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. Dr. Jose is truly a saint for our time - a healer, humble in his giving and caring and treating with dignity all who come to him. I'm so glad I got to know him.

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  2. For the past few years, perhaps even pre-pandemic, I've barely participated in Lent Madness. I'm glad I'm jumped back in, albeit a bit late, this year. Although Teresa was a lovely saint to learn about, and like all the saints, surely worthy of the golden halo, I would have loved to see this come down to Sophie Barat and Jose Hernandez. Those were two that were totally new to me, while I was aware of Teresa before. It seems like the choice today is between one who isolated herself from the world and chose to 'be' with God, and another who didn't isolate himself and chose to 'do' with God. Both of course have value, but today I'm with Jose Hernandez.

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  3. The celebrity bloggers were outstanding this year! Thank you. And I so wish this would end in a tie!

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  4. I study the history of the 1550s and 1600s. There are many, many pious, exciting, passionate religious figures who all have something we can learn. St. Teresa, however is one of the few who is perennially, truly, relevant. She lived an austere life reforming the Carmelites, but she rejoiced in good food. She was serious about her faith and and mysticism, but never lost her sense of humor, which shines through in her writing. St. Teresa’s works, her life and example are so inspiring to me in part because even though it’s been hundreds of years her ideas and life seem as fresh as anything today. Either she or José deserve to win, but I truly think Teresa is more deserving of the recognition this year. The world has changed a lot in the past two years and I think we all need some inspiration form one of the preeminent religious reformers!

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  5. This was no contest for me...I had never heard of Jose Hernandez before this bracket, but I just loved hearing his story. It really touched me, and he's clearly been an inspiration to millions. Thanks for introducing me to this incredible saint. Jose for the win!!

    3
  6. Oh wow, it is so close.
    I will be devastated if Teresa does not win the golden halo, she was my pick from day one. Of course Jose Hernandez is a very worthy saint, but I hope he is the worthy runner-up.

    "Whoever has God, lacks nothing" the Doctor of the Church who teaches us this indeed already has a golden halo.

    Thank you for the Madness. Can't wait for next Lent!

    1
  7. This has been quite a ride! And a wealth of new knowledge, as always. My vote goes to Dr. José, though this involves my forgiving him for beating my homie, Emma. Had they lived in the same time and place, they would have been fast friends, and colleagues in ministry to those in great need.

    4
  8. Stunningly wonderful quotes for both saints today. Thanks not only to Neva Rae Fox and Eva Suarez, but to all the Celebrity Bloggers, the SEC, and everybody else whose work I have the advantage of without even knowing who's doing it! I really love Lent Madness and look forward to it every year. God bless you one and all.

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  9. Wow--a nail biter. Having just voted I see the vote is TIED almost 3 hours into voting--exact same number of votes, which I have never seen at the time I voted-- in the contest for the Golden Halo. (And I have to admit, this was not a quick decision; both deserve it.) It just proves this has been a fine bracket. Thanks to all who make it possible.

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  10. Separated by two votes when I voted! It shows these two both are deserving of the Golden Halo. Aren’t we all blessed to be able to learn of these two saints, and follow their way, just as they believed their faith and followed Jesus! Thanks to Lent Madness for another wonderful opportunity to be introduced to all these saints. Happy Easter everyone. ✝️

    4
  11. For the Spanish speakers among us, here's Theresa of Avila's prayer in Spanish:

    "Nada te turbe,
    nada te espante,
    todo se pasa;
    Dios no se muda.
    La paciencia todo lo alcanza;
    Quien a Dios tiene, nada le falta;
    Solo Dios basta."

    Here's hoping I can drink from a woman mystic's cup!

    3
  12. Wow! So close at 11:AM I have to wonder what the outcome will be. I am pullng for Teresa in part because as a retired nurse I know a doctor, as good as he or she is, cannot achieve their work without the support of the behind the scenes nurses and other support staff. I do respect the work Jose did but I am sure he had help to do all that he did.

    3
  13. All shall be well,
    and all manner of thing shall be well. == Julian of Norwich

    Let nothing upset you,
    let nothing startle you.
    All things pass; == Teresa of Avila

    Gotta vote for my other all time fave mystic with the same message.

    5
  14. In many ways St. Teresa instructs Dr Jose, the man that yearned for the monastic life but saw the need for the worldly life of a doctor. Dr Jose understood that God was enough and always present as he ministered to the poor as a doctor.
    For inspiration and a down to earth reminder that God is always enough and always present, I vote for St. Teresa.

    3
  15. Wow! What a close race. This is the first time I've ever broken a (temporary) tie with my vote. 2274 to 2273. May the Spanish daughter of conversos be awarded the Golden Halo.

    1
  16. Before reading and sitting with today's blog entries, I was convinced I'd vote for Teresa. But now my heart is moved by the life, works and generosity of José. His story seems a timely balm and inspiration for this moment in time. That said, I will gladly drink my morning tea from a Teresa mug. Thank you bloggers and organizers. I miss Lent Madness already. Blessed Triduum and Easter to all.

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  17. At this moment, as I cast my vote for Dr Jose’, three votes separate these two worthies. It is a choice between the contemplative and the active practice of a sincere faith. Doesn’t get any better than this. I am moved by the hands on expression of God’s love in the world. Glory be to the healers.

    4
  18. Thank you so much, it has been a great joy to spend Lent in this glorious company once again. I have been inspired and have learnt so much. I have voted for both of these saints, and it is so hard to choose between them. But in this time of pandemic, I cast my vote for Dr Hernandez, in thanksgiving for his life and witness, and with great gratitude for all who find their vocation in healthcare.

    4
  19. It's been a rough couple of years, so I especially cherish the spirit of Lent Madness, which has reminded me of saints I've known since childhood, and introduced me to holy men and women I'd never heard of before. Thanks to all who make LM possible, and special thanks to the community who share their comments - their combined faith and humor make LM that much sweeter - God bless . . .

    2
  20. Teresa's quote inspired me to vote for Jose without guilt, reminding me that voting for him does not diminish her one bit. All things pass; God does not change.

    Both are worthy Saints. What a terrific LM season it's been.

    Sincere thanks to everyone at who made this journey possible, may we all continue to find peace in the risen Christ. Wishing you all a blessed Eastertide.

    The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

    7
  21. As of my vote click, they are 8 votes apart (12:19 PM EST).

    And like so many others, futile though it would be, there is that desire to vote for both. I'm not sure how many years I've felt this torn between the final two, but it's not often.

    Plus I have a migraine today. So voting for the patron saint of headaches/headache sufferers or voting for the good doctor who enabled folks to pay with dignity from his own stash (which is the kind of help I need)?! AGH! And the migraine tension rises.

    But I recall Teresa being in the bracket before and not making it (not even very far if I read correctly) and that tipped the scales for me ever so slightly because I need that endurance and "second chance hope" as well.

    (And if she would win today, I plan to re-read the nomination rules and mark my digital calendar for the year José would be eligible to run again so I can be sure to nominate him again! Well, either way, actually I think!)

    4
      1. Thank you! Still present but less intense, what I call a "functional migraine" now and super grateful for that!

        1
  22. I voted for Teresa who has figured largely in my sermons this year, but wished to could also vote for the wonderful José who is new to my vast collection of saints. I am rooting for a tie so we can have two Golden Halos and see them together on our mugs.

    5
  23. Just checked the count. Teresa ahead by 3 votes! I so want to give a golden halo coffee mug to a physician colleague of mine with a chronic illness. He needs some miraculous healing right now and Because he is Latino, Dr. Hernandez would be just the saint for the cup. Vote Jose!!!!

    4
  24. WOW, at 9:44 A.M., Pacific Daylight time, Teresa and Jose are only 7 votes apart! Both are worthy of the Golden Halo, but I voted for Teresa, because the "blurb" for Teresa is a hymn that our choir is singing for Maundy Thursday.
    But I won't be angry if Jose wins.

    As always, Lent Madness has been both informative and enjoyable Thanks, Tim and Scott!

    4
  25. Thank you to you all for a GREAT Lent Madness! Learned about new saints with friends!!

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  26. I have studied Teresa of Avila for years, spent time in Avila and Alba de Torme honoring her. But santa de medico touches my RN heart. Maybe have the golden halo mug have his picture but Teresa's words on it? (i.e., a tie!) (I voted for santa de medico.)

    4