Happy Nominationtide!

After consulting their ecclesiastical Magic 8-Ball, the Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness has determined that there will indeed be a Lent Madness 2025. This was no sure thing as the first reply came back "Reply hazy, try again." Well, the SEC followed this directive and the Lent Madness public has been rewarded with what next appeared: "It is decidedly so."

All of which is a long way of saying, Welcome to Nominationtide! Yes, for the next seven days, we will be accepting saintly nominations as we seek to discern which 32 saints will make it into the 2025 bracket.

The nominating period will remain open through Monday, May 13, 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. Nominationtide is the most moveable of moveable feasts. 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. A brief paragraph (or even a long one) will suffice.
  5. The ONLY way to nominate a saint will be to leave a comment on this post.
  6. That means comments left on Facebook, X, 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 which saint 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 2024, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2023 and 2022, and those from the 2021 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(ish) 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.

The Saints of Lent Madness 2024 (ineligible)
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas the Apostle
Henry Muhlenberg
Albert Schweitzer
Adomnan of Iona
Joseph Vaz
Piran of Cornwall
Cornelius the Centurion
Rafqa of Lebanon
Claire of Assisi
Henry Whipple
Jackson Kemper
Pachomius
Cyprian of Carthage
Canaire
Barbara
Kassia
Casimir
Lazarus
Joseph of Arimathea
Rita
Zita
Brigid of Kildare
Julian of Norwich
Gertrude the Great
Gertrude of Nivelles
Ambrose of Milan
William Byrd
Polycarp
Andrew the Fisherman
Hyacinth
Rose of Lim

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, Julian of Norwich

From 2021-2023 (ineligible)
Joanna the Myrrhbearer
Blandina
Martin de Porres
JS Bach
Bertha of Kent
Chief Seattle
Florence Li Tim-Oi
Teresa of Avila
Juliana of Liege
Origen
Madeleine Barat
Thomas of Villanova
Thomas Aquinas
James Holly
Benedict the Moor
Ives of Kermartin
Catherine of Genoa

Nominate your (hopefully eligible!) favorite saint for Lent Madness XVI!

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251 comments on “Happy Nominationtide!”

  1. I nominate Kateri Tekakwitha
    St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her husband.Her name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.

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  2. Nomination for Lent Madness:
    Verna Dozier, lay woman, one of most prolific and inspirational and under recognized theologians of the 20th Century. Proponent of the ministry of all the baptized.
    Yes, I know she isn't in the official list of saints ... but hope springs eternal ...
    Where shall I send my bribe this year?

    5
  3. I nominate OSCAR ROMERO!

    We needhin now more than ever to guide us through these social injustices around the world

    5
  4. St. Bonaventure

    He was a Franciscan scholar and teacher of the life of prayer, and he's often been overlooked in favor of others. Hats off to St. Bonaventure!

    1
  5. I nominate Frances Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini). She went before the Pope many times requesting permission to establish missionaries in China. She was denied each time. She wouldn’t give up. Finally, he gave her approval to go to New York (he was probably exasperated) to help Italian immigrants who were very impoverished. She went on to make over 20 transatlantic crossings and established over 60 institutions including hospitals and orphanages. She was also the first US citizen to be canonized. A remarkable woman!

    8
    1. I was also going to nominate Mother Cabrini . . . who I learned about only recently from a marvelous film about her life. I was inspired by her persistence and tirelessness on behalf of the poor, especially immigrants.

      I hope this reply will count as another nomination for Mother Cabrini!
      (Thanks to Cindy Ricker for nominating her before I got here 🙂

      3
  6. I nominate Frederick Douglass. He is an Episcopal saint. His Saint day is February 20th. I nominate him because he stood up for the equality of all people. He was an abolitionist, a suffragist, and supported immigrants. People of color, women, and immigrants are under attack now and I’m sure Frederick Douglass would come to their aid.

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  7. I wish to nominate Hermano Pedro, a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Although born in the Canary Islands, Hermano Pedro is regarded in Guatemala (where I am currently living) as the country’s very own saint. His life’s work of caring for the sick and sheltering the poor was here; many if not most of those he helped were indigenous. His work is carried on today by Obras Sociales de Hermano Pedro, a Franciscan institution located a couple of blocks from the tomb of the saint.

    2
  8. I nominate Ingegärd Olovsdotter, Saint Anna in the Russian Orthodox church. In addition to being responsible for the building of Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev, and the Cathedral of Saint Sofia in Novgorod, she gave shelter and protection to English Princes Edmund and Edward, and Norwegian Prince Magnus. Beyond that, she is a direct ancestor of mine, as are several other saints. Unfortunately, the fruit does sometimes fall far from the tree. Her feast days are February 10th and October 4th.

    4
  9. I nominate St. Mark: Gospel writer, missionary, founder of the church in Egypt, patron saint of Aquileia and Venice. Why? Well, my husband was named after him and readings from the Gospel according to Mark have helped me throughout the years.‭ Mark 2:17 NET‬
    When Jesus heard this he said to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    5
  10. Every year I wait for my dude to be nominated—There is no one more deserving than St. Moses the Black. (Though if you ask him, he probably would deny that he is deserving. He’s humble like that.)

    I am nominating St. Moses the Black because my Golden Halo winner needs a good redemption story. I like the saints who start out leading a life of sin, and then turn their life around. I think that makes them human, and somebody that everyone can relate to since we all sin and try to turn our lives around. (Usually just to sin again, but…)

    St. Moses was a murderer and a robber. (Had yearbooks been around back then, probably would’ve been voted “Most likely to never get into Heaven.”) Eventually, he saw the errors of his ways, and wanted to turn his life toward God. Some of his old gang buddies paid him a visit while he was trying to transform his life, and Moses Was so strong he tied up all four men and took them to the head monk. The head monk told Moses to set them free, and he did. These men were thankful and started following Saint Moses, and begin turning their lives around. (Mark “great leader” down as another quality of a good Golden Halo recipient.)

    In addition to all this, St. Moses learned how to fast, had cool (albeit scary) visions, had power over demons, was greatly humble, and foresaw (and accepted whole-heartedly) his death.

    I’m all for someone making a movie of St. Moses’s life. It’s got everything! (Except the distinction of being a Golden Halo winner!) Thanks for considering St. Moses!

    6
  11. I nominate Syncletica the Desert Mother because she empowered women in a time when they were regularly mistreated and taken advantage of, and because she is full of wisdom that we desperately need today. People often refer to the desert fathers by name, but in a time of increased inclusivity, it is not inclusive enough to add the label "mother" without knowing them by name. Real inclusion is always particular. Amma Syncletica is not just a name to fill out this category- she is particularly worthy of this nomination because as the church has bounced between the extremes of elevating women's virginity as the highest moral good and setting motherhood as the highest standard for women (and the place to which they are bound), Syncletica defies both expectations as the only way for women to be acceptable. She lived a celibate life as a spiritual mother, guiding countless women with her wisdom. She is important because she serves Christ by being creatively faithful as she brings out the best of supposedly incongruent roles.

    12
  12. Maximilian Kolbe (1894–1941) Polish Catholic Priest. Venerated in Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. He was associated with the Niepokalanów monastery, where he helped publish a newspaper and later started a radio station, issuing a number of publications considered anti-nazi.
    During World War II, he remained at the monastery, organizing a hospital and providing shelter to refugees, including 2,000 Jews.
    Kolbe was arrested by the Germans in 1939 but refused to acknowledge his German ancestry.
    He was imprisoned in Auschwitz in 1941, where he continued his priestly duties despite harsh treatment.
    Kolbe volunteered to take the place of another prisoner condemned to death by starvation. He died in 1941 after being given a lethal injection of carbolic acid.

    6
  13. Maria Skobtsova Or Mary of Paris.
    French resistance and named one of the Righteous. Poet who wrote the powerful poem Sinai. Born in Russia, this nun fled to France where she resisted evil.

    5
  14. I nominate Mother Cabrini. The movie told her story of selflessness and service to all.

    2
  15. I offer, for your consideration, Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, even though I am uncertain she meets your requirement for being on an official church commemoration calendar. She has been proposed for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church multiple times, a prospect which many people associated with the Catholic Worker Movement have opposed out of the belief that she would have opposed it-- as giving ordinary Christians an excuse for not making similar efforts toward social justice based on the belief that they could excuse their lack of action because her service was "extraordinary".

    One of the reasons I put forth her name is that (with all due respect) I believe that inclusion in a March Madness competition-- or even winning the Golden Halo-- carries QUITE the same weight as canonization by the Roman Catholic Church. Her life and witness provide a strong example of fidelity to the Gospel as a lay person in the modern world.

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  16. I'd like to nominate Dorothy Day for her work with the poor as an expression of her faith.

    8
  17. I nominate Frances Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini). She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and worked so hard to help the sick and parent less in New York.

    3
  18. I nominate Saint Cecilia. The world needs more music. We need more Cecilia to soothe our woes.

    10
    1. Cecilia is the patroness of music. We have no greater gift than the inspiration that music gives.

      2
  19. I nominate Saint Maximilian Kolbe. He is the patron saint of addicts and prisoners in the RC church and his story both in how he lived his life for Jesus and also how he died have been an inspiration in my faith journey as an Episcopalian. I believe that Saint Max would be well deserving of the Golden Halo as his life (and death) exemplify a true Christian saint.

    Per Wikipedia: After his canonisation, a feast day for Maximilian Kolbe was added to the General Roman Calendar. He is one of ten 20th-century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Anglican Westminster Abbey, London. Maximilian Kolbe is remembered in the Church of England with a commemoration on 14 August.

    Also per Wikipedia: Maximilian Maria Kolbe OFMConv was a Polish Catholic priest and Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II.

    3
  20. I would like to nominate Saint Vivian. Patron Saint of hangovers, epilepsy, mental illness, and single laywomen. She is a Roman Virgin martyr.

    3
  21. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King whose love of Jesus and devotion to the the work of God’s kingdom here on earth, worked, led and gave his life to save America from the horror of racism and raise the dignity of all human beings.
    He and all those who gave their lives, men, women and children are truly Saints!

    8
  22. As I tend to do almost every year, I nominate John Muir. Everything he gave us regarding the environment has inspired me since I was a wee person, and, especially in this climate, I believe it’s his time to shine! PBWY

    9
  23. I nominate St. John Chrysostom, for his many homilies, among them his Paschal Homily:
    “If any be devout and God-loving, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumph. If any be a good and wise servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord. If any be weary of fasting, let him now receive his reward. If any have labored from the first hour, let him receive today his rightful due. If any have come at the third hour, let him feast with thankfulness. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him in no wise be in doubt, for in no wise shall he suffer loss. If any be delayed even until the ninth hour, let him draw near, doubting nothing, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him not be fearful on account of his lateness; for the Master, Who is jealous of His honor, receiveth the last even as the first. He giveth rest to him that cometh at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that hath labored from the first hour; and to the last He is merciful, and the first He pleaseth; to the one He giveth, and to the other He bestoweth; and He receiveth the works, and welcometh the intention; and the deed He honoureth, and the offering He praiseth. Wherefore, then, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord; both the first and the second, receive ye your reward. Ye rich and ye poor, with one another exult.
    Ye sober and ye slothful, honor the day. Ye that have kept the fast and ye that have not, be glad today. The table is full-laden, delight ye all. The calf is fatted; let none go forth hungry. Let all enjoy the feast of faith, receive all ye the riches of goodness. Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom hath been revealed. Let no one weep for his transgressions, for forgiveness hath dawned from the tomb. Let no one fear death, for the death of the Saviour hath set us free. He hath quench by it, He hath led hades captive, He Who descended into hades. He embittered it, when it tasted of His flesh. And foretelling this, Isaiah cried: "Hades," he saith, "was embittered when it encountered Thee below." It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered. It received a body and encountered God. It received earth, and met heaven. It received that which it saw, and fell to what it did not see. O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?
    Christ is risen, and thou art cast down.
    Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
    Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
    Christ is risen, and life flourisheth.
    Christ is risen, and there is none dead in the tombs.
    For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of them that have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

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  24. WHILE I CANNOT GIVE AN ERUDITE EXPOSE ON ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE TO CHRIST, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN VERY FOND ON HIS GOSPEL AND OF HIM AND WITH TIME, I WOULD BE WILLING TO SO MY VERY BEST GET HIM INTO THE CONTEST AND AT LEAST TO THE FIRST HURDLE. PLEASE ACCEPT ST. JOHN AS A CANDIDATE FOR THE 2025 LENT MADNESS.

    3
  25. St. Francis Xavier Cabrini was an Italian American who founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and was the first American woman canonized as a saint.

    3
  26. I would like to nominate St. Stephen - who was some time ago on the Lent Madness brackets, but is not currently on the "do not nominate" list (hoping I read it all the way through). First I think he is a pretty important Saint for the early Church, early martyr of the Church, and in all honestly, St. Stephens is the patron Saint of my Church and we were all very excited the year he was on the brackets, and very sad when he lost. So we are hoping he can return and even perhaps that he might win.

    5
  27. I nominate st. Pascual. The patron saint of cooks and the kitchen is loved in Spain and Latin America. Tomie DePaola wrote and illustrated a children’s book in his honor, you should look it up! pascual and the kitchen Angels! It’s a very good little kids book and any saint who is depicted wearing an apron, a wooden spoon and a bowl of beans should be a candidate for this years lent madness.

    8
  28. I would like to nominate Evelyn Underhill, whose spiritual life grew and changed over time (as I wish mine might) and which was focused on the transformational experience of prayer - she was a combination of mysticism and British brisk sensibility that is a tonic.

    4
    1. I second this nomination. She was a great retreat leader for laity and clergy alike. Her understanding and description of the "mystic life" is inspiring and, at the same time, practical.

      1
  29. I would like to nominate Tarore of Waharoa (feast day October 19 in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia). She is among the best loved Saints in New Zealand, and in particular among the Māori of Ngāti Haua.

    Tarore, the daughter of Ngākuku, the Ngāti Haua chief, attended the mission station at Matamata and learned to read. Tragically, on 19 October 1836, at the age of twelve, she was killed during a raid. Her father preached forgiveness at her tangi. The Gospel of Luke that was with her was taken by one of the raiding party, who was subsequently converted and made peace with Ngākuku. Later it was taken to Ōtaki, where its message led to the conversion of Tāmihana Te Rauparaha, who became a missionary to the South Island.

    I have prayed at the site of her martyrdom, and at the site of her burial, and I have presided at the Eucharist in the nearby church at Matamata, where she is memorialized in a window.

    Gracious and loving God,
    we thank you for Tarore,
    whose death brought not vengeance
    but reconciliation;
    create in us, your whānau,
    a gospel love and a truth so deep,
    that we too may live together in love
    with all your children,
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit;
    through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

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    1. I had meant to note that second paragraph of my post is taken from For All the Saints (essentially the ACANZAP version of TEC’s Lesser Feasts and Fasts).

      1
  30. A reasoned plea (again) to declare the Rev. Fred McFeely Rogers eligible to participate as a “contestant” in Lent Madness.

    1. Fred Rogers has been recognized by an established ecclesiastical body for his Christian walk and witness. (It’s not our fault Presbyterians don’t “do” saints)
    2. Fred Rogers already has his own “day” on the calendar (maybe not a “church” calendar, but a calendar, nonetheless)
    3. Including Fred Rogers in Lent Madness would be yet more proof of the magnanimous and ecumenical nature of the SEC. (It would also give us Presbyterians someone to cheer for – the Methodists have the Wesleys, and the Lutherans have Luther, we deserve someone other than Calvin or Knox)
    4. Since the SEC makes the rules, they can also choose to bend (as in awarding a Silver Halo) or even ignore the rules.

    27
      1. I, too, would nominate Mr. Rogers. I wasn't aware that he appeared on any church's list, so hadn't nominated him previously. His gentle spirit, his modeling of kindness, his loving acceptance of everyone he encountered, his love for children and his care for their well-being, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, are truly saintlike. In the last few years I've often said, we need Mr. Rogers with us in these times.

        14
      2. In St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Nantucket, where Fred and Joanne worshipped on vacation, there being no Presbyterian church on the island, there is an icon of Fred Rogers. Above his image is the word Gentle. Below are the words Kind and True. He was a truly saintly man.

        3
        1. I also wanted to nominate Fred Rogers and was looking for this info. Seconded!

          1
    1. While I understand that Lent Madness has to have some rules, and you don't want to have to sort through dozens of nominations for "my aunt Sarah who was an absolute saint...", I'd love it if our "saints" could be any Christian who is known for doing good and sharing the Gospel.

      1