For one full week, the Supreme Executive Committee will be accepting nominations for Lent Madness 2023. The nominating period will remain open through Monday, May 16, at which point this brief exercise in Lenten democracy will cease and the SEC will return to their regularly scheduled benevolently authoritarian ways.
Nominationtide, the most underrated of liturgical seasons, never begins at the same time other than the vague "sometime after Easter Day." This is partly because Tim and Scott have day jobs and partly because "whim" is one of their ecclesiastical charisms. But it's here! And the world rejoices!
To insure your SUCCESSFUL nomination, please note the Nominationtide Rules & Regulations, which reside in an ancient illuminated manuscript tended to by aged monks who have been set aside by saints and angels for this holy calling.
As you discern saints to nominate, please keep in mind that a number of saints are ineligible for next year’s Saintly Smackdown. Based on longstanding tradition, this includes the entire field of Lent Madness 2022, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2021 and 2020, and those from the 2019 Faithful Four.
Needless to say Jesus, Mary, Tim, Scott, past or present Celebrity Bloggers, and previous Golden Halo Winners are also ineligible. Below is a comprehensive list of ineligible saints. Please keep this in mind as you submit your nominations. Do not waste your precious nomination on an ineligible saint!
For the sake of "transparency," the rest of the process unfolds thusly: Tim and Scott will gather for the annual Spring SEC Retreat at a secure, undisclosed location/coffee shop to consider the nominations and create a full, fun, faithful, and balanced bracket of 32 saints. Then all will be revealed on All Brackets' Day, November 3rd. Or at least, "that's the ways we've always done it."
Time to nominate your favorite saint! But first, look over this list.
The Saints of Lent Madness 2022 (ineligible)
Teresa of Avila
Juliana of Liege
Juana Inés de la Cruz
Gabriel the Archangel
Hilda of Whitby
Madeline Sophie Barat
Melania the Elder
Hilary of Poitiers
Thomas of Villanova
Felix of Burgundy
Oscar of Ansgar
Emma of Hawaii
Hugh of Lincoln
José Gregorio Hernández
Constance of Memphis
Past Golden Halo Winners (ineligible)
George Herbert, C.S. Lewis, Mary Magdalene, Frances Perkins, Charles Wesley, Francis of Assisi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Florence Nightingale, Anna Alexander, Martha of Bethany, Harriet Tubman, Absalom Jones, José Hernández
From 2019 to 2021 (ineligible)
Herman of Alaska
Hildegard of Bingen
Camillus de Lellis
Benedict the Moor
Ives of Kermartin
Albert the Great
Theodore the Empress
As you contemplate your (single!) nomination, why not aid your reflection and sharpen your focus with a hot mug of your favorite beverage? The most effective way to do this, of course, is by reverently sipping out of a Lent Madness mug from the Lentorium. We assume you’ve already ordered your José Hernández 2022 Golden Halo winner mug, but if not, here’s the link.
I nominate Jonathan Daniels, who died by putting himself in the line of fire during the Civil Rights movement in 1965, to save a young black woman.
I nominate St. Maximus the Confessor. He has two feast days, August 13th and January 21st. He wrote on the Nature of Christ and is one of the reasons we see Jesus Christ as fully man and fully divine. He has the title of "Confessor," because he suffered for his faith but did not die as a direct result from his persecution. St. Maximus was breaking the law in writing about the dual nature of Christ and the emperor, I can't remember which one, cut off his his writing hand and cut out his tongue so that he could no longer write or talk about the duality of Christ. He was around 80 years old
Olga of Kiev who began the christianization of the Rus. Her son opposed Christianity, but her grandson fulfilled her hopes for it. She also exemplifies a warrior spirit with her opposition to the enemies who killed her husband. As a 20 year old she became their ruler. Her spirit says much about the spirit of Ukrainians today.
St. Anthony of Padua
Feast day, June 13th
Although now known mostly as the saint of finding lost things, in his own time he was known for his preaching. He once was annoyed by the inattention of an audience so instead went to a lake and preached to the fish. The fish proved their appreciation by continually jumping into the air by the hundreds to listen to his words. God has caused many miracles at his intercession including restoring a dead child to life. In thanksgiving, the child's mother offered bread to the poor in the amount of her child's weight. The tradition of giving bread to the poor to honor the Saint is still carried on today and is known as St.Anthony's bread.
I recommend St. Anthony of Padua because since becoming one of his clients as a child, at the recommendation of my grandmother, God has granted every grace I have requested through his intercession.
I love St Anthony very much and his intercession has been a blessing in my life.
The Righteous Genti,es
Those who spoke out at a time of silence,
Those who offered sanctuary and a lease on life in the eye of the murderous storm,
Those who upheld those who were falling and extended a helping hand, food, and clothing.
Who answered the cry of men, women, and children:
I nominate St Erasmus of Formia! Also known as St. Elmo, he is mostly known as the patron saint of sailors. He is also the patron saint of abdominal pain and diseases, which is my reason for his nomination. I had liver disease for over 4 years which resulted in a liver transplant. I’m am doing exceptionally well now, and have worn a charm of St Erasmus around my neck soon after my diagnosis.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary has always been my favorite saint. I mean, the dedication (not to mention the chutzpah) to take the poor, the sick, the needy into her opulent home while her husband was away, to the consternation of her in-laws. I can just imagine the conversation when he returned to find, perhaps, a leper in his bed. Lizzie, you got some 'splainin' to do! Okay, maybe not. But still...
I think Saint Michael, because he is the saint of soldiers an police, and the need a Saint too
I nominate St Melangell.
Saint Melangell was a female saint of the 7th century. According to tradition she came here from Ireland and lived as a hermit in the valley. One day Brochwel, Prince of Powys, was hunting and pursued a hare which took refuge under Melangell’s cloak. The Prince’s hounds fled, and he was moved by her courage and sanctity. He gave her the valley as a place of sanctuary, and Melangell became Abbess of a small religious community. After her death her memory continued to be honoured, and Pennant Melangell has been a place of pilgrimage for many centuries. Melangell remains the patron saint of hares.
I’d like to nominate St. Veronica. As the woman who stepped out of the crowd to wipe the face of Jesus on the way of the cross, she remains in the shadows for her simple, yet bravely compassionate, act. Plus…what a cool name!
I would like to nominate, Saint Monica - patron saint of moms (and of SpiritWorks Foundation). Her feast day is August 27. She bore and raised a Lent Madness contender - St Augustine.
ST Dymnpha patron saint of mental illness.
As a teacher, I wish to nominate Jean Baptiste De La Selle, the patron saints of teachers. He shirked his wealth and status to provide an education for the poor and struggling. Because of his work, he invented the concept of “normal schools” and had a serious impact on the world of education that resonates today.
I nominate Dr. Paul Farmer. Co-founder of Partners of Health. As Tracy Kidder wrote in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, "Paul Farmer's life calling was to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most."
Florence Li Tim-Oi
She overcame a very dark suicidal period in her life, which is inspiring.
Yes! I second the nomination of Florence. She lived a rich, difficult, remarkable life. Her courage, grace, humility, and devotion shine like the Golden Halo itself.
I nominate Bertha of Kent, who persuaded her pagan husband, the King of Kent, to welcome Augustine to Canterbury. King Ethelbert accepted Christianity and was baptized by Augustine, thus becoming the firs t Christian King inAnglo-Saxon England - all because of the influence of his Christian wife.
I would like to nominate Pauli Murray. Their life speaks for itself - they were a trailblazer in so many ways!
I also have a personal connection: Pauli was priest-in-charge of my home parish when I was in college. They were a friend and mentor to me, and I cherish having known them.
Blessed Carlo Acutis. He died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of 15. His devotion to Jesus, Mary, & the Eucharist converted his mom. He created a website cataloging all the known & approved Eucharistic miracles. He was a computer genius & showed great care for classmates who were struggling at home. He shows that holiness is very near & possible for all, especially the young. Please consider Carlo Acutis.
I wish to nominate St. Odile, patron saint of the blind. While visiting a church in Nateuil France, I was struck by the simple beauty of a small stain glass of St. Odile over the doorway leading out of the church. Her story is rich.
I do not have a person to nominate but I'm writing to beg you to include in next year's nominations Christian saints and heroes from more modern times. This year one had the impression that sainthood happened primarily in early Christian and medieval times. Surely there are many persons, perhaps nominated but not winning in previous years, from post-Reformation times to the present who are worthy of nomination and remind younger people of opportunities for Christian service and sainthood even today.
I nominate St. James, the Less. There is a school of Middle Schoolers in Philadelphia named after him. Because of that he deserves the Golden Halo, and everyone should vote for him once his nomination is successful! Not to be confused with St. James, the Great.
I nominate John Roberts from Wyoming who did the right thing when he ministered among first Nations here in Wyoming the Arapahoe in the Shoshone pier he respected their spirituality and Incorporated that into the anglican spirituality. In light of all the publicity about how poorly anglican schools did with the Native American Indians John Roberts stands as a saint compared to that.
Symeon the Stylite (or Symeon Stylites the Elder) is a 5th century ascetic who lived on top of a pillar for 37 years. Even though he was separated from people physically, he drew a lot of attention and was very involved in public life.
I would like to nominate Pauli Murray for Lent Madness 2023. She was a saint whom God sent to prepare the way for others in the areas of civil rights and women’s rights. A true unsung hero of the church
I would like to nominate St Katherine Drexel. Katherine devoted her life to helping native and african americans who were so desperately overlooked by everyone. Her sacrifice of giving it all up to help others is truly inspirational. I am proud to be a fellow Philadelphian!
I nominate Thomas Dorsey, who died January 23, 1993. He is on the list of Episcopal saints and the day we remember him is, not surprisingly, January 23.
Mr. Dorsey was a composer, musician, and evangelist, according to Wikipedia. He wrote Take My Hand, Precious Lord. Not a personal favorite, but it is a well known song.
Mr. Dorsey wrote both blues and church music and according to Wikipedia, saw lyrics as the only difference between the two.
I bet going to his church was more uplifting than the average service! I’m nominating Mr. Dorsey so people can learn about a black church musician who lived in the 20 century. Add some spice to the usual!
I would like to nominate St. Michael. I feel he needs to be part of Lent Madness because he is the saint who fights Satan with-and for us. He is also the patron saint of police officers. I know that particular field of community service has had so much controversy of late. As with any profession, clergy included, not every member does what they do for the right reasons. I firmly believe that the vast majority serve their communities with the best in their hearts. They put their lives on the line so we can have some peace and hope that someone is watching out for all us. They need our support. Jesus and St. Michael, hear our prayers.
I nominate St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, because she is noted for her patience, a very important virtue
I nominate Anthony of Padua, patron saint of the runt of the litter. There is a legend that men tried to challenge him on the real presence of Christ in the eucharist. To prove it, Anthony was taken to a starving donkey. In one hand he had donkey feed. In the other he had the sacrament. The donkey ignored the feed and ate the sacrament.
I nominate Saint Pauli Murray because the world wasn’t ready for them when they were alive and the world needs their legacy now. They led America in the fight for racial justice, labor rights, gender/sexuality rights, standing against the death penalty, and so much more, but often went unrecognized because of their intersecting identities. They were a poet, lawyer, and a priest. We need to know about the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray.