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Happy All Brackets' Day!

Following the heady days of Nominationtide, and the submission of hundreds of saintly nominations from the Lent Madness faithful, the Supreme Executive Committee is pleased to release the highly anticipated 2023 Lent Madness bracket. Following their Spring Retreat, held in a secure, undisclosed coffee shop, amid the consumption of massive amounts of single origin black coffee, Tim and Scott whittled the field to 32 saints, who will compete for the coveted Golden Halo.

This year's bracket is broken up into four themed quadrants: Ancient & Apostolic, Mostly Monastics, Royals Roundup, and Modern Mayhem. As always, the bracket contains well known saints along with some obscure ones. But they all inspire us by following Jesus in their own times and in their own ways. (click on the bracket below to enlarge and/or print it)

As a reminder, or if you're new to this wacky online devotion, you can learn how it all works by clicking here. Unlike professional and collegiate sporting events, there is no admission cost for Lent Madness, but souvenirs and study aids are available in the Lentorium. These include the ever-popular Saintly Scorecard: The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 2023 (order as single copies or in discounted 10-packs) and giant Bracket Posters. All of which are AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW! 

Why pre-order Lenten materials before Advent? Because the Scorecards and Posters always sell out and you don’t want to disappoint anyone in your church and/or household. And if you're marking your calendar, Lent Madness begins on Ash Thursday, February 23.

We're pleased to welcome ten Celebrity Bloggers from across the country to write for Lent Madness 2023: the Rev. Laurie Brock of Lexington, KY; Anna Fitch Courie of Columbia, SC; Dr. David Creech of Moorhead, MN; the Rev. Megan Castellan of Ithaca, NY; Neva Rae Fox of Somerville, NJ; the Rev. Heidi Haverkamp of Indianapolis, IN; Emily McFarlan Miller of Chicago, IL; Miriam McKenney of Cincinnati, OH; the Rev. David Sibley of Walla Walla, WA, and the Rev. Eva Suarez of New York, NY.

In the meantime, start choosing your favorite saints and...Happy Lent!

Nominationtide is upon us!

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.

  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 nomination 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 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)

Stephen
Wenceslaus
Teresa of Avila
Crispin
Perpetua
Cecelia
Juliana of Liege
Blaise
Juana Inés de la Cruz
Gabriel the Archangel
Origen
Hilda of Whitby
Columbanos
Drogo
Mesrop Mashtots
Madeline Sophie Barat
Melania the Elder
Hilary of Poitiers
Aloysius Gonzaga
Thomas of Villanova
Felix of Burgundy
Oscar of Ansgar
Thomas Aquinas
Jerome
Emma of Hawaii
Hugh of Lincoln
José Gregorio Hernández
Constance of Memphis
James Holly
Lydia
Olaf
Kateri Tekakwitha

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)

Gobnait
Zenaida
Pandita Ramabai
Herman of Alaska
Hildegard of Bingen
Elizabeth Fry
Joseph
Camillus de Lellis
Benedict the Moor
Ives of Kermartin
Albert the Great
Theodore the Empress
Catherine Booth
2022 Golden Halo mug

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.

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The 2023 Lent Madness Bracket

Lent Madness 2023 Bracket

Review the 2023 bracket in advance, make your selections, and then come here every day of Lent to keep up with your favorite saint.

Clicking on the bracket will bring up a larger, up-to-date, printable one (get a blank bracket to print at home HERE).

You also can buy your very own Bracket Poster from Forward Movement! These posters are excellent for churches, families, and business to keep up with Lent Madness each day of Lent!

2022 Calendar

Round
of 
32

March 3
Stephen
vs
Wenceslaus
4
Olaf
vs
Kateri
5
M. Mashtots
vs
M. Barat
6
FIRST
SUNDAY
IN
LENT
7
Melania
vs
Hilary
8
Teresa
vs
Crispin
9
James Holly
vs
Lydia
10
Columbanus
vs
Drogo
11
Aloysius Gonzaga
vs
Thomas of Villanova
12
13
SECOND
SUNDAY
IN
LENT
14
Perpetua
vs
Cecilia
15
José Hernández
vs
Constance of Memphis
16
Origen
vs
Hilda of Whitby
17
Felix
vs
Oscar
18
Juliana of Liege
vs
Blaise
19
20
THIRD
SUNDAY
IN
LENT
21
Emma of Hawaiʻi
vs
Hugh of Lincoln
22
Juana Inés de la Cruz
vs
Gabriel the Archangel
23
Thomas Aquinas
vs
Jerome
24
Stephen or Wenceslaus
vs
Teresa or Crispin
25
James Holly or Lydia
vs
Olaf or Kateri
26
Saintly
16
27
FOURTH
SUNDAY
IN
LENT
28
Columbanus or Drogo
vs
Mashtots or Barats
29
Melania or Hilary
vs
Aloysius or Thomas
30
Perpetua or Ceclia
vs
Juliana or Blaise
31
Emma or Hugh
vs
José or Constance
April 1
Juana Inés or Gabriel
vs
Origen or Hilda
2
3
FIFTH
SUNDAY
IN
LENT
4
Felix or Oscar
vs
Thomas A. or Jerome
5
Upper
Left
Quadrant
6
Bottom
Right
Quadrant
7
Bottom
Left
Quadrant
8
Upper
Right
Quadrant
9
Elate
8
10
PALM
SUNDAY
11
Faithful
4
12
Faithful
4
13
Golden
Halo
14
Maundy
Thursday
15
Good
Friday
16
Holy
Saturday

About

Lent Madness is an offering of Forward Movement. Best known as the publishers of Forward Day by Day, a daily devotional published since 1935, we offer many print and digital resources to support spiritual growth and vitality in your church, home, and heart. Follow us on Facebook and sign up for email updates from Forward Movement to find out more about how we can support your faith journey.

Also, follow @ForwardDaybyDay on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration, or sign up for our daily email in English or Spanish.

Oh, and since you are in the mood for Lent, why not check out Forward Movement's excellent array of Lenten material?