Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Junia

Hold onto your halos as we move into another full week of saintly thrills and spills! With only three matchups left in the Round of 32, we’ll soon find ourselves in the Saintly Sixteen. Time flies when you’re spending time with the saints. (Oh, and for those of you who didn’t get Friday’s results, Harriet Tubman drubbed Julie Billiart 83% to 17%).

Please know that if you haven’t yet joined in the fun, it’s never too late to leap into the Madness. Whether you’ve voted in the previous 13 battles or are just jumping in now, we welcome you. Especially as more people move into online forms of spiritual devotion in the current climate, we’re glad to have you here. We just won’t shake your hand.

Speaking of which, on Saturday evening Tim and Scott shared some online prayer resources and a dose of hope in a post titled Lent Madness Carries on, which you can read here. If there was ever a time for online community, that time is now.

Today it’s Joanna the Myrrbearer vs. Junia in a matchup of Biblical women. Time to vote!

Joanna the Myrrhbearer
When Joanna—along with Mary Magdalene; Mary, the mother of James; and several other women—told the other disciples they had found Jesus’ tomb empty, the Gospel of Luke tells us her words “seemed to them like nonsense.”

But Jesus always believed the women he encountered, and he believed in Joanna. Jesus believed in Joanna enough to trust her to take the news of his resurrection to his disciples.

Jesus believed in Joanna enough to invite her to follow him as a disciple and learn from him. The two angels who met her and the women with her at the tomb said to them, “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again’” (Luke 24:6-7). Then they remembered Jesus’ words—meaning they had been with him when he spoke them the first time.

Jesus believed in Joanna enough to trust his earthly ministry to her. Luke also tells us that she, along with several other women, was traveling from one town and village to another with Jesus and the disciples, “helping to support them out of their own means.”

It’s clear Joanna was wealthy. Her husband, Chuza, was Herod’s steward, according to Luke. (This is the same Herod who imprisoned and beheaded Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, and Orthodox tradition says Joanna retrieved John’s head and gave it an honorable burial.)

She didn’t just stop at giving money to support what Jesus was doing, though. She followed him to the margins. She allowed him to inconvenience her, to lead her beyond her comfortable life. She followed him to the end, when the other disciples fled and deserted him—and even after. She followed to see where his body was laid. She prepared myrrh and other spices and perfumes to care for his body after death. She carried them to the tomb early that first Easter morning, where she was surprised to meet angels instead.

And today Joanna is believed and remembered in Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox traditions.

Collect for Joanna
Almighty God, who revealed the resurrection of your Son to Joanna as she faithfully came bearing myrrh to his tomb: Grant that we too may perceive the presence of the risen Lord in the midst of pain and fear, and go forth proclaiming his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Emily McFarlan Miller

Junia is known to us from a short verse at the end of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Paul had not personally been to Rome, and he wrote the letter as an introduction (though it did take him sixteen chapters. Seriously, Paul, get to the point!). In chapter 16 Paul greets a series of people: twenty-seven believers in Jesus, ten of whom were women (hello, matriarchs of the faith!). These people, who were known and respected by believers in Rome, would ostensibly vouch for Paul.

In Romans 16:7, Paul writes, “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” In this short greeting we learn a lot about Junia. First, she is a fellow Jew, likely married to Andronicus. She, like Paul, has suffered imprisonment. She is prominent among the apostles, i.e., the people who have encountered the risen Christ and been commissioned to proclaim the good news. Paul would not use this term lightly. He has specific ideas about apostleship and is frequently at pains to defend this category. Further, we learn that not only is Junia an apostle, but also she is prominent among the apostles. That is to say, she’s an exceptional apostle. Finally, Junia has been in Christ longer than Paul. Paul was an early believer in Jesus. This statement puts her squarely in the first generation of followers of Jesus.

In spite of Junia’s universal recognition as a woman leader in the church for the first thousand years of Christianity, in the twelfth century, doubts about her sex began to emerge. Her name was thought to be a shortened form of the man’s name, Junianus. Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible helped popularize this (quite improbable) understanding. By the nineteenth century, Junia was almost universally thought to be a man in the Western Church (the Orthodox folk knew better).

In recent decades biblical scholars have revisited the question and found unequivocally that Junia was, in fact, a woman leader. She is a reminder of the struggle that women have had to find their voice in the church. As such, here and now, in this opening round of the 2020 edition of Lent Madness we formally acknowledge Junia to be the patron saint of gaslit women.

Collect for Junia
Almighty God, whose Son, the risen Christ, sent forth your apostles Andronicus and Junia to proclaim the gospel and extend your reign: send us forth in your Holy Spirit, that women and men may minister as one in faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit in perfect unity, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

David Creech


Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Junia

  • Joanna the Myrrhbearer (62%, 4,508 Votes)
  • Junia (38%, 2,734 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,242

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Joanna the Myrrhbearer: school of tsar’s izographs, c. 1700. [Public domain]
Junia: [Public domain}

162 Comments to "Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Junia"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 16, 2020 - 8:00 am | Permalink

    When assessing today’s holy bout
    This saint’s stats should impress any scout.
    She’s got faith and got fitness:
    At the Tomb she stood witness.
    So I say: don’t demur, bear her out.

    • Dena's Gravatar Dena
      March 16, 2020 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      Thank you John!
      Joanna all the way…she is my Golden Halo pick!

      • Amanda Henes's Gravatar Amanda Henes
        March 16, 2020 - 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Junia was mine. We have denied her her gender for so long, I figured it was only right that she wins the Golden Halo. Also she is one of the few women who had a leadership role in the church in the New Testament.

        • Linda Maloney's Gravatar Linda Maloney
          March 16, 2020 - 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Amen! Junia is an inspiration to us all!

    • Tina Hogan's Gravatar Tina Hogan
      March 16, 2020 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Gaslight is my favorite movie! Both versions.
      Junia gets my vote.

      • Linda MacDonald's Gravatar Linda MacDonald
        March 16, 2020 - 3:21 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you on this one! But really a difficult choice. Should be a tie!

    • P Harrington's Gravatar P Harrington
      March 16, 2020 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Love this one!!!

  2. March 16, 2020 - 8:00 am | Permalink

    Two prominent New Testament women whose name starts with the letter J. Who will win?

    • March 16, 2020 - 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious! But I’m sure you, as an expert on musicals, know “Under the Sea” was sung by Sebastian, not Ariel!

      I’m sorry the premiere performances of “Something Rotten” were cancelled. I hope I still get to see you perform in it!

      • March 16, 2020 - 11:15 pm | Permalink

        That was part of the joke. She only knows one song from “The Little Mermaid”!

        The Playhouse will return in after thCOVID-19 thing passes. And I can’t wait to do Something Rotten!

    • Kappa Waugh's Gravatar Kappa Waugh
      March 16, 2020 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

      too early to be “Under the See.”

    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 16, 2020 - 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to be so out of the loop – what is that picture with the woman and the cat – “it means little or nothing in my young life Jeeves…”

      • TomG's Gravatar TomG
        March 16, 2020 - 11:10 pm | Permalink

        It’s a Twitter thing.

      • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
        March 16, 2020 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Like you, I found the image baffling when I first ran into it on Facebook. It appeared repeatedly with different captions. I take it the cat is named Smudge and is from Canada. No idea who the ladies are, other than part of a joke in search of a punchline. Michael’s meme-ry is by far the funniest I’ve seen paired with it.

  3. March 16, 2020 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    We generally don’t learn much, if anything, about Jesus’s women followers, so it’s nice to hear about them here. Another good source, by the way, is the podcasts by 2 Feminists, 2 Feminists annotate the Bible and 2 Feminists Annotate the Beatified (2FAB). In this match-up, I choose Joanna, because we know more about her, and I’ll give her a bonus point for actually knowing Jesus personally. But it is enlightening to see how much we can know about a person from a single mention in the Bible.

    • Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
      March 16, 2020 - 9:20 am | Permalink

      What Richard said, plus I have a granddaughter named Joanna.

      • Jan's Gravatar Jan
        March 16, 2020 - 10:58 am | Permalink

        And I have a great granddaughter named Johanna.

        • Lucinda's Gravatar Lucinda
          March 16, 2020 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

          Our hagiography writers provide wonderful and ample information to help us decide our vote. How about some serious discernment rather than voting based on favorite names or your occupation? Why have the lengthy write-ups? I think I shall stop reading comments. Most are so spiritual and insightful, but others, to me, are the same way people choose March Madness winners. I’m out. I’m sure many of you will be glad.

          • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
            March 16, 2020 - 11:24 pm | Permalink

            When one is torn between the two and cannot reach a decision, sometimes the tie broken by a coin toss and other times by having a friend or family member with the name.

            I want to vote for both. I cannot. I might vote for Junia because I was born in June, but then my name has the same meaning as Joanna . . . decisions decisions.

            Be calm and wash your hands properly with soap whilst (if you can) staying at home all y’all.

        • Lucinda's Gravatar Lucinda
          March 16, 2020 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Favorite names, pets, occupations, colors are the way many people choose teams for their March Madness brackets. They have no benefit of the wonderful information we are given to digest and discern. It seems Lent Madness and the insightful hagiographies provide a more meaningful way to vote. Just my opinion.

        • Alyce Werkema's Gravatar Alyce Werkema
          March 16, 2020 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

          I have a great-granddaughter named Junia Honore so my honor goes to her.

  4. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 16, 2020 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Both of these women have been under-recognized through the centuries, and I’m so glad to read about them here. Joanna gets my vote for a special reason. Her faithfulness extended into the most serious troubles and beyond death. I’ve heard a few too many people say, “I don’t do hospitals.” and “I don’t do funerals.” So Joanna gets my vote.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 16, 2020 - 10:46 am | Permalink


  5. Sister Rita Malavisi's Gravatar Sister Rita Malavisi
    March 16, 2020 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this matchup today. Junia was thought to be a man for centuries. Please don’t overlook her story. She is one of the “prominent apostles” and Paul says she was “in Christ before I was”. Don’t overlook her today. Junia all the way!

    • March 16, 2020 - 10:29 am | Permalink

      I love Joanna, the bankroller of Jesus’ ministry, but your comment changed my vote. As female clergy, I know her story!

      • Dina Ferguson's Gravatar Dina Ferguson
        March 16, 2020 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Hi Beth. Good to see you at Lent Madness! I have participated in a Women at the Cross program and told a very moving monologue of Joanna. But I had to go with Junia. I think it was “gaslit women” that hooked me. Here’s to Junia! Papered over – as Mary Magdalene was slandered – by the church.

      • March 16, 2020 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Being a woman in ministry is the hardest challenge I have ever had..

    • Sue Campbell's Gravatar Sue Campbell
      March 16, 2020 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Junia for me, too! Helping to give women a voice when they were often stilled…

  6. Dana Jean's Gravatar Dana Jean
    March 16, 2020 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    “Patron saint of gaslit women.” Need I say more??

    • Melody's Gravatar Melody
      March 16, 2020 - 8:58 am | Permalink


      • March 16, 2020 - 10:21 am | Permalink

        Totally agree! I had to look up the term “gaslit”. It happens so often to women.

    • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
      March 16, 2020 - 9:00 am | Permalink

      What does “gaslit women” mean? The term is new to me.

      • Melinda's Gravatar Melinda
        March 16, 2020 - 9:29 am | Permalink

        If you are “gaslit”, it means you are deceived and made to think you are unreasonable, irrational, hysterical, or even crazy. The application here is not precisely accurate, but I love it anyway. As a former gaslit woman, and a feminist, I gotta go with Junia.

        • March 16, 2020 - 10:36 am | Permalink

          Another vote from a formerly gaslit to Junia–in spite of my name!

      • Carol B Pugh's Gravatar Carol B Pugh
        March 16, 2020 - 9:40 am | Permalink

        See the link below for a good explanation of “gaslighting” — “gaslit” means that someone has been the victim of gaslighting. The term has become popularized because of the current political climate and the strange world in which we now find ourselves where a large number of people question what used to be considered fact or reality because of the pronouncements of the president and his supporters.

    • Robyn Frey-Monell's Gravatar Robyn Frey-Monell
      March 16, 2020 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      That is what got me. To be a woman and a believer had to carry some very serious consequences at that time. Junia may even become a popular girl’s name!

  7. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    March 16, 2020 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    “She is a reminder of the struggle that women have had to find their voice in the church. As such, here and now, in this opening round of the 2020 edition of Lent Madness we formally acknowledge Junia to be the patron saint of gaslit women.”
    That resonated with me. But I don’t mind at all if Joanna wins this round. Women in the Bible ROCK!!!

  8. March 16, 2020 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    I did not know about Junia so thank you for this post. But, I have to vote for Joanna today. Even though she was the wife of Herod’s steward which might have placed her at risk of reprisal from Herod, she trusted Jesus enough to follow him and serve him.

  9. Ann Smith's Gravatar Ann Smith
    March 16, 2020 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Junia. Being a woman who struggled for recognition in a male dominated church and society, she speaks to me as I am certain she does to many of my colleagues.

  10. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 16, 2020 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    A shout-out to Father Tim, his associate rector Jacqueline Clark and their vestry IT wizard Dave Clinton:

    The front page of the Metro section of todays Boston Globe carries an article on yesterday’s virtual service at St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, MA. Although the bulk of the article is behind a paywall, you can see a great photo at

    The Facebook Live stream of the service is at

    May God watch over you, your congregation and your community, Tim.

  11. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 16, 2020 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I agonised over today’s vote. It’s so hard to choose between these faithful women, both long overlooked. I have always had a soft spot for Junia who suffered the indignity of being represented as a man by men convinced that women could not be apostles. I also enjoyed the portrayal of Junia in Paula Gooder’s book ‘Priscilla: The Life of an Early Christian,’ however today my vote goes to Joanna because her collect speaks to the pain and fear generated by the pandemic. May we both perceive and bear witness to the presence of the Risen Lord.

  12. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 16, 2020 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one. How could I not vote for the woman who buried John the Baptist’s head? But you had me at “patron saint of gaslit women.” I think of how we could have had the most qualified woman in presidential history in charge of this pandemic and instead we’re chained to the Grifterandsons demoniac. And my candidate won’t even be on the ballot by the time my state finally gets to weigh in on the nomination process, because there’s “no one left,” certainly no people of color and certainly no women. Being able to claim reality and not be manipulated out of one’s capacity to perceive accurately and form independent judgements is the basis of resisting gaslighting. So to reclaim Junia, and all those who have been buried by propaganda or bullying or contemptuous neglect, I vote for her. And a fig for thee, oh Devin (and Death). Go sue another cow. I’ll write my candidate in.

    • Donna's Gravatar Donna
      March 16, 2020 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      And that will be one vote for the “demoniac”. Please don’t.

      • March 16, 2020 - 9:28 am | Permalink

        Indeed, Donna, my thoughts exactly.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 16, 2020 - 9:31 am | Permalink

        I’m talking about the primary, not the general election. Never fear; I will be at the ramparts in November. I’m no “Bro.”

        • Donna's Gravatar Donna
          March 16, 2020 - 9:37 am | Permalink

          Right On then! Write in. Primarily.

    • Amy CW's Gravatar Amy CW
      March 16, 2020 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      Make sure your state doesn’t discard write-in ballots or declare them ‘defaced’.

    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 16, 2020 - 9:14 pm | Permalink
  13. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    March 16, 2020 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    I’m still stinging from the elimination of Photini last year, so I’m glad to see two such significant women from the New Testament in today’s matchup. Oh, but why against each other? You won me over to Junia with “patron saint of gaslit women.”

  14. March 16, 2020 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Junia gets my vote – kudos to Lent Madness for honoring her story.

  15. Betty's Gravatar Betty
    March 16, 2020 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Junia was the only woman named as an Apostle in the. Ew testament. She was the special person for my dear friend the late Rev. Kathryn Piccard of the diocese of MA so of course I had to vote for her. She is not well know in the western church but is much better known in the eastern church. Vote for Junia as she really does need to ha e mor recognition.

  16. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    March 16, 2020 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Three Wise Men attended Jesus at his birth and brought gold inscence and myrrh. Three Wise Women attended Jesus in death and brought inscence and myrrh, for the gold had been spent on the poor. I vote for one of the Wise Women in Joanna, because out is always the women that are there at the end and in honor of the people in my life that I have taken to that door and then washed their bodies after in preparation for the next ritual. It is not a small thing for her to have been prepared to do, but one of great love and bravery.

  17. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 16, 2020 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    This is one time I’m glad to have read the comments before voting. I was inclined to vote for Joanna, the faithful follower of Jesus and one of the women intending to care for his body after the Crucifixion. She is worthy. However, further reading of comments and reflection caused me to choose Junia. As the first woman pastor of two different churches, I know what it’s like to be both celebrated and denigrated for being a woman! If Paul thought she was prominent among the apostles, that’s an excellent opinion and very convincing. Please forgive my ignorance of the term “gaslit woman” and enlighten me. I looked it up in my online dictionary, and I’m still confused, as it seemed to refer only to a movie I never saw where a husband tried to convince his wife that she was insane. When I don’t know something, I’m not too proud to admit it and seek to learn.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 16, 2020 - 9:35 am | Permalink

      Gaslighting is manipulating another into doubting his or her own perception of reality. Remember the Groucho Marx joke when his wife caught him cheating: “Are you going to believe me or your own lying eyes?” Gaslighting seeks to disempower a weaker person in an unequal power relationship by dominating his/her sense of reality.

    • Sue Donym's Gravatar Sue Donym
      March 16, 2020 - 9:39 am | Permalink

      My understanding of gaslighting is to affirm that something that is not true is, in fact, true. When people put forth that Junia was a man even though she was a woman, people believed the falsehood. I think there are many current instances that are not relevant to saintly discussions

    • March 16, 2020 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

      I recently saw a live production of the play “Gaslight” and I really could feel for the poor woman doubting her sanity. Even I, in the audience, doubted it for a while and wondered if she was being histrionic. That phrase made up my mind to vote for Junia.

  18. Linda Logan's Gravatar Linda Logan
    March 16, 2020 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    She was loyal when it looked like Jesus had lost and was dead.

  19. March 16, 2020 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hard choice today but I have to go with Junia, a woman before her time and a true believer!

  20. SharonDianneFosterPattison's Gravatar SharonDianneFosterPattison
    March 16, 2020 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I have already voted for Joanna, but very interested in the term ‘gaslight’ – one who holds the light of the world? Someone please explain ! St.Celia I wait each day for your words, and I agree whole hearted with your feelings re the state of your election! Too bad more woman are not taken serious, especially in this 2020! Be safe everyone Covid 19 is much more serious than anything else going on in this world WE ALL LIVE ON!

  21. Mercy Hobbs's Gravatar Mercy Hobbs
    March 16, 2020 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Our two contenders were and are amazing women! I hope that many more people will join in our merry group of Lent Madness fanatics and vote. I hope as well there is a lot of intergenerational voting. Speaking of which, I think of Oliver who in the past years voted and shared with fellow voters his reasons for voting. I hope, Oliver, you are still voting. Also I hope people his age and younger are voting too!!!

  22. Audrey G's Gravatar Audrey G
    March 16, 2020 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Both deserving women! Whomever wins, that’s great

  23. March 16, 2020 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    She ‘allowed Him to inconvenience her, to lead her beyond her comfortable life.’ Oh, yeah. . . Need we say more about a holy soul? Emily, you brought up touchstones for all who would follow the Lord.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 16, 2020 - 10:19 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Marie! I really loved learning more about this saint.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 16, 2020 - 8:27 pm | Permalink

        Emily, thank you for interacting in the comments! That means a lot!

  24. Marla's Gravatar Marla
    March 16, 2020 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    This is the toughest one yet!

  25. March 16, 2020 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    I wish I could have been Junia’s Campaign Manager! Look at what Paul said about her. She and Andronicus (husband? friend? brother?) were his relatives and captives with him in prison. Then Paul added two more accolades/credentials for them. They weren’t just “prominent” among the apostles”, but the bettie translation of the Greek word is that they were “notable among the apostles.” They had priority, as well. “In Christ before me.” What a story Junia had to tell. She also remained a “she” in all the manuscripts until some 13th century scribe, maybe with the slip of a pen, turned Junia into Junias. Thankfully it got corrected before it was her time to be included in Lent Madness!

    • March 16, 2020 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      Just saw a misspelled word: should be “better” translation

  26. Karen Sculley's Gravatar Karen Sculley
    March 16, 2020 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Tough decision today! I am so thankful for both of them but in the end my vote went with Joanna because she supported Jesus financially, followed him to the margins, allowed him to inconvenience her and lead her beyond her comfortable life, and followed him to the end when the other disciples fled and deserted him—and even after

  27. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 16, 2020 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    I struggled with this match-up, but I finally chose Junia, who is, as far as I can see, the only woman actually named as an apostle in the New Testament. The fact that she was recognized as such by Paul, and that Paul regards her as a friend also weighed in on my choice. (By the way, David Creech, I concur with you “get to the point, Paul!” comment. The Great Apostle drives me dippy with his digressions, and had he been one of my students, he would have earned an F for his convoluted writing style.)

    Now,will someone, anyone, please explain what “gaslit women” are? I’m in my eighties and I have never heard that term before. (Does it have anything to do with the classic Charles Boyer-Ingrid Bergman film ‘Gaslight’?)

    • Leslie's Gravatar Leslie
      March 16, 2020 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the term “gaslighting” is derived from the plot and activities in the movie “Gaslight.” An excellent black and white movie, and if you can find and stream it, a good one to watch if you’ve finished your work for the day. Not to give away the plot to anyone who hasn’t seen it – remember to pay attention to the flames of the gaslights as you watch!

  28. Anne Burton's Gravatar Anne Burton
    March 16, 2020 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Junia had me at “gaslit women”.

  29. Gretchen Denton's Gravatar Gretchen Denton
    March 16, 2020 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    To really understand gas lighting watch the 1944 movie “Gaslight”with Charles Boyer and Katherine Hepburn. Be entertained and terrified. I give the movie 5 stars and I vote for Junia.

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      March 16, 2020 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

      That would be Ingrid Bergman, not Katherine Hepburn. Also featuring an 18-yer-old Angela Lansbury in her film debut. All three were nominated for Oscars; Bergman won Best Actress.

      Three of my favorite actresses…

      • March 16, 2020 - 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Haha! I thought maybe there was a production with Hepburn I’d never seen! Rats!

  30. Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
    March 16, 2020 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    No slight intended to Joanna, and I wish I could vote for both, but the ‘gaslighting’ gets me too! I’m sure there were as many women as men, as active, in the early church, but the culture did not facilitate remembering them. However, Mary Magdalene got the Golden Halo already, and she was with Joanna, probably most of the time, including helping with the burial and meeting angels at the tomb. So I guess it’s Junia’s turn.

  31. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    March 16, 2020 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Joanna had me after “She prepared myrrh and other spices and perfumes to care for his body after death.”

  32. Jack Zamboni's Gravatar Jack Zamboni
    March 16, 2020 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Such a hard choice today! I was moved by the description of how Joanna not only used her privileged resources to support Jesus’ ministry, but followed him to the margin — a challenge I continually find myself facing in my own place of privilege. But Junia as the patron of gaslit women is brilliant and true. It may be time prayerfully to flip a coin or cast a lot.

  33. Hallie's Gravatar Hallie
    March 16, 2020 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    It’s funny that this term has entered the modern lexicon without its origin, the 1938 play “Gas Light.” I was lucky enough to see it in London in the late 1970s, and, yes, it was a 1944 film with Boyer and Bergman. I’ve always remembered it as creepy though a terrific story. Maybe it’s time for another film! Wikipedia gives a good summary.
    Go, Joanna, there at the very beginning, trusting and faithful!

    • March 16, 2020 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Our local playhouse did the play recently. I went with my daughter and we were both impressed and yes, creeped out. So glad we had the opportunity to see it.

  34. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 16, 2020 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    I ‘ve read all the comments and still wishy-washy over voting. They both speak to me.
    Choosing Joanna for her collect and the line: “that we too may perceive the presence of the risen Lord in the midst of pain and fear”. Very timely.

  35. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 16, 2020 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Another tough decision. Joanna wins my vote today.

  36. Claudia's Gravatar Claudia
    March 16, 2020 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Joanna, first known victim of mansplaining — had to vote for her!

  37. Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
    March 16, 2020 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one – I kept going back and forth. Was with Junia for a long time but finally voted for Joanna. She believed in Jesus against all odds and at personal risk of reputation and resources. And she was the one chosen to testify that it wasn’t over, that Jesus was risen from the dead. That was the deciding factor for me. And btw, “Gaslight” is a great movie with an incandescent performance from Ingrid Bergman and a subtly terrifying one from Charles Boyer.

  38. A random person's Gravatar A random person
    March 16, 2020 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Ur gay ur gay ur gay ur gay if u voted for Junia

    • st celia's Gravatar st celia
      March 16, 2020 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      SEC, I’m flagging this comment as inappropriate for the LM community.

      • Donna's Gravatar Donna
        March 16, 2020 - 11:34 am | Permalink

        Just plain inappropriate. For anywhere, anyone, anytime.

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          March 16, 2020 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

          We have a troll.

      • Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
        March 16, 2020 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for calling that out. Troll for sure.

  39. Griffin's Gravatar Griffin
    March 16, 2020 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    I found this vote to be amusing. There is speculation that these scriptures pertain to the same woman. It was common for wealthy or notable Jews to have both a Hebrew & Greek name (e.g.: Saul-Paul, Cephas-Peter). Compare what the Bible says of each woman:
    Junia was Jewish, well known to the apostles, and a believer before Paul;
    Joanna was ditto, ditto, ditto.

    • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
      March 16, 2020 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering the same thing.

      • March 16, 2020 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

        If that’s true she’s guaranteed to win : )

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 16, 2020 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Everyone’s a winner in this round! I’m going to look into this more for the next round.

  40. Kyle Dahlem's Gravatar Kyle Dahlem
    March 16, 2020 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    Women have always carried the faith! Their work has been ignored, erased or claimed by others in this patriarchal world. Both of these women are saints but I must vote for Junia whose sainthood was taken from her for so many years just because she was female.!!

  41. Linda LeBreux's Gravatar Linda LeBreux
    March 16, 2020 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    You almost had me with the patron saint of Gaslit Women but as someone who prepared many bodies as a hospice nurse, I had to vote for Joanna. It is truly an honor to perform that task.

  42. Georgene Kruzel's Gravatar Georgene Kruzel
    March 16, 2020 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Joanna is my chosen Confirmation Saint name. This was a no-brainer for me!

  43. Bill Bosies's Gravatar Bill Bosies
    March 16, 2020 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    Did you have to include Andronicus in the collect dedicated to St. Junia? After 800 years of denigration, can’t she at least get her own prayer? You might also mention that the first apostels were to the church what we would consider bishop.

  44. Fr. David P. Kendrick's Gravatar Fr. David P. Kendrick
    March 16, 2020 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    It might be that either way you’re voting for the same person. Richard Bauckham and Ben Witherington believe that Joanna was either forced into a divorce from Chuza for her following Jesus, or that he died. And as she moved in wider circles as an apostle and married Andronicus, she become known by the Roman version of her name, “Junia.”

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 16, 2020 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm, that forces all us Christians through the Wicket Gate into Irony Lane. On the bright, side, none of us can get lost.

    • March 16, 2020 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    • March 16, 2020 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Now that’s a new twist for lent madness. We’ve had to choose between brothers and sisters, but now to choose between two versions of the same person!

  45. Craig's Gravatar Craig
    March 16, 2020 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Here’s to Junia and to all women who’s identity has been suppressed.

  46. Evelyn Piety's Gravatar Evelyn Piety
    March 16, 2020 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Both these women are certainly worthy candidates. “On the other hand” (surely the unofficial motto of the entire Anglican Communion) Joanna was part of a group of several people who claimed the body of Jesus and brought spices and ointments to His tomb. She was part of a group of women who discovered the empty tomb and brought word of it to the Apostles. Another woman in this latter group has (in 2012 if I recall correctly) already received the Golden Halo. That would be Mary Magdalene. Therefore, I am voting for Junia as an early believer in The Way and one who helped pave the way for the church to flourish and grow over the next two-thousand-years-and-counting.

    • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
      March 16, 2020 - 2:45 pm | Permalink

      “‘On the other hand’ (surely the unofficial motto of the entire Anglican Communion)”

      Omigosh, yes! I’m saving that thought forever.

      • Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
        March 17, 2020 - 1:41 am | Permalink

        Me, too!

      • Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
        March 17, 2020 - 1:42 am | Permalink

        Me, too! What a great characterization!

  47. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    March 16, 2020 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    Joanna today because she was faithful to the grave and beyond. She and the other ladies went and did what should have been done by the men who entombed the body and was rewarded by the angels’ good news. Who knows when the men would have ever gone to the tomb themselves, they were in hiding. Perhaps Joanna was the one who could afford to buy the myrrrh for the body. We see Easter because of women’s devotion, belief and remembrance.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 16, 2020 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh, that’s an interesting thought about Joanna being able to afford the myrrh! I hadn’t thought of that!

  48. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    March 16, 2020 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    I know of Joanna, but missed Junia. She probably was part of one of Paul’s run on sentences. Interesting if they are one and the same. I appreciate hearing about the women who were followers of Jesus over the past 20 centuries especially by preaching the Gospel in actions.

  49. March 16, 2020 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    After reading the comments, I would have changed my vote to Junia is. However, our church is having a contest where we predict the ballots. I predicted Joanna, so in the name of friendly competition, I will continue to vote for her. But just know that Junia is in my heart.

  50. Karen White's Gravatar Karen White
    March 16, 2020 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Patriarchal society did not want to recognize Junia as a female, that would shoot down the reason for not obtaining women- no female apostles. If Junia is recognized as female, they would then be calling Paul a liar .

  51. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 16, 2020 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Joanna gets my vote today!

  52. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 16, 2020 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    What a difficult pairing! After reading the comments, I am going with Junia. And if it is true that Joanna and Junia are the same person, then I’d go with the most compelling story. For me as a priest, I would celebrate my sister Junia’s apostolic leadership.

  53. James N Lodwick's Gravatar James N Lodwick
    March 16, 2020 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Once again a challenging matchup. I voted for Junia, as an affirmation of her apostleship versus all the male chauvinists (including M. Luther) who have thought that a woman couldn’t be an apostle and were even willing to alter Scripture to prove it! Joanna the Myrrhbearer is a worthy bearer of the news of the Jesus’ resurrection, and thus also an apostle, and I love her name! I wish I could vote for them both.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 16, 2020 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Some say we are voting for them both. 😉

  54. March 16, 2020 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I will never forget the thrill and wonder I experienced the first time I truly noticed Lk 8:1-3, and the description of the women who funded Jesus’ ministry. (It’s interesting how we are conditioned to gloss over so many women’s stories in scripture, isn’t it? A big reason this particular one is glossed over–and it all comes down misogyny–is that those three verses describing the women are lumped into the larger section of the “Parable of the Sower.” But because they are not technically part of that parable, they are often ignored.)

    It was not the first time I had read the passage–I was in seminary by this time–but it was the first time I actually had digested it. I couldn’t believe it! These women underwrote the whole she-bang! It was there in scripture for everyone to see, but no one had ever preached of it, or taught it in my hearing.

    Several decades later, while writing a Bible study for a group at church, I delved more deeply into the story of Joanna and pondered this whole idea of the wife of Herod’s steward–certainly a high profile position–leaving her husband (or was he dead? divorced?) and spending his money on someone like Jesus. Certainly that could have cost Chuza his job, or at the least caused marital discord! I found out that “Chuza” is believed to be a Nabatean name (Petra is the famous capital of Nabatea), and that, because Chuza worked for Herod, he and Joanna would have lived in Tiberias–yet there is no record that Jesus ever went to Tiberias. How did she become part of the movement? Had Chuza converted to Judaism? Had theirs been a mixed marriage? The possibilities are fascinating!

    So although I love the fleeting mention of Junia, and all that is implies for the role of women in the early church, my heart is with Joanna and her daring mortuary teammates.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      March 16, 2020 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

      I also led a Bible study session about Joanna at my church! I have SO MANY QUESTIONS.

      • March 16, 2020 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

        I think the fact that she is named and that there are details about her husband too give her story a lot of credence. Don’t you wish we knew more about Susanna and the Marys as well!

  55. john's Gravatar john
    March 16, 2020 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    This was a hard decision for me. Two tough women show us the important role women played in the Church, from the beginning and throughout history. I chose Joanna, because she was shown the mystery of the resurrection before it was shown to the men.

  56. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 16, 2020 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Go Jo!

  57. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 16, 2020 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Joanna for me.

  58. Larry's Gravatar Larry
    March 16, 2020 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    ”She is a reminder of the struggle that women have had to find their voice in the church.“
    I would say, instead, that these women are a reminder that women have lost their voice in the Church. One of the key differences of Christianity, from the start, is that it recognized all souls as equal in the sight of God. As such, women were a vital element in the inception and propagation of the early Church. It was only when it became a going concern that men decided that women should be shunted aside, and that leadership should be solely the province of men. The first thousand years of Christianity is full of women, many of whom have been highlighted during Lent Madness, who led not only their husbands and sons to worship, but who opened the message of the New Testament to countless new converts.

  59. March 16, 2020 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Time to vote AGAINST the sin of gaslighting, no matter what century in which it occurs.

  60. Joanna Reams's Gravatar Joanna Reams
    March 16, 2020 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Two awesome women, but I chose Joanna because she was a first-hand witness and because it’s my name.

  61. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    March 16, 2020 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    A particularly challenging matchup. Joanna gets my vote as an early follower of Jesus and the person entrusted with the news of the resurrection. But I hope to see the patron saint of gaslit women in a future edition of Lent Madness, should Junia not triumph in today’s.

  62. Margaret D.'s Gravatar Margaret D.
    March 16, 2020 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Joanna – a”comfortable “ woman who stepped out of her comfort zone to follow Jesus. That’s enough for me.

  63. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 16, 2020 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Junia gets our vote today. This year our strategy is to vote for the lesser-known saints.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      March 16, 2020 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Nancy, I’m with you. In the first few days of Lent Madness, the folks for whom I voted came out on top. The last few have been—“trounced” I think is a good word. At any rate, it was, as always, good to learn about less-familiar saints.
      There’s a hymn in the 1982 Hymnal–“The first one ever”–that mentions Joanna in the last verse. It’s a wonderful hymn about women who were the first to recognize the importance of Jesus, and the tune sounds like a folk song.

      • March 16, 2020 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

        <3 this hymn!

        • Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
          March 17, 2020 - 1:52 am | Permalink

          Yes! And with that, Joanna gets my vote at last. Now I want her and Junia to be the same woman—a truly great apostle.

  64. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 16, 2020 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I have never seen the movie “Gaslight,” so I checked Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s their description:
    George Cukor’s remake of the 1940 film Gaslight is the story of a beautiful, innocent woman (Ingrid Bergman) who marries a charming man (Charles Boyer) who tries to drive her insane. Boasting a lavish, detailed production that perfectly recreates the Victorian era, Gaslight is one of the greatest psychological thrillers ever made, thanks to Bergman’s stellar, Oscar-winning performance. Gaslight was later shown in a computer-colorized print.
    Cukor was a great director. Now I have to see this movie.

    • Jeanine's Gravatar Jeanine
      March 16, 2020 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

      The movie is great. Charles Boyer is suitably slimy as the gaslighting husband. Enjoy!

      • Wendy Mayer's Gravatar Wendy Mayer
        March 16, 2020 - 11:26 pm | Permalink

        To the person who commented about the move Gaslight – Was the movie Rotten Tomatoes or Fried Green Tomatoes?

  65. J Young's Gravatar J Young
    March 16, 2020 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    And Paul wrote those sixteen chapters and only used ONE period! :))
    Very hard choice today. Thanks for the diversion.

  66. March 16, 2020 - 2:33 pm | Permalink

    When I made up my bracket, I had Junia. Female apostle! Today, I cast my vote for her in memory of Bishop Barbara Harris, ordained and consecrated a bishop in apostolic succession, the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion.

  67. M J David's Gravatar M J David
    March 16, 2020 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Patron saint of gaslit women! Perfect! Thank you for acknowledging that. Junia for that phrase alone.

  68. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 16, 2020 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Joanna and I have had a lengthy relationship. At least a dozen years ago, a “stewardship” sermon I heard said that Christians “should, of course,” make their tithe to the local ministry that serves themselves. A verse of the Bible was cited for this proposition. Being someone who likes to know the context of “sound bites” from the Bible, I looked it up. Then I did a whole study of such verses, using a Concordance. ALL of them were actually in a context where money was being raised from people in one place, to send to people in a different place, EXCEPT, at the beginning of Luke Chapter 8. There, we are told that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and some other women had been traveling with Jesus and his merry men since Galilee days, financing the ministry out of their own funds. And Mary Magadalene was someone from whom Jesus had cast out several demons, so she was supporting a ministry from which she had benefited directly. That is the only one I could find that supported what had been preached to me. (The priests and other Bible scholars here may feel free to tell me if there are some I missed.) Learning that Jesus’s ministry was actually financed by women was huge for me, at the beginning of my faith journey. (Learning that people who preach will sometimes, presumably accidentally, mis-use scripture sound bites was also huge.) Plus, my middle name is Jo. So I’ll go with Joanna, wife of Herod’s steward, today.

    • March 16, 2020 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Did your mom love “Little Women,” Amy Jo? Not to try to draw too close a comparison, but my dogs are named Jo and Beth for that reason!

      • Amy's Gravatar Amy
        March 16, 2020 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Nope, “Amy” comes from an old Ray Bolger song, “Once in Love with Amy,” which my father loved. And Jo is just what they thought sounded good after Amy. I loved Jo March, though!

  69. March 16, 2020 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Rooting for Junia to break the glass ceiling.

  70. Micah W.'s Gravatar Micah W.
    March 16, 2020 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Joanna especially because of that beautiful collect. How appropriate to our world’s current struggles.

  71. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 16, 2020 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday, I went to 7:30AM Eucharist at my church, because the group would be small and would probably contain no sick people. (We have to worship by live stream next week and the week following, at the least.) The sermon included this thought: This is not the fast I would have chosen for Lent. Instead of merely fasting from chocolate, I’m required to fast from contact with other people, from singing with the choir, from receiving the elements from one of our priests at Eucharist, etc. But this fast is OK, because it’s Lent. This is the path that has been laid out for us, and it’s important to trust our path. Our path is the same as it’s always been: to love God, to love our neighbor, and to love one another.

    I found it very helpful to re-frame this voluntary confinement to home, as a Lenten fast. Be well, everyone.

    • March 16, 2020 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Wow, beautiful thought, Amy. Profound. Thank you for this.

    • March 16, 2020 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Let me add my thanks as well, Amy. It’s been a rough couple of days for me. Thinking of it as a lenten fast is very helpful.

      • Donna's Gravatar Donna
        March 16, 2020 - 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it is. My thanks also.

    • Gregory of Ravenna's Gravatar Gregory of Ravenna
      March 17, 2020 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      Well said Amy – good way to look at it.

  72. Michael Cudney's Gravatar Michael Cudney
    March 16, 2020 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m a thurifer. Myrrh. No question on this one.

  73. Wendy Mayer's Gravatar Wendy Mayer
    March 16, 2020 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Jania has to defy many things (her husband, King Herrod’s man, the King himself, people wanting her to be a man, being a leading apostle as a woman, etc.). She is a woman who followed Jesus despite the risks. Girl you rock!!

  74. Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
    March 16, 2020 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Jun – i – a Jun – i – a Jun – i – a !!!! Although both candidates are truly worthy, please vote for the less well-known underdog this time – the FEMALE APOSTLE Junia. Think how the world would have been swayed if her devotion to Christ had only garnered more words in the NT!! Think how the world might still be swayed if her legacy gained more attention now – VOTE JUNIA!!!

  75. Foster Eich's Gravatar Foster Eich
    March 16, 2020 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Both these women are voteworthy, for sure. BUT In seminary I wrote a paper arguing that Phoebe was a “deacon,” not a “servant” or “minister” or “deaconess.” As further support for my argument that women held official positions in the early church, I cited Junia, “prominent among the apostles.” So I had to vote for her. (My professor’s comments on the paper: “Good paper, well researched, well written, you convinced me, B+)

  76. March 16, 2020 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    For me, this was the hardest choice so far. I planned to vote for Junia. Then I suddenly had a vivid picture of how Joanna must have felt as she went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body for proper burial. I thought of her willingness to provide financially for his ministry, of how much she must have loved him and believed in him, and how grief-stricken she must have been. I think I might have collapsed in despair, but she didn’t do that. She did the final loving service for him. I had to vote for Joanna.

  77. Stephen Ryan's Gravatar Stephen Ryan
    March 16, 2020 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I was really torn between these to women, leaders of the early church. While each woman has her claim, I finally decided to vote for Junia, a named apostle. However, I feel bad because the myrr bearer supported Jesus’s works and was steadfast in her faith, she never quite made it to a ‘named’ apostle. In my mind she most assuredly was an apostle like Junia and Mary Magdalene.

Comments are closed.