The end (of Lent Madness 2021) is near! It's hard to believe we kicked things off over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday” with 32 saintly souls. With your help, the field has been whittled down to just two: Benedict the Moor and Absalom Jones. Who will receive the coveted 2021 Golden Halo? That, friends, is up to you.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we’ve met some truly remarkable holy people along the way. Perhaps you learned about some folks you’d never heard of before (lots of those this year!) or maybe you renewed acquaintances with saints who have long offered inspiration. Of course the entire notion of placing saints in a bracket is absurd — each “contestant” has already earned a crown of righteousness in addition to a “golden halo.” But at the heart of Lent Madness is the abiding conviction that encountering those who have come before us in the faith enriches and enlivens our own walk with the risen Christ.
In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we’ve all made some new online friends, encountered a community of believers who take their faith but not themselves too seriously, learned some things, were inspired by saintly witnesses, and hopefully had some fun along the way.
Of course we literally couldn’t have done this without our amazing Celebrity Bloggers to whom we offer sincere gratitude: Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Fitch Courie, David Creech, Miguel Escobar, Neva Rae Fox, David Hansen, Miriam McKenney, Carol Howard Merritt, Emily McFarlan Miller, and David Sibley. Thanks to Bracket Czar Adam Thomas for his stellar behind-the-scenes work in keeping the bracket updated daily. You all rock!
Thank you to Richelle Thompson and everyone at Forward Movement for putting up with our shenanigans and producing a terrific Saintly Scorecard this year. Special gratitude goes to Alyssa Finke for helping get words and images into the website each day.
Finally, thanks to all of you who participated by voting, commenting, drinking coffee out of Lent Madness mugs, filling in brackets, talking about saints with friends, liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter, and allowing us to play a small role in your Lenten journey. We’ve loved having each one of you along for the “madness” and on behalf of the Supreme Executive Committee we wish you a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.
Before we invite you to cast this final vote, we should note that David Hansen has ably shepherded Benedict the Moor through the bracket, while Miriam McKenney has done the same for Absalom Jones. We’ve asked them for a single image and one quote either by or about their saint. We’ve already heard a lot about Benedict and Absalom — click the Bracket tab and scroll down to view their previous match-ups if you want to refresh your memory. And then, it’s time to make your choice.
The polls will be open for 24 hours and the winner will be announced at 8:00 am Eastern time on Maundy Thursday. Now go cast your vote — the 2021 Lent Madness Golden Halo hangs in the balance!
Benedict the Moor
"I am a miserable sinner, and full of pride; pray God to make me humble."
-- Benedict of Palermo (aka the Moor)
"Let the first of January, the day of the abolition of the slave trade in our country, be set apart in every year, as a day of publick thanksgiving for that mercy. Let the history of the sufferings of our brethren, and of their deliverance, descend by this means to our children, to the remotest generations; and when they shall ask, in time to come, saying, What mean the lessons, the psalms, the prayers and the praises in the worship of this day? let us answer them, by saying, the Lord, on the day of which this is the anniversary, abolished the trade which dragged your fathers from their native country, and sold them as bondmen in the United States of America."
— Absalom Jones, January 1, 1808 sermon celebrating the end of the slave trade
Benedict the Moor vs. Absalom Jones
Total Voters: 6,421