot in the souvenir trade. So, continuing my admiration for the underdog and knowing my vote, like one for Bernie Sanders will only be a blip on the scorecard, Herman is my saint for today.

    • Diane Quantic's Gravatar Diane Quantic
      March 31, 2020 - 11:23 am | Permalink

      ME AGAIN. By the way, I recommend Ta-Nahesi Coates’ Water Dancer as a terrific book with a down to earth portrayal of “Moses,” aka “Harriet.”

  45. Mary Ann's Gravatar Mary Ann
    March 31, 2020 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    This one was a tough one for me. As far as I’m concerned they’re both Golden Halos for me.

  46. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    March 31, 2020 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    Herman gets my vote. I am reading Michener’s Alaska with the hope my trip will not be cancelled. There is a character in the novel that must be based on St Herman. Go Herman you deserve a win because of the weather and terrain conditions of Alaska. Harriet is a winner also but her weather and terrain conditions were a picnic compared to Herman.

  47. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    March 31, 2020 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    You had a great time, Herman. Good to have met you. But I’ve been an enamoured fan of Harriet since I was a wee tyke. Harriet for the win!

    • Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
      March 31, 2020 - 12:12 pm | Permalink

      While it’s obvious Harriet will win, my choice is the quiet man with silent witness. Go Herman!

  48. SharonDianneFosterPattison's Gravatar SharonDianneFosterPattison
    March 31, 2020 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Harriet has always been my choice for the GOLDEN HALO!
    Hard to keep our thoughts on this LENTON MADNESS, with all the madness around our world right now, please be safe, keep your 6 ft (2 meters) from each other! had to give metric and non metric for those still in the dark ages! Sorry, not!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 31, 2020 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Next you’ll be exhorting us to check our temperature in Celsius!

  49. James N Lodwick's Gravatar James N Lodwick
    March 31, 2020 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Harriet Tubman was a great woman and a great Christian, but I voted for Herman of Alaska today (also a worthy saint), simply because I found the whole tone of today’s blog about Harriet silly, superficial and disagreeable!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 31, 2020 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Kitsch Krank on Aisle 7!

  50. Hello's Gravatar Hello
    March 31, 2020 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Even as probably the only Atheist here, I’m loving this saint competition.

  51. john's Gravatar john
    March 31, 2020 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    In our turbulent times, the steady work of the quiet, steady health care worker who ministers to the frightened and sick coronavirus victims gives us a sign of compassion so needed. Harriet Tubman is a great saint, but fir me, today, the unsung, brave, compassionate. competent health worker that Herman demonstrated is my comfort.

  52. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    March 31, 2020 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Let’s go ladies to the Final 4, beginning w/Harriet, however I liked Herman’s kitchen & icons better.

  53. Eric Metzler's Gravatar Eric Metzler
    March 31, 2020 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Hawaii is the 50th state.

    • Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
      March 31, 2020 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Sigh….! I am an ardent proponent of St Herman of Alaska and have dreaded this fateful matchup. Herman is a most unique and wonderful saint. The history of Russian and American colonialism in Alaska is deeply horrific and shameful and St Herman casts a compelling shadow of godliness and goodness on that landscape. (The involvement of the British and the Spanish was brief and superficial and thus they didn’t have time to behave in an exploitive fashion…)
      The dear Aleuts, known for their peacefulness and industriousness, were conscripted into brutal service and forced to hunt fur seals to near extinction. (So devastating was the Russian fur seal trade that only relatively recently has the fur seal lost its endangered or threatened status.) This treatment, combined with the exposure to European diseases led to near extermination of the Aleut people.
      Enter Herman – a servant of God who manages to speak truth to power and got results. He served the “least of these” at the farthest ends of the earth. And, he made cookies for all the kids. He tended the ill, talked with unhappy couples late into the night, and worked for the spiritual growth of his flock. Generations of Alaskans and beyond remember Herman with intense gratitude and love. Herman lived a long time ago, but it feels like he just left us. Recently, I shared with my friend, a Tlingit Russian Orthodox congregant, that St Herman was doing quite well in Lent Madness. Upon hearing that he proudly announced that he had served as an altar boy at Herman’s Canonization service where he stood for 10 hours. He said it was a highlight in his life. Another friend’s son is a young Russian Orthodox priest. Once he was given the task of carrying St Herman’s icon from Sitka to the east coast for restoration work. Their family was so humbled and awestruck by the honor of schlepping St Herman out of Alaska for his first time. His icons are beautiful and depict his personality perfectly! One day, God willing, I will get to Spruce Island to check in with dear St Herman.
      I couldn’t be more pleased that Lent Madness has introduced this lovely saint to the Community.
      Congratulations to Harriet Tubman, and I so hope to enjoy coffee in your celebratory mug!

      • March 31, 2020 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Your testimony is lovely and persuasive, Linda! Thank you for taking the time to send us your paragraphs.

  54. Cheryl K.'s Gravatar Cheryl K.
    March 31, 2020 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Difficult choice. I often like to vote for the saint I did not and would not know about if not for Lent Madness, so today I voted for Herman (and also went online and ordered an icon of him, so I now have my own Herman kitsch on the way). I won’t be disappointed when Harriet wins, or if she goes the Madness distance, but thank you for introducing Herman to a wider audience.

  55. stinukshuk's Gravatar stinukshuk
    March 31, 2020 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

    So hard today, pitting two of my favorites against each other. As much as I like St. Herman in my heart of hearts, I had to go with Harriet.

  56. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 31, 2020 - 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Herman, for this motley of reasons:

    We are in the midst of an epidemic, recalling Herman’s example in caring for the sick and dying.

    I feel like a hermit these days.

    “Hermano” and “hermana” happen to mean “brother” and “sister” in Spanish. I always wished I had a sibling, and we all especially need to model our sister- and brotherhood in these times. (In reality “Herman” is a bellicose Germanic name meaning “army man”; so the saint beat even his own name into a ploughshare.)

    He was, it seems, a person so divinely transparent that to know him would have been as close as mortals could come to seeing the face of God.

  57. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 31, 2020 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    It can’t be stressed enough that Herman confronted the Russian government and traders in defense of the native peoples here as well as his ministry to them. Not something commonly done.
    I was mildly distraught to see that St. Herman’s Orthodox Church here in the interior of Alaska, the 49th state, was not included. http://www.sthermanchurch.org. A little unassuming building on Goldstream Road in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      March 31, 2020 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

      And if you check out the pictures, the outside ones were taken in summer. There is at least 3-4 feet of snow remaining out of the 6 feet received season to date.

  58. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    March 31, 2020 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I knew before I even cast my vote I was going to be lagging behind. Look, I love Harriet Tubman as much as the next history geek, but when I look around at what we are living through right now, and then I realize Herman was tending to sick 100 years ago in another pandemic, it is hard not to let that tug at your heart and cast your vote for one extraordinary saint. He set the perfect example for our “Hermans” on today’s front lines. Go Herman!

  59. March 31, 2020 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Coming late to the voting today so will not add to the chastisement of Ms. Rae regarding the 49th. . . Lent Madness excitement can cause many a misspeak. I’m on board with Harriet’s other supporters though Herman is certainly a timely choice for our times. (and God bless St. James congregation! They even included Wonderwoman, which Ms. Tubman surely is! LOL)

  60. Kaneala Nelson's Gravatar Kaneala Nelson
    March 31, 2020 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Please make a correction to Herman of Alaska. You mentioned he is from the 50th state, which he is not. Alaska is the 49th state, while Hawai’i, even though illegally annexed by the US, is the 50th state in the United States.

  61. March 31, 2020 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Herman for me today because “He ministered and he witnessed, without complaint, without remorse, without doubts.”

  62. Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
    March 31, 2020 - 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Really thanking the SEC for this wonderful diversion from the news. Had to vote for Harriet Tubman, who has been an idol of mine since childhood. But I have voted for Herman in previous rounds and have enjoyed learning about him, especially in memory of a memorable trip to Alaska.

  63. March 31, 2020 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

    We gave it a lot of thought but decided to vote for Herman, who is lesser known than Harriet, but certainly deserves acclaim. Yes, he seems to be the perfect saint for this season.

  64. Adam L's Gravatar Adam L
    March 31, 2020 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

    49th State. We’re the 49th state… And also in desperate need for St. Herman again.

  65. March 31, 2020 - 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Alaska is not the 50th state. That appellation belongs to Hawaii. Alaska is number 49.

  66. Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
    March 31, 2020 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Hawaii. 50th state. Got it.

    No – really. We got it.

    “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Âina i ka Pono”

  67. Jamie Glock's Gravatar Jamie Glock
    March 31, 2020 - 8:54 pm | Permalink

    This one is very difficult. I loved being introduced to the wonderful Herman of Alaska and at first thought I would cast my vote for him … but Harriet spent part of her life working here in NJ (Cape May) and we have a small museum that will open again soon there to honor her time in our state. So I must vote for Harriet.

  68. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 31, 2020 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

    “Faced with a serious epidemic, he reacted by tending to the sick and helpless, without thoughts for his own health.”

    How Herman got my vote.

    Stay home & wash your hands!

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