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.


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64 comments on “October Surprise: It's All Brackets' Day!”

      1. 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!

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

      1. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

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