For the Golden Halo: Teresa of Avila vs. José Hernández

The end (of Lent Madness 2022) 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: Teresa of Avila and José Hernández. Who will receive the coveted 2022 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 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, Neva Rae Fox, David Hansen, Miriam McKenney, Emily McFarlan Miller, David Sibley, and Eva Suarez. 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 Ashley Graham-Wilcox 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 Neva Rae Fox has ably shepherded Teresa of Avila through the bracket, while Eva Suarez has done the same for José Hernández. We’ve asked them for a single image and one quote either by or about their saint. We’ve already heard a lot about Teresa and José, so now it's time to make your final 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 2022 Lent Madness Golden Halo hangs in the balance!


Teresa of Avila


Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
Patience wins all it seeks.
Whoever has God lacks nothing:
God alone is enough.

Teresa of Avila


José Gregorio Hernández

"Dr José Gregorio offers himself to us Christians and to all people of goodwill as an example of a believer, a disciple of Christ, who made the Gospel the criterion of his life…Following the example of Dr José Gregorio, may you be able to recognize each other as equals, as brothers and sisters, as children of the same country. May you show your willingness to serve, and have sufficient humility to let yourselves be served, to help and let yourselves be helped, to forgive and let yourselves be forgiven."

Pope Francis, Statement to Mark the Beatification of Jose Gregorio Hernandez 

With an election too close to call, the Supreme Executive Committee will certify the vote and announce the winner later today. Stay tuned!

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118 comments on “For the Golden Halo: Teresa of Avila vs. José Hernández”

  1. Tough choice, but I had to go with the humble health care provider, Dr. Jose. And, thanks, again, to our bloggers, Eva and Neva Rae!

  2. I have cast my vote for José Gregorio Hernández.

    I would also like to vote for fixing the annoying randomly dropping down banner from the top of the website so that it stays out at the top.

      1. Agree! That banner has to go.
        Tough choice today. Either would be good, but it is a nail biter.

  3. I have learned so much and thought so much and had a lot of fun. Thanks to everybody and Happy Easter.

  4. Lent has been eventful !
    Vote for the Lady St. Teresa !
    Hoppy Easter !
    He is Risen! The Lord is risen Indeed!

  5. It has indeed been an eventful Lent. Easter Blessings to all. My vote to the Lady St. Teresa today - I really need a mug with that statement about God being enough always.

  6. While Jose is a serious contender, I voted for Teresa because of her vibrant and very real relationship with God, and her profound effect on my life and the lives of countless others over the past few centuries, through her writing, teaching, and example.

  7. I voted for Jose Hernandez. What an example of love and service. This is why I love Lent Madness: it reminds us of saints like Teresa of Avila, and introduces us to saints like Jose Hernandez. These days, we need saints like the holy doctor to remind us of how we can feed the sheep.

  8. Lent is not Lent without Lent Madness. I always learn about amazing individuals who are an inspiration for my daily walk. Thanks!
    In fact, LM has, in part, nudged me to take the next steps to share my gifts in service to children.

  9. I took such comfort in the words of St. Teresa at the end of a COVID-challenged seminary experience. I appreciate the Dr., and I cast my vote for the saint.

  10. Thank you to all who helped make Lent Madness enlightening, inspiring and entertaining!

    1. Difficult choice, as the two saints represent two sides of faith - the contemplative and the active. I am equally inspired by Pope Francis's words and this beautiful chant. Thank you for sending, Glenn. However I decide to vote, I will share the link with my church choir. We are singing this for our Tenebrae service.

    2. Just sang that at church last night!! 😀

      Taize setting in English:
      "Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
      Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
      Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
      God alone fills us."

      "Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you,
      All things are passing away: God never changes.
      Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing;
      God alone suffices." -- St. Teresa of Avila

  11. I like both of these candidates. I had to go with Teresa of Avila, having used her prayer over and over for comfort after a couple of family emergencies.

  12. I love Teresa, she is one of my old favorites, but my heart is too heavy with the plights of hurt and orphaned children in eastern Europe right now, not to vote for Jose. Well played, Teresa, Jose, and both your bloggers!

  13. I cast my vote for the good doctor. At present the race is a near tie -- appropriate for these commendable individuals -- so it could still go either way. I will not be disappointed to sip my fair trade coffee from a Teresa mug.

  14. What a beautiful ride! I met Saints I had never met before and learned so much. Having loved a grandfather, known as "Doc" who generously gave his services to the poor for free, I voted for Jose as worthy of the Golden Halo.

  15. I have learned, I have laughed, my Lenten journey has been enriched, and as it has been for lo these many years, this final vote proved to be tortuous joy. Thanks to everyone, God Bless Jose Hernandez and my vote has gone to Teresa of Avila. Onward ho!

  16. "[Teresa] has long been a favorite in Latin America, where there are more schools named after her than after any other female saint except the Virgin. Marginalized by her sex and her converso background [so in more danger than many religious of being subjected to the Inquisition], yet sustained by her character and convictions, Teresa can be seen as a role model for today’s determined Hispanic women, who sometimes face both prejudice in the workplace and male domination at home."
    -- Barbara Mujica, professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, in Commonweal, Feb. 26, 2010.

    Teresa for the Golden Halo!

  17. I love Teresa of Avila. She has always inspired me and deserves the golden halo. But as a fellow physician who felt tugged by the Holy Spirit toward both ordained ministry and medicine I had to vote for Jose. I had never heard of him before Lent madness, but every post that Eva Suarez wrote continued to inspire me. Not just because of who Dr. Hernandez was to his people and patients, but who he has come to mean to me personally as I practice my only be more like him. Thank you Eva, not only for the story of this Saint, but for your perspective as a latina.

  18. Why can't I vote for both!!! Each inspires and encourages.
    This Lent Madness has been the first that I have had to struggle to stay focused and the first I have missed voting every single day. But, I have learned and met new saints that have helped me on the way. The bloggers have been wonderful and I hope to go back and re-read the entries. Blessed Lent and God be praised for this wonderful joyous way to enrich our faith!

  19. Such a tough final vote. I would vote for both if I could. Whichever saint carries the day is a worthy recipient of the Golden Halo.

    1. I feel exactly the same way! Right now, at 9:20 MT in the US they are head to head....blessings and happy easter to all!

  20. Wow! Hard choice. After I voted I saw a near tie; proof that every vote matters. So much fun each year. Who would have thought Lent would become something I look forward to? (Go St John's of Thomaston, Maine!)

  21. THANK YOU, BLOGGERS! You are the real saints of Lent Madness. Thank you for your dedication, passion, good humor, and service to this community.
    ALSO: it's A TIE! 1280 votes each! This is too exciting!
    I voted for el santo medico, because: lay saintliness, solidarity with Spanish-speaking neighbors, recognition of indigenous spiritualities, humility and devotion to service, and lollipops for the children! (I made that last one up.)
    Have a blessed Triduum, everyone!

  22. This is shaping up to be a barn burner. Whoever wins the gold, I think the other deserves a silver halo!

    1. Yes, I too think they should share the halo, if the vote remains close. (As I write at 9pm HT they are 3 votes apart with nearly 8,000 votes cast.) The consensus is for both, I'd say.

  23. I have once again voted for both of these candidates since the first round. As someone pointed out yesterday (which is what swayed my vote), the doctor was a layman who gave up his dream of being a priest to serve his fellow man, so I vote for Dr. Jose Hernandez today to receive the Golden Halo.

    Thanks to everyone. I love Lent Madness. I have learned much about our saints and had a great deal of fun doing it!

  24. Kudos to the writers indeed!
    I did "encountere 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."!!

    I also did not like the drop down banner. And when reading on my phone, the text around the images was not formatted for reading.