October Surprise: It’s All Brackets’ Day!

In the ultimate October Surprise, the Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness has declared TODAY All Brackets’ Day!

Normally, we announce the new bracket for Lent Madness at the conclusion of the Autumn Triduum: All Saints’ Day on November 1, All Souls’ Day on November 2, and All Brackets’ Day on November 3. The United States Congress wouldn’t return our phone calls about rescheduling the general election to accommodate our big day, so we decided — as a magnanimous gesture — to move our big day.

So All Brackets’ Day, one of the most highly anticipated holy days of the entire year, is here early. Surprise! And, by the way, with the other “madness” (the one involving bouncing orange orbs) having been suspended back in 2020, Lent Madness is now the world’s longest continuously-running bracket competition. *

Some would say that in the midst of tense political times, we should avoid distractions like Lent Madness. For a few people, that may be true. But remember the Great Commandment of the world’s largest online Lenten devotion*: Lent Madness is optional. For those who enjoy the annual Saintly Smackdown, the unveiling of the Lent Madness 2021 bracket offers a reminder that God works in all kinds of people. As always, in devotion to the saints, we find both inspiration by example and the comfort of knowing that the great cloud of witnesses is ready to cheer us on.

With that all said, we hope you enjoy seeing next year’s bracket. You’ll find the usual diversity of saints, with a variety of race and gender, laity and clergy, ancient and modern, prophet and pastor, young and old. But you’ll see Christ’s light burning brightly in each of their lives.

Here’s the bracket (click to enlarge):

If you’re new to this wacky online devotion, here’s how Lent Madness works.

Please know that unlike professional and collegiate sporting events, there is no admission cost for Lent Madness, but souvenirs and study aids are available in the Lentorium. The Saintly Scorecard: The Official Guide to Lent Madness 2021 is now available for pre-order (or pre-order in bulk for better pricing) as are Bracket posters. Although Lent Madness doesn’t officially kick off until Ash Thursday, February 18, you’re encouraged to order your Lent Madness materials now while supplies last (seriously, we tend to run out of these things in the run-up to Lent).

Plus, Lent Madness bracket posters and scorecards make AMAZING stocking stuffers. With just 114 shopping days until Ash Thursday, it’s not too soon to start loading up!

In the meantime, enjoy checking out the new crop of saints — there are some amazing but obscure ones in there! And remember that while many (okay, 32) are called, only one will be crowned with the coveted 2021 Golden Halo.

* We have not verified that Lent Madness is really the world’s largest online devotion or that Lent Madness is the world’s longest continuously-running bracket competition, but it feels true to us, and that’s good enough these days.

63 Comments to "October Surprise: It’s All Brackets’ Day!"

  1. Lee's Gravatar Lee
    October 26, 2020 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Who does the artwork? I really enjoy it each year.

  2. Catherine Linberg's Gravatar Catherine Linberg
    October 26, 2020 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Three Catherines with a C!
    Odds are with us this year.

    • Catharine Reid's Gravatar Catharine Reid
      October 26, 2020 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

      But not one spelled correctly!

      • marie jones's Gravatar marie jones
        October 28, 2020 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

        I am a member of St. CathArine of Siena Parish. So glad you pointed out the misspells for the rest of the participants. How our parish name came to be spelled this way is a long story and part of the ‘urban myth’ of our Archidiocese.LOL Looking forward to a lively Lent. Game on!

    • Beth Crane's Gravatar Beth Crane
      October 28, 2020 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

      And two out of three named after Italian cold cuts! I think Catherine Booth should consider becoming Catherine of Capicola. It has a ring to it.

  3. Onaye Farrish, OP's Gravatar Onaye Farrish, OP
    October 26, 2020 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I know the bracket is already decided for this year but would you consider adding Meister Eckhart to next year’s bracket?

  4. October 26, 2020 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to the Lent Madness and the education I will receive about these saints due to your great writers.

  5. Leslie Haas's Gravatar Leslie Haas
    October 26, 2020 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    I was curious if you ever have repeats or do you try to introduce new contenders annually?

    • October 26, 2020 - 8:52 am | Permalink

      We’ve had repeats but we hold to a special formula dictating when they’re eligible to return, based on past performance and time elapsed. “Math” is involved.

  6. Skip White's Gravatar Skip White
    October 26, 2020 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    WOW! One of my Welsh favourites! 2021 is looking better already!

    • October 26, 2020 - 10:53 am | Permalink

      Oooo! Who’s the Welsh person? I don’t recognize these names, but I love Wales!

      • Skip White's Gravatar Skip White
        October 26, 2020 - 11:11 am | Permalink


        • Jill Hershberger's Gravatar Jill Hershberger
          October 26, 2020 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

          Me too, me too! I won’t go into all the connections, but my confirmation name is hers, and I have visited Pennant Melangell with great emotion.. She is a total winner in my heart, however
          others may vote.

        • Bindy Snyder's Gravatar Bindy Snyder
          October 26, 2020 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

          Pennant Melangell is the thinnest place I’ve ever visited.

  7. Amey's Gravatar Amey
    October 26, 2020 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    What a treat!! Looking forward to winter saintly research! A wonderful reason to look forward to 2021!

  8. Ann Rapp's Gravatar Ann Rapp
    October 26, 2020 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you Executive Committee and All, it is so good to see you again, alive and well in the midst of the Pandemic. The Bracket for 2021 has some lesser-known Saints. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. God bless!

  9. Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
    October 26, 2020 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    So many that I don’t know. What fun!

  10. October 26, 2020 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Gives us something to look forward to as the pandemic rages on.

  11. Beverley Anne Bryant's Gravatar Beverley Anne Bryant
    October 26, 2020 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Yay Camillus!!!

  12. Kathy Jenkins's Gravatar Kathy Jenkins
    October 26, 2020 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    This enriched my Lenten journey every year! God bless you all!

  13. Judith Crossett's Gravatar Judith Crossett
    October 26, 2020 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    wonderful. and one I am already decided on: Egeria. Wonderful accomplishments, etc, but I had to read excerpts in (un”modernized”) Latin. Excruciating and never forgotten. On the other hand, I can ask for my very own bracket poster for my birthday, which I am happy to share with Ash Thursday this year.

    • October 26, 2020 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Another Egeria fan here!

      • andrea's Gravatar andrea
        October 28, 2020 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

        And yet another fan of Egeria here! Thank you for this wonderful October Surprise! Looking forward to learning more about the Saints, and the madness!

    • Charles Ellis's Gravatar Charles Ellis
      October 26, 2020 - 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Feb 18th is also MY birthday!

      • Judith's Gravatar Judith
        October 26, 2020 - 8:05 pm | Permalink

        It’s a fine time for a birthday. long enough after Thanksgiving that you get some celebrating. And almost no one is out of town. It’s also the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.

        • Judith's Gravatar Judith
          October 26, 2020 - 8:06 pm | Permalink

          I meant, long enough after Christmas. I am old and do not multi task as well as I once did.

  14. Jendi's Gravatar Jendi
    October 26, 2020 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    “Evagrius the Solitary” is clearly the patron saint of 2020.

    • Debra's Gravatar Debra
      October 26, 2020 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I hadn’t considered the patron saint of the pandemic. This is a lousy time to be associated with- probably would lose their saintly status.

  15. Lynn Harrington's Gravatar Lynn Harrington
    October 26, 2020 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for bringing us some joy in this bleak time!

  16. Jennifer Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer Seaver
    October 26, 2020 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    I suppose that with three ‘C’s I have a good chance of coming out on top if I keep voting for one of them.

  17. RuthAnn's Gravatar RuthAnn
    October 26, 2020 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    I hope I’m not being a party pooper here, but shouldn’t the countdown clock say “Lent Madness 2021 begins in….”?

    • October 26, 2020 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      I don’t know what you’re talking about. It says 2021! I categorically deny that it ever said 2020.

      • RuthAnn's Gravatar RuthAnn
        October 26, 2020 - 11:41 am | Permalink

        I thought so; just testing you.

  18. Bonnie Gossett's Gravatar Bonnie Gossett
    October 26, 2020 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    I am so happy for this listraction. Thank you so much. I will have a lot of studying because this is an unfamiliar group for me.

    • Bonnie Gossett's Gravatar Bonnie Gossett
      October 26, 2020 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      Should be distraction but I sorta like liststraction.

  19. Phillip Rogers's Gravatar Phillip Rogers
    October 26, 2020 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Superb chorus line! High (or medium) kicking to the Lent-time Rag, I hope.

  20. October 26, 2020 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    Muchos gracias for the early posting! I think Absalom will be getting my vote this year! As long as he lasts, anyway.

  21. Mary Beth Burns's Gravatar Mary Beth Burns
    October 26, 2020 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    It’s delightful to see a glimpse of the upcoming Lent Madness, and I expect it to shed some light on
    our dark pandemic winter. Also, part of the joy of Lent Madness is the community of followers who
    share their ideas, sometimes witty, sometimes thoughtful, but always adding to the richness of the
    experience. Thank you! And stay safe . . .
    Mary Beth

    • Carol Anderson's Gravatar Carol Anderson
      October 26, 2020 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

  22. Ron Carswell's Gravatar Ron Carswell
    October 26, 2020 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Not a bible or religious scholar, so a lot to learn this year. Thanks. ps More fun choosing here than on the other election.

  23. Sue's Gravatar Sue
    October 26, 2020 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Thank YOU so much for such a positive distraction in these difficult times!!!!

  24. Cath Fenton's Gravatar Cath Fenton
    October 26, 2020 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    Who is the child?

  25. Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
    October 26, 2020 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the “laugh-out-loud” post! The whole country needs a laugh, and then I believe we need to pray. I’m so grateful for your faithful leadership of the Lent Madness platform (I count on it!), and for Bishop Curry and Forward Movement’s faithful leadership calling us to prayer this week in advance, during and beyond the election.

  26. October 26, 2020 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness yes! We need this now more than ever!

  27. Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
    October 26, 2020 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this holy challenge! I don’t recognize many of the names, so I look forward to learning more about these saints. We need something to look forward to in 2021, and learning about saints is a worthy endeavor.

  28. Ginny Berkey's Gravatar Ginny Berkey
    October 26, 2020 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! I, too, do not recognize a number of the names. This will be a great learning experience.

  29. Bob Nelson's Gravatar Bob Nelson
    October 26, 2020 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve voted, have you? Oh, that’s the other madness!!

  30. Megs's Gravatar Megs
    October 26, 2020 - 2:02 pm | Permalink

    How exciting! I only know a very few of these Holy People, so I get to learn a whole lot this Lent!

  31. Cricket Cooper's Gravatar Cricket Cooper
    October 26, 2020 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Jacapone made it to the Bracket- it’s a SIGN!!!!!
    “Crazy Jack” for the WIN!!!

    Thanks for this slice of joy on a rainy day.
    Is it Lent yet???????

  32. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    October 26, 2020 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Hope the SEC are practising their pronounciation of Melangell!

  33. Sarah SSM's Gravatar Sarah SSM
    October 26, 2020 - 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Would that be Hermione of Hogwarts?

  34. Campbellite's Gravatar Campbellite
    October 26, 2020 - 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Shout out for Simeon the Holy Fool, patron saint of the Ship of Fools!

  35. Kathleen Kaufman's Gravatar Kathleen Kaufman
    October 26, 2020 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to show my students!!

  36. Allison's Gravatar Allison
    October 26, 2020 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Lots of people I don’t know. Looking forward to it!

  37. Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
    October 26, 2020 - 11:19 pm | Permalink

    You’ve certainly set homework for this bracket. I hardly recognise any of the names. What fun!

  38. Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
    October 26, 2020 - 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m a newly ordained deacon (two days ago!) assigned to St. Dunstan’s Church in Shoreline, WA, so I’m excited to see Dunstan in the bracket. I will be getting the word out in our parish, so watch out!

    • October 27, 2020 - 9:32 am | Permalink

      Congrats! And, yes, Lent Madness evangelism is an important requirement of ordained ministry.

      • Judith's Gravatar Judith
        October 27, 2020 - 9:58 am | Permalink

        Particularly of diaconal ministry; we take the gospel to the world; Lent Madness is a good place to start. (easier than “sell all you have and give it to the poor”, in my experience).
        Deacon Judith

  39. Katrina S Soto's Gravatar Katrina S Soto
    October 27, 2020 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Love the humor of Confusion Corner. And I love that I have lots to learn this year, since I’ve not heard of but a few of these saints. Looking forward to Happy Lent.

  40. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    October 27, 2020 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    I need a printer-friendly bracket version, please. When I save the .jpg image and try to print it (on landscape) the right and left margins cut off part of the names. I’ve never had this problem in previous years. Thanks!

  41. marie jones's Gravatar marie jones
    October 28, 2020 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh, boy! This is going to be a good one! Can hardly wait to have at these folks and learn what they have to teach through their witness!

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