Camillus de Lellis vs. Matthias

Welcome to the opening matchup of Lent Madness 2021! We kick things off with what we’re calling the Gambler’s Gambit, a matchup between Camillus de Lellis and Matthias. Of course, there’s much more to these two than the fact that one is a reformed gambler and the other was chosen by lot (gambling!). But that’s what our amazing Celebrity Bloggers are here for — to bring to life the varied aspects of our saintly lineup over the coming weeks.

If you’re a veteran of the Saintly Smackdown, we’re delighted you’re back for another year of saintly thrills and spills. If you’re joining us for the first time, we’re especially glad you’re along for this wild penitential ride. If you’re curious about what this all entails, check out the About Lent Madness tab on the website. We assure you this is the safest, most socially-distanced Lenten devotion out there.

To experience the fullness of the Lent Madness experience, the Supreme Executive Committee (the somewhat benevolent dictatorship that runs this whole enterprise) encourages you to do several things. First, “like” Lent Madness on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter. Second, subscribe to the Lent Madness e-mails so you never miss a vote — you’ll get each matchup hand-delivered to your inbox on the weekdays of Lent. You can do this by going to the home page of our website and entering your e-mail address (near the top right). Third, you can support the ministry of Lent Madness by heading over to the Lentorium and purchasing Lent Madness swag, thereby impressing everyone in your virtual pew.

But mostly, we encourage you to read about the 32 saints participating in this year’s edition of Lent Madness, faithfully cast your (single!) vote on the weekdays of Lent, and add your comments to the great cloud of participating witnesses that gathers as the online Lent Madness community each year. If you’re wondering when your favorite saint will be competing – in order to rally your friends and neighbors (creative campaigning is encouraged, voter fraud is not) – you can check out the 2021 Matchup Calendar.

But enough blathering. It’s time to cast your very first vote of Lent Madness 2021!

Camillus de Lellis 
Camillus began his life as anything but a saint. Born in 1550 in Italy, he was the son of a soldier who himself became a soldier of fortune. He had a well-deserved reputation for being a scoundrel, a gambler, and all-around trouble-maker. He suffered from a leg wound, but when he went to a hospital, Camillus was ousted because of his argumentative nature.

Ultimately, his leg wound brought his soldiering to an end, so he took up gambling. Destitute and desperate for food and a place to sleep, Camillus begged employ at a Capuchin friary in Manfredonia, Italy. After time with the order, he had a religious conversion. He applied to become a Franciscan three times but was denied because of his incurable wound and a lack of education.

The leg wound continued to plague Camillus, so he went back to the same hospital for treatment, working in exchange for a place to live. He eventually became the hospital’s superintendent while growing in his faith through spiritual direction, confession, and prayer. He still occasionally gambled and brawled, as old habits die hard. But he was also committed to a life of love and service and was ordained to the priesthood in 1584.

Inspired by his time at the hospital, Camillus gathered a group of lay and ordained men to tend to the needs of the poor and destitute who were sick, wounded, suffering, and dying. He called this group Servants of the Sick. In 1591, Pope Gregory XIV changed the name to Order of Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Infirm. This new religious order wore black cassocks and capes with a red cross over the chest—the original red cross insignia.

Camillus organized his order to help wherever needed: private homes, jails, streets, and battlefields. In 1601 during a battle, the Camillans’ hospital tent and all their supplies were burned to the ground except the red cross of one member’s religious habit—surely, they thought, a sign of divine approval for their work to help the sick and dying.

Camillus was canonized in 1746 and is a patron saint for hospitals, those who are sick, nurses, and doctors. He also offers divine assistance for those struggling with a gambling addiction. This order takes traditional vows, as well as a vow of unfailing service to the sick, even at risk to their own lives.

Collect for Camillus de Lellis 
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy, for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

—Laurie Brock


“And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.” With that action, as detailed in Acts 1:26, Matthias joined the other Apostles, replacing the betrayer Judas Iscariot.

Other than the fact he was born in Judea, Matthias’s early life is lost to history and not much is known about him. However, according to tradition, he had been one of Jesus’ seventy disciples at the baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. In fact, the witnessing of Jesus’ baptism was a key element in Matthias’s nomination to replace Judas. The other requirement was being present at the Ascension.

After the betrayal by Judas, the remaining apostles believed it was critical to keep their number at twelve, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Two disciples met the standards for nomination; they cast lots, and Matthias was chosen. While Matthias’s selection occurred after the ascension of Jesus, it was before the Day of Pentecost. Therefore, Matthias was with the group in the Upper Room at the descent of the Holy Spirit. As with the other apostles, his ministry blossomed following the miracle of Pentecost.

From Jerusalem, Matthias traveled far to spread the word of Jesus. Historians say his ministry focused near Cappadocia in modern-day Turkey and the area around the Caspian Sea. Some reports indicate he made his way to today’s country of Georgia.

He died in 80 ce, but the particulars of his death vary greatly. Some report he was stoned to death and then beheaded in Jerusalem, while other accounts have him dying near Sebastopolis, now in Turkey, and still another stated he died of old age. As for his remains, some are interred in the Abbey of Santa Giustina, in Padua, Italy, thanks to Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, who had them transported there. Other relics are located in the Abbey of St. Matthias, in Trier, Germany.

He is the patron saint of alcoholics; tailors; Gary, Indiana; and Montana. He is prayed to for hope and perseverance and in instances of smallpox. He is often portrayed holding an ax, widely believed to be the instrument of his death. His feast day is February 24.

Collect for Matthias
Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

—Neva Rae Fox

Camillus de Lellis vs. Matthias

  • Camillus de Lellis (70%, 5,856 Votes)
  • Matthias (30%, 2,452 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,308

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Camillus de Lellis: Wikicommons, public domain
Matthias: Workshop of Simone Martini / Public domain

237 Comments to "Camillus de Lellis vs. Matthias"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    February 18, 2021 - 8:00 am | Permalink

    A healer, the chroniclers tell us,
    Was the sainted Camillus de Lellis.
    He’s the one I prefer;
    If perchance you demur,
    Our shared fight against plague should compel us.

    • Ann H's Gravatar Ann H
      February 18, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

      Wise words, John.

    • Josh Nixon's Gravatar Josh Nixon
      February 18, 2021 - 8:32 am | Permalink

      If you study the life of Matthias,
      You’ll find he was fervent and pious;
      So give it some thought
      and cast in your lot
      for a saint who will always stand by us.

      • Kristenza Hatch's Gravatar Kristenza Hatch
        February 18, 2021 - 8:59 am | Permalink

        Bravo!,, great smack-down rejoiner.

      • Scott Lien's Gravatar Scott Lien
        February 18, 2021 - 10:46 am | Permalink

        These limericks are not making today’s decision any easier!

      • Kerry Krebill's Gravatar Kerry Krebill
        February 18, 2021 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Especially if you are a MONTANAN!

        • Stephen Brehe's Gravatar Stephen Brehe
          February 19, 2021 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Yeah. Alcoholics, residents of Gary IN, and Montanans support Matthias.

      • Wendy Mayer's Gravatar Wendy Mayer
        February 19, 2021 - 12:14 am | Permalink

        Having come from a family of alcoholism, Matthias gets my vote!

    • Joyce McGirr's Gravatar Joyce McGirr
      February 18, 2021 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      Wondering if Camilla, NY was named after this saint ?

      • Kathy Rooney's Gravatar Kathy Rooney
        February 18, 2021 - 11:02 am | Permalink

        Was thinking the same. I used to live in Syracusexand had friends in Camillus, so I had to vote for him.

      • Kathy Randall's Gravatar Kathy Randall
        February 18, 2021 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Found this information on the town’s website: “Founded on March 8, 1799, the Town of Camillus is named after the Roman general Marcus Furius Camillus and is the only Town in the United States to bear that name.”

    • Pat Moore's Gravatar Pat Moore
      February 18, 2021 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      So happy to be reading you again!

    • Rod's Gravatar Rod
      February 18, 2021 - 11:31 am | Permalink


  2. Michael Cartwright's Gravatar Michael Cartwright
    February 18, 2021 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Another Lent; another Lent Madness. Bring it on!

  3. Neva Rae Fox's Gravatar Neva Rae Fox
    February 18, 2021 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Good to have Lent Madness back!

    • Toni Daniels's Gravatar Toni Daniels
      February 18, 2021 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Glad to join all of you for the first time! Better late than never!!

      • Gerald Zgodinski's Gravatar Gerald Zgodinski
        February 18, 2021 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I’m also a first timer.

        • Kitty's Gravatar Kitty
          February 18, 2021 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Welcome to all first timers. Enjoy!

    • Julie Fink's Gravatar Julie Fink
      February 18, 2021 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Crazy small world! Happy to be joining, especially you, Neva! Wish I knew this existed when I was teaching in NJ, kids would have enjoyed.

  4. Julianne Ture's Gravatar Julianne Ture
    February 18, 2021 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    And now I know where the title character of “The Little World of Don Camillo” got his name.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      February 18, 2021 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      Don Camillo! Thanks for the reminder. I read those mysteries long ago. I wonder if I still have the books–more stories to get me through the current plague.

    • Jennifer Deegan's Gravatar Jennifer Deegan
      February 18, 2021 - 11:16 am | Permalink

      I had never heard of this series. Thanks so much for mentioning it. I just ordered the first book.

    • Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
      February 18, 2021 - 11:44 am | Permalink

      I love those books!! However, I voted for Matthias, partly because he is the patron saint of Montana, a state close to my heart.

      • Donna Gleaves's Gravatar Donna Gleaves
        February 18, 2021 - 3:05 pm | Permalink

        I voted for Matthias as I live in Montana!

    • Sandia Tuttle's Gravatar Sandia Tuttle
      February 18, 2021 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I love the Don Camillo series!

    • Jan Robitscher's Gravatar Jan Robitscher
      February 18, 2021 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Yes! I have always loved the stories of Don Camillo and glad to know the source of his name.

  5. Judy H's Gravatar Judy H
    February 18, 2021 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    You just have to vote for someone who had such a dramatic change in his life. Old habits are hard to break and it seems he made radical change. It is also inspiring to think about his recruiting others to help the infirm. Now more than ever!

    • BB's Gravatar BB
      February 18, 2021 - 10:33 am | Permalink

      But, as you say old habits die hard. “ He still occasionally gambled and brawled, as old habits die hard. But he was also committed to a life of love and service”. I take that as encouragement to us sinners who backslide or have trouble breaking old habits.

  6. Sarah Caplan's Gravatar Sarah Caplan
    February 18, 2021 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Welcome back to another year of The Madness!

  7. Dena's Gravatar Dena
    February 18, 2021 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    I do demur Mr. Cabot!
    Matthias, having to step in following Judas, brings to mind the unfathomable situation another man faces today in redeeming our faith and hope.

    • Denise's Gravatar Denise
      February 18, 2021 - 8:27 am | Permalink

      Oh, good thought! You convinced me to go with Matthias.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      February 18, 2021 - 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Dena – great response! I voted for Matthias.

    • Leann's Gravatar Leann
      February 18, 2021 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

      I hadn’t thought of it that way Dena. But I voted for the healer

  8. Rosanne Riley's Gravatar Rosanne Riley
    February 18, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Fascinating that both are tied to some form of addiction. In honor of the healers in the trenches this past year I choose Camillis de Lillus.

    • Dorothy Dickson-Rishel's Gravatar Dorothy Dickson-Rishel
      February 18, 2021 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. He is emblematic of our times!

      • February 18, 2021 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I vote for Matthias because St. Matthias was the first Episcopal church I belonged to.

    • Debra Southworth's Gravatar Debra Southworth
      February 18, 2021 - 10:15 am | Permalink

      That’s why I voted for him.

  9. Bobbi Scheinin's Gravatar Bobbi Scheinin
    February 18, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Matthias had me at Montana…

    • Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
      February 18, 2021 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      I did not see that coming. Or Gary, Indiana.

    • Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
      February 18, 2021 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      Living in Wyoming, I was also drawn to Matthias. Close enough!

  10. Tonya Eza's Gravatar Tonya Eza
    February 18, 2021 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    This was a tough call. Thank you for Camillus’ story; I’d never heard of him before and it was a moving story. I wanted to vote for him. But then, as I was reading about Matthias, I started thinking about how we don’t know so much about him, and there are so many followers of Jesus that we don’t know a whole lot about. And then I laughed out loud when I read that he was the patron saint of Montana; I lived in northwestern Wyoming for 4 1/2 years and was in Montana a lot, and never knew that. So I voted for Matthias. But if Camillus advances, I’m okay with that. Thanks for teaching me about new saints!

    • Wayne Giese's Gravatar Wayne Giese
      February 18, 2021 - 9:24 am | Permalink

      How does one become “patron saint of Montana”? or Gary, Indiana?

      • Rosemary Tseng's Gravatar Rosemary Tseng
        February 18, 2021 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

        I wondered about that, too. Was he chosen by lots, or perhaps in a Smackdown?

      • Paul Mullen's Gravatar Paul Mullen
        February 18, 2021 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Both show how spiritually scintillating was St Mattias, the placeholder.

    • Susan Erickson's Gravatar Susan Erickson
      February 18, 2021 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, as someone who also lives part-time in northwestern WY, the Montana part almost tipped me for Matthias (wonder what the back-story is?). But like others I just found Camillus’s story too compelling not to vote for.

  11. Tom Wintle's Gravatar Tom Wintle
    February 18, 2021 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Camillus vs the pandemic!

    • Debra Southworth's Gravatar Debra Southworth
      February 18, 2021 - 10:16 am | Permalink


    • Bet Byrd's Gravatar Bet Byrd
      February 18, 2021 - 1:44 pm | Permalink


  12. Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
    February 18, 2021 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I would also like to think that Matthias is the patron saint of understudies, having stepped in to return the number of the apostles to 12 after Judas’s rather ignominious exit.

    • Neva Rae Fox's Gravatar Neva Rae Fox
      February 18, 2021 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      What a nice thought – patron saints of understudies!

    • Lucia's Gravatar Lucia
      February 18, 2021 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      I love that! I work in show business and we are always thrilled when an understudy is able to perform! Thanks. Tessa!

  13. Steve Dalzell's Gravatar Steve Dalzell
    February 18, 2021 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Leading off with Camillus was an inspired choice. I predict he’ll go far in a year where caregivers are being recognized as true saints all around us.

  14. Patti Daniell's Gravatar Patti Daniell
    February 18, 2021 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Seems to me like Camillus had a miraculous transformation!

    • February 18, 2021 - 11:29 am | Permalink

      I think Caimillus had the greatest transformation. He is so right about those working, in our pandemic.

  15. Bee Durban's Gravatar Bee Durban
    February 18, 2021 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    A choice between someone who wrestled his own demons in order to help others; fallible and deeply human, or a sort of amorphous cloud. Camillus all the way!

  16. Mercy Hobbs's Gravatar Mercy Hobbs
    February 18, 2021 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Living through a year with Covid has put a lot of things on hold. This virus could not push the “pause button” on Lent Madness saintly smackdown. Hallelujah! Bring it on!

  17. Marilyn Bromley's Gravatar Marilyn Bromley
    February 18, 2021 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Voting on the playlentmadness site has closed. Voting for these guys was yesterday. I’m confused.

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      February 18, 2021 - 8:50 am | Permalink

      Marilyn, much like any other bracket, you need to fill it out before the tournament starts. I also, sadly, missed the deadline.

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      February 18, 2021 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      You can vote here, but you can no longer fill in a bracket on playlentmadness

    • Susan from Westford's Gravatar Susan from Westford
      February 18, 2021 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      I believe that it a “fan site” made by folks–not officailly sanctioned by the SEC. You can print out a bracket and put it on your fridge and play along. It’s good fun to play along and vote without a bracket, too.

  18. Susan Sica's Gravatar Susan Sica
    February 18, 2021 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Onward, Lent Madness!
    Always difficult when biblical saints are paired up with those of more recent history. Matthias is compelling for simply trying to fill someone else’s shoes. Lifted from his “also ran” position, he reminds me of all the times people step up, propelled forward at the right time, filling a hole and fulfilling a ministry. I’m voting for all those unsung and often unknown heroes

    • Mary Beth Smith's Gravatar Mary Beth Smith
      February 18, 2021 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      Yes, my thoughts exactly! We don’t always know when we will be called.

  19. Emily Schnabl's Gravatar Emily Schnabl
    February 18, 2021 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I have a soft spot for Matthias representing all those who faithfully serve but whose ministry is mostly forgotten–but was all prepared to vote for Camillus until Neva pointed out Matthias was the patron saint of Gary, Indiana. That detail swung me back to Matthias.

    • Melanie Sokhey's Gravatar Melanie Sokhey
      February 18, 2021 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

      That detail is what swung me AWAY from Matthias!

  20. February 18, 2021 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve been a nurse for 44 yrs so far so Camillus wins for me .

    • Barbara Meyer's Gravatar Barbara Meyer
      February 18, 2021 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Being a nurse for over 50 years, Camillus got my vote. Hard work and harded in this year long pandemic.

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      February 18, 2021 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Another RN here….hadnt heard of Camillus.Glad to vote for him

    • Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
      February 18, 2021 - 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Camille House in Miami does great work. Hurray for Camillus

  21. Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
    February 18, 2021 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    The pandemic and how to honour the good work of front line health care workers
    The name of Jesus being held up by those who fight against BLM and want to do harm on the Feast of Epiphany.
    The winter storms that have brought hardship to so many.
    Matthias “is prayed to for hope and perseverance…” and
    “Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors” – from the Collect for Matthais.

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      February 18, 2021 - 9:03 am | Permalink

      beautiful. I voted for Matthias, but as has been said, it was a tough choice

  22. Tamisyn Grantz's Gravatar Tamisyn Grantz
    February 18, 2021 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    So glad to have Lent Madness as a part of my lenten discipline. Thank you!

  23. Betsy Adamus's Gravatar Betsy Adamus
    February 18, 2021 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    In honor of our brave front line workers in hospitals and clinics everywhere, I cast my vote for Camillus!

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      February 18, 2021 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Exactly how I feel. I vote for Camillus in honor of our healthcare workers.

  24. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    February 18, 2021 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Camillus survival depended on a life of gambling or a religious life. He went back and forth for a while but eventually not only choose the religious life but a caregiver. He has my vote.

  25. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    February 18, 2021 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Camillus: rejected three times by the Franciscans (shame on them) and worked his way up from room-and-board at the hospital to superintendent of the hospital. The original Red Cross. How could I not vote for this saint I had never heard of until today?

    • Celia Cole's Gravatar Celia Cole
      February 18, 2021 - 9:37 am | Permalink

      I kinda think the Fransicans were probably right. He wasn’t ready yet. We have many of his type working hard during this pandemic. God, bless and protect them all

    • Judith Davita-Rauch's Gravatar Judith Davita-Rauch
      February 18, 2021 - 9:44 am | Permalink


  26. Sue rosa's Gravatar Sue rosa
    February 18, 2021 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Although I had never heard of Camillus, as a nurse I must uphold our shared profession and cast my vote for Camillus.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      February 18, 2021 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Sue. We nurses recognize the work Camillus did in ministering to the infirm. However, I almost voted for Matthias because he was invoked during the smallpox epidemics, and that seems appropriate for our current world. Tough call!

  27. Catherine Linberg's Gravatar Catherine Linberg
    February 18, 2021 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    There’s doom scrolling, and then there’s bloom scrolling: that’s us each morning checking for signs of spring, hope, rebirth, resurrection—via the lives of these Saints.

    • sue's Gravatar sue
      February 18, 2021 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      Beautifully expressed! Thank you.

    • Jamie Glock's Gravatar Jamie Glock
      February 18, 2021 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Oh I love that thought. Yes, yes, just what we need each day, especially this year.

  28. Jonathan Kollmann's Gravatar Jonathan Kollmann
    February 18, 2021 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Onward Lent Madness! Make it so.

  29. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    February 18, 2021 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Although Matthias deserves honor being saint to oil smogged Gary Indiana, I cast my vote for Camillus whose red cross is an important symbol in these Corona virus times. He persevered despite set backs.

  30. Eric Wilkins's Gravatar Eric Wilkins
    February 18, 2021 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    To be in the upper room when the Holy Spirit appeared surely locks my choice for Matthias.

  31. Susan C.'s Gravatar Susan C.
    February 18, 2021 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    The imperfect Camillus, who battled his imperfections but ultimately strived to follow in the healing steps of Jesus, attracted me, and the opening limerick sealed the deal.

  32. Marty's Gravatar Marty
    February 18, 2021 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    St. Camillus Health Center in Whitinsville MA was founded by the Order of St. Camillus. Fr. Jack was on staff for many years. He was a caring priest and friend to all. St. Camillus gets my vote.

  33. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    February 18, 2021 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Praise God for Lent Madness. Voting for saints is a win- win. Good always wins in this context. I love the way we can see the lives of saints in today’s experiences .

  34. Patty R's Gravatar Patty R
    February 18, 2021 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Both were wonderful men serving to help others It was a tough choice. After a year of Covid I have to go with the one that helped the sick. I honor of all the nurses , doctors, care givers, scientist, politicians and kind soul that have helped the world get through these trying times I go with Camillus. I have to wonder was the beautiful Camilla named for him?

    • Linda S.'s Gravatar Linda S.
      February 18, 2021 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      With Biblical saints, it seems like having a spot in the Biblical real estate is a crowning reward, and I’m looking for the lesser known saints. That said, today’s write-up helped me appreciate Matthias anew.
      Camillus is a great come back kid story and them are my favorite kinds! At. Camillus is the perfect choice for our opening round of Lent Madness.

  35. Carl Peterson's Gravatar Carl Peterson
    February 18, 2021 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Let us alcoholics unite
    Matthias is the one that,s right!

  36. Isabel Stanley's Gravatar Isabel Stanley
    February 18, 2021 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    I am voting for Camillus in honor of health care workers and Sister Mary de Lellis, one of my childhood teachers. Sister deLellis made every child in an over-crowded school feel special and loved.

  37. February 18, 2021 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    In the midst of a pandemic and weather disasters, how could the choice not be Camillus in honor of those who face danger and exhaustion every day in our hospitals and other health-care settings? Also, as a United Methodist, I appreciate the reformed-gambler aspect!

  38. Judith Peterson's Gravatar Judith Peterson
    February 18, 2021 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    As a recovered alcoholic I have to vote for Matthias.

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      February 18, 2021 - 9:51 am | Permalink

      Good for you for sticking with recovery!

  39. Melanie R Barbarito's Gravatar Melanie R Barbarito
    February 18, 2021 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    I gotta go with Matthias. It seemed to me that “Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus” what the favored of the two. So, surprise!, the lot fell on Matthias.

  40. Barbara Price's Gravatar Barbara Price
    February 18, 2021 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    I struggled with which saint to choose. After reading other people’s thoughts helped me make the choice. I think both men would be a great choice. Because of the pandemic and the hardworking healthcare workers I am going to vote for Camillus

  41. Marty Sauer's Gravatar Marty Sauer
    February 18, 2021 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    I grew up in Gary, Indiana, and this is the first that I heard of his being the patron saint! I also voted for him since he we selected to fill the place left by Judas.

  42. Danny Van Natta's Gravatar Danny Van Natta
    February 18, 2021 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    I like the lifestyle that Matthias did and knowing people who are alcoholics

  43. Kitty Whitman's Gravatar Kitty Whitman
    February 18, 2021 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    To step forward into the intimate unity of the 12 surely was marked by God’s hand. A quiet calling into a monumental risk and calling, and he said YES! I vote for Mathias.

  44. Kaneala Kuhio Nelson's Gravatar Kaneala Kuhio Nelson
    February 18, 2021 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Superheroes wear capes, so this was a no-brainer for me. Camilla … the Superman Saint!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      February 18, 2021 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      Yes, and in honor of today’s superheroes wearing scrubs, smocks, and coveralls!

  45. Lyn Fuson's Gravatar Lyn Fuson
    February 18, 2021 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Love that Lent Madness is back to teach me about these wonderful Saints. Had to go with Camillus, he’s this old nurses’ patron saint.

  46. Susie's Gravatar Susie
    February 18, 2021 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    I was touched by the first Red Cross. Also, might be just me, but I read the comments after I vote!

    • Jean's Gravatar Jean
      February 18, 2021 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I do too, but sometimes I regret it.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      February 18, 2021 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

      I used to read the comments after voting, but found that sometimes a comment would help me to see things differently, and regret my vote. So now I read the comments before voting.

  47. February 18, 2021 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Having been a nurse married to a doctor, I was compelled to vote for Camillus. God bless all those hardworking, dedicated people who are caring for the sick and dying.

  48. Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
    February 18, 2021 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Camillus, I think, today. Poor Matthias seems always to get nothing but neglect, but in time of pandemic, it’s impossible not to vote for the founding of the Red Cross. And recovering from gambling and general mayhem doesn’t hurt either! So good to “see” you all again for another Lenten season!

  49. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    February 18, 2021 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    My first Episcopal church was St. Matthias. I had to vote for him! It’s not a common church name and I searched the Anglican Community for the other St. Matthias churches one time. I made the list into a PortaPortal, but I don’t know if it is still online.

    • Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
      February 22, 2021 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

      There’s one in Barbados – I was confirmed there. (But I voted for Camillus.)

  50. Margaret G Mock's Gravatar Margaret G Mock
    February 18, 2021 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    While filling in my bracket, I was thinking of Prince Charles’ lovely bride, Camilla, and decided I must vote for Matthias.

  51. Marcia Bracy's Gravatar Marcia Bracy
    February 18, 2021 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    So happy that my Lenten discipline is back! I always learn so much during the smackdown. I voted for Camillus because of the radical change in his life brought about by his conversion.

  52. February 18, 2021 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    Both are worthy of my vote, difficult choice, but todays comments have persuaded me that Camillus de Lellis should move up in the brackets. Dedicating his life to care of the sick, Camillus insisted on cleanliness and the technical competence of those who also served. My vote also honors all those who follow his example by providing us healing care.

  53. Judith Davita-Rauch's Gravatar Judith Davita-Rauch
    February 18, 2021 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    How can you not vote for someone who had to show real commitment to serving? And to overcome gambling and rabble rousing, I chose Camillus. Wait, now I feel guilty… should I have voted for Matthias, who served when asked?!? I am really grateful for Lent Madness!

  54. Christine Parkhurst's Gravatar Christine Parkhurst
    February 18, 2021 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    My doctor daughter worked in an ICU during the first part of the pandemic and didn’t get sick, which I attribute to divine intervention. Praise God! I vote for Camillis.

  55. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    February 18, 2021 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    “He still occasionally gambled and brawled.” Aint that the story of our lives? I see that a year of covid has worn us all to the bone, because LM is commencing with TWO saints for alcoholics this year! While the Red Cross is important, Florence Nightingale has already won the Golden Halo, and I am partial to the nearly nameless and unknown servants who simply pick up the cross when called upon and continue service to an unseen god. I cast my lot for Matthias this morning and greet all you saints, some known to me some new to me. It looks as if LM will get us through a second spring of covid. Good health and a holy Lent to you all.

    • February 18, 2021 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      Same to you, St. Celia. I also voted for Matthias. Partially because he was an apostle and I had actually heard of him. I should learn a lot this Lent going through this group of saints. I’m not sure why Matthias is a patron saint of alcoholics, but I have a couple of very good friends whose lives were saved by AA, so that’s a plus, too. Nice to see so many familiar names of commenters today. I look forward to some deep dives in theology as Lent progresses.

      • Jeanine's Gravatar Jeanine
        February 19, 2021 - 8:57 am | Permalink

        I’m so happy to see you and St. Celia again this year. Your perspectives are always helpful to me, plus, I like the angle of Richard’s halo.

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          February 19, 2021 - 11:05 am | Permalink

          Richard is jaunty!

  56. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    February 18, 2021 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’m a sucker for the redemption story of a rogue and a scoundrel, so Camillus gets my vote.

  57. Sue Campbell's Gravatar Sue Campbell
    February 18, 2021 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    I live for poetic pleas to choose,
    While still caring who will win or lose!

  58. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    February 18, 2021 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    It was a close call, but I voted for Camillus, mainly for his work to take care of “the poor and destitute who were sick, wounded, suffering, and dying,” but a little bit because in his “head shot” he’s really cute.

  59. February 18, 2021 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    A vote for Camillis along with a prayer of gratitude and support for all personal care givers and front-line support workers who offer their services at great cost and considerable risk to aid us through this current COVID pandemic.

  60. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    February 18, 2021 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    So good to be back into Lent Madness on this (closing, please God) bracket of a seemingly endless Lent! Today, my vote goes to Camillus, and my gratitude to all the saints on the front lines of healthcare, now and throughout history.

  61. Renee's Gravatar Renee
    February 18, 2021 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Being a dialysis patient, I voted for Camillus, because the doctors and nurses I work with are the most caring people I know. They have such a difficult job but perform it with dignity and caring. Camillus would be proud of them.

  62. Mike Eck's Gravatar Mike Eck
    February 18, 2021 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    My heart is with the person not picked to replace Judas. Just like when we were kids- in a neighborhood pick up basketball or baseball game – the last kid – not picked. The look on their face says it all. The person not picked when Matthias won is not lost to history. Acts 1:23 — Let him be the first nominee for Lent Madness 2022.

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      February 18, 2021 - 11:36 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that reminder, Mike. I had to look him up. Joseph called Barsabbas, also known as Justus. Is he eligible?

      • Mike Eck's Gravatar Mike Eck
        February 18, 2021 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Probably not eligible. Who said “the law says, but I say”

    • Becky Blackwood's Gravatar Becky Blackwood
      February 18, 2021 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Love that idea Mike!

    • Beverly Duncan's Gravatar Beverly Duncan
      February 18, 2021 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for that reference! Had never really thought about the “loser” before. Even though he must have been impressive to be in the running, it is never easy to not be chosen.

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      February 18, 2021 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

      I agree. And how fun to imagine what might that person have done

  63. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    February 18, 2021 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Both are worthy, and it seems only appropriate in the midst of the pandemic to highlight someone who provided healthcare, the first Red Cross, etc. But we’re going with Matthias today, in recognition of our friend Mathias Forson, who pastors in his homeland, Ghana.

  64. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    February 18, 2021 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    In this sea of uncertainty, the Lenten anchor of this beloved Madness! Thank you SEC. Retired nurse that I am, my respect for the Red Cross and the ongoing prayer that we are all able to find strength in our “broken places” gave my vote to Camillus today. Have a Holy Lent all – be safe and well.

  65. Anne's Gravatar Anne
    February 18, 2021 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    My grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather, and great-great-great grandfather all were named Mathias, so that’s who I voted for. As a patron saint of alcoholics, his help has probably been requested many times during this pandemic.

  66. Lynn's Gravatar Lynn
    February 18, 2021 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    It’s a gift having Lent Madness back in this incredibly challenging time!

  67. Amelia Hagen's Gravatar Amelia Hagen
    February 18, 2021 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    So good to ha e Le t Madness again it’s been a long year. I voted for Camillus, who has such an inspiring story, but was drawn to Matthias as well. Great start.

  68. Diane Lynch's Gravatar Diane Lynch
    February 18, 2021 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    As one who will have a Tny House one day, how can I not vote for the patron Saint of trailers?!

  69. February 18, 2021 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    Endearing as Camillus is, I have to thank St. Matthias. His story inspired me to suggest to the deadlocked calling committee at a certain parish that they each give up the right to control the outcome and agree to make their decision by casting lots. They were so desperate after weeks of badgering each other to try to change one vote in either direction, that after studying and praying over the story from Acts 1, that’s what they decided to do.
    After congratulating them when they broke out the champagne and reported their long-awaited success, I urged them to share what they had learned from this story –with the vestry and congregation, with their rector-elect, and every time they found themselves at loggerheads. Sometimes in a diverse community of strong-willed people, you have to agree to let the Spirit control the outcome.
    (As it turned out, the candidate on whom the lot fell was so disconcerted by this process on hearing about it, that they decided not to accept the call — but that’s another story.)

  70. Ellen L's Gravatar Ellen L
    February 18, 2021 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Patron Saint of Hospitals! Okay, in the time of COVID, I’m going to have to go with Camillus. Pluse after reading his story, I feel a great affection for him. I too am a jerk and have a hard time letting go of my argumentative and aggressive ways. I pray everyday for patience. I love the example of a man who was flawed but kept trying to be better in Christ’s name.

  71. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    February 18, 2021 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Shout out to our Dauntless Superstar Writers for the collects they have composed, which are always worth reading with care. I especially like the wry subtext in Neva Rae’s, averring that the church [is] “being delivered from false apostles.” Is the church even now BEING delivered from false apostles? or is it BEING THAT the church HAS BEEN delivered from false apostles? And is that a metaphor for our entire cultural and political system? The suspense! The multivalent possibilities for meaning which we can debate and discuss for forty days! This will be a theologically and doctrinally surcharged–and socially distanced–ride to Canterbury this year through sleet and snow and with well sanitized reins in our hands. Ride on, good pilgrims!

  72. Anita Martin's Gravatar Anita Martin
    February 18, 2021 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    I voted for Camillus since he is the patron saint of Nurses and hence I voted for him.

  73. Peg Nelson's Gravatar Peg Nelson
    February 18, 2021 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    There is something to be said for being in the right place at the right time and after
    20 years living in Wyoming…Matthias got my vote!

  74. Shirley's Gravatar Shirley
    February 18, 2021 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Being in recovery, I had to vote for Matthias!

  75. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 18, 2021 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Lent Madness is the best kind of madness, unlike the pandemic madness we are all going through.
    Camillus for me in honor of all healthcare workers from which I am (thankfully) retired.

  76. Dave Ingram's Gravatar Dave Ingram
    February 18, 2021 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    2021 is the year of the Healer! Vote accordingly.

  77. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    February 18, 2021 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    I come from a long line of nurses and other medical professionals, with more than a few military types thrown in, and even a gambler or two, so Camillus was the obvious choice for me. Moreover, the radical transformation that his perseverance in faith wrought in this man is compelling.

  78. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 18, 2021 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    Welcome Lent Madness 2021! Matthias for me.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      February 18, 2021 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Lent Madness 2021 YEAY! Camillus for me.

  79. Richard Kurzmann's Gravatar Richard Kurzmann
    February 18, 2021 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    As an impartial jurist in this impeachment, I mean match up, I must go by the evidence presented. The paucity of evidenced for Matthias sadly leaves me with only one choice and that is to vote for Camillus de Lilles. Besides his name is more melodic.

  80. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    February 18, 2021 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    What a joy to have Lent Madness back, and, true to form, starting with such a difficult choice. Having always had a soft spot for Matthias I regret not voting for him. In a year in which so many health care workers have risked their own lives in caring for others I vote for Camillis with great thanksgiving for all who find their vocation in medicine.

  81. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    February 18, 2021 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    First ever CPE experience?!

    “The leg wound continued to plague Camillus, so he went back to the same hospital for treatment, working in exchange for a place to live. He eventually became the hospital’s superintendent while growing in his faith through spiritual direction, confession, and prayer.”

  82. Lora church's Gravatar Lora church
    February 18, 2021 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    It’s Matthias for this one!!!!!! He can do it!!!

  83. Leslie Kintner's Gravatar Leslie Kintner
    February 18, 2021 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you “Lent Madness” for returning. I love learning about the saints! My church decided not to participate in lent madness this year but, that doesn’t stop me. I love it.

  84. Susan Gage's Gravatar Susan Gage
    February 18, 2021 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Camillus: what a storied life! Can only imagine what kitsch might be out there should he make it to the Elate Eight.

  85. Victoria Madsen's Gravatar Victoria Madsen
    February 18, 2021 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    Pandemic rages on we need Camillus.

  86. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    February 18, 2021 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    St Camillus holds a special place in my heart.
    One of my 1st nursing assignments was St Camillus Hall, a med-sug Hall in a Baltimore Hospital. Before that, I’d never heard of him!

  87. LA's Gravatar LA
    February 18, 2021 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    Right out of the gate and already struggling to choose. I thought for sure I’d be voting for Matthias since that’s the name of the husband of one of my dearest friends plus I tend towards folks whose stories we don’t seem to know as well and underdogs. Seeing how popular Camillus appears based on comments here had me going back to Matthias even more…

    BUT! The tears rolled as I read about Camillus and, as happens here in Lent Madness, I found myself connecting with a hitherto unknown saint. Perhaps because of my own struggles with chronic illness and not being helped and relentlessly ongoing symptoms… but I also know the tipping point was that I happened to receive an update email from Cure, Intl this morning concerning a young lady whose procedure I’d helped with when I was able to give regularly. Long story short, it was nice to be able to give a little towards helping heal things that can be fixed (even when mine can’t really)… So Camillus won me over today.

  88. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    February 18, 2021 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    If Matthias can help with smallpox, maybe he can help with covid! #teammatthias

  89. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    February 18, 2021 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Great first round!

  90. Celeste's Gravatar Celeste
    February 18, 2021 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    Camillus is so CV Time. We can resonate with his care of others and his “stick-t0-iveness!”

  91. Kevin Johnson's Gravatar Kevin Johnson
    February 18, 2021 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Need I say more; there is hope for all of us: “He still occasionally gambled and brawled, as old habits die hard. But he was also committed to a life of love and service….”

  92. February 18, 2021 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    There are a series of books published in the late 80s written by Brian Jaques (sp?) called “Redwall”
    about a monastic community of mice. I read all the books to my sons (who still remember them). “Redwall” is going to be made into a move and one of the mouse monks IS Matthias. This is why I must cast my vote for Matthias!

    • Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
      February 18, 2021 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for reminding me of Red Wall and Matthias, that mighty mouse! I read it to my boys too. A savored memory! #teammatthias

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      February 18, 2021 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Jane Anne, I love the Redwall books! I voted for Mathias before I read your comment but now I am extra pleased with my choice thanks to you.

  93. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    February 18, 2021 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Oh, and the Opening Ceremonies video was awesome!

  94. Amy L's Gravatar Amy L
    February 18, 2021 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    My mother’s maiden name was Matthias, and I was born in Gary, Indiana. So the signs pointed me to vote for Matthias, although at this point in the day it looks like the other guy will get the nod
    Hello, to all my fellow members of the great cloud of witnesses! I have missed you since last Easter.

  95. C. Brent Hoy-Bianchi's Gravatar C. Brent Hoy-Bianchi
    February 18, 2021 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m a hospital chaplain and live in Reno, Nevada. I have to vote for Camillus (ya know, hospitals and gambling).

  96. Lesley Lancaster's Gravatar Lesley Lancaster
    February 18, 2021 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this choice. I only knew Matthias by name and had never heard of Camillus. The Red Cross has done incredible work for ages and my mother was a nurse so I vote for Camillus. Anyone who can overcome the demon of addiction and turn his life around to helping others should be a beacon to all addicts today.

  97. Ralph's Gravatar Ralph
    February 18, 2021 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for your heart-felt comments
    I think it was Aramaic scholar George Lamsa who wrote that ‘casting lots’ meant ‘they voted.’

  98. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    February 18, 2021 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, if Camillus proceeds through the brackets (in which some will place their wagers) he will assist us in Michigan to dissapate the blizzard of ads for online gambling since it has become legal at the beginning of this year.

  99. Dawn Upham's Gravatar Dawn Upham
    February 18, 2021 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I had to vote for Camillus–for he was truly human. His story of conversion, relapse and repentance (multiple times) not only inspires me but also makes me think of the people with whom he served. What did they see in him that allowed them to forgive and welcome him back like the Prodigal Son? He must have been a truly remarkable person.

  100. Cap'n Black the Pirate's Gravatar Cap'n Black the Pirate
    February 18, 2021 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Ach, the Madnesss returns! All votes are for winners, no matter the mate! Shiver me timbers, which way to go? ….but I had a Matthias in me crew once… so

  101. Carole Seeley's Gravatar Carole Seeley
    February 18, 2021 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Len Madness has been a go-to “must” for me for lots of years, and I’m glad to be back one more time. I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up (at age 55) and returned to college after dropping out in 1962. I completed my BS and MEd while working fulltime and graduated with my degree in counseling at age 62. I moved to Eugene in 2005 and started work as a gambling addictions counselor. It’s the hardest addiction of all because, unlike addiction to drugs or alcohol, be there are no physical limitations to stop one from spending nonstop days gambling, until he or she has lost everything. Heartbreaking work. Camillus was a no-brainer for me, being the patron saint of gambling addicts!

    • February 18, 2021 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

      It sounds like you’ve found a rewarding career. Perhaps it means more to you after doing something else for so long. Thanks for the wonderful work you do. We’re all broken, hoping someone will help us pick up the pieces. God bless!

  102. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    February 18, 2021 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness! A brawler, gambler, with an argumentative nature was fine with me, until the Red Cross. I’ve had a decades long issue with the Red Cross. First, was the head honcho’s six figure salary. Then their decision to keep funds dedicated for the families who lost first responders on 9-11. That may have been righted, but who knows? Then there was the awful response to the New Orleans hurricane. A family who lost everything fled to Charlotte to family members just a couple blocks from the Baptist church I was working for. Of a hundred issues I had with the way Red Cross handled that, the one that finished me off was that family waited hours and hours in line for food. They got ONE hotdog. Of course the whole family came for Weds. dinners with the Baptists. AND they kept them in ice. Catholic and Lutheran churches were our neighbors. They wouldn’t even let them sleep in their airconditioned foyer. One member of the Baptist church helped those families on her own. Well then, what’s his name–Matthias–patron saint of Alcoholics. My retired priest husband has 36 years with the help of AA. I too, give thanks for all the people out there helping victims of Covid-19. It’s a huge relief to have you back Lent Madness!

    • Helena Mbele-Mbong's Gravatar Helena Mbele-Mbong
      February 18, 2021 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Don’t confuse the Camillian red cross with the International Red Cross – which has a very different history and role in the world today.

  103. Robyn Coffey's Gravatar Robyn Coffey
    February 18, 2021 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad Lent Madness is back. You truly make my Lent lively…learning new things every year about saints i am familiar with and those i’m not. I love the poems, songs, kiddos who tell us why they voted the way they did and all of it. Thank you Tim & Scott!! Y’all rock!! This frozen morning i voted for Matthias…just because!

  104. Janet Kawamoto's Gravatar Janet Kawamoto
    February 18, 2021 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

    OK, Neva, now that song is stuck in my head. (“Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, let me say it once again …”)

  105. JoJo's Gravatar JoJo
    February 18, 2021 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Let the Lent Madness begin. GO SAINTS!!
    First I voted for Camillus 19 the saint for COVID times. Hospitals, nurses, doctors need the patronage & support.
    Poor Matthias – most of his namesakes get called Matt & confused w/Matthew.
    I didn’t know about his travels & ministry, he was busier than I thought.

  106. Rhee Howard's Gravatar Rhee Howard
    February 18, 2021 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    After participating in Lent Madness for several years now, I have noticed that more recent saints tend to win more often, seemingly because there is more information available about their lives. For me, the fact that someone’s memory has been preserved for thousands of years needs to be taken seriously.
    Matthias was one of Jesus’s disciples from the beginning of his public ministry, through his public execution, resurrection, and ascension. That must have taken a lot of courage. Matthias must have known Jesus well. Then he took the gospel all the way to Turkey and the Caspian Sea. I’m voting for Matthias.

  107. douglas bennett rogers's Gravatar douglas bennett rogers
    February 18, 2021 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I chose Camillus because he had the greater turn around.

  108. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    February 18, 2021 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I was all set to vote for Matthias (Biblical lover that I am) I had never heard of Camillus. Voted for Camillus in honor of all the front-line workers in hospitals during this Covid crisis.

  109. Gina's Gravatar Gina
    February 18, 2021 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Camillus not only because of his wonderful story but
    also because, well, I LIVE near Camillus, NY!

  110. Beverly Duncan's Gravatar Beverly Duncan
    February 18, 2021 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Three cheers and a tiddley pom! Lent Madness is at last back again. The only thing to be said in favor of the pandemic, with its own brand of madness, is that it took our minds off the lack of daily Lent Madness!!

  111. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    February 18, 2021 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I had never heard of Camillus (except for the town in central NY, since I grew up nearby!) but I found his story very compelling, and gave him my vote. Bless all those who give aid and solace to the infirm!

  112. Christine CO's Gravatar Christine CO
    February 18, 2021 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

    In this time of plague, I felt I had to vote for the (a?) patron saint of nurses and doctors. However, while his order may be the first instance of a healing group wearing a red cross, the Red Cross of the international organization was chosen by taking the reverse of the Swiss flag (the organization was formed in Switzerland), a white cross (with equilateral arms) on a red background.

  113. Dave Sansone's Gravatar Dave Sansone
    February 18, 2021 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    My money is on Camillus. What would he think the odds are on him winning it all? Plus he’s Italian.

  114. February 18, 2021 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I just had to vote for Camillus! He made a dramatic change in his life, going from what sounds like a real rascal to a servant of God who helps many!

  115. Deborah VA's Gravatar Deborah VA
    February 18, 2021 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for the patro saint of alcoholics. Prayers sorely needed for many today.

  116. Ruth Anne Hill's Gravatar Ruth Anne Hill
    February 18, 2021 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    With almost a half of million deaths in the U.S. alone, and with millions sick from COVID 19, the only choice for Saint of the Year has got to be Camillus de Lellis. If the countless number of nurses who work long hours, are isolated from their families when they finally get to go home, who have to re-use PPE or go without adequate protection, and, finally, are often the stand-in family members at a patients bedside as the patient breathes his/her last breath aren’t heaven sent, who is? Camillus definitely owns the 2021 Golden Halo.

  117. Gall Adams's Gravatar Gall Adams
    February 18, 2021 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I had to go with Camillus, as he reminds me of one of my favorite saints – Moses the Black. They both turned from a life of crime, and showed us how to think rightly.

  118. Sarah P's Gravatar Sarah P
    February 18, 2021 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Great candidates to start the Madness! But as I have lived in Wyoming, taught in Powell, have family for three generations in Montana, AND have alcoholism in the family, I had to vote for Matthias—whose awkward place in the apostolic team is impressive.

  119. Mary Ellen Elliott's Gravatar Mary Ellen Elliott
    February 18, 2021 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Camillus, because there really isn’t as much information about Matthias.

  120. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    February 18, 2021 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    In L’field, KY we have a St Camillus Urgent Care. It has a picture of Camillus with his red cross on his cassock. I have always wondered but failed to look up his story. Had to vote for the first Red Cross!

  121. Michael Shea's Gravatar Michael Shea
    February 18, 2021 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Serves me right for not paying more attention to Camillus. I knee-jerked to Matthias.

  122. Gail Wheatley's Gravatar Gail Wheatley
    February 18, 2021 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Montana?? I wonder what that patronage is about.

    • Gail's Gravatar Gail
      February 18, 2021 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Had to look it up. He is the patron saint of the Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in Montana; not the entire state. Being from MT that seemed way too weird…

  123. Kim Morse's Gravatar Kim Morse
    February 18, 2021 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I had to go with Camillus as the world is now, but good to know that Matthias has to take care of all of Montana all by himself. I am sure he can handle the assignment. Wonder if the ax comes in handy?

  124. Linda McGee's Gravatar Linda McGee
    February 18, 2021 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Camillus. I laughed when I read that he was ousted from the hospital because he was argumentative. My husband was in the hospital for 19 days in February 1998. Any time a nurse did something to him (insert an iv, etc.), he would ask “Do you know what you are doing?”.

    • Tamsen Whistler's Gravatar Tamsen Whistler
      February 18, 2021 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I was ordained an Episcopal priest 36 years ago on Feb 24. As Feb 24 was a Sunday that year, my ordination certificate says, “The Eve of the Feast of St. Matthias,” all squished into a small space. The sermon at my ordination, preached by the late Carl Gerdau, noted that St. Matthias had had no seminary valuations, no General Ordination Examination, and no Commission on Ministry to make sure of his fitness to be an apostle. The second thing he noted was that once the lot falls to Matthias and he is added to the eleven remaining apostles, biblically, he’s never heard from again. So, Matthias was a faithful follower of Jesus for Jesus’ sake, not his own. Obviously, I cast my vote for St. Matthias.

  125. Helena Mbele-Mbong's Gravatar Helena Mbele-Mbong
    February 18, 2021 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    This one, my first time, was easy. Our good friend, Father Bernard Kinvi is a Camillian and one of the few people closest to a living saint I know. From Togo, he headed the mission hospital in Bossemptélé, Central African Republic, for years. He arrived in relative calm but was soon in the midst of horrific violence between members of the Séleka coalition of rebel groups and opposing “Anti-balaka” militias which had formed in reaction to the rebel attacks. He determined to remain, making the hospital/school/church compound a safe haven and caring for any and all, without regard to who they were. As a result of his efforts over 1400 Muslim lives were saved, and countless injured cared for. For this he received an award from Human Rights Watch. He is also one of the most humble men I have ever met. His experience is recounted in the book “Mission” by Père Bernard Kinvi with Tigrane Yegavian which, unfortunately has not yet been translated into English. It is well worth reading.

  126. Edwin Cox's Gravatar Edwin Cox
    February 18, 2021 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    My wife was a Nurse for many years.
    Perseverance: Sick in the hospital to become its head.
    And of course, Don Camillo was a favorite.

  127. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    February 18, 2021 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Well I work in a hospital and have seen more than my share of belligerent patients! During this pandemic how can I NOT vote for the patron saint of hospitals?

  128. Russell Pollard's Gravatar Russell Pollard
    February 18, 2021 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

    The Order of St. Camillus is an order of health care workers! Need more be said.

  129. Tamsen Whistler's Gravatar Tamsen Whistler
    February 18, 2021 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I was ordained an Episcopal priest 36 years ago on Feb 24. As Feb 24 was a Sunday that year, my ordination certificate says, “The Eve of the Feast of St. Matthias,” all squished into a small space. The sermon at my ordination, preached by the late Carl Gerdau, noted that St. Matthias had had no seminary valuations, no General Ordination Examination, and no Commission on Ministry to make sure of his fitness to be an apostle. The second thing he noted was that once the lot falls to Matthias and he is added to the eleven remaining apostles, biblically, he’s never heard from again. So, Matthias was a faithful follower of Jesus for Jesus’ sake, not his own. Obviously, I cast my vote for St. Matthias.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 18, 2021 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

      Happy anniversary. St. Betto’s feast day is Feb. 24.

  130. Shelley's Gravatar Shelley
    February 18, 2021 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for Camillus. St. Camillus is a great multi-cultural church in Silver Spring, MD.

  131. February 18, 2021 - 4:39 pm | Permalink

    So while I didn’t vote for Matthias in 2021 Lent Madness, I did find the prayer in his regard to be shareable, applicable, and necessary.

    “Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

  132. Carl Fuglein's Gravatar Carl Fuglein
    February 18, 2021 - 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I am generally a supporter of the underdog. I voted for Matthias. I figure that anyone that is the patron Saint of Gary Indiana needs all the help he can get.

  133. Elaine Hixson's Gravatar Elaine Hixson
    February 18, 2021 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Going with one of the original evangelists.

  134. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    February 18, 2021 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Years of working in labs & hospitals caused me to vote for Camillus. Processing specimens taught me a lot about infection control, which has served me well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  135. Marie's Gravatar Marie
    February 18, 2021 - 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Camillus sounds like quite the character. It got me thinking that the writers have to write about their saints as if they will make it through all of the rounds but if someone gets the axe early, we miss out on the additional info and the writer has researched and written without the opportunity to share. Is it possible, when the season is done that the additional information could be posted somewhere?

  136. Mary Larson's Gravatar Mary Larson
    February 18, 2021 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

    We’re newbies……but having so much fun!

  137. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    February 18, 2021 - 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Hard decision already! Although voting for the patron saint of alcoholics would seem like a no brainer for me as a person in recovery, Camillus seemed like “on of us” with his gambling issues. Never give up seeking God no matter the obstacles!

  138. Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
    February 18, 2021 - 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Being from nowhere near either one, I was enchanted with the patronage of Gary, Indiana (there’s a song in that name…) and Montana—actually laughed out loud! But Matthias is my guy for the sake of my son and the preschool he attended years ago at the Toccoa, Georgia, church of that name, which he charmingly mispronounced as “St. Gaffias.” It’s a done deal, though, by the time I got to vote, so good luck to Camillus. It’s nice to meet him.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 19, 2021 - 12:08 am | Permalink

  139. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    February 18, 2021 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    A faithful follower of Jesus from the beginning to the end and beyond, Matthias persevered though excluded from the inner circle. When finally chosen to join it, he willingly took up the burden of discipleship at great risk to his own life. What more need we know about him?

    With all respect to Camillus’s colorful story, it is surpassed by Matthias’s courageous discipleship.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 18, 2021 - 11:55 pm | Permalink

      Great minds think alike . . . so good to see you again, Davis.

  140. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    February 18, 2021 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Camillus. Because nobody is beyond redemption. I always favor those who have been redeemed.

  141. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    February 18, 2021 - 9:07 pm | Permalink

    A faithful follower of Jesus from the beginning to the end and beyond, Matthias persevered though excluded from the inner circle. When finally chosen to join it, he willingly took up the burden of discipleship at great risk to his own life. What more need we know about him than that?

    With all respect to Camillus’s colorful story, it is surpassed by Matthias’s courageous discipleship.

    • Zachary and Monica Irwin's Gravatar Zachary and Monica Irwin
      February 19, 2021 - 1:25 pm | Permalink

      GREAT FUN…even remarkably educational! Thank You.

  142. Kim Gray's Gravatar Kim Gray
    February 18, 2021 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Gray Household Voting
    T (the dad) – Okay, so who are we going to vote for, Matthias or Red Cross Dude?
    A4 (age 9) – Red Cross Dude!!!

  143. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    February 18, 2021 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    As a member of a reenacting troupe of Renaissance German mercenary soldiers, I immediately loved Camillus. He’s just like the characters several of our people play – soldier of fortune, gambler, brawler, trouble-maker – yet look at what he did with his life! I’m delighted to “meet” him in the kickoff to another spectacular session of Lent Madness.

  144. Eleni Barber's Gravatar Eleni Barber
    February 18, 2021 - 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I changed my vote in the voting booth. Camillus is certainly compelling and want to look more into his life to understand how to be firm in trust in God to care for others,even at risk to your own life– a vow his followers take. Matthias life is so ancient that less is known about him. What a life to be with Jesus Christ in the 70 and even witnessed the Baptism. The Apostles are are first Saints.

  145. Debbie Buckalew's Gravatar Debbie Buckalew
    February 18, 2021 - 10:47 pm | Permalink

    After watching my mother fill out her brackets for so many years, I am finally joining in! I am a sucker for an underdog story and those who make big changes and work hard to become better people!

  146. Amy Cliffe's Gravatar Amy Cliffe
    February 18, 2021 - 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Camillus. Such a compelling life story – gambler, brawler, yet persevered through illness, failure and rejection to become the superintendent of a hospital and recruit others to help the sick. Not an easy thing.

  147. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    February 18, 2021 - 11:05 pm | Permalink

    St. Matthias. Hope, perseverance, and Montana.

  148. Norab's Gravatar Norab
    February 18, 2021 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

    As a doctor, has to be Camille’s. L
    Eat the games begin!

  149. February 18, 2021 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

    The detail that Matthias brought the gospel to Cappadocia, that birthed such important theologians in the early church, swayed me strongly. But in this time of pandemic, I too had to go with Camillus, whose order vowed to serve the sick even at the risk of their own lives. St Camillus, pray for us!

    And a hearty welcome to all the Lent Madness first timers – I’m glad you’re here!

  150. Stephen Moore's Gravatar Stephen Moore
    February 19, 2021 - 1:24 am | Permalink

    Matthias has always had a place in my heart. I wish I could have looked into the corporeal eyes of Christ. Such a blessing rings through eternity! I guess I’ll have to wait my turn. Though the pandemic drew me toward Camillus (which the current pandemic has favored in the brackets), I voted for Matthias.

    If I’m allowed my thoughts above in a limerick:

    When comparing Camillus, who diced,
    And Matthias, who gazed upon Christ,
    Though Camillus was pious,
    My vote’s for Matthias,
    Who to the Lord’s eyes was enticed.

  151. Scot Guempel's Gravatar Scot Guempel
    February 19, 2021 - 7:59 am | Permalink

    I voted for Matthias. I figured he was chosen to be the replacement for Judas. In essence he was the 13th Apostle, the first one off the bench to come in and keep the movement going. No pressure there! Since the movement of the early Christians was against the law, being an Apostle was certainly a death sentence (I believe all were martyred except John, although he escaped a potentially horrific death). Spreading the word and teaching in those days was extremely dangerous. He gets my vote.

  152. Rita's Gravatar Rita
    February 19, 2021 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Voted f0r Camillus

  153. Jane N's Gravatar Jane N
    February 19, 2021 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    100% recognized Camillus story. A military brat who joined the family business. Broken & tossed off, too bad. PTSD or TBI? Seems pretty likely to me. He had outbursts of explosive aggression & gambling. He hustled together a gig to put a roof over his head and was found his purpose in service. From a discarded broken man, by grace came a transformed leader. I’m a member of veteran resource clearing house. I was a soldier in med hold. I’ve met him on the way down & on the way up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him every so often on Saturday night talking a little belligerent in the casino parking lot. What a great saint, he should also be Patron of the VA

  154. Evelyn Smith's Gravatar Evelyn Smith
    February 19, 2021 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    I was married in 1978 at St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Clermont, Florida then traveled to Wisconsin so that Dan could start seminary. We’re still married and going strong in our love for one another and ministry in the church.
    Just like Matthias sometimes God calls us at unexpected times to do His work! Enough said about this round! Vote for St. Matthias.

  155. MARY ROSA's Gravatar MARY ROSA
    February 19, 2021 - 11:40 am | Permalink


  156. Betsy A. Leonard's Gravatar Betsy A. Leonard
    February 21, 2021 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    My vote goes to Camillus because his humanness comes through as he wrestles with gambling and chorusing. He represents hope for those lost in addiction. What better saint to honor during this pandemic than one who treated the sick? It sounds like he spent his life in repentance. He has been touched by God.

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