Happy Nominationtide!

For one full week, the Supreme Executive Committee will be accepting nominations for Lent Madness 2024. The nominating period will remain open through Saturday, May 27, 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.

  1. The nominee must, in fact, be dead.
  2. The nominee must be on the official calendar of saintly commemorations of some church.
  3. We will accept only one nominee per person.
  4. You must tell us WHY you are nominating your saint.
  5. The ONLY way to nominate a saint will be to leave a comment on this post.
  6. That means comments left on Facebook, Twitter, attached to a brick and thrown through the window at Forward Movement headquarters, or placed on giant placards outside the residences of Tim or Scott don’t count.

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 2023, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2022 and 2021, and those from the 2020 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! (it happens more than you'd think)

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.

Time to nominate your favorite saint! But first, look over this list. Don't throw away your shot.

The Saints of Lent Madness 2023 (ineligible)

Augustine of Hippo
Hippolytus of Rome
Joanna the Myrrh Bearer
Simeon Bachos
Brendan of Clonfert
David of Wales
Rutilio Grande
Josephine Bakhita
Eric Liddell
Dorothy Sayers
Florence Li Tim-Oi
Nicolaus von Zinzendorf
Martin de Porres
Maximus the Confessor
Cuthmann of Steyning
J.S. Bach
Harriet Monsell
Richard Hooker
Olga of Kiev
Bertha of Kent
Stanislaus the Martyr
Chief Seattle
John Donne
Juan Diego

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 Hernandez, Jonathan Daniels

From 2020 to 2022 (ineligible)

Teresa of Avila
Juliana of Liege
Madeleine Barat
Thomas of Villanova
Thomas Aquinas
James Holly
Camillus de Lellis
Benedict of Nursia
Ives of Kermartin
Arnulf of Metz
Albert the Great
Catherine of Genoa
Catherine Booth
Hildegard of Bingen
Elizabeth Fry

And remember, nominations are like voting: just one per person. Let the Nominations for Lent Madness 2024 start rolling in!



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260 comments on “Happy Nominationtide!”

  1. I nominate Matt Talbot of Dublin (1856-1925). He has been given the title Venerable by the Roman Catholic Church, an early step toward sainthood, and his feast day is celebrated on June 18 or June 19, depending on the source. Raised in the slums of Dublin, he was an alcoholic by his early teens. One day in his late twenties, standing in the street outside a pub, he had a deep experience of conversion, and never drank again. Even though alcoholism was rampant in his family and his own mother would not believe he’d stay sober, he never drank again. Though he struggled for several years, he eventually devoted himself to a life of prayer, simplicity, and compassion for others. He’d been a “mitcher” during his few years of schooling, but taught himself to read so he could study the Bible, theology, and the lives of the saints. Though some of his asceticism may seem excessive today (regular fasting and sleeping on a board, for example) it came from a deliberate attempt to imitate the earlier Irish saints whose lives he studied. The money he saved through his radical simplicity he gave away to his poor neighbors and the missions. There are many stories of his deep kindness, quiet generosity, and gentle humor. His story is important today because it reminds us that there is no one beyond the hope of recovery or the reach of God’s grace, and that even the most ordinary, obscure person can pursue a holy life and do beautiful things for God.

    1. I'm officially submitting this as my nomination - please ignore my second comment re withdrawal below, based on misreading the start date. Nominationtide is just so exciting, what do you expect?

  2. Unsend! Unsend! :>). My bad for being too excited to actually stop and read the date and then posting the nomination. I apologize profusely to the Executive Committee and withdraw my comment. I will wait until May 27th, now that I've taken two minutes to actually read the notice. The Executive Committee are they who must be obeyed!

  3. St Raphael the Archangel. He is one of the major archangels (and my second Patron Saint). We don't know if Archangels die, but for sure he is on the Saints Calendar.

  4. I nominate St. Walburga (also called Walpurga, etc.)
    Mostly because that was my Grandma’s name, but also because St. Walburga was brilliant and amazing (like my grandma.)

  5. The Rev. Pauli Murray!! The first black person afab to be ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church, a poet, author, lawyer, leader of the civil, labor, women’s rights movements, and multifaceted person who held all identities together and never flattened the narrative. We all need to know about St. Pauli today. Rev. Murray lived ahead of time but today is a time when we all need to know and learn from this faithful person of God! There is hardly a major movement in history that advanced human rights that Dr. Murray was not somewhere in the front blazing the trail with a typewriter. Please be a platform for this life well lived so that more Episcopalians will no longer be ignorant to the name! Go watch ‘My Name is Pauli Murray’ right now and be amazed!

    1. Second Pauli Murray, whose feast is celebrated on July 1. One correction to the above: she was the first Black *woman* ordained in the Episcopal Church.
      As a side note, in reading her autobiography I realized that I grew up in the church she attended in New York, where she was also the first woman to serve on the vestry. My father, who also served on that vestry, would say nothing about her, which confirmed to me that he was not ready to deal with a woman as an equal. (He changed over time, but time is the operative word.)

      1. Let me continue to raise the cry for Pauli Murray. It honestly boggles my mind that Rev. Murray has not been on the list before: an Episcopal priest, a civil rights activist, a law scholar, and a Christian who represents the complexity of sexual and gender identity--so relevant today when those identities are under vicious attack. 2024 is the year for Rev. Murray to get deserved recognition in Lent Madness, and will be a strong candidate for the Golden Halo.

        1. IMO (and based on previous years' observations), the Rev. Murray is a likely winner, and the SEC doesn't want to weigh the process in this fashion

      1. I want to add my voice to the groundswell for Pauli Murray! Pauli was priest in charge at my home parish when I was in college. She was a friend and mentor, and I am honored to have known Pauli.

  6. William Augustus Muhlenberg was born in Philadelphia on September 16, 1796, to Henry William Muhlenberg, a wine merchant, and Mary Sheefe. He was also the grandson of Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg (Penn trustee, 1779-1786), grand-nephew of John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (Class of 1763 and Penn trustee, 1787-1788), and the great-grandson of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (1711-1787) who was instrumental in organizing the first permanent Lutheran church body in America.

    In 1812, William Augustus Muhlenberg entered the College of the University of Pennsylvania. On October 2, 1813, he was one of thirteen founding members of the Philomathean Society, Penn’s first student organization.

    After graduating in 1815 as his class’s English Salutatorian, Muhlenberg went on to become a Protestant Episcopal clergyman. His first position, from 1817 to 1822, was as an assistant to Bishop William White at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia. For the next few years he served as rector of St. James’ Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he established the first public school in the state outside of Philadelphia.

    Muhlenberg moved to Long Island in 1826, where he founded and headed the Flushing Institute (later St. Paul’s College); his progressive methods of education made him a nationally known figure. In 1834, during his time on Long Island, Muhlenberg earned his Doctorate of Divinity from Columbia College.

    In 1845 he established the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City; this church was well-known because its pews were free and because it delivered such services to the community as employment agencies, medical services, parish schools, and English classes. He also founded the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion for women who were committed to this kind of work. The infirmary established by Muhlenberg at the Church of the Holy Communion expanded into St. Luke’s Hospital. He later became superintendent and chaplain of St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City, a position he held from 1858 until 1877.

    Muhlenberg was the author many well-known hymns and an advocate for the reform of church liturgy. He is recognized as one of the first American religious leaders to recognize the significance to the church of the needs of the new urban and industrial society; he worked to bring new organizations and methods into the church so that it could address this changing society. Muhlenberg died in New York on April 8, 1877.

  7. I nominate Oscar Romero for two reasons: (1) from the moment of his death (he was killed while celebrating mass) his followers were convinced of his sanctity even tho it took the church a while to catch up. Vox populi Vox Dei. (2) he inspires me because he was always faithful and his conversion was lifelong. This gives me hope in my advancing age, that God can work through people who have deep flaws, if we allow it.

  8. This task would be easier (and a better line up might be achieved) if you also presented a list of ELIGIBLE saints from former years. The group that I belonged to felt that the 2023 line up was perhaps not of the same quality as in former years. Of course we want to learn about saints we are otherwise unfamiliar with. But some worthy Saints from prior years were eliminated on the first round because they were up against the eventual winner or even final four competitor. We Love Lent Madness as we discuss who should or should not be put forward we also learn what makes a "saint". Thank you

    1. From Wiki: "Canonized Roman Catholic saints have been through a formal institutional process resulting in their canonization. There have been thousands of canonizations. Pope John Paul II alone canonized 110 individuals, as well as many group canonizations such as 110 martyr saints of China, 103 Korean martyrs, 117 Vietnamese martyrs, the Mexican Martyrs, Spanish martyrs and French revolutionary martyrs. Note that 78 popes are considered saints.[1]

      Among the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Communions, the numbers may be even higher, since there is no fixed process of "canonization" and each individual jurisdiction within the two Orthodox communions independently maintains parallel lists of saints that have only partial overlap.

  9. Michael the Archangel. He is a saint, he is important and his Saints' Day is a big celebration.

  10. I nominate Saint Simeon Stylites (c. 390 - 2 September 459). The reason I nominate is that he lived on a platform atop a pillar in Aleppo, Syria for 37 years, demonstrating extreme devotion by seeking God through ascetism, as well as being the first Christian performance artist.

  11. This year, as very year, I nominate Adomnán of Iona c. 624 – 704. Adomnan was abbot of Iona Abbey and biographer of St Columba.

    Adomnán promulgated the Law of Adomnán or "Law of Innocents", a treaty to protect women, children and clerics, the first of its kind. He wrote, without having visited himself, 'On Holy Places', an account of the great Christian holy places and centres of pilgrimage. Adomnán's account was inspired by Bishop Arculf, who had personally visited Egypt, Rome, Constantinople and the Holy Land, and visited Iona afterwards. He also wrote poetry.

    His death and feast day are commemorated on 23 September. Along with Columba, he is joint patron of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raphoe, which encompasses the bulk of County Donegal in the north-west of Ireland.

    Committed to justice, peace, and education, what's not to like, or to vote for!

    1. Having been to Iona , and walked the island, I have always kept the sacred feeling of that very special place .

  12. Saint Lucy She is the daughter of a wealthy man and is to be given to another wealthy but evil man. She tears her eyes out rather than refusing her vow to be celibate and consecrated to God.

  13. I would like to nominate William Alexander Guerry (July 7, 1861- June 9-1928) the eight SC bishop. Bishop Guerry worked during his tenure to gain racial equality in the SC diocese.
    On June 5, 1928 Bishop Guerry was shot in his office in Charleston, SC located at St. Phillips Church by JH Woodard for advancing racial equality.
    Bishop Guerry had proposed to have an African American Suffragan Bishop which alienated many at the time. Bishop Guerry passed away on June 9, 1925.

  14. Hello! I would like to nominate St. Seraphim of Sarov, the 18th century contemplative monk who is said to have lived with a bear in the woods around his hermitage. He loved. Everything. Animals, people, nature, kindness, gentleness, etc.

  15. I nominate Fr Michael Mcgivney. Founder of the Knights of Columbus. An amazing parish priest

  16. After reading about the fragmentation of the early church and the efforts to draw together one definitive canon, I nominate Irenaeus for his leadership and vision!

  17. Piran of Cornwall. Anyone who floats across the Irish Sea with a millstone tied round their neck and survives deserves to have a shot at the Golden Halo! Anyway, I like Cornwall! It ought to be Britain's 5th official nation, and deserves to be know for something more sacred even than Cornish Pasties!

  18. I nominate St. Anthony of Padua, a man of the Gospel, known for his preaching ability and for his concern for the poor. According to his biographer, he persuaded the ususers of Padua to forgive the debts and interest of the poor of Padua, a situation that persisted even after his death. While sometimes considered the patron of those who lost things, he is so much more as evidenced by his preaching.

  19. Rachel Carson (found on the calendar of this church: http://churchinthecliff.org/st-rachel-carson/

    Why I'm nominating her: Although Rachel is most famous for her book Silent Spring which spoke of the poisons we were putting in the earth, she also wrote books that taught people to appreciate the glory of God's handiwork--to find the wonder in a periwinkle, to be amazed by the world at the edge of the sea through the unending cycles of tides, to embrace and celebrate and care for this beautiful world we are blessed to inhabit.

  20. I would like to nominate Pauli Murray. Pauli was such a renaissance person: from poet to writer to civil rights activist, to lawyer, teacher and finally priest. Reading her biography was taking a personal walk through the 20th century. She was a shaper of that century yet her contributions remain largely unknown. She is such an example, inspiration and encourager for active involvement in social justice. My favorite quote is “One person plus one typewriter constitutes a movement”

  21. I nominate William Alexander Guerry (1861-1928), bishop of the diocese of South Carolina, 1907-1928. After the Civil War, the diocese adopted a segregated stance and relegated black Episcopalians to second class status. In he early 1900's, Bishop Guerry campaigned for equality and inclusion of blacks and promoted the idea of a black suffragan bishop in the diocese. He was opposed, and blocked, by the virulent white racism of the time. In 1928, he was shot in his office, in Charleston, by a priest of the diocese who had written a highly racist diatribe against blacks. Guerry died five days later. In the 1950's, the diocese was finally integrated and historically black parishes and missions gained equality and inclusion in the diocese. Guerry is now remembered and honored as a martyr of the faith.

  22. Oscar Romero, a true martyr of the church, because he refused to be silenced as an advocate for the poor, in opposition to the regime.

  23. I nominate Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, now deceased, is one of the leaders of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Hanan was a voice--and active hand--in the active battle for unity and inclusiveness. He served in WW II as a minister to the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne. Even in his retirement he lived a message of love.

  24. I nominate St. Zita of Lucca. She is remembered for her generosity - especially to a beggar on Christmas Eve who was revealed to be an Angel. If you go to her church in Lucca you can see the Angel Door AND her body in a side chapel. Her feast day is April 27.

  25. I nominate St. Andrew the Apostle. He was the first disciple and the first apostle. He brought his brother Peter to Jesus. He introduced Jesus to the boy with the loaves and fishes. When given the choice between being a human sacrifice and being crucified, he chose the latter, but insited his cross be hung at an angle as he believed himself to be unworthy of hanging on a straight up cross as Jesus had.

  26. I am nominating Julian of Norwich.

    * Wrote Revelations of Divine Love, earliest surviving English language works by a woman

    * Only surviving English language work by an anchoress

    * Known as a spiritual authority

    * May 8 is her Feast Day

    * Survived *Black Death 1348-1350; *Peasants Revolt 1381; * Suppression of Lollards- reform Western Christianity

    * At age 30 thought to be on death bed and received a series of visions or showings of the Passion Christ.

    *Wrote two versions of those experiences

    * Lived in permanent seclusion in her cell, which was attached to St. Julian’s Church.

    * Mystic Margery Kempe received counsel by the anchoress.

    1. I believe she was given the Silver Halo some time ago. One of my all time favorite saints.

    2. Suzanne, I was also going to nominate Julian of Norwich. She wrote about LOVE! Thank you for putting her name forward.

    3. I also nominate Julian of Norwich, a personal saint ‘friend’ of mine. She wrote the first book in English by a woman. And her beautiful writing never fails to remind me that ‘all will (somehow) be well’ and that we are each intimately enfolded in God’s love as we are in our clothing. She’s a voice we need today.

  27. I nominate St. Padre Pio. Just finished book series and am amazed by his story including personal encounter stories from some in my book club. Feast day Sept. 23rd.

  28. I nominate St. Ignatius of Loyola. He is my favorite saint, because of the vision and imagination which led him to his faith, and because his conversion reminds me of St. Augustine...from dissolute womanizing noble playboy to one of the major players in Christianity. Also - because I would love to be a Jesuit, except you have to be a Roman Catholic priest. Ignatian spirituality speaks to me.

  29. I nominate St. Ambrose, (Unexpected) Bishop of Milan. He was sent in by the civil authorities to oversee the contentious election for Bishop of Milan. He found himself being nominated to be the next bishop despite being a local civil servant and not a member of the liturgical hierarchy. Despite his unconventional ascension to the Episcopate, he rose to the occasion and became one of the staunchest defenders of the faith and is recognized as one of the four doctors of the church.

    I see him as the honorary patron saint of "I Didn't Sign Up For This!" His writings and speeches positively influenced many, now famous, saints of his day.