Miguel Pro vs. Constantine

Congratulations! You have successfully made it to day two of Lent Madness 2021. If Lent Madness is part of your Lenten discipline this year – and we sincerely hope it is – you’re doing great so far! Our competition continues today with an intriguing matchup between Miguel Pro and Constantine. You might say there are PROS and CONS to be weighed as you decide for whom to cast your vote.

In yesterday’s opening matchup, Camillus de Lellis trounced Matthias in a Biblical beatdown 71% to 29% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen. If you’d like to see an updated bracket, you can simply visit the Bracket Tab each day. Bracket Czar Adam Thomas updates it daily for your viewing pleasure. He also shares links to each previous battle, which comes in handy when you seek a refresher in the later rounds.

Speaking of brackets, in case you missed the incredible peg doll video featuring all 32 saints in this year’s bracket created by the talented team at the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana, you can watch it here. Seriously. Do yourself a favor and revel in two minutes of joy that we could all surely use.

Finally, don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the ONLY Saturday matchup of Lent Madness as Tarcisius takes on Egeria.

Miguel Pro
José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez was born in 1891 in Guadalupe, Zacatecas. After entering the Jesuit novitiate and completing theological studies in Europe, Miguel Pro returned to Veracruz in 1926. His ministry quickly went underground on account of the violent anti-Catholic repression, and he signed his letters with his childhood nickname of “Cocol” to obscure his identity.

Telling the story of Miguel Pro requires entering into a fraught period of Mexico’s history called the Cristero rebellion, when the Roman Catholic Church’s official and unofficial institutions engaged in a ten year, violent rebellion against the anti-Catholic regime.

For many Mexican Roman Catholics, including Miguel Pro, the Cristero Rebellion was the heroic story of the faithful engaging in overt and covert resistance against an extremely violent and repressive anti-Catholic effort. One of the most famous images is of railroad tracks in Jalisco lined by the executed bodies of Cristero rebels. The Cristeros are frequently presented by the Roman Catholic Church as heroes who took up arms against such repression.

In contrast, when I studied Mexico-U.S. border relations in el Tecnológico de Monterrey in Querétaro, Mexico, this period was presented as part of a broader set of internationally led efforts to undermine the 1917 Constitution, a socialist-inspired document whose agrarian reforms had aligned Mexico’s elite Roman Catholic families with U.S. interests. Indeed, America’s fingerprints are all over this conflict, from funneling money to the rebels to negotiating a peace agreement that led to the church’s withdrawal of support for the Cristeros.

In 1927, an innocent Miguel Pro was executed without trial for the attempted assassination of former Mexican president Álvaro Obregón; photos of his execution became a rallying point in the final years of the rebellion. Miguel Pro was pointedly beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988, a period when the Roman Catholic Church was once again deeply engaged in resisting socialist and communist governments and Latin American liberation theology.

At his execution, Miguel Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted ¨Viva Cristo Rey!” — “Long live Christ the King!”, the defying cry of the Cristeros.

Collect for Miguel Pro
Almighty God, who gave to your servant Miguel boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

—Miguel Escobar

 

Constantine
Constantine the Great is a complex character in the history of Christianity. What is without debate is that he profoundly influenced the direction of Christianity. He is a saint in the Orthodox tradition.

Constantine was born in 272 ce in modern-day Serbia to one of Rome’s four emperors, Constantius. His mother, Helena, was not of noble birth and may have been simply Constantius’s concubine. She was a deeply pious Christian and, no doubt, shaped Constantine’s relationship to Christianity. Constantine excelled as a military leader and ultimately succeeded his father as the emperor of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. A series of power struggles and civil wars led to his consolidation of power as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

One of the most significant battles was with Maxentius, a rival to the throne, on the Milvian Bridge. Shortly before the battle, Constantine had a vision in which he (and purportedly also his army) saw a cross of light in the sky with the words, “In this conquer.” The following night, Christ appeared to him and told him to make his standards with the chi-rho Labarum ☧ (chi and rho are the first two letters of Christ in Greek). Constantine obliged and his army under that sign did indeed conquer.

Following this victory, one of Constantine’s first legislative acts was to issue the Edict of Milan, which brought about the universal toleration of Christianity and the return to Christians of all property that had been taken from them. Whatever his personal convictions, his preferential treatment of Christians was a hallmark of his reign. He helped guide the Christian church through major controversies, including the Arian debate for which he gathered the bishops from across the Roman Empire for the Council at Nicae—and funded the meeting entirely out of his coffers.

Constantine was also a major patron of the church—he gifted a villa that would become the foundation of St. John Lateran, he gifted the Vatican fields, and in Jerusalem he supported the construction of the important Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Church of the Holy Nativity. In 321, Constantine legislated that Sunday be a day of rest.

Constantine was baptized on his deathbed in May 337. Throughout the Middle Ages, he was revered as both a godly man and as a model ruler.

Collect for Constantine
Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Constantine, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

David Creech

 

Miguel Pro vs. Constantine

  • Constantine (62%, 4,722 Votes)
  • Miguel Pro (38%, 2,946 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,668

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Miguel Pro: Grentidez / Public domain
Constantine: Ramazanov Nikolay / Public domain

180 Comments to "Miguel Pro vs. Constantine"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    February 19, 2021 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    While reciting the credo Nicene
    Spare a thought for the wise Constantine.
    When protests resounded,
    A city he founded:
    A response that we’d call “byzantine”.

    • Josh Nixon's Gravatar Josh Nixon
      February 19, 2021 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Miguel Pro, known for his assistance
      while Cristeros fought for existence,
      should be the clear choice–
      use your vote and your voice,
      not for power, but rather, resistance.

      • Deborah Kaufman's Gravatar Deborah Kaufman
        February 19, 2021 - 11:10 am | Permalink

        Miguel Pro – who, in imitation of Christ, forgives his executioners. Whose last words, before the bullets fly…with outstretched hands, will proclaim: ¨Viva Cristo Rey!” — “Long live Christ the King!”

        • Robin Pelkki's Gravatar Robin Pelkki
          February 19, 2021 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

          The tree does not deny its shade to the one who comes to cut it down.

      • Scottie Jackson's Gravatar Scottie Jackson
        February 19, 2021 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Bravo! Ole! Miguel it is!

      • Jenn's Gravatar Jenn
        February 19, 2021 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Perfect!

    • Jennifer Mackintosh's Gravatar Jennifer Mackintosh
      February 20, 2021 - 8:32 am | Permalink

      Keep them coming, limerickster!

  2. February 19, 2021 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your limericks. It is a great way to finish reading about the saints while having a bowl of cereal

    • Debra Southworth's Gravatar Debra Southworth
      February 19, 2021 - 9:03 am | Permalink

      Exactly!

    • Elizabeth Byrd's Gravatar Elizabeth Byrd
      February 19, 2021 - 9:30 am | Permalink

      True!

    • Bruce Raymond's Gravatar Bruce Raymond
      February 19, 2021 - 10:19 am | Permalink

      One of the highlights of reading the results each day!

    • Sarah Dattilo's Gravatar Sarah Dattilo
      February 19, 2021 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, definitely a highlight and something to look forward to!

    • Maestra K's Gravatar Maestra K
      February 20, 2021 - 6:08 am | Permalink

      This is just SO funny. The cereal cracks me up. (The limericks are indeed awesome!!)

  3. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    February 19, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Mexican politics, or Roman politics? Miguel Pro gets my vote because Constantine had an earthly crown.

  4. Kaneala Nelson's Gravatar Kaneala Nelson
    February 19, 2021 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Well, this was a no-brainer. This is like pitting Michael Jordan against a five-year-old picked-last dodgeball player. This part of the bracket . . . fixed! Fixed!!!! 😉

    • Carl Fuglein's Gravatar Carl Fuglein
      February 19, 2021 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

      So, who did you vote for? It was not as clear a choice. I debated for a while.

  5. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    February 19, 2021 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Miguel Who? Been a fan of Constantine since grade school!

    • Carl Fuglein's Gravatar Carl Fuglein
      February 19, 2021 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a popularity contest, is it? I, too, have admired Constantine and never heard of Miguel. But Constantine came from privilege, Miguel not so much.

    • Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
      February 20, 2021 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

      You dissed a saint, Mannion Man!

  6. February 19, 2021 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    It’s just hard for me to vote for Constantine when I think about how the Church has often abused it’s power, as is evidenced in the history lesson in Miguel Pro’s biography.

    • Judith Davita-Rauch's Gravatar Judith Davita-Rauch
      February 19, 2021 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      Me, too. I think Calling Constantine a supporter of Christianity is like calling Henry VIII a reformer. But t hat’s just me.

      • Lisa Hamilton's Gravatar Lisa Hamilton
        February 19, 2021 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Me too, Judith.

        • Roger Mattes Jr.'s Gravatar Roger Mattes Jr.
          February 21, 2021 - 10:13 am | Permalink

          Lisa, I have a different take on Miguel Pro. To paraphrase Brittany Spears, I’m not so sure he was all that innocent. He was, after all, a leader of the Cristero Rebellion, which pretty much had a goal of overthrowing the government. Brave in the face of death? No doubt, but innocent? I think not.
          Constantine, on the other hand, good, bad or otherwise, did save the entire Christian faith from persecution.
          Keith Opdahl would be proud.

      • Cindy Page's Gravatar Cindy Page
        February 19, 2021 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

        I agree!

    • Ann M Smith's Gravatar Ann M Smith
      February 19, 2021 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      Another Ann Smith totally agrees with you. I know that he was a patron of the early church, but he had some very strange ideas of what that entailed.

    • Lisa Hamilton's Gravatar Lisa Hamilton
      February 19, 2021 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Ann Smith, Exactly!

    • Sarah P's Gravatar Sarah P
      February 20, 2021 - 9:39 am | Permalink

      God works together for good for those who love God. Constantine was not perfect; Henry VIII was certainly not perfect, but look what opportunities we have now that we probably would not have had.

  7. PatR's Gravatar PatR
    February 19, 2021 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    I looked up Miguel Pro online and after reading a more detailed account of his heroic life, he got my vote. Your writeup did not do him justice.

    • Diane Walworth's Gravatar Diane Walworth
      February 19, 2021 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your comment. It encouraged me to look him up, because, like you, I felt I didn’t really get a sense of the man. He got my vote too.

      • Diane's Gravatar Diane
        February 19, 2021 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

        I did the same. My reading tipped my vote to Miguel Pro.

    • JA Stirling's Gravatar JA Stirling
      February 19, 2021 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for encouraging me and others to look up more on Miguel Pro, as the writeup here was inadequate. A better description can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Pro. I am inspired to vote for Miguel Pro.

      • Karen B.'s Gravatar Karen B.
        February 19, 2021 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I absolutely agree. If wikipedia is too boring, try the trailer of “For Greater Glory”. I thought it incredibly important that people understand how recently the actual practice of religion was officially *banned* in what is a very religious country.

    • Claudia McKee's Gravatar Claudia McKee
      February 19, 2021 - 6:20 pm | Permalink

      My sentiments exactly – the write-up contained more mexican history and politics than personal about Por. Constantine is easy to vote for (and I have, in past Lents). But something about Por’s writeup compelled me to look him up on wiki, and it was a no-brainer for me. I think he was touched by God, and I would love to learn more about him if he wins.

  8. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    February 19, 2021 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Not really a fan of either. Constantine started the devil’s bargain of the coopting of the Church by the state, and the Cristeros had blood on their hands, too. This is the first time I haven’t voted. I guess I would vote for Miguel Pro if I were forced to vote.

    • February 19, 2021 - 9:41 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. I’m sitting this one out.

    • Donice Gilliland's Gravatar Donice Gilliland
      February 19, 2021 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I would agree totally, but for one consideration. Years ago I was teaching Sunday school. A couple of lessons featured OT stories I didn’t know (and don’t remember now) about some pretty awful people. I talked about it to one of our priests who pointed out that throughout the Bible, God works through some extremely flawed individuals, and always look for Him and His works in these tales. So – same here for me. Not yet sure which yet, but I will vote.

    • Brenda W.'s Gravatar Brenda W.
      February 19, 2021 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Emily, I hear you. I thought of abstaining from voting for the first time as well.
      Under Constantine’s rule Christianity was protected and the faith spread. Without him what would have happened? My question forces me to vote for Constantine.

      • Linda Maloney's Gravatar Linda Maloney
        February 19, 2021 - 11:01 pm | Permalink

        I can‘t believe we‘re actually faced with this choice. Miguel Pro may have been sincere but misguided, but Constantine was in it for himself all the way — and becoming the official religion of the Empire was the deatblow to a Christianity in imitation of Jesus — and the beginning of millennia of murderous persecution of Jews and Muslims. As a Jesus-follower, an Episcopalian, a student of history, and a friend to humanity, I am appalled by this bracket.

  9. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    February 19, 2021 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Tough choice! I went for the pro, would like to have had more about his humanitarian good works, but Constantine was a warrior and while he did much for Christianity he also established some of the more objectionable parts of orthodoxy.

  10. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    February 19, 2021 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Tricky one today. I don’t feel I really know anything about Miguel or about the conflict he was engaged in. I am suspicious of Constantine’s impact on Christianity by legitimising it and opening up the possibility of worldly power. A reluctant vote for by proxy for Helena in most part because of the novel about her which contains a wonderful description of the feast of epiphany and the blurring of ecclesiastical and political power.

    • Linda S.'s Gravatar Linda S.
      February 19, 2021 - 10:22 am | Permalink

      What is the name of this novel? I am a huge fan of hers!

  11. James's Gravatar James
    February 19, 2021 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    I’m not in love with Constantine necessarily, but I think it’s also fair to say that in the 21st century West, he gets a lot of flak for our ambivalence about the following millennium and a half of Christianity. Not all his fault!

    • LA's Gravatar LA
      February 19, 2021 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      You know, I think I’m with you… I went into this expecting to not vote for Constantine (regardless of whom he was up against), but between not following at all Pro’s bio (brain fog?) and reading Constantine’s and realizing that much of the negativity we associate with him may not have been (was likely not?) what he intended at all. Then again, only God knows his true motives… but still…

      Also fascinating to me that both were caught up in various political webs and outworking even from different places in that web.

  12. madameseñora's Gravatar madameseñora
    February 19, 2021 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    Such a difficult early round match up: a modern-day saint who fought for the right of the church to exist or the ancient emperor who legitimized Christianity throughout the Roman Empire and who returned their confiscated property. We need them both, especially today when Christians in many parts of the world are under attack by their governments. I’m going to vote for Miguel Pro as a way to amplify his voice as he is less well-known than Constantine.

  13. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    February 19, 2021 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Many years ago, when I was without a church home, I read Graham Greene’s novel about the Cristeros and it affected me a great deal. I’m voting for Miguel for walking with God through his life and during a time he might have survived if he had pretended he had no faith.

  14. LINDA's Gravatar LINDA
    February 19, 2021 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    don’t like the CE used. have we become so politically correct that BC and AD can’t be used even in a church publication? i’ve never heard of Miguel Pro but he got my vote because he was not given a trial-or a fair one.

    • February 19, 2021 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      It amused me when I learned that theologians use CE while almost everybody else still uses BC and AD. Not sure it’s as sinister as it might seem on first glance but definitely an example of how things can flip in such surprising ways.

      • Brendan D.'s Gravatar Brendan D.
        February 19, 2021 - 11:09 am | Permalink

        I’m sure that many people still use BC and AD in common parlance, but BCE and CE were used exclusively in my (secular) college and university studies. I appreciate it as a way to be more inclusive … and more accurate, since Jesus wasn’t born in Year 0 anyway. 😉

      • Steve P's Gravatar Steve P
        February 19, 2021 - 11:32 am | Permalink

        CE is a more accurate timeline designation. It has been well-established at the BC/AD calendar was off by several years at minimum. Most scholars believe that Jesus was born about seven years BC. This is why using CE is more precise. CE is used by many disciplines but particularly to avoid the confusion when looking at particular years.

    • Patricia Lyons Samuel's Gravatar Patricia Lyons Samuel
      February 19, 2021 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      Archeologists & historians are using CE, so it’s time for the rest of us to get with the program, so to speak. Voted for Miguel.

    • Susan Gage's Gravatar Susan Gage
      February 19, 2021 - 11:42 pm | Permalink

      I’d just like to see CE capitalized.

  15. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    February 19, 2021 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    All comments are excellent, making a difficult choice more difficult. Going to have to think hard on this one.

    • Laura's Gravatar Laura
      February 19, 2021 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

      So after researching on my own, and reading the many excellent comments here, I put my vote to Miguel Pro. His underground ministry in Mexico reminded me of the faith journey exemplified by Bishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa during apartheid.

  16. Kathleen Scharf's Gravatar Kathleen Scharf
    February 19, 2021 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Glad to see how many people saw this as a kind of devil’s choice. To me Miguel Pro was more admirable because probably an innocent foot soldier in a broader conflict. But both were counter revolutionary cads in my view.

  17. Margaret Sharp's Gravatar Margaret Sharp
    February 19, 2021 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Currently in year 3 of EFM which is focused on the history of Christianity. I have read lots about Constantine – the good, the bad and the ugly! Saints are not perfect, they are human after all. I voted for Miguel Pro because his struggle is more relatable for me in our current political climate. Plus, he is a new Saint for me to have been introduced to thanks to Lent Madness!!

    • Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
      February 19, 2021 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

      My sympathies. Year 3 was my least favorite year mainly due to the book chosen for us. I did find outside sources to help make sense of the history.

  18. Amelia Hagen's Gravatar Amelia Hagen
    February 19, 2021 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Not enthusiastic about either. I did end up voting for Construction, but will not continue to support him through the bracket.

  19. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    February 19, 2021 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Fabulous video! Kudos to all painters.

    • Frances Fosbroke Cox's Gravatar Frances Fosbroke Cox
      February 19, 2021 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes indeed. Delightful way to start the day!

  20. Cathy Hamilton's Gravatar Cathy Hamilton
    February 19, 2021 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    It is really worth reading more about Miguel Pro. He gets my vote.

  21. February 19, 2021 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Well, neither of these will make it past round two, will they. I’ll vote for Constantine to not support the other guy, in solidarity with Central American martyrs on the other side of the Roman hierarchy.

    • Michael Fay's Gravatar Michael Fay
      February 19, 2021 - 11:44 am | Permalink

      I think so too.

  22. February 19, 2021 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    Constantine was the moment when the church got in bed with the empire and we are still living with the consequences…I wish that the write up of Miguel had given a clearer sense of how those consequences played out in that and so many other conflicts.
    no votes for Constantine the Con here!

  23. Johanne Hills's Gravatar Johanne Hills
    February 19, 2021 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    I find them both distasteful,
    of human life they’re wasteful.
    when politics and faith collide
    compassion just gets set aside.

    Could not vote for either one

  24. Russell's Gravatar Russell
    February 19, 2021 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Without Constantine there probably would not be Lenten Madness.

    • Melanie Sokhey's Gravatar Melanie Sokhey
      February 19, 2021 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point!

  25. February 19, 2021 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Constantine does not deserve a place in any listing of saints. While he did not invent anti-semitism and the myth of redemptive violence in the Church, he is perhaps the most responsible for seeing that those ideas became deeply rooted. It was at his insistence that the Church forbid the celebration of Easter (or Pascha) on the same date (14th of Nisan) as the Jewish celebration of Passover (or Pesach), because “We should not allow the date of our most holy observance to be determined by the people who killed our God,” which led to the excommunication of otherwise orthodox Jewish Christians. Similarly, up until the time of Constantine, Christians almost uniformly understood non-violence to be a core requirement of Christianity. Even Constantine recognized this by requiring that his soldiers be baptised with their sword arms out of the waters of baptism. Constantine laid the groundwork for the acceptance of violence in “defense” of Christianity, and one can draw a straight line from Constantine to the violence of the Crusades, the Conquistadors, and the Inquisition.

    Those wanting to learn more are welcome to read my two books, “Excommunicating the Faithful” Jewish Christianity in the Early Church” and “Paradoxy: Creating Christian Community Beyond Us and Them” (free pdf copies available at our website: https://faithx.net/books/).

    • Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
      February 19, 2021 - 9:47 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this perspective! I was already deeply disturbed by such a powerful, political, and militaristic figure, but you gave my vote against Constantine a deeper dimension.

      • Ken Howard's Gravatar Ken Howard
        February 19, 2021 - 11:39 am | Permalink

        Thank you!
        As a Jewish follower of Jesus, I find it depressing that Constantine is so far ahead.
        The imperial approach to evangelism that he planted – “accept the official version of Jesus or face the consequences” (persecution or death) – plagues Christianity (and Western thought and even politics) to this day. I can’t think of a worse representative of Christianity than Constantine. I will vote against him in every round. I would vote for Judas before I’d vote for Constantine.

        • Bee Durban's Gravatar Bee Durban
          February 19, 2021 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Hear, hear! You have put this better than I ever could. Thank you!

    • Alethea Eason's Gravatar Alethea Eason
      February 19, 2021 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Thank you. You summarized the thoughts not quite formed in my head as I finish my cup of coffee.

  26. February 19, 2021 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Messianic politics of late, second comings, King of Israel and QAnon have left a bitter taste for the embrace of pagan rulers. Pro was noted for his charity and ability to speak about spiritual subjects without boring his audience (very saintly). And Pro was prayerful, spending long periods in the chapel. I vote for the one least likely to hold up a Bible for a photo-op.

    • Linda S.'s Gravatar Linda S.
      February 19, 2021 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      Here! Here!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 19, 2021 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      Well played, Walker.

  27. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    February 19, 2021 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    and again voted for the loser

  28. Elise's Gravatar Elise
    February 19, 2021 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Miguel Pro was of the same generation as my great grandfather, who was a priest in the Church. I am spending time contemplating their alternative destinies. However, my vote goes to Constantine. Today, we have a tendency to only look at the warts on historical figures and not appreciate how they used their power to get us where we are.

    • Elaine Hixson's Gravatar Elaine Hixson
      February 20, 2021 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      So true. In this present time, we are quick to condemn, as if we ourselves are not sinners, too. We leave no room for a persons thinking to evolve and grow.

  29. Cynthia Baker's Gravatar Cynthia Baker
    February 19, 2021 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    I, too, was not thrilled with two political choices.

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      February 19, 2021 - 11:56 am | Permalink

      I see your point; the flip side is that with two political choices matched against each other in the first round, you know one of them won’t make it to the second.

  30. Susan C.'s Gravatar Susan C.
    February 19, 2021 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    I needed to know more about Miguel Pro, and went to Wickipedia. It was a fascinating story about a truly devout man and martyr. I had had no idea about the anti-Catholic history in Mexico, with the vestiges finally removed from their constitution only in 1991 under President Salinas. While Constantine was a good man by the standards of his time, and certainly made a huge impact on the course of Christianity, my vote is for the humble and devout Miguel Pro who did not run from the danger he had to see, but remained steadfast in his love of Jesus and God.

  31. Judith Davita-Rauch's Gravatar Judith Davita-Rauch
    February 19, 2021 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    My thought is that Constantine forever warped the church by making Christianity a public based faith. I believe it’s the starting point Christian Nationalism. Miguel Pro fought to keep faith alive, so I’m voting for Pro. But that’s just me.

  32. Alan Justice's Gravatar Alan Justice
    February 19, 2021 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Today, I abstain. Neither of these people seem, on the evidence presented, particularly saintly to me. Both Pro and Constantine used violence against their opponents–not particularly Christlike in my view.

  33. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    February 19, 2021 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    I also had a hard time selecting a figure to back today knowing one from history and nothing of the other. Miguel was killed for attempting to assassinate – that stopped me during my second reading. Seems that is not something I can feel makes a saint. And then Constantine did work on unifying the man made branches of Christianity…. although that didn’t last for all time it was worthy.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 19, 2021 - 10:42 am | Permalink

      There was no evidence, though! He was innocent!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 19, 2021 - 11:26 am | Permalink

        Sweet Miss Susan! So glad to see you here!

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          February 19, 2021 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Likewise, Dr. C!

  34. Corey Sees's Gravatar Corey Sees
    February 19, 2021 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    What an unfair and biased write-up of Miguel Pro.

  35. Georgina's Gravatar Georgina
    February 19, 2021 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    Tapping out on both these choices.

  36. Marie Fortune's Gravatar Marie Fortune
    February 19, 2021 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Can’t vote
    The beginning of Lent Madness is disappointing this year

  37. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    February 19, 2021 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Miguel was falsely accused of the attempted assassination and executed without a trial. I recall Dietrich Bonhoeffer receiving a Golden Halo though he supported an assassination attempt. Miguel Pro took great risks to continue to minister to the needs of others. I agree with those who did some additional research- that changed my mind. Thanks for the example and witness of Miguel Pro.

    • Donna's Gravatar Donna
      February 19, 2021 - 10:54 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. I also voted for Miguel Pro.

  38. Claire Abraham's Gravatar Claire Abraham
    February 19, 2021 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    I voted for Constantine. Love him or hate him, he heavily influenced the church as it currently exists, world-wide. Consider this: Constantine was the guy who helped bring us the Nicene Creed. We are influenced by him daily. Was he completely righteous? No. Well, yesterday I voted for a gambler. Everybody’s got sins. That’s why we need Jesus in the first place.

  39. Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
    February 19, 2021 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    I may not vote here.

  40. Cap'n Black the Pirate's Gravatar Cap'n Black the Pirate
    February 19, 2021 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Miguel in English is Michael. When I think of Michael in this setting I think of the Archangel Michael. When I think of the word Ark, it recalls the big boat Noah built. I have an affinity for boats, they were always made of wood, and wood floats. I seek to float above the politics. Let the waters rise! Go Miguel. Besides I used to sail with a mate named Miguel.

  41. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    February 19, 2021 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    I would have liked to have more information about Miguel Pro’s innocence in the assassination attempt. The write-up left a great deal to the imagination. Is this disputed? Unknown? Proven false after the fact?

  42. JoJo's Gravatar JoJo
    February 19, 2021 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    I’m going to start reading replies before I vote.
    Constantine got my vote today due to lack of knowledge about his competition.
    We haven’t had Holy Eucharist in so long I almost forgot the Nicene Creed that uses
    We not I for corporate worship but I like the power of the Holy Spirit in it & am glad Constantine got everyone together.

  43. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    February 19, 2021 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    I had not heard of Blessed José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez before and based on some remarks in the comments above, I decided to look up more information about him. And I found some more information about this Jesuit priest on his Wikipedia page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Pro .

    I found this quote of his, “How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner’s soul with such heavenly joys? I could not hold back the tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration. After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents. I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table, and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart.”

    And this quote about him from John Paul II on the occasion of Pro’s beatification, “Neither suffering nor serious illness, nor the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.”

    It is said his last request was to kneel and pray. Then, “Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, “May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!” Before the firing squad was ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, “Viva Cristo Rey!” – “Long live Christ the King!”‘”

    Viva Christo Rey indeed.

    [Also, one thing that bothers me about Constantine is that he waited until he was on his deathbed to get baptized. Talk about procrastination.]

    • February 19, 2021 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I have to admit, if it had been left to me to get baptized, I still might not be. But maybe I would, in which case, for me it would have been a much more meaningful experience than my actual one as a baby.

    • Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
      February 19, 2021 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Back then a lot of people waited until they were near dying to be baptized. It had nothing to do with a lack of faith or belief in God and Jesus. It was because they believed, courtesy of the church, that baptism was to achieve forgiveness of sins. Since it only happened one, they were not inclined to risk sinning again after baptism, so they waited until there was no chance they could sin again.

  44. Robyn Coffey's Gravatar Robyn Coffey
    February 19, 2021 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    This is why I read Lent Madness..I learn so much. All these posts Pro & Con…and I will continue to read them.
    For those who will stop, well sorry I won’t. Because for those of us who don’t know this history, we need to too and his else do we learn? Don’t stop doing what ya do Tim & Scott. Variety is the spice of life. Love the changes this year!
    Frozen in TX

  45. Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
    February 19, 2021 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Educational, anyway! I had to go look at Wikipedia on Pro, the Christos Rebellion, and the Mexican Revolution, to try to figure out what exactly was going on! Looks like the persecution of Catholics was tied to anger at ‘colonialism’, for lack of a better word—the same evil that killed/repressed The indigenous peoples of North America. But clearly overstepped, by putting such anti-Catholic laws in the Constitution. Pro himself seems to have been a clear example of Christ, if stuck in the middle of a conflict that should never have had to exist. Thank you, SEC and Miguel Escobar, for starting my education about Mexico: clearly an enormous hole that must bear some blame for the generally lousy US attitude towards our near neighbour.

  46. EllieT's Gravatar EllieT
    February 19, 2021 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Gracias a Miguel Escobar for introducing me to a part of history I never heard of. I was going to vote for Constantine because his effects on the church were so huge, but Miguel Pro’s tiny role in resisting government suppression of the church was very moving. Wikipedia says the Ku Klux Klan offered 10 million dollars to the Mexican government to help crush the Cristeros. I don’t know how far Miguel will get in LM but he’s way ahead Upstairs.

  47. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    February 19, 2021 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Miguel Pro gets my vote. I, too, did some more reading since he was new to me. No matter the political corruptions and compromises of either man’s time in human history, there’s a vast difference between “In this sign, conquer” and “Long live Christ the King!” For Constantine, it’s about political power and personal gain. For Miguel, it’s about Jesus, above all and no matter what.
    Constantine did many good things for the early Church — indeed, we would not perhaps even be having this dialogue today if not for him — but I’m pretty sure Jesus did not aspire to found a faith approved by the government establishment. And ever shrewd, Constantine hedged his bets until his deathbed baptism.
    Miguel, on the other hand, was a faithful follower of Jesus and priest in a time and place where that was dangerous — and ended up being martyred on false charges. I imagine his reward is great in heaven — and I hope it will be in our brackets. too!

  48. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    February 19, 2021 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    I voted for Miguel Pro. Like an earlier responder, his story resonates with today’s political demonization of socialism. The history of US intervention in Central American affairs lasts to this day. Other Roman Catholics have died throughout the decades for their stance against imperialistic forces in church and state.

  49. James N. Lodwick's Gravatar James N. Lodwick
    February 19, 2021 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    I voted for Miguel Pro because he died as a martyr for his faith. Constantine was no doubt a great man, but I couldn’t consider him a saint. No doubt he had a huge effect on the Church, but he was also cruel and murderous . His influence on the church, despite some positives, had many negative consequences, some of which still endure to this day. I have attended the Orthodox liturgy on the Feast of Sts. Constantine and Helena, with lifesize icons of the two displayed on the bema for the veneration of the faithful. I found the juxtaposition troubling.

  50. Rhee Howard's Gravatar Rhee Howard
    February 19, 2021 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    I read the Wikipedia article about Miguel Pro. Assuming that info is accurate, Pro was actually executed for ministering as a Roman Catholic priest at a time when doing so had been made illegal. They blamed him falsely for the assassination attempt – the same way Alexei Navalny faces trumped up charges today. The way he died was courageous and inspiring. He gets my vote.

  51. Adekoyejo's Gravatar Adekoyejo
    February 19, 2021 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    After Christ himself, Mary M. and the Apostles, Constantine really set the footing for what would become the Church as it developed. Visions aside, he knew what he was doing. Many of his soldiers were already Christians as were many of those opposing him on the Milvian Bridge. Imagine what it was for them to see the symbol of Christ leading the army they were about to fight. They would have said, “I don’t like it and I won’t do it!”

  52. Kathlyn Rooney's Gravatar Kathlyn Rooney
    February 19, 2021 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Constantine aligning himself and the empire with the church was one of the biggest mistakes in church history. Miguel fir thecein!

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      February 19, 2021 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

      With Constantine, power became a huge aspect of Christianity and is responsible for so much tragedy. I cannot vote for him, Nicene Creed or not.

    • Karen B.'s Gravatar Karen B.
      February 19, 2021 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Fr. Miguel Pro reminds us how precious our freedom of religion – and our freedom to worship as we choose – really is.
      This didn’t happen in some “foreign country” centuries ago – it happened right here, next door, during the “modern” 20th century. The geopolitics of the situation certainly made for some strange bedfellows, but the day-to-day truth is that the Catholic Church was effectively banned – people had to risk their lives to receive the Sacraments (Baptism, Burial, Marriage) and had to risk their lives to celebrate the Eaucharist in secret. Yet very few people in the US have ever heard of this – even though it was less than 100 years ago. I have friends and neighbors who grew up hearing about the Cristero War first-hand from people who were smuggled out of Mexico to safety in the U.S.
      Fr. Pro willingly suffered and and risked his life to minister to the ordinary people of Mexico – he ***chose*** to do so. When the day of his execution came, his last request was to pray. He forgave the men on his firing squad. His was the first martyrdom captured on film. And his final words – ¡Que viva Cristo Rey! – Long Live Christ the King! – are a reminder of who our true ruler is.
      P.S. if you’d like a bit more inspiration – and a terrific theme song to get your blood going – check out the trailer of “For Greater Glory” – check out the Spanish version for the song and some great imagery: https://youtu.be/YrgOiOzFIEo
      Miguel Pro for the Golden Halo!

  53. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    February 19, 2021 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Pobre Mexico, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos. It is no contest for me today. I voted for Miguel Agustin Pro. Constantine may have been a great deployer of troops, but his “Christianity” opened the door to co-optation of the Jesus sect by all the forces and temptations of worldly powers. What the new religion lost in spiritual connection to its founder it certainly gained in “tracts of land,” to use the Monty Python expression. On the other hand, Padre Miguel points to a current political and religious struggle, dominant since the 20th century, of US hegemony over the western hemisphere and violent intervention in the self-governance of South and Central Americas. And to this end, the Catholic church has regularly been reviled as associated with socialism, all efforts to use democratic governance to alleviate systemically the lot of the poor resisted by corporate and militaristic powers devoted to Mammon. In the wonderful movie “Two Popes,” Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (aka Pope Francis), played by Jonathan Pryce, gives a public address in a slum in Buenos Aires, Argentina, telling the people that “it seems unfair to leave all the efforts to improve the world to the Virgin Mary, our blessed mother; we should be helping her out.” Padre Miguel represents all the efforts by Liberation theologists and Dorothy Day workers and Christian activists in all denominations to combat global climate change, bring literacy to the people, and organize labor and land collectives to achieve autonomy and self-governance, dignity and reliable sustenance. Below is a Wikipedia entry with a brief account including photos of the “road to Golgotha” along the railroad tracks and the execution of Padre Miguel. I note with interest that the Ku Klux Klan hated Catholics; my vote for Miguel Pro today is also a vote against the continuation of white supremacy in the US. Vivan los Cristeros.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War

    • February 19, 2021 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

      My God, I always love following your streams of logic!

    • Karen B.'s Gravatar Karen B.
      February 19, 2021 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree with your thoughtful analysis. I think people think persecution of the church is something that only occurs in distant atheist countries, totally not realizing that it occurred right here on our doorstep within our parents’ and/or grandparents’ lifetimes.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 19, 2021 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

      What you said, Saint Celia!

  54. Robert Webster's Gravatar Robert Webster
    February 19, 2021 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    While no great fan of Constantine, as a resident of Mexico, I can’t bring myself to support Miguel. Though he saw himself following Christ, he was in fact supporting a vicious oppression of the poor. So for me, Connie it is.

  55. The Rev. Marcia Tremmel's Gravatar The Rev. Marcia Tremmel
    February 19, 2021 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, but if Constantine hadn’t allowed Christianity to spread, what would Miguel have had to die for?

  56. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    February 19, 2021 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    I generally don’t read the replies until after I vote: today might alter that behavior. Thank you all for these critically considered thoughts and opinions. Through the years I have learned so much through these forums, and see now that my vote for Constantine might not have been well enough considered.

  57. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    February 19, 2021 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    Having lived for decades in Latin America, I am very well aware of the tendency of the Church hierarchy to ally themselves with the wealthy, and especially with U.S. imperialists, while the faithful laypeople and their long-suffering priests hold different views about what it means to be Christian in their world. So I have great sympathy for Miguel Pro. On the other hand, I have always said that if I had a time machine the one thing I would want to do was go back and assassinate Constantine before he made Christianity a state religion. So guess who I voted for?

    • February 20, 2021 - 1:27 am | Permalink

      Thanks for making that point about the hierarchy compared with the faithful & the priests who serve them.

    • Amy Carr's Gravatar Amy Carr
      February 20, 2021 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      It was Theodosius I who made Christianity the sole legal religion of the Roman Empire, not Constantine. Constantine made Christianity legal–but then did begin to invest state money in subsidizing Christianity (not to mention heading the Council of Nicaea before he was even baptized).

  58. Vickie's Gravatar Vickie
    February 19, 2021 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    https://www.jesuit.org.uk/remembering-miguel-pro

    I implore you to go to this website and others to read a fuller account of Miguel Pro’s life and priestly ministry. The write-up provided by LM is sorely lacking and has misled readers to think he was a part of the assassination plot, which he was not. How can he possibly go up against an Emperor without a proper defense? As in real life, Miguel Pro goes down without resistance, forgiving his LM biographer. Viva Cristo Rey!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 19, 2021 - 11:29 am | Permalink

      “If I meet any long-faced saints in heaven, I will perform for them a Mexican hat dance!”

    • Anne Lane's Gravatar Anne Lane
      February 19, 2021 - 11:47 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the link. An excellent telling of his life! Yes, I’m voting for Miguel Pro! So much was missing in today’s post about the man himself and his good works.

  59. Laura G's Gravatar Laura G
    February 19, 2021 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Can someone post the link to the video which explains how the Episcopal church declares Saints? I’m sure I saw this yesterday….can’t find it now. Thx!

  60. Tiffany's Gravatar Tiffany
    February 19, 2021 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    I always get a lot from reading the comments of others.

    And I learn about people I had never heard of or did not know much about by participating in Lent Madness.

    I hope to read about some Episcopalians or folks from other denominations besides RC soon.

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      February 19, 2021 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Looking through the lineup this year, there are only two non-Catholics this year – though this is partly because most of the nominees predate the Reformation. Absalom Jones and Catherine Booth represent the Episcopal Church and the Salvation Army respectively.

      You hit it right on, we learn a lot about people we either know vaguely or have never heard of each Lent!

  61. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    February 19, 2021 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    I voted for Miguel Pro because he died for Christ in this century. He stood and was counted. Although it was a hard choice I felt he gave up more for Christ than did Contantine.

  62. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    February 19, 2021 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    Poor Miguel, to be in competition with the man who made it possible for us all to be taking part in a Christian activity openly and without fear of reprisal! My vote goes to Constantine because had he not enacted the Edict of Milan in 313 to make Christianity legal in the Roman Empire, you and I might still be lunch for lions. Constantine’s edict made it possible for the Emperor Theodosius to make Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire some 43 years after Constantine’s death. As for Ken Howard’s laying all the ills of Christianity – anti-semitism, crusades, pogroms, etc. – at the feet of Constantine, that’s a bit of a stretch. Yes,Constantine was militaristic – hard not to be as an emperor in the fourth century CE, and as for anti-semitism, much of that can be laid at the feet of the writer of the Gospel of John, who constantly refers to ‘the Jews’ in less than flattering terms. Martin Luther also got in a few licks in that area, too. Should we throw out the Gospel of St. John and Martin Luther along with Constantine? As for Miguel valiantly fighting against the anti-Roman Catholic authorities in the Mexico of the 1920s, perhaps the government of the day was reacting to the treatment of the indigenous people of that part of the world by the Conquistadors, those fine Christian gentlemen who introduced Central and South America to the love of God at the point of a sword, while their sponsors back home in sunny Spain were forcing Jews to convert or die?

    • Robert Webster's Gravatar Robert Webster
      February 19, 2021 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes Rene! The church Fr Miguel was fighting for was terribly oppressive and supported the land owners and American fascism. He was undoubtedly a fine priest, but failed to challenge the abuses in the church. The government of the day fell abysmally short in its justice, but was righteous in its judgement.

  63. Jim Bimbi's Gravatar Jim Bimbi
    February 19, 2021 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Having come through the trash talking and negativity in our political discourses over the past several years, it is disheartening to encounter these attitudes in the comments on Lent Madness matchups. In our season of ‘self-examination and repentance’, I may have to forego reading any further comments to safeguard my Lenten pledge to refrain from ‘uncharitable thoughts’ towards my neighbors.

  64. Tim Seitz-Brown's Gravatar Tim Seitz-Brown
    February 19, 2021 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    I write from the stolen lands of the Susquehanna people in what is now known as York County, Pennsylvania. When I trace this story, I first return to Pope Nicholas V in 1454 drafting the “Doctrine of Discovery” which led to both genocide in what is now the United States plus the trans-Atlantic slave trade. He used Jesus to justify “slaying people, enslaving people, and stealing land” in the name of Jesus. Take that back farther and we arrive at Constantine’s vision where he heard a voice say, “By this sign, conquer” when he saw an image of a spear-tipped cross. So the conquering in the name of the cross, a contradiction to the way of Jesus, goes back to this Roman emperor. Obviously, I cannot vote for Constantine and lament his impact upon Christianity. I pray that his imperial version of the faith might be emptied from me. Amen

  65. Neil Elliott's Gravatar Neil Elliott
    February 19, 2021 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Complicated. I’m not convinced the Cristeros story is simply of liberationist piety vs. tyrannical, oppressive state (the account above complicates that narrative–the U.S. pursued “anti-socialist,” pro-oil policies, and the Catholic hierarchy was aligned with those policies; the pious rank-and-file who suffered, including our priest, did not enjoy the benefits of that alliance). Neither do I think Constantine was a benign patron who unwittingly gave the church power it would later come to abuse. He turned to the (Empire-wide, disciplined) church when the Roman military was so divided in loyalty as to be unreliable for his ambitions; he ensured his personal control over bishops by convoking Nicaea (where he had himself recognized as “first among bishops”); he dictated the “homo-ousios” formula that would require another century of warring councils to articulate to anyone’s satisfaction (which causes me to doubt that it sprang from his superior theological acumen). He created monuments to his own largesse (Hagia Sophia, Holy Sepulchre, bits of The Cross donated across Europe–enough, Calvin later quipped, “to build Noah’s Ark”) where before, the “treasures of the church” had been its people, especially the poor (as a deacon informed officers of the Decian persecution). My vote isn’t as much pro-Pro as con-Constantine.

  66. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 19, 2021 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Constantine for me.

  67. Scott's Gravatar Scott
    February 19, 2021 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    Can’t vote for Pro. Look up Santa Teresa de Cabora?

  68. Sharon Davis's Gravatar Sharon Davis
    February 19, 2021 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Miguel his dying allengance was to Christ.

  69. February 19, 2021 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed learning about Father Michael Pro. I had never known of him. I have always been leary of Constantine because somewhere back in my church life ? I heard that he censored some of the books by early Christians from being included in the Bible. I vote for Padre Michael.

  70. Emily F's Gravatar Emily F
    February 19, 2021 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Constantine!

  71. Charles's Gravatar Charles
    February 19, 2021 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    A tricky choice is yours and mine
    ‘twixt Father Pro and Constantine;
    each had his brilliant moments, true,
    but voting is not what I’ll do.

  72. Bill Kaufman's Gravatar Bill Kaufman
    February 19, 2021 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t vote for Constantine for Dog Catcher.
    Making the church into the “established” church was onw od the great mistakes of Christianity

  73. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    February 19, 2021 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I went for Miguel because he reminds me of some of the counter-culture rebels of the 1960’s. Though I didn’t take part in campus marches (except for Sympathy with Selma), I had a certain amount of sympathy for my contemporaries who were trying to bring equality to others.

  74. Robert R Chapman's Gravatar Robert R Chapman
    February 19, 2021 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    We know both of these figures more for the company they kept than for the figures themselves in many ways.

    What turned me in my vote is the Vatican using Blesséd Miguel Pro to combat Liberation Theology and needed land reforms in México. I’m not saying he isn’t a Child of Christ, but he is being used by those against needed societal reforms.

    Constantine has his problems, too. At least he ordered tolerance of religion and isn’t being used as a tool to operas societal good.

  75. Kathy's Gravatar Kathy
    February 19, 2021 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Constantine only gained from his faith. Miguel maintained his faith at the risk of, and then in spite of, losing everything.

  76. Judy Adams's Gravatar Judy Adams
    February 19, 2021 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Miguel Pro! I am blessed to live just across the border from Juarez, with daily views of Mount Cristo Rey. I may have an advantage of more familiarity with Mexican history. So many great comments urging others to more research of Miguel Pro, thank you for that! Please keep in mind that accusations are not always reality. I see Miguel Pro as a clear winner, and am saddened when a name with greater recognition overshadows a true leader for Christ.

  77. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    February 19, 2021 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I was disposed to vote for Constantine on account of the Edict of Milan and the entirely unrelated and trivial fact that he was acclaimed emperor at York (Eboracum), an English city for which I have a special fondness. Also, Roman history is so cool. For all the estimable consequences of his imperial decision making, and despite the catastrophic outcomes of some policies, he certainly earned his epithet ‘the Great.’ Despite his significance for the history of the church, for good and for bad, he was a man of tremendous power and little known piety whose actions in support of the increasingly popular Christian faith may have carried little risk. (I invite correction from keener students of history, and there are many here judging from the informed commentary.) Padre Miguel, on the other hand, seems to have been a fairly obscure parish priest who sought to respond to the needs of Christians at great personal risk. The Cristero cause may have been an unfortunate mix of religious freedom and reactionary politics, but this doesn’t necessarily implicate him. As Miguel seems to have been a man who risked his life, and lost it, in defence of his faith, he strikes me as more ‘saintly’ than Constantine, and therefore more deserving of the Golden Halo.

  78. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    February 19, 2021 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Miguel Pro! Did further reading online and his story and photographs are riveting! What a brave, committed Christian. I can’t go with Constantine, who seems to have been a Christian in name only. And his version of Christianity is so far removed from Jesus of Nazareth.

  79. Anne LeVeque's Gravatar Anne LeVeque
    February 19, 2021 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Abstaining from voting on this one. My mama always said that the Edict of Milan was the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity. Both “saints” seem to be very violent, and Pro sounds like he was aligned with the ruling class. Nope.

  80. Mary-Beth Esser's Gravatar Mary-Beth Esser
    February 19, 2021 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    What a fascinating day. Thank you to whoever prepared this complicated bracket. It lead me to research the Mexican Revolution and the Cristeros. And to appreciate the complexity of being a leader and influencer in our challenging world.

  81. February 19, 2021 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    My husband’s family has a story about Miguel Pro: his grandmother, who grew up in Mexico City, told him about the day when her father opened the door to Miguel Pro who was coming to ask the family to hide him. He refused out of concern for the safety of his family. Miguel Pro was shot either that same day or the next morning.

  82. Bonnie Gossett's Gravatar Bonnie Gossett
    February 19, 2021 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Look up more on Miguel Pro. This bio was very insufficient.

  83. Ralph C. Steger's Gravatar Ralph C. Steger
    February 19, 2021 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    How can you not vote for a man that recognizes the need for and therefore establishes a DAY OF REST!

  84. Kate Cabot's Gravatar Kate Cabot
    February 19, 2021 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

    If I didn’t have to vote by my bracket (we are doing a pool for the benefit of charity in our church), I wouldn’t have voted in this contest. I am quite sure neither one will go past the next round, so there’s that. I went with Constantine but I am glad not to vote for him again.

  85. Lisa Hamilton's Gravatar Lisa Hamilton
    February 19, 2021 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Just watched the peg people video — and suddenly considering a move to South Bend! What creative Christians they must be at the cathedral to have produced the video! Absolutely love it!

    • Kathy Mank's Gravatar Kathy Mank
      February 19, 2021 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Lent will never be the same for me after that video. WOW ! Thanks to the Cathedral of St. James, South Bend, Indiana – home of Notre Dame and a few other colleges. Pete Buttigieg, our new Transportation Secretary, attended church there.

  86. February 19, 2021 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. Both today’s choices embedded in violent politics. I’ll vote but hope to overturn, if my choice wins, later.

  87. Michael Monnot's Gravatar Michael Monnot
    February 19, 2021 - 3:05 pm | Permalink

    First, there’s an important error in the article: it was not an “attempted assassination” – Obregon was killed. It was a successful assassination.
    I think that the story of Pro and the Cristeros was a little oversimplified, and there was some implied guilt by association, both of Pro at the time and of U.S. involvement in the Cristero war in the article. Certainly, the U.S. was following its own perceived interests (as so often in the history of Latin America), but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t support for the Cristeros among the people, or that it was OK for the Mexican government to be murdering priests.
    Anyway, I voted for Pro, who died for hie beliefs, instead of an Emperor who was probably using the church for his own political purposes.

    • Michael Monnot's Gravatar Michael Monnot
      February 19, 2021 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Ahh, my mistake – I should have checked my story first! The successful attempt was later, partly as a response to what happened to the Pro brothers. I was responding off the top of my head in this age of Wikipedia ! My apologies.

  88. MARY ROSA's Gravatar MARY ROSA
    February 19, 2021 - 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I VOTED FOR CONSTANTINE, BECAUSE HE’S BEEN AROUND LONGER.
    I ENJOYED READING ABOUT THEM BOTH.

  89. Julian's Gravatar Julian
    February 19, 2021 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I had not heard of Miguel Pro but I learned of the Cristero revolution (as it was called by those who educated me) when I did a rural studies program in central Mexico and lived with a family who suffered many personal losses for helping to hide their parish priest from government troops. They were hard-working country folk of deep faith. Whatever the politics that may have been playing out on an international stage, good, pious people suffered and I am proud to cast my vote for one of the,.

  90. Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
    February 19, 2021 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    As a Spanish major, the history of the Catholic Church in Mexico has never been pretty, from the arrival of Cortes onward. But I voted for Miguel Pro simply because he found a way to minister to the faithful during a time of intense animosity against the church. Very different than the priests who accompanied Cortes.

  91. Leslie's Gravatar Leslie
    February 19, 2021 - 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh well, here’s a pleasant accounting of Constantine’s behavior – “He gave his sons an orthodox Christian education, and his relationship with his mother was generally happy, but he continued to act as a typical Roman emperor. He ordered the execution of his eldest son, his second wife, and his favorite sister’s husband. No one seems to be able to explain fully his reasons.”
    From https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/rulers/constantine.html

    I’ll go Pro!

  92. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    February 19, 2021 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Ummmm. This was different. I’m going with Miguel Pro. The truth is because of Walker Shaw’s comment.

  93. Carl Fuglein's Gravatar Carl Fuglein
    February 19, 2021 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Constantine power.
    Miguel fought nobly in cause.
    My choice for Miguel.

  94. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    February 19, 2021 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Chi rho swayed me to Constantine. It was an important symbol in my first trip to the United Kingdom, a trip I planned as a vacation that turned itself into a pilgrimage.

  95. Philip Wainwright's Gravatar Philip Wainwright
    February 19, 2021 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    St Paul described his sainthood this way: ‘I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.’ Even though for Paul ‘saint’ meant ‘ordinary Christian’, Paul didn’t want to vaunt himself–‘I am the very least of all the saints’, he also said. So I’m voting for the ones who, as far as I can tell without doing a ton of research, were the worst sinners, and gave Jesus the maximum opportunity to display His patience. If everyone else did the same, Constantine would surely end up the winner: he had his wife, a nephew and one of his sons put to death, in the latter case because he was a bit too eager to replace his father as Emperor if I remember correctly, and this was after his (Constantine’s) so-called conversion. I’m amazed that the biography above doesn’t mention this.

  96. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    February 19, 2021 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Usually so.eone who is martyred gets upvote, but Miguel seems to be on the wrong side of history. Fighting back against the oppression of the church in Mexico as the Cristeros did seems like the right thing to do. I guess its the social worker in me that hates oppression of any kind, religious or otherwise.

  97. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    February 19, 2021 - 6:20 pm | Permalink

    The writeup for Miguel Pro stinks, but since I previously knew who he was i voted for him. he is great saint and martyr for today’s nation.

  98. Bee Durban's Gravatar Bee Durban
    February 19, 2021 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

    What a horrible choice. I would certainly never vote for Constantine. He aligned the fledgling Church with Empire and that is exactly where it has remained to its huge detriment. Awful! As for Miguel Pro, I am not sure that I fully understand what today’s write up is trying to say but it seems that his beatification was done to make a statement against Liberation Theology and Socialism, and I’m certainly not casting a vote for those sorts of shenanigans (although Constantine would have approved I’m sure!). I voted for Migeul Pro in the end because it seems that he was innocent of the crime he was executed for and because he was dignified in the face of persecution. But certainly not an easy choice today.

    • Pamela D's Gravatar Pamela D
      February 19, 2021 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Bee – you put together my exact thoughts on this…I was startled to see Constantine on the list…I can at least imagine Miguel Pro as having been misled but sticking to his faith…

  99. Kim Gray's Gravatar Kim Gray
    February 19, 2021 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

    The Gray Household

    T (the dad, who painted the Constantine peg doll and thus has skin in the game) – He is the very model of a modern major general…Girls – name the musical?
    A1 (age 17) – Hamiltion!
    T – Well, yes, but…
    K (the mom) – Pirates of Penzance!
    A3 (age 12) – Are you telling me we have to vote between two people who tried to kill others?
    Tough choices here today – but the house votes Constantine!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 19, 2021 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

      • Kate Cabot's Gravatar Kate Cabot
        February 19, 2021 - 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Cue John Cabot. But Don’t expect him to get the Gilbert & Sullivan parodies until the Faithful Four!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 19, 2021 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

      And if you CAN’T tell the difference between a Mauser rifle and a javelin, you’ll be back . . . to Hamilton:

  100. Amy Carr's Gravatar Amy Carr
    February 19, 2021 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    This challenging set of choices actually led me to appreciate something about Constantine: he had the vision to see to a new synthesis, however problematic it proved to be, and however problematic his own personal life choices. Miguel Pro did not see ahead to the particular synthesis of socialism and the gospel that post-Vatican II Catholics could envision more easily (if also, still, problematically). So I voted for Constantine because he ended persecution of Christians and perceived that the Arian controversy was significant, triggering the process that stumbled into the doctrine of the Trinity. Constantine envisioned a new possible future; Miguel Pro seemed unable to see that the persecution of the church came from a place of justice-seeking that powerful Catholics had themselves resisted (in a lineage to the conquistadors before them).

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 19, 2021 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Very interesting analysis. I wonder if you think either Jesus or Paul saw a new synthesis. And where seeing a new synthesis would fall under our baptismal covenant. (Not a challenge, just thinking through a provocative formulation.)

      • Amy Carr's Gravatar Amy Carr
        February 19, 2021 - 11:19 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think seeing a new synthesis is required for a baptismal covenant; but your question stirs me to think that an openness to seeing the world anew (the Kingdom of God is like a child) is part of what it means to live and grow responsibly into our baptisms.

        And yes: I think Jesus and Paul both perceived new syntheses. I tell my students that even though Paul claimed his apostolic authority rested on visions of the risen Christ (which I do not deny), his writings were canonized in a way those like the Gospel of Mary were not because Paul made good theological arguments. He perceived clearly that baptism in Jesus entailed something other than a primarily halakhic Jewish identity, and was as adamant about articulating and defending it as any policy advocate for a new and better view today might be about an LGBT-friendly view of human sexuality.

  101. Stephen Moore's Gravatar Stephen Moore
    February 19, 2021 - 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I agree with those who were conflicted by the choices involving blood on their hands. I always flinch when a victory in battle, in which hundreds if not thousands of soldiers are killed, is attributed to the grace of God. God is Love after all. The Cristeros, and those sacrificed to the consolidation of an autocrat’s empire (though an autocrat who advanced Christianity) are both mired in blood. I chose Miguel because he gave his life for a cause and suffered great hardships for that cause. I don’t think Constantine suffered much and shouldn’t have waited to the last minute to be baptized.

  102. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    February 19, 2021 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh Come On! Miguel Pro vs Constantine in the opening round? How am I supposed to choose? Sometimes you make this very difficult.

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