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
Cyprian of Carthage
Joseph of Arimathea
Brigid of Kildare
Julian of Norwich
Gertrude the Great
Gertrude of Nivelles
Ambrose of Milan
William Byrd
Andrew the Fisherman
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
Martin de Porres
JS Bach
Bertha of Kent
Chief Seattle
Florence Li Tim-Oi
Teresa of Avila
Juliana of Liege
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. St. Peter: why not? He's all over the New Testament and Acts, getting it wrong, wrong, wrong and right, right, right. He's extremely influential in the early church and the largest Catholic Church is named after him. He was on the mountain and in the garden. He was crucified, too. I guess it's too obvious to name a "close to Jesus" apostle.

  2. I am so sad that Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez has not yet made the official rank of saint. Learning about him and his role in defending people and democracy in Chile under Pinochet brought tears to my eyes. I have told his story many times to people as a way of showing that the church can, indeed, be a force for good. (There is a lot of question about that currently.) I look forward to nominating him at some point in the future when those in charge of these things come to their senses and make him a saint.

  3. I wish to nominated Peregrine, the Payron Saint for Cancer Patients. A close friend was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last week. St. Peregrine pray for our friend.

  4. I want to nominate St. Elmo. I decided this year to base my nomination on kitsch potential, since that is my favorite bit. So while we can talk at length about St. Elmo's many virtues (patron saint of abdominal pain, I mean what could be better?) I am preferring to focus on the fact that no other saint can boast several movies, a hit TV show, the first African-American chemistry PhD, (questionably) a Muppet, AND a freaky meteorological phenomenon named for him. Yeah, sure, his real name was Erasmus which is much less cool because then we have to specify that he isn't THAT Erasmus, he's the less famous Erasmus, but I maintain that's why it's better that we just stick with Elmo.

  5. I am writing to nominate St. Roch! Patron saint of plague victims, dogs, surgeons, the falsely accused…. One of the 14 Holy Helpers. And he has some fabulous art in confraternity chapels in Venice, Florence… and in India.

    In an era of pandemics, we need plague saints! In an era of isolation and increased mental illness, we need our dogs and their love. We need great veterinarians, and veterinary specialists (including surgeons). And, we all benefit from viewing great art.

  6. I nominate Sir Thomas More: he died “the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

  7. I nominate Mother Theodore Guerin, canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. She immigrated to Indiana from France in 1840 and founded Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the oldest Catholic women’s college in the U.S., as well as establishing the Sisters of Providence. Mother Theodore accomplished a great deal in spite of battling health problems. She had a notable dispute with her bishop; he ended up locking her in a room and ordering the sisters to elect a new superior, whereupon they promptly reelected her. Find out more about this remarkable woman and include her in next year’s 32!

  8. Danny Thomas, founder of St.Jude's children's hospital. He made an oath to God to pay it forward if God helped him make a living as an entertainer. He experienced success and fulfilled his promise by founding St. Jude's in gratitude to God. Every child that survives is a miracle. Every parent that receives free treatment and doesn't get forced into bankruptcy is a miracle. Every research gain is a miracle.

  9. Hildegard of Bingen.
    Her curriculum vitae is vast and her contributions to theology, science and music were outstanding. Her writings on healing with plants stand the test of time. She wrote innumerable chants for the liturgy and there is some argument that she wrote the first polyphonic church music. She founded two abbeys. She is one of a handful of women who have been given the title Doctor of the Church. One can go on and on about her, but she deserves to be among the nominated.

  10. I nominate Oscar Romero. He was a man who used his power as Archbishop to speak about social justice and violence in El Salvador. He was martyred while serving the Lord. The U.N. declared in 2010 that his birthday would be the "International Day For The Right To The Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations And For The Dignity Of Victims"

  11. St. Alban whose day for rememberance is June 22 is my nominee. He was unselfish during very turbulent times and even in the days before the internet even he knew his death would follow.The unselfish act has served as a model for namesake churches who risk their own security to reach out to many who hunger for food, shelter and even safety from persecution.

  12. Saint Aelred of Rievaulx.

    I did a bunch of original research and wrote a big paper for his feast this past January, and I could totally write for him next year (my clergy encouraged me to submit the paper for publication so I'm working on that right now). He has SUCH an interesting history, both medieval and modern, and not a lot of people understand him, which is a crying shame.

    Short explanation: he's the First Official Gay Saint of the Episcopal Church.

    Slightly longer explanation: he was a monk, abbot, historian, diplomat, and theologian. He came from a working-class background and was physically disabled (it's not clear when he became disabled or exactly what his disability was, but he was an active and effective leader through many years of painful chronic illness). He was also Very Much In Love With Men. He slept with dudes when he was young and developed a checkered sexual reputation that followed him after the end of his life, but a lot of these men probably didn't treat him very well, and he became a monk at 24 (taking an unusually extreme vow of chastity) after experiencing Ye Olde Homophobic Harassment and becoming severely depressed.

    Integrity USA submitted him for inclusion on TEC's calendar of saints in 1985, and made him their official patron 2 years later. The ACNA removed him from their calendar when they did their schism in 2009. popcorn.gif

  13. Vote for Saint Macrina!
    She's the true role model for holy Early Christian women, and the heart and soul of a tremendous holy family. So much can be said for her influence on her more famous saintly brothers, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Naucratious and others, so why not give her her due? And just imagine the fun you can have writing about the spiritual virtues of a convent of virgins! Macrina's feast day is July 19.

  14. Pope Francis has paved the way with his plan to canonize Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati next year and accordingly, I nominate Blessed Pier for the Golden Halo, 2025!

    Pier is perfect! He will bring throngs of followers to Lent Madness. He is already cause celebre for his Pact. He’s a hip mountain climbing hiker. His only vice is that he tooted on a pipe now and then.

    Please put Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati in the Golden Halo Bracket for 2025!

    Cor Cordium, rob clemenz, founder of SaintsforSinners

  15. Catherine of Siena -- a mystic and activist, combining perfectly the Christian's call to be people of prayer driven into the world (and "institutional church") to make a difference. Should be the patron saint of Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation!

  16. St. Anna the Prophet. She was one of the first to recognize the baby Jesus as the Messiah in the temple at the presentation. She is the oldest woman mentioned in the New Testament by name and she was obviously elbowed out of the way be Simeon who probably stole the song from her as well. My nomination is valid because I, too, am old (90 this year) and a life vowed member of the Society of St. Anna the Prophet, a real religious community of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. I, however, have not been elbowed out of the way by any man who thought he could get away with it. I also love Forward Movement and all its publications.

  17. I nominate John the Apostle. I’m currently reading his gospel, and it contains several stories the other 3 gospels don’t have. And John’s memories of things Jesus said have a way different feel from the other three gospels. Besides writing us his gospel, John also gave us 3 letters AND the book of Revelation. When he was dying, Jesus entrusted his mom to John’s care. And John says he was the disciple Jesus loved. John deserves the golden halo.

  18. I nominate Thomas Ken, Bishop and Nonjuror, 1711. Ken wrote the Doxology. He struggled with the demanded support of both Roman and Protestant Kings. A statement of his: "I am dying in the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith professed by the whole Church before the disunion of East and West; and, more particularly, in the Communion of the Church of England, as it stands distinguished from both Papal and Protestant innovation, and adheres to the Doctrine of the Cross."

  19. I would like to nominate Benedict of Nursia, father of Western Monasticism and through his Rule, a leader of a balanced life of faith: Discipline, Obedience and Conversatio (conversion of Life)

  20. Happy Eastertide First I must thank you for your Alleluia 50 Ways to Celebrate Easter Devotional Poster. I haven’t celebrated the season so throughly before. I want to keep coloring the squares so I look forward to the next day’s activity. For next year’s Lent Madness please reinstate the Nook form!
    I would like to nominate a Saint that is new to me from 4/23 in a recent Wednesday Service,
    Toyohiko Kagawa, Social Reformer, 1960. Even his enemies had to ask for his help and he found ways to make change & keep Peace. See his biography in the blue book of lesser saints. Thank you for considering diversity of the saints. God Bless , JoJo ✝️
    All Saints’ EC, Roanoke Rapids, NC

  21. I nominate St. Quiteria, one of the Nontuplet sisters. A Robin Hood-like person who maintained her faith to the end.

  22. I nominate Maximillian Kolbe who volunteered to die in the place of another in the German death camp of Auschwitz

  23. Cecilia
    I nominate Cecilia. She is an excellent choice because of her Christian witness and strength of faith. There is the gift of music, and she is its patron. She is a martyr and is considered to be the first incorrupt saint. The list of her qualities is long and there will plenty of facts and stories to include in her journey to the Golden Halo! (In addition, Cecilia is my youngest daughter's middle name.)

  24. I would like to nominate John Henry Cardinal Newman, who is in the calendars of both the Church of England and in the Roman Catholic Church. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI and his feast day is October 9 in the Roman calendar. His was a life in both churches, forming a bridge between two branches of Christendom, a scholarly man, and the writer of "Lead, Kindly Light", which inspires us all to always look to Christ as the center of our lives.

  25. I nominate St Columba of Iona. He was well beloved and spread Christianity in Ireland and Scotland. Anyone who knows Iona knows of Columba.

  26. My nomination is St. Æthelthryth. She is an Anglo-Saxon saint and is commemorated in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Anglican Communion. She also known as St. Audrey, was an Anglo-Saxon queen who convinced her husband to honor her vow of perpetual virginity. She was also an Abbess of Ely.

  27. Dear Reverend Schenck and Reverend Gunn,
    I would like to nominate Saint Michael, because he is the patron saint of soldiers and police and they need help as much as everyone else does.

  28. I nominate Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church. She wrote theological, medicinal, and botanical texts, as well as composing music. She is a wonderful saint for this age of environmental decline.

  29. I nominate St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), one of the few parish priests to be glorified as a saint. He had an active ministry to criminals as the government exiled murderers, thieves and other criminals to Kronstadt. He also concerned himself with the material needs of the poor. He would shop for food, go to the pharmacy for prescriptions, to the doctor for help, many times giving the poor his last few coins. The inhabitants of Kronstadt would see him returning home barefoot and without his cassock. Often parishioners would bring shoes to his wife, saying to her, “Your husband has given away his shoes to someone, and will come home barefoot.” He began teaching in the local city schools. He would tell people, “If children cannot listen to the Gospel, it is only because it is taught like any other subject, with boredom and indifference.”

    He is famous among Orthodox Christians and deserves the Golden Halo of Lent Madness 2025.