We embarked upon this Lent Madness journey over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday.” With your help we have whittled the field of 32 saints down to two: Harriet Bedell and Charles Wesley. Who will walk away with the coveted Golden Halo of Lent Madness 2014? Only 24 hours and your voting participation will reveal this holy mystery.
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 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 had a lot fun along the way.
Of course we literally couldn’t have done this without our stellar Celebrity Bloggers to whom we offer sincere gratitude. Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, David Creech, Laura Darling, Robert Hendrickson, Maria Kane, Penny Nash, Heidi Shott, and David Sibley. Thanks to Bracket Czar Adam Thomas for his stellar behind-the-scenes work in keeping the bracket updated daily. And we can’t forget the ever mysterious Maple Anglican who brought us the inimitable shenanigans of Archbishops Thomas and John. You all rock!
Speaking of Maple Anglican, here's the last Archbishop's Update. But before you watch it (or after) be sure to check out some Golden Halo fashion tips from Lent Madness fan and Vogue model (seriously) Julia Frakes.
Finally, thanks to all of you who participated by voting, commenting, drinking coffee out of Lent Madness mugs, filling in brackets, talking about saints at coffee hour, 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.
Oh, wait, there’s one more thing before we set our face toward the Triduum. But first we should note that Heidi Shott has shepherded Harriet Bedell through the brackets while David Sibley has done the same for Charles Wesley. We've asked them for a single image and one quote. We've already heard a lot about them and from them -- click the bracket tab and scroll down to view their previous match-ups if you want to refresh your memory. And the, it's time.
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 2014 Lent Madness Golden Halo hangs in the balance!
-- Charlton Tebeau, Collier County historian, in "Florida's Last Frontier," 1966.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
NOTE: At 10:55 p.m. EDT, the Supreme Executive Committee banned three voters and removed 41 votes from Harriet Bedell, due to voting irregularity. Remember to VOTE ONCE ONLY.
The voters in question were in Buffalo, NY; Rochester, MN; and Gulfport, MS.
Harriet Bedell vs. Charles Wesley
- Charles Wesley (51%, 3,607 Votes)
- Harriet Bedell (49%, 3,407 Votes)
Total Voters: 7,014