Joan of Arc vs. Catherine Booth

Welcome to the highly anticipated matchup between the Wednesday Warrior Women! Today Joan of Arc, the young soldier/saint, faces Catherine Booth, preacher and driving force behind the formation of the Salvation Army. See…warriors.

Yesterday, in a hotly contested matchup — the closest battle so far this year — Melangell held Hermione at bay 52% to 48% to advance to the next round. This marks the first time a Saintly Sixteen battle has been finalized as Melangell will square off against Camillus de Lellis.

Please also note that at about 8:30 pm EST, the Lent Madness Voter Security Unit noticed 389 bogus votes for Hermione. These votes were removed, and the suspect addresses were blocked. This is a reminder. Do not cheat. Vote once. Get your neighbors to vote. But don’t vote several times, lest you be cast into the outer darkness of Lent Madness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Rest assured that those who perpetrate voter fraud in Lent Madness will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law of Moses.

Joan of Arc
Jeanne la Pucelle was born in 1412 in France, in the midst of the Hundred Years’ War between England and its allies and France. When she was about thirteen years old, Joan began to have visions of saints that were so beautiful she said she wept after experiencing them. Over the years, these heavenly messengers shared with her the mission to help Charles of Valois (the king-inwaiting) claim the French throne. As a covenant of this mission from God, Joan took a vow of chastity. Her father promptly arranged a marriage for her, while Joan asserted she should remain unmarried.

As the visions continued, Joan argued with the heavenly messengers, saying she was only a poor girl who could neither ride nor fight. Saint Michael replied, “It is God who commands it.” Joan went again to meet the French leaders. During this trip, Joan began to dress in clothing traditionally worn by male soldiers. Whether this was a choice by Joan or a protective measure as her party traveled through hostile territory remains unknown, but her clothing choice would later be among the charges of heresy and witchcraft.

Joan’s message to Charles infused the war with a religious fervor, with France fighting on the side of God. Charles’s advisors investigated Joan’s faith and reported that she was a good Christian with virtues of humility, honesty, and simplicity. Court theologians suggested Charles put Joan to the test and see if she could, indeed, lead the French army to a divinely inspired victory at Orleans. In March 1429, Joan wore white armor, rode a white horse, and led French troops into battle in Orleans. France was victorious.

The French gained several victories under Joan’s leadership, but she was captured in 1430. The English put her on trial, claiming she was a heretic and witch. King Charles, seeking to save his power, distanced himself from Joan. After the trial, Joan was burned to death at the stake on May 30, 1431.

Her fame and inspiring leadership, however, continued to grow, and twenty years later, the same Charles who did nothing to save her life ordered a new trial to clear her name. On May 16, 1920, Saint Joan of Arc was canonized.

Collect for Joan of Arc
Holy God, whose power is made perfect in weakness: we honor you for the calling of Jeanne d’Arc, who, though young, rose up in valor to bear your standard for her country, and endured with grace and fortitude both victory and defeat; and we pray that we, like Jeanne, may bear witness to the truth that is in us to friends and enemies alike, and encouraged by the companionship of your saints, give ourselves bravely to the struggle for justice in our time; through Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

—Laurie Brock


Catherine Booth
The middle of the nineteenth century did not provide, by any stretch of the imagination, a fertile environment for the work of women in preaching and church leadership. Yet despite this hostile environment, Catherine Booth blazed a trail for others to follow in her role as the “Mother of the Salvation Army.”

Born in 1829 to Methodist parents in Derbyshire, England, Catherine presented from a young age a deep aptitude for leadership in the church. By age twelve, she was said to have read the Bible through—eight times. In the midst of a controversy in English Methodism in 1850, she refused to condemn a group of Methodist Reformers and was expelled with others from the larger body of English Methodists. Among this group of reformists was William Booth, who would become her husband.

The Booths became active in the work of a church in West Yorkshire. During this period, she wrote a pamphlet Female Ministry: Women’s Right to Preach the Gospel. She argued three primary points: first, that women are not inferior to men; second, that no scriptural authority exists to deny women public ministry; and that the action of the Holy Spirit had blessed and sanctified this ministry, in line with what we read in the Bible. She was eloquent, compelling, and ferocious in her defense of the right of women to preach the gospel. Her arguments won many converts—including her husband, who initially opposed her efforts.

She soon became a key partner in the ministry of The Christian Mission with her husband in London’s East End. William preached to the poor; Catherine spoke to the wealthy and gained their support for their ministry. She organized the Mission’s Food for the Million shops, where the poor could buy inexpensive meals throughout the year and oversaw Christmas distributions of meals to the needy.

In 1878, The Christian Mission became The Salvation Army. William Booth became known as the “General” and Catherine Booth as the “Mother of the Salvation Army.” She played a key role in the organization, from helping refine its beliefs to the design of the uniforms. Catherine Booth was a pioneer and a trailblazer for the public preaching and teaching ministry of women, a fact that seems all the more remarkable at the height of the Victorian age.

Collect for Catherine Booth
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Catherine, whom you called to preach the Gospel. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

—David Sibley


Joan of Arc vs. Catherine Booth

  • Catherine Booth (63%, 5,125 Votes)
  • Joan of Arc (37%, 3,002 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,127

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Joan of Arc: Archives nationales / Public domain
Catherine Booth: Unknown author / Public domain

200 Comments to "Joan of Arc vs. Catherine Booth"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    February 24, 2021 - 8:00 am | Permalink

    For her time Catherine’s view was unique:
    She thought women were entitled to speak.
    Her command of the Word
    Called the thousands who heard
    To support both the poor and the weak.

    • Josh Nixon's Gravatar Josh Nixon
      February 24, 2021 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      Joan of Arc was not quite acquiescent
      When her dreams about war became prescient:
      She argued with angels
      And with spirits wrangled–
      Although she was an adolescent.

      • Amy Carr's Gravatar Amy Carr
        February 24, 2021 - 11:18 am | Permalink

        Love this!

    • Marie's Gravatar Marie
      February 24, 2021 - 9:23 am | Permalink


      • Kathleen Richards's Gravatar Kathleen Richards
        February 24, 2021 - 11:04 am | Permalink

        Since I took Joan as my confirmation name, my vote had to go to her, although I’m sure that Catherine will be today’s winner.

        • Louise's Gravatar Louise
          February 24, 2021 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Kathleen I voted for Joan for the same reason!

          When I was young, I chose her because in my mind she was an exciting saint!

    • Frank Hubbard's Gravatar Frank Hubbard
      February 24, 2021 - 10:01 am | Permalink

      Preach it, Catherine! 50 years ago I briefly served in a soup kitchen in the East End of London — during the daytime, because our school chaplain said it was too dangerous for us after dark! Imagine what it was like for her 150 years ago — she was not deterred. And the EastEnd is the neighborhood portrayed in the marvelous TV series “Call the Midwife.” Let’s hear it for wonderfully assertive women who make a difference in the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

    • Kim Dougherty's Gravatar Kim Dougherty
      February 24, 2021 - 11:52 am | Permalink

      John Cabot – your piems seem to pop magically and speedily from your head and heart. How do you respond so quickly to the Saints’ postings? I am in awe.

      I love your poem for Catherine. She particularly inspired me. Thank you.

      • Kim Dougherty's Gravatar Kim Dougherty
        February 24, 2021 - 11:54 am | Permalink

        Sorry – your POEMS, not piems!

        • Judy Artley's Gravatar Judy Artley
          February 24, 2021 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

          Pious + Poems = PIEMS

    • Rob Kinsey's Gravatar Rob Kinsey
      February 24, 2021 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Very nice!

  2. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    February 24, 2021 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Let’s go I hope that Catherine wins because she’s so much more swaggy

    • Kristenza Hatch's Gravatar Kristenza Hatch
      February 24, 2021 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      Good reason, even tho my vote went to Joan… but think about it, Campfire Girls mints for Joan?

      • Sue Underwood's Gravatar Sue Underwood
        February 24, 2021 - 10:44 am | Permalink

        Sorry I don’t understand your reference to the Camp Fire mints. Please explain.

        • Marsha L Loyer's Gravatar Marsha L Loyer
          February 24, 2021 - 11:36 am | Permalink

          Not my comment but I took it as a joke on being burned at the stake.

  3. Catherine fan's Gravatar Catherine fan
    February 24, 2021 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Let’s go vote for Catherine the will be a landslide

    February 24, 2021 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Tough choice. My middle name is Joan, but some of my ancestors belonged to the Salvation Army.

  5. Deborah Kaufman's Gravatar Deborah Kaufman
    February 24, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    All-in for Joan of Arc. Check out the song, Joan of Arc – Jennifer Warnes & Leonard Cohen — here’s the Link: — a conversation between Joan of Arc and the fire.

    • Richard Pulley, III's Gravatar Richard Pulley, III
      February 24, 2021 - 8:50 am | Permalink

      Thank you for sharing the YouTube link! We were presented two tough choices today, but the song, “Joan of Arc,” has inspired me on a day when I shall meet with our church’s social justice ministry team.

    • February 24, 2021 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      Yes, attitude of Gratitude!
      . and Leonard Cohen writes a love story from martyrdom.

    • JoJo's Gravatar JoJo
      February 24, 2021 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      Good video for Lent. Beautiful song and storytelling of her last vision til the end. Thanks for the link. Anyone who watches air will immediately cast vote for Joan.
      Sorry, Catherine no song for you, just those ringaling bells

      • Kate Cabot's Gravatar Kate Cabot
        February 24, 2021 - 10:02 am | Permalink

        I watched it and teared up a bit. Thank you for posting it, Deborah!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 24, 2021 - 10:11 am | Permalink

      That was lovely! Thank you!

    • Kendra Thomas's Gravatar Kendra Thomas
      February 24, 2021 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      Thank you Deborah for the song link!
      Anyone brave enough to give their life gets my vote. And to face so many situations without familiarity- such as leading men experienced in war, and if course, trial and death. Bless you, young Joan!

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      February 24, 2021 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this. I love this version with JW and LC – I first heard it on her Famous Blue Raincoat album but I had not seen this video until now. So moving and so beautifully done. Loved all the images. I saved it for further viewing! Thanks again.

    • Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
      February 24, 2021 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

      What a powerful song and video. Thank you for sharing the link.

    • Deborah Kaufman's Gravatar Deborah Kaufman
      February 24, 2021 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for all the kind words about the Joan of Arc song. It’s indeed powerful

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      February 25, 2021 - 1:26 am | Permalink

      That was a wonderful song. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Ann M Smith's Gravatar Ann M Smith
    February 24, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I thought I would end up voting for Joan of Arc, but then I read about Catherine Booth. Who knew?

    • February 24, 2021 - 8:24 am | Permalink

      I was also surprised and impressed by Catherine Booth’s story. As an ordained preacher, I must vote for my foremother!

    • Pam Turfa's Gravatar Pam Turfa
      February 24, 2021 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      Me, too.

  7. Allison's Gravatar Allison
    February 24, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I will always chose the child fiercely and faithfully following her call from God.

  8. Kate Cabot's Gravatar Kate Cabot
    February 24, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Saint Joan for me. Vive La France!

    • February 24, 2021 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      Oui, madame. Vive Ste. Jeanne!

    • TM's Gravatar TM
      February 24, 2021 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Oui, vive la Pucelle! The records of her trial are a true inspiration. As is Mark Twain’s take on her childhood call.

      • LTN's Gravatar LTN
        February 25, 2021 - 2:26 am | Permalink

        Yes, the Mark Twain biography is great. I read it fifty years ago and it stuck with me.

  9. David Pyke's Gravatar David Pyke
    February 24, 2021 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Well, a pox should befall the mad men who compiled this round of 32 matchup between two final four heavyweights. Was there no power seeding?! I love Joan, but had to vote for Mother Booth given my grandparents were Salvation Army officers. The Army is a model non-profit that delivers with unmatched efficiency. Poor Joan gets burned again.

    • Gillian's Gravatar Gillian
      February 24, 2021 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Here here! Very difficult decisions this year!

    • Claire Abraham's Gravatar Claire Abraham
      February 24, 2021 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree with this. Both this women would have trounced the two matchups we had yesterday. These are two of the strongest choices we’ve seen in the tournament so far.

    • Charles S. Cal Coolidge's Gravatar Charles S. Cal Coolidge
      February 26, 2021 - 5:52 am | Permalink

      I had noticed but your comment makes me all too keenly even painfully aware that there this comments thread is not equipped with the merest “thumbs up”, let alone a hearty laugh emoji!

      • Charles S. Cal Coolidge's Gravatar Charles S. Cal Coolidge
        February 26, 2021 - 5:56 am | Permalink

        . . . nor apparently can one go back and edit, to remove the odd extra word, say, such as a “there” when everybody knows that, as the poet said, “there is no there there”.

  10. J.J. of Cape Cod's Gravatar J.J. of Cape Cod
    February 24, 2021 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Without reading the bios I thought Joan of Arc of course. But learning Mother Booth’s story opened me up. What a gift! Her advocacy for women in ministry was brilliant and she helped to feed millions! Go Catherine!

    • Claire from Quincy MA's Gravatar Claire from Quincy MA
      February 24, 2021 - 8:41 am | Permalink


    • Rodney Dudley's Gravatar Rodney Dudley
      February 24, 2021 - 11:11 am | Permalink

      I love Joan of Arc and France and the songs, paintings, and mythology about her. I thought I’d vote for her for sure, but I’m going with Catherine Booth. I thought Charles unworthy of Joan’s efforts (even though he’s not the one being judged). Catherine’s work carries through the ages and has had ultimately more effect on the freedom of women to follow their hearts and their heads and to spread help and caring to the desperate and needy of the world. But it’s still a tough choice!

  11. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    February 24, 2021 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Joan d’Arc may or may not get the Golden Halo, but she already has a golden statue here in Portland where she keeps an eye on the cars passing around Coe Circle, near All Saints Parish and School.

    I appreciate the Salvation Army, but my vote today is with the French Army leader.

  12. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    February 24, 2021 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    I had to go with Joan. My undergrad college, which was originally a woman´s college, has several statues of her. I also chose her as my confirmation name. She did what she felt she was called by God to do and did not let gender norms stand in her way.

  13. Gillian's Gravatar Gillian
    February 24, 2021 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one. I’m invested in the story of Joan of Arc for what may seem a silly reason. Assassins Creed had a novel based off of Joan of Arc that followed her journey to become who she became. The presentation of that story without all the pomp and circumstance spoke to me.

    However! My mom and I read Lent Madness together every morning and when she got to the last paragraph of Catherine Booth, tears sprung to my eyes. Just for that, my vote goes to Catherine.

  14. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    February 24, 2021 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I went to bed last night expecting to vote for Joan, but this morning I was captivated by Catherine’s insistence on the right of women to preach. Joan stands in her own tradition as a belatedly canonized but freakish exception; Catherine stands in her and our tradition in a line that has led to the full exercise of ministry by women.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 24, 2021 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Very well articulated.

  15. Steve Shanks's Gravatar Steve Shanks
    February 24, 2021 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    yes, Catherine is amazing, but Jean D’Arc has long inspired me so she’s always a first choice for me

  16. Neva Rae Fox's Gravatar Neva Rae Fox
    February 24, 2021 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    I will never forget how quickly The Salvation Army responded to the people and the needs on 9.11.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      February 25, 2021 - 12:14 am | Permalink


  17. tully monster's Gravatar tully monster
    February 24, 2021 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I came in all ready to vote for Joan, given that the current Salvation Army holds some rather troubling positions, but having read Catherine Booth’s biography, as a good Christian feminist I think I need to take a little more time to reconsider. (I am not going to lay the SA’s current controversies at the feet of its founder, who was clearly focused on providing basic necessities for as many people as possible.)

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      February 24, 2021 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      Tully Monster, I’m with you. For me, the one who served the poor beats out the one who led armies. And you’re right that we mustn’t blame Catherine Booth for current Salvation Army policies.

      • Donna Jablecki's Gravatar Donna Jablecki
        February 24, 2021 - 11:31 am | Permalink

        I agree with you Katherine. Mrs Booth was an inspiration for all women

      • tully monster's Gravatar tully monster
        February 24, 2021 - 11:53 pm | Permalink

        Are you related to me? Because “Grimes” is my maiden name. Weird. OK, I am also voting for Catherine Booth, despite my soft spot for Joan.

  18. Kat M.'s Gravatar Kat M.
    February 24, 2021 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Joan of Arc – the university where I teach has three statues of Joan, affectionately referred to as “Joanie on the Stone-y,” “Joanie on the Pony,” and the most recent one, for which the nickname is still settling in, is sometimes referred to as “Joanie on Her Own-y.” She is a daily presence in our lives and a reminder that any one of us can make an impact through example or leadership.

  19. Linda Leong's Gravatar Linda Leong
    February 24, 2021 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Once upon a time, I was a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, so, of course, Catherine got my vote. I do admire Joan of Arc, however. Strong women, both.

    • Art Torpy's Gravatar Art Torpy
      February 24, 2021 - 8:54 am | Permalink

      Catherine Booth’s efforts have had more enduring significance.

  20. leyton's Gravatar leyton
    February 24, 2021 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    yeah swords are cool

  21. Zoe Bradford's Gravatar Zoe Bradford
    February 24, 2021 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Joan was a brave young girl, who , like Mary, not only loved God , but accepted His “unbelievable” instructions. She was highly gifted and intelligent, and passionate about saving her country which was being ravished by the English. As history’s youngest leader of an army, she insisted on holy communion for all her men before battle, and cried and prayed on the battlefields over the dead on both sides. In a political move , once she was captured she was handed over to the church she so
    loved , and was condemned to death. Legend tells of a dove which flew from her breast as she was burned at the stake. Please consider a vote for Jeanne de Arc- a true saint.

  22. February 24, 2021 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Catharine.Booth gets my vote. Amazingly, my children’s father was named William Booth whom the family claimed as father of the Salvation Army. Now I learn about Catharine! I feel she deserves long overdue credit, at least from my family.

  23. Sharon Lunden's Gravatar Sharon Lunden
    February 24, 2021 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Though I voted for Catherine (I like practical work), Joan is a fascinating person. If you enjoy arty movies, I highly recommend The Passion of Joan of Arc, a 1928 silent film. Be sure to watch the version that is accompanied by Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, which was inspired by the film. a magnificent piece of music in its own right.

  24. P Wren's Gravatar P Wren
    February 24, 2021 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Totally surprised to learn about origins of the Salvation army.
    Wonder what she would think about its changes over time??

  25. Carolyn Hartman's Gravatar Carolyn Hartman
    February 24, 2021 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Both Catherine and Joan are strong women, both challenging men’s roles in society. However, Joan chose war. Catherine chose peace that is still going strong today. Peace over war any day.

    • Belle's Gravatar Belle
      February 24, 2021 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Strongly agree!

  26. Betty's Gravatar Betty
    February 24, 2021 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Joan since my middle name is Jean, and she is my patron saint. Also I admire Catherine but today the Salvation Army is anti LGBTQ Folks so I cannot vote for Catherine.

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      February 24, 2021 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

      That thought has been on my mind too, however I figure if we rule out all persons who lived in previous centuries and whose beliefs reflected the times they lived in based on the fact that their thinking did not reflect present day values, we’d have a mighty short list of candidates.

      Now if the SEC tried to nominate a person in the present day who still held to those beliefs despite persuasive arguments for more inclusive thinking, that would certainly give me cause to vote against that person. However I don’t think that is the case — as far as I know one of the fundamental requirements for a saint is that the person be dead.

      Difficult choice today!

  27. Patricia Anne's Gravatar Patricia Anne
    February 24, 2021 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    I voted for Joan. She has been a favorite forever.

  28. Sister Janet's Gravatar Sister Janet
    February 24, 2021 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Hmmph. War. I don’t get the appeal. But a woman who stood up for women being just as capable as men of preaching, and also had a heart for the cast-offs of society; that’s my gal! thanks Catherine!

  29. Helen-Louise Boling's Gravatar Helen-Louise Boling
    February 24, 2021 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Would have to say that there are those in the military today who would still call females dating to put on the uniform “witches and heretics.” Think I will have to go with my sister in arms, Jeanne d’Arc

  30. Sarah B Caplan's Gravatar Sarah B Caplan
    February 24, 2021 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Honestly, this one wasn’t even a question for me. Joan of Arc all the way. Especially considering the Salvation Army’s troubling attitudes towards our LGBTQ+ family members.

  31. madameseñora's Gravatar madameseñora
    February 24, 2021 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    It’s always been Joan of Arc. She wasn’t “just” captured and put on trial by the English but also by the Burgundians and the Roman Catholic Church. Did you notice that she was not canonized until nearly 500 years after her execution? That was done explicitly by the church to deny her the sainthood she so richly deserved.

    • Sarah B Caplan's Gravatar Sarah B Caplan
      February 24, 2021 - 9:10 am | Permalink


  32. Gaen's Gravatar Gaen
    February 24, 2021 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    I am voting for Joan of Arc, who in our present context reminds me of someone like Greta Thunberg telling world leaders and telling all of us that we need to wake up to the climate crisis. Joan defied her status as a woman and as a peasant to do something that it seemed like could not be done. She is for me the rejected stone that becomes the cornerstone. The last become first. The men in power were corrupt, weak, divided, out for their own gain and glory (that’s my reading of this history). And France was in flames from the English invaders. How could it be possible that an illiterate peasant girl would be the one to defeat — at least initially — the invaders? But she listened to God and she did. Sometimes it’s the unlikeliest person who speaks truth to power and gets The Power to finally listen. Jesus tells the disciples constantly in the disciples that with God all things are possible. For me, Joan’s story bears witness to this truth.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 24, 2021 - 10:20 am | Permalink

      Greta! Yes—great comparison.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      February 24, 2021 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Gaen, your commentary on Joan of Arc is so beautiful, so compelling and so moving. I was going to vote for Joan anyway – yet another strong and courageous woman used and then abandoned (Charles was a coward) – even though I was pretty sure Catherine Booth would take the lead. Your thoughtful piece and the linking of Joan and Greta made me feel even better about my decision. Thank you so much!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 24, 2021 - 4:08 pm | Permalink

      There is a play about Joan of Arc’s mother, who was played by Glenn Close. The play is about having a daughter who is “strange but gifted.” The “Arc” family were peasants but not ignorant. Joan’s mother takes on the pope and argues before him that her daughter is not a heretic. I would very much like to see this play.

  33. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    February 24, 2021 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Joan of Arc is more famous with dramatic visions, and tragic end when she could no longer see or feel a vision and went into battle anyway. That is how I feel about some projects. I may fail but God will prevail. However I voted for Catherine whose rational perseverance is more relevant to my life.

  34. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    February 24, 2021 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    All honor to St. Joan, but she already has her saintly halo. Catherine’s arguments in favor of women’s right to preach, as well as her founding the Salvation Army, won my vote. She deserves a shot at the Golden Halo.

  35. Carla N's Gravatar Carla N
    February 24, 2021 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    CN in MN: Easy decision for me, regardless of Catherine’s spirited fervor-Salvation Army’s long standing checkered history with the LGBTQI+ community led me to vote for Joan!

    • Margaret Trezevant's Gravatar Margaret Trezevant
      February 24, 2021 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      I had that thought, too, but the Salvation Army of the 19th century was very different from the one now. Her focus was helping the poor and letting women lead that fight. That was good then and it’s good now. Too bad it morphed into something less noble.

  36. RoseAnn Evans's Gravatar RoseAnn Evans
    February 24, 2021 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Joan for two reasons: 1. Because fire; and 2. the Salvation Army maintains a strong anti-LGBTQA+ stance, and as a strong L, I can’t support that.

    • Zoe Bradford's Gravatar Zoe Bradford
      February 24, 2021 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      THANK YOU for reminding folks about the anti LGBTQ stance of the Salvation Army. If any one is in the fence- that may be a deciding factor.

    • Daisy's Gravatar Daisy
      February 24, 2021 - 9:46 am | Permalink

      And the Catholic Church, of which Joan of Arc was a part, does not?

      • Diane's Gravatar Diane
        February 24, 2021 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for saying this, The Catholic Church also doesn’t endorse women leaders. Would this eliminate any Catholic saints?

  37. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    February 24, 2021 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    I loved learning Catherine’s story, but while she was a trailblazer and due great honor, she was not entirely alone in her fight for women’s rights and care for the poor. Joan had none but God on her side, and still she was unwavering in her faith. She truly inspires me and gets my vote.

  38. Susan Gage's Gravatar Susan Gage
    February 24, 2021 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Jeanne d’Arc!! Had to perform her in a monologue from Bernard Shaw’s “St. Joan” in high school. And the Salvation Army turns away the LGBTQ+ people in need. This was not a tough choice for me today.

    • Lindy Holmes's Gravatar Lindy Holmes
      February 24, 2021 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Oh, noooooooo….. I voted for Catherine not realizing the Salvation Army turn away LGBTQ people. Although, the Catholic Church…… hard choice then…

      • Belle's Gravatar Belle
        February 24, 2021 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Really, I don’t understand why people are taking a stand on the Salvation Army when the RC Church has its own history of denying LGBTQ+ people’s rights, and of preventing women from becoming priests, to boot. As well, we’re not voting for the larger orgs, we’re voting for individuals from the past. I voted for Catherine.

  39. February 24, 2021 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    It may not be Catherine’s fault that the Salvation Army treats LGBTQ people so badly, but that’s a hurdle I can’t get over.

    OTOH I was going to vote for Joan anyway, because of this telling of her story that forever changed how I thought of her:

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 24, 2021 - 10:38 am | Permalink

      Fascinating! Thanks for the link.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      February 24, 2021 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Incredibly moving essay – brought tears to my eyes. Great work showing the rightful endurance of Joan’s life into the present dsy. Thank you for the link. I have shared it with several friends already.
      P.S. I seem to be very “commenty” today. Sorry. But I do love Lent Madness!!!

  40. Patrick's Gravatar Patrick
    February 24, 2021 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    How could one not vote for Joan of Arc. A saint who gave the “last full measure”, warrior woman who may have even had some inspiration for the creation of Xena. And tbeir are certainly echoes of her in Catberine Lucile Moore’s warrior woman Jirel of Joiry whose stories were set in a medieval type world.
    Sorry, but the Salvation Army(while it does good) calls to mind Wobbly balladeer Joe Hill and his “stRvation

    How could one not vote for Joan of Arc, a saint who gave “the last full measure” of sacrifice? A warrior woman who may well have provided some inspiration for the creation of Xena. Certainly echoes of her with Catherine Lucile Moore’s Jirel of Joiry, set in a medieval type world.
    As for the Salvation Army while it does some good, cannot help but be reminded of Wobbly balladeer Joe Hill’s phrase “starvation army” in his famous song The Preacher and the Slave. ( Maybe he should be here one of these years, a martyr fighting for the weak and oppressed).
    And I also second RoseAnn Evans’ opinion.


    • February 24, 2021 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

      I could not vote for Joan of Arc because she used her faith to bolster a violent militaristic nationalist movement on behalf of a male political leader with ambitions beyond his capacity.

      She is endlessly fascinating, but also used her faith for things that I think are fundamentally opposed to the gospel.

  41. Barbara Crouse's Gravatar Barbara Crouse
    February 24, 2021 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Catherine for a couple of reasons. First, Catherine was my confirmation name. Second, she paved the way for women to be treated equally as proclaimers of the gospel. Plus, my attitude about war ‘in the name of God’ has changed over the years. Not so sure about that anymore.

  42. Tonya Eza's Gravatar Tonya Eza
    February 24, 2021 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Joan of Arc for me today. I appreciate what Catherine did, but I love medieval history and Joan has always inspired me. Here’s a link to a video about her that I love:

    Even if she loses the vote, can we have an honorable mention mug or some other swag made for her? Please?

    • Kate Cabot's Gravatar Kate Cabot
      February 24, 2021 - 10:20 am | Permalink

      Thanks for posting the video! I put it on my FB page in celebration of Joan (and to see if I can lead a few more friends to vote for her!)

  43. Dennis B's Gravatar Dennis B
    February 24, 2021 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    So, yesterday the SEC at the last minute removes 389 votes for Hermione which it claims are bogus, and Melangell wins by 332 votes. Is this the way all elections are handled these days? I’m just saying.

  44. Ellen L.'s Gravatar Ellen L.
    February 24, 2021 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Female Vet here…. I have to go for St Joan. I’M sure Catherine Booth will win, but Joan was a warrior, like me.

  45. Susan C.'s Gravatar Susan C.
    February 24, 2021 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    I voted for Catherine Booth because of her pivotal role in women’s rights and calling to preach and have leadership in the church, as well as her dedication to helping the poor. Although I have loved Joan d’Arc for a long time, I have a hard time with the idea that God is on one side or another of most wars. It’s usually a pretty mixed bag. I was not aware of the troubling attitudes towards the LGBTQ community, which distresses me, but should not affect the saintliness and contribution of the woman who was there at the beginning and this sadly was at that time not an issue.

  46. Margaret Trezevant's Gravatar Margaret Trezevant
    February 24, 2021 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Had Joan lived today I would have seen her in my clinic and probably started her on an antipsychotic. But then we wouldn’t have had her leading anyone into battle. Oh, those were the days.

    • Annie Dolber's Gravatar Annie Dolber
      February 24, 2021 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

      À la Lily Tomlin: “Why is it that if you talk to God you’re said to be praying, but if God talks to you you’re said to be schizophrenic?”

  47. February 24, 2021 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one, but I dressed up as Joan of Arc for Halloween twice when I was a kid, so I went with her. Her story has always fascinated me.

  48. Roslyn Macgregor's Gravatar Roslyn Macgregor
    February 24, 2021 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    What was CAtherine Booth’s maiden name? Also, at a small clergy worship about 20 years ago, we had the story of Niah. I said so many women in the Bible had no names – just tagged onto their husbands. I asked what they thought Noah’s wife’s name might have been. A 95 year old deacon, (male) replied without a second’s hesitation, “Joan!| Took a second to get it!!!

    • Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
      February 24, 2021 - 10:11 am | Permalink

      She was Catherine Mumford before she became Catherine Booth.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 24, 2021 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Her sons play a mean banjo! (joke)

    • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
      February 24, 2021 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I also wished Catherine’s maiden name had been supplied.

  49. Michael's Gravatar Michael
    February 24, 2021 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Maybe it wasn’t the intention of Catherine but the Salvation Army kicking a homeless trans woman out of their shelter and letting her freeze to death makes it a no from me.

  50. Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
    February 24, 2021 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Okay so I am Lent Madness conflicted: a fan of Constantine, still regretting not voting for Miguel Pro. For those wanting to deliver themselves from future Lent Madness fan angst, I propose a solution: one can vote for my All Time Favorite, Named my First Daughter After Her, Joan of Arc–and in Lenten penance donate to the Salvation Army. (A shameful plug for Joan! Will the false self never die?) Have your saint, and fund one, too! Think of it for all those saints who you wished you could vote for, even if they were imperfect. (OMG, yet another plug, will I be cast into Lent Madness outer darkness!)

    • John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
      February 24, 2021 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      Plugging one’s choice here, on social media, among church friends, full-page newspaper ads, etc. = OK.

      Casting several hundred votes over 3 hours from the same IP address = Outer Darkness.

      Chris, you run no risk of banishment ;^)

      • Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
        February 24, 2021 - 11:52 am | Permalink

        Relieved to hear I can still be a part of this, one of my favorite tribes. Thanks John.

  51. Zazzsu's Gravatar Zazzsu
    February 24, 2021 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Booth was a woman who was ahead of her time. I love Joan, but …… Now, my other issue. Why are women pitted against women? This is twice already.

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      February 24, 2021 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

      The SEC does not explain how the brackets come about, though there are four loose groupings and I’m sure they sometimes pit two with similar names or nicknames against each other in the first round on purpose.

      No matter what the first round brackets are, if two candidates keep winning they will eventually be pitted against each other. At some point you have to make a choice.

    • Emily W Shepherd's Gravatar Emily W Shepherd
      February 24, 2021 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Probably to prevent voting based on gender only – that always causes great consternation among Lent Madness voters! Let’s face it – we and the SEC are damned if we do and damned if we don’t – so just read the bios and vote!

  52. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    February 24, 2021 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I’m distressed that I have to choose between these two women. Loser’s bracket with a chance to return? Catherine Booth is not to blame for the modern Salvation Army’s poor political stance — she would lead their new awakening. However, today belongs to young Joan. This Kathryn says Sorry, Sister.

  53. Christina's Gravatar Christina
    February 24, 2021 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Joan’s story can be read as a cautionary tale for young activists. The powers that be may encourage you to take the lead as long as it suits their purposes, and then throw you to the wolves when you are no longer useful to them.

    • A Jennifer's Gravatar A Jennifer
      February 24, 2021 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      The earthly powers, at any rate.

    • tully monster's Gravatar tully monster
      February 25, 2021 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      Yes, and then jump back on your bandwagon when you are no longer a threat. Oh, boy, I hear you. Loud and clear.

  54. Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
    February 24, 2021 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Catherine Booth, a strong Methodist woman. John sent women to preach from the earliest days.

  55. Charlotte Hubbard's Gravatar Charlotte Hubbard
    February 24, 2021 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    My vote is in honor of my mother who was a teenage Salvation Army musician on the streets of Welch WV in 1940’s coal country. Strong women testify in many ways!

  56. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    February 24, 2021 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    God chooses either way. I choose Catherine.

  57. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    February 24, 2021 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    Catherine Booth would be the first to take modern Salvationists to task for their rigid attitudes. As a woman, as a feminist, as a believer in equality of the sexes, and as one who knows that God-given gifts were meant to be used, regardless of the way the skin stretched on the gifted, I’m for Catherine Booth all the way!

  58. JoLiz's Gravatar JoLiz
    February 24, 2021 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    Don’t let Joan get burned again! Growing up in NYC back in the day, we had Million Dollar Movie on TV where the same movie would be played repeatedly for days, and mesmerized, I would watch St. Joan with Jean Seberg over and over again. I was imprinted with her story. I remember pulling the transcript of her trial from dusty library shelves when I was about 12. Read biography after biography. I grew up and went on to other things but on my honeymoon to Paris we made a detour after a week and traveled south to Orleans, then to Chinon where I stood in the ruins of the chateau where Joan met the Dauphin, and finally made our way to Rouen on – yep – May 30. (Yes, I have an amazing husband and truth be told we should have just gone to a beach – but I digress!) The point is, all respect to Ms. Booth, but dear Joan, glorious Joan – inspiring millions through the ages – deserves to get out of the first round at least! She may not make it all the way to the Golden Halo but c’mon – don’t let my hopes, my all time favorite saint, go up in flames! Vote Joan!

    • Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
      February 24, 2021 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      Wildly waving pom poms, sporting a sweater on with giant “J” , PANTS, not pleated skirt: “Yes! Yes! ” I cheer. I’m totally sitting in your section in Kingdom of Heaven Stadium, JoLiz.

  59. Fr. Ken Campbell's Gravatar Fr. Ken Campbell
    February 24, 2021 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    I believe the fundamental message of sacrificial love in the life and teachings of Jesus is best witnessed to through those who seek to heal the violence and injustice in our world by peaceful means, not violence and war. I thus vote for Catherine Booth.

  60. Jack Zamboni's Gravatar Jack Zamboni
    February 24, 2021 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    While there is much to be admired in Joan’s faithfulness and courage, the the damage done when adherents of any religion claim God to be on their side in war is just too great to be ignored. Like some others upstream, I have no patience for the homophobia of the current Salvation Army, the Catherine Booth is not to blame for that. Her strong advocacy for the full inclusion of women in church leadership is more than enough to gain my support.

  61. Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
    February 24, 2021 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    I’m bothered by the tying of Christianity to war in the story of Jeanne d’Arc, which reminds me of the current Christian nationalism in America, as well as the Crusades and the use of Christianity in America to justify slavery and the forcible removal of indigenous peoples.

    On the other hand, if I remove that lens and apply a different contemporary lens, I like Jeanne’s bending of gender norms by dressing and acting as a man. There have been other women to do this – there are a few photos of women participating as soldiers in the American Revolutionary War museum, and I read a fascinating book about four women in the Civil War (two Confederate, two Union) in which a woman from Canada joined the Union Army as a man and exhibited enormous bravery, even refusing medical treatment for injuries in order to avoid being discovered. (The book, if you’re interested, was Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
    by Karen Abbott).

    In honor of that young woman, Emma Edmonds – not to mention the courage, self-assurance, and faith of Jeanne herself – I’ll vote for her.

    Props to Catherine Booth for her tenacity and devotion to her calling, however! Either is a good choice.

    • Sue Underwood's Gravatar Sue Underwood
      February 24, 2021 - 11:45 am | Permalink

      Loved Karen Abbott’s book too.
      Curious how there could be “there are a few photos of women participating as soldiers in the American Revolutionary War museum” since photography as we know it didn’t begin until the early 19th c.?

      • Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
        February 24, 2021 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Oh, dear me, you are right. How silly of me. I must be confounding photos I’ve seen in a museum of female Civil War soldiers with stories of women like Deborah Sampson in the Revolutionary War. There’s probably a portrait of her at the American Revolution museum.

        Thanks for catching my goof! I’m glad to find someone who also liked that book!

  62. Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
    February 24, 2021 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    The political trauma we’re currently sponging ourselves off from has soured me on Joan of Arc. An innocent who feels a religious yearning to assist a man ascend to power isn’t cute anymore.
    I hope Catherine takes the halo.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      February 25, 2021 - 1:53 am | Permalink

      Wow. I read the comments before voting, and you may have just changed my vote.

  63. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 24, 2021 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Catherine will obviously win today but Joanie’s my girl.

  64. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    February 24, 2021 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Joan was canonized for killing to make the French King the Earthly Word of God. Catherine brought the Word of God to the prosperous for the help and salvation of the poor. Which one of these two women continues to have a godly effect on mankind today?
    No contest!

  65. February 24, 2021 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the Salvation Army’s current actions toward LGBTQ people are the result of some people’s personal feelings, not the Army’s policy as a whole. I was working in a homeless shelter once and someone was trying to decide who qualified to be in the lunch line. Someone else said “Oh, just shut up and feed them.” I think that’s what Catherine would say: Shut up and feed them.

    • February 24, 2021 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      Absolutely, Nancy. God is the one to judge who’s worthy, not us. We are here to serve whoever comes our way in need.

  66. A Jennifer's Gravatar A Jennifer
    February 24, 2021 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    “Joan began to have visions of saints that were so beautiful she said she wept after experiencing them. ”

    Lent Madness: The Original Series?

  67. Rita's Gravatar Rita
    February 24, 2021 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    I have always liked St Joan of Arc…a true leader

  68. February 24, 2021 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    I am slightly tempted to vote for Joan in honor of my partner, Mary, who took Joan as her confirmation name, but I have to say I find Catherine Booth’s efforts on behalf of women and the poor are more admirable, in my opinion, so to her goes my vote. Plus, as a member of the fundraising department of a charity, I appreciate her own efforts to raise funds in support of her charitable efforts.

  69. Janet Irvine's Gravatar Janet Irvine
    February 24, 2021 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    There are so many “Protestant” wonder folks., suitable for placement as Lent Madness contestants. But alas, they must be celebrated on liturgical calendars, which are not oftn part and parcel of the less liturgical. Whih denomination places the lovely Clare on their calendars, and which day is her feast day?

    • February 24, 2021 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Are your referring to Catherine? She is listed as an Anglican saint, her feast day is January 17th. You don’t have to be Episcopalian to be a saint in our church.

  70. Michele May's Gravatar Michele May
    February 24, 2021 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    Although I was in the Salvation Army in a civic theater production of Guys and Dolls, I adore George Bernard Shaw and have to vote for Saint Joan after memorizing the perpetual imprisonment monologue in high school drama class. Go ahead! Light your fire!

  71. Cynthia T Weinmann's Gravatar Cynthia T Weinmann
    February 24, 2021 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    I am glad to see Catherine Booth receiving so many votes. The Salvation Army is a significant force for good in the US and deserves our support and recognition!

  72. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    February 24, 2021 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    A very hard choice between two most vigorous and fascinating saints. In the end I voted for Joan of Arc in protest against her cruel death, martyred as she was by other so-called Christians.

  73. A Jennifer's Gravatar A Jennifer
    February 24, 2021 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    “Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it.”
    The magnet on my fridge sends greetings and two big thumbs up to BOTH of today’s contestants.

    • Frances's Gravatar Frances
      February 24, 2021 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Slightly different reasons but I agree completely. This was a tough one!

  74. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    February 24, 2021 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    I have seen this comment in other LM contests, but today was the first time the collect persuaded me who to vote for. Do the Celebrity Bloggers write the collects themselves? If so — well done, Laurie Brock.

  75. Georgene Kruzel's Gravatar Georgene Kruzel
    February 24, 2021 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    The Salvation Army does not celebrate the Christian sacraments of Baptism or Holy Communion. So while the work of Catherine Booth is admirable this Golden Halo vote goes to Joan.

    • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
      February 24, 2021 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

      The reason for that was the policy of making women equal in the Salvation Army, and it was felt that people would be scandalized by a woman administering the sacraments. I think they sort of threw the baby put with the bathwater, but that was their decision.

      • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
        February 24, 2021 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

        The reason for that was the policy of making women equal in the Salvation Army, and it was felt that people would be scandalized by a woman administering the sacraments. I think they sort of threw the baby put with the bathwater, but that was their decision. Oops, I meant to type “out,” not “put.”

  76. Mary Beth Burns's Gravatar Mary Beth Burns
    February 24, 2021 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    As always, the community gives much of the joy and insight of Lent Madness. I voted for Catherine
    because I’ve always respected the Salvation Army’s work, but I knew nothing about Catherine and
    her contribution to the ministry, and to the idea of women as preeachers.
    That said, the video o Leonard Cohen’s song about Joan was evocative and gorgeous – And it gave
    a glimpse of the faith that led her – Beautiful.

  77. Karen Rhodes's Gravatar Karen Rhodes
    February 24, 2021 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    It’s unfortunate that these two face each other so early. I was entranced with the martyred revolutionary Saint Joan as a young teen but my attitude on war has changed. I cannot blame Catherine Booth for the present day attitude of the organization she founded, which continues to do good works and help all troubled humans. For recognizing the innate ability and power of all women, Catherine for me.

  78. Sue Underwood's Gravatar Sue Underwood
    February 24, 2021 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    I am perplexed why it matters if two females are competing against one another, rather than making all challenges be male vs female. Are you saying you prefer to only vote for a female candidate regardless of their “worthiness”? do you therefore not vote if the two contestants are male? How absurd!
    Also holding historical persons responsible for current times events/positions is also unfair to the individual. They should be judged on their own merits not on those of current times.

    My vote is for Catherine, who served those in need.

  79. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    February 24, 2021 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I looked at the SA website and it appears they have changed their tune and have many ministries specifically to G/L and T persons in need of housing, welcome, etc, as well as GLBTQ staff members. I could not find anything about whether GLBTQ persons are barred from any specific ministry of leadership roles. But I would wager that if Catherine Booth were an SA leader in our time, with her extensive biblical scholarship, she would not tolerate any proof-texting or twisting of scripture to support anything but full inclusion and affirmation — She’d be rockin’ the boat about that!

    • Becky Sapp's Gravatar Becky Sapp
      February 24, 2021 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Catherine but your legacy leaves society’s castoffs in the cold. Salvation Army shelters turn away anyone on the inflated sex offender registry. Murderers, gang members, OK, but if you’re on the SOR you’re left to die in the cold and yes, it’s happened.

  80. Edwin Cox's Gravatar Edwin Cox
    February 24, 2021 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Catherine was a church leader, complete with ‘dog collar.’
    Jeanne was a prophet, complete with armor.
    As a priest, I went with the prophet.
    I didn’t say it was logical.

  81. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    February 24, 2021 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Catherine Booth’s story is compelling and her good works estimable, but I had to go with Saint Joan.

  82. Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
    February 24, 2021 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I think Catherine is going to win this bout, but I voted for the underdog. They’re both great women!

  83. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    February 24, 2021 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Although in admiration of Joan, J had to go with Claire in recognition of the 16 years I was privileged to work for Salvation Army as a homeless shelter case manager. They do good work.

  84. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    February 24, 2021 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Although in admiration of Joan, J had to go with Catherine in recognition of the 16 years I was privileged to work for Salvation Army as a homeless shelter case manager. They do good work.

  85. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    February 24, 2021 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I entered this round fully intending to vote for Joan of Arc, who is so important a saint for France and who was castigated for cross dressing, for being an “hommasse,” a man-woman. I was going to honor the great 1928 silent film by Carl Dreyer, The Passion of Joan. Renee Falconetti’s performance as Joan is electrifying, and to view this film to the accompaniment of an orchestra and choir is an exalting experience. But before I could get to the voting button, I happened upon Barkha Dutt’s account today of the perilous situation of journalists in India. India like the US is a crumbling democracy with one party committed to authoritarianism, and unsurprisingly, to the suppression of women and minorities. Dutt’s column discusses how she was threatened with lynching for reporting on the rapes and murders of Dalit girls and women (untouchables). I admire Barkha Dutt greatly and her work as an independent, fair minded investigative journalist. I asked myself: which of these saints would better serve Dutt and her fellow journalists right now? When police in the US kill black men and police in India cover up the murders of women; when white supremacist senators in the US gaslight the American public and engage in denialism about the attempted coup on January 6, and the Modi government in India ignores the staggering number of suicides of farmers due to policies of land dispossession, which of these saints could cast the brighter light and shine a torch on a path forward? And I answered: Catherine Booth. We don’t need a martyr now. We need a fierce, dedicated, intelligent, compassionate woman (with organizational skills!) to call the world’s attention to the needs of the poor and to place the human rights of the dispossessed above the greed and power hunger of the corrupt and hateful. I note the irony of Mother Booth’s position as a “modern maternal general” at the height of the Victorian empire with the Raj as the key jewel in Victoria’s crown. The Salvation Army took its name one year after Victoria took the title Empress of India. Nevertheless, when it comes to binding human wounds, forging a new human community, weaving the forgotten stories of the impoverished and disregarded into the fabric of humanity, Saint Catherine Booth is our woman. Onward, Christian Solderers.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 24, 2021 - 9:04 pm | Permalink


  86. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    February 24, 2021 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    While I enjoy Joan of Arc’s story as a story, from a faith perspective I have always been uncomfortable with the patriotic/militaristic side of her story. I don’t believe that God takes sides in war. Would God inspire a young woman to take up arms in defense of her country? Quite possibly. But would God appoint a young woman to personally vanquish her country’s enemies?

    My vote goes to the woman who would preach, teach, and care for the poor.

  87. Amy Cook's Gravatar Amy Cook
    February 24, 2021 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Normally I enjoy Laurie Brock’s writing, but she really missed the boat on this write up of Joan of Arc. Having never seen the king before, when brought to Charles’s court for the first time Joan was immediately able to discern that the person on the throne wasn’t the king and picked Charles out of the crowd where he was dressed as a courtier. She was able to lead the armies to several victories and only lost and was captured when her God-directed advice wasn’t listened to. I have read the transcript of her trials in French and her answers to the English trying to frame her are astounding. There are so many things about her amazing and too short life that are awe-inspiring and faith-filled. I don’t want to diss the female leadership of Catherine Booth, but this was NOT a well-written description of a woman who has inspired centuries of religious devotion and imagination and captures none of the divine mystery of her story!!!

    • Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
      February 24, 2021 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Would love to hear about what you read in French and what answers Joan of Arc Cgave to the English you found astounding. Spirit of Love speak…. in Ms.Brock’s defense, goodness who could possibly encapsulate Joan’s heroic life in such a small forum! Which is exactly why, Joan deserves the saintly sixteen spot!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 24, 2021 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

        The Dreyer film gives Joan’s brilliant answers. The corrupt judges in her trial try to trick her into blasphemy. They try to trip her up by asserting that she is in a state of grace (which they would see as trying to be God). She responds: “Si j’y suis, qu’il m’y tienne.” (If I am in a state of grace, may God keep me there.) Her answers astound with their piety and theological sophistication.

        • Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
          February 24, 2021 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Thank you St. Celia!

  88. Kathy Puffer's Gravatar Kathy Puffer
    February 24, 2021 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I was 9 years old when I saw the film of Ingrid Bergman as Joan of Arc. I remember being electrified by the idea of a woman leading others in battle. I have no choice – it has to be Joan.

  89. MARY ROSA's Gravatar MARY ROSA
    February 24, 2021 - 1:23 pm | Permalink


  90. Sharon Davis's Gravatar Sharon Davis
    February 24, 2021 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for the Sister that spoke up for the rights of women to preach the gospel. She also made sure the purse was kept full. Hard to do ministry without money in the purse.

  91. Marjorie Menaul's Gravatar Marjorie Menaul
    February 24, 2021 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Joan sounds like a good potential recruit for the Oath Keepers – let’s take up arms and go into battle on behalf of the unjustly disempowered!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 24, 2021 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Ashli Babbitt is a sad inversion of Joan.

  92. Lindy Holmes's Gravatar Lindy Holmes
    February 24, 2021 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I throughly enjoy all the comments and poems and will check out the YouTube link. Before I do, I’ll tell you why the Salvation Army has always been close to my heart. My dad who fought in WWII and in the Pacific told me if I ever had extra money and wanted to donate it, give it to the Salvation Army. He said the Salvation Army were in the fox holes with the soldiers while other charities stayed behind the lines in the officers clubs. So, I always have given to them. So, of course I voted for Catherine!

  93. Gary Anderson's Gravatar Gary Anderson
    February 24, 2021 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Tough bout! I think that Catherine is going to win. Her story has more in common with the values and aspirations of the Church that I know. But, upon reflection, Joan paid the ultimate penalty for her visions. She was caught in the midst of a conflict between two nations with their medieval unions of church and state. French churchmen found her inspired. English churchmen found her a heretic and witch and martyred her. Admittedly, also, I am a Francophile, so I voted for Joan.

  94. Debbie White's Gravatar Debbie White
    February 24, 2021 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I visited my college roommate who for our Jr. year lived in Rouen France. I stood in the place marked as where Joan was killed. And Joan, such a young, lone woman was fierce and passionate to accomplish God’s will. She gets my vote!

  95. Amy Cliffe's Gravatar Amy Cliffe
    February 24, 2021 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Tough matchup. Love the Salvation Army, and Catherine was one tough, brave soul to speak up, endure banishment, and take action to help so many others.

    Joan got my vote however. It’s been almost 600 years, but it still grieves me that she faced death at the stake as a teenager. I cannot imagine how scared or alone she must have felt, and how much courage it took to lead troops into battle in the first place.

    • TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
      February 24, 2021 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I can’t imagine facing being burned at the stake at any age. Just sayin’!

  96. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    February 24, 2021 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    As a woman who preaches anwd works with the local food bank, I have to vote for Catherine. I too am troubled by attitudes in the SA today towards LBGTQI+ but to read this back into Catherine’s life seems unfair. I am also troubled by the cooption of a young woman into a nationalistic war, and whilst I admire Jeanne, it is not a path that resonates with me today.

  97. Joseph and Marceliano's Gravatar Joseph and Marceliano
    February 24, 2021 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Joan of Arc witnessed the divine. She answered the call to serve her faith and country.
    Despite her youth and inexperience, she prevailed in ways most can only wish to achieve and most certainly without divine judgement. Yet, the monarchical forces purposefully aligned against her (including labeling) in her time only after she risked her life for their cause and per their agenda. Bureaucratic & corporate entities continue to stifle most high-achieving contemporary women. Those are powerful reminders that not all persons are valued the same nor are opportunities available to all genders. This palpable knowledge in our laps, living rooms and offices requires introspection, change, and constant re-evaluation of our treatment of each other. May we all rise to the challenge when called upon! Joan of Arc has our vote!

  98. February 24, 2021 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Catherine gets my vote as a Methodist rebel rouser, devoted women’s right advocate and for all the good works. In years past I have voted for Joan but this year she is up against a true Golden Halo contender.

  99. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    February 24, 2021 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Holy Bella Abzug! This was Women’s Lib day, to which I say “Yippee”. And another difficult choice. (You guys really work on that, don’t you!) Joan of Arc is totally famous (and when my family vacationed in France many years ago, we went to Rouen and saw the church which bears her name. Also, she was behind in the vote. So I voted for her.
    I had never heard of Catherine Booth, so her write-up was new to me. What an amazing woman! To write arguing for the right of women to preach, in the mid-19th century yet, was remarkable. As a big fan of women clergy, I salute her and will be happy if she indeed wins.

  100. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    February 24, 2021 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I prefer Catherine’s army.

  101. Pat Sleeps Late's Gravatar Pat Sleeps Late
    February 24, 2021 - 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Jeanne d’Arc has always been one of the most troubling figures in European and Church history to me. Not so much Joan herself, but God? Charlie Valois was no gift to the French people, and for the divine to get behind any of the medieval dynastic squabblers of either France or England is just so improbable. But the alternative, that Joan was delusional, does not fit with her character and achievements either. So thanks for Catherine Booth, of whom I knew nothing, but after learning here, would probably vote in favor of opposite almost anyone!

  102. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    February 24, 2021 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I was all set and ready to vote for Sainte Jeanne d’Arc, based on her beautifully written synopsis. But then, having read how Catherine Booth argued successfully for women’s rights to preach the Gospel, she won my vote. Go yeah Catherine!

  103. karen ayers's Gravatar karen ayers
    February 24, 2021 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I chose Joan. It is my confirmation name. She was ahead of her time in breaking gender sterotypes.

  104. Kitty Whitman's Gravatar Kitty Whitman
    February 24, 2021 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I love what Catherine did in her time, but I will have to go with burned-at-the-stake martyr Joan.

  105. Emily F's Gravatar Emily F
    February 24, 2021 - 5:50 pm | Permalink

    My gut sent me to Joan of Arc!

  106. Simon Hartropp's Gravatar Simon Hartropp
    February 24, 2021 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Derbyshire girl Florence Nightingale won the Golden Halo in 2017 (I’m drinking from her mug as I write). Now Catherine Booth, another girl from my home county in UK is in the Saintly Bracket.
    I can’t turn this opportunity down….

  107. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    February 24, 2021 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been to Rouen and seen the place where Jeanne d’Arc “fut brulee” — it’s in the garden of my all-time favorite church, named for her. However, Catherine gets my vote. The Salvation Army is part of the Holiness movement, and many prominent women (and men) in that movement argued for the ordination of women. The Booths’ daughter was an international evangelist. Some women even founded denominations — look up the history of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) or the Nazarene Church.

  108. Joan of Arc Rulez's Gravatar Joan of Arc Rulez
    February 24, 2021 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Catherine Booth is gross and militarized christianity is vom worthy. Joan of Arc is a baller

    Vote Joan <3

  109. February 24, 2021 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Juvenile strength with undaunted courage
    Open to the impossible
    Argued with angels about donning armor
    Noble even in death
    (Collaborative Poem by members of St. Mark’s ABQ)

  110. Eleni Barber's Gravatar Eleni Barber
    February 24, 2021 - 8:33 pm | Permalink
    See official SA website on their current position on serving the LGBTQA community.
    Agree with recommendation of Carl Dryer’s silent film Joan D’Arc as very moving depiction of her trial based on the record of the event

  111. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    February 24, 2021 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Saint Joan. I’ve been interested by her story ever since I read the play by Bernard Shaw.

    • tully monster's Gravatar tully monster
      February 25, 2021 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      Interestingly, Shaw also wrote a play that was kind of about the Salvation Army (although he never directly referenced the organization): Major Barbara.

  112. Kimberly A. Black's Gravatar Kimberly A. Black
    February 25, 2021 - 3:52 am | Permalink


  113. Tonya Eza's Gravatar Tonya Eza
    February 25, 2021 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    In which denomination is Catherine Booth regarded as a saint? I thought that was one of the qualifications for Lent Madness, but a Google search is not revealing anything to me.

  114. Charles W Stout's Gravatar Charles W Stout
    February 25, 2021 - 6:23 pm | Permalink

    After I read the two biographies, when I started to vote, there was no way to vote – it just gave the the results of other’s voting!!!!!!!!

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