José Hernández Wins 2022 Golden Halo!

In a year marked by razor-thin margins of victory, the championship round between Teresa of Avila and José Gregorio Hernández did not disappoint! In the end, José  snuck past Teresa in a photo finish to win the 2022 Golden Halo. Both of these saints captured the imaginations of the Lent Madness global voting public and both are worthy of this ecclesiastical accolade. We are pleased to award Teresa the (rare) Silver Halo to mark this year's accomplishments.

Rest assured the result, while exceedingly close, is accurate. The Supreme Executive Committee spent the morning in the mezzanine-level review booth conducting a forensic analysis of the voting. There was some cheating involved on both sides and we eliminated those votes (come ON, people!).

José joins previous Golden Halo winners George Herbert (2010), C.S. Lewis (2011), Mary Magdalene (2012), Frances Perkins (2013), Charles Wesley (2014), Francis of Assisi (2015), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2016), Florence Nightingale (2017), Anna Alexander (2018), Martha of Bethany (2019), Harriet Tubman (2020), and Absalom Jones (2021).

To celebrate José's victory, perhaps you'd like a commemorative mug? You can enjoy your favorite warm beverage (the SEC recommends fair trade single-origin coffee, though they understand these also work well with tea) while remembering this epic season of Lent Madness 2022. Order your own mug today! They're just $11 and should ship sometime in the early summer.

Would you like to nominate a saint for Lent Madness 2023? Tim and Scott will be opening up the week-long nomination process (aka Nominationtide) in the coming weeks. While many are called, only 32 are chosen. Stay tuned for details!

Finally, blessings to all as we head into the Triduum and enter into the death and resurrection of our Lord. It’s been a privilege to have you join us on our Lenten pilgrimage. Happy Lent!

 

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For the Golden Halo: Teresa of Avila vs. José Hernández

The end (of Lent Madness 2022) is near! It's hard to believe we kicked things off over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday” with 32 saintly souls. With your help, the field has been whittled down to just two: Teresa of Avila and José Hernández. Who will receive the coveted 2022 Golden Halo? That, friends, is up to you.

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 before 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 hopefully had some fun along the way.

Of course we literally couldn’t have done this without our amazing Celebrity Bloggers to whom we offer sincere gratitude: Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Fitch Courie, David Creech, Neva Rae Fox, David Hansen, Miriam McKenney, Emily McFarlan Miller, David Sibley, and Eva Suarez. Thanks to Bracket Czar Adam Thomas for his stellar behind-the-scenes work in keeping the bracket updated daily. You all rock!

Thank you to Richelle Thompson and everyone at Forward Movement for putting up with our shenanigans and producing a terrific Saintly Scorecard this year. Special gratitude goes to Ashley Graham-Wilcox for helping get words and images into the website each day.

Finally, thanks to all of you who participated by voting, commenting, drinking coffee out of Lent Madness mugs, filling in brackets, talking about saints with friends, 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.

Before we invite you to cast this final vote, we should note that Neva Rae Fox has ably shepherded Teresa of Avila through the bracket, while Eva Suarez has done the same for José Hernández. We’ve asked them for a single image and one quote either by or about their saint. We’ve already heard a lot about Teresa and José, so now it's time to make your final choice.

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 2022 Lent Madness Golden Halo hangs in the balance!

 

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Absalom Jones Wins 2021 Golden Halo!

Absalom Jones banner

The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness congratulates Absalom Jones for winning the 2021 Golden Halo. Absalom becomes the 12th saint to wear the highly coveted crown by defeating the always-inspiring Benedict the Moor. He joins previous Golden Halo winners George Herbert (2010), C.S. Lewis (2011), Mary Magdalene (2012), Frances Perkins (2013), Charles Wesley (2014), Francis of Assisi (2015), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2016), Florence Nightingale (2017), Anna Alexander (2018), Martha of Bethany (2019), and Harriet Tubman (2020).

Absalom Jones mugTo celebrate the victory of Absalom Jones, maybe you'd like a commemorative mug? You can enjoy your favorite warm beverage (the SEC recommends fair trade single-origin coffee, though they understand these also work well with tea) while remembering this epic season of Lent Madness 2021. Order your own mug today! They're just $12 and should ship sometime in late spring.

Would you like to nominate a saint for Lent Madness 2022? Tim and Scott will be opening up the week-long nomination process (aka Nominationtide) in the coming weeks. While many are called, only 32 are chosen. Stay tuned for details!

Finally, blessings to all as we head into the Triduum and enter into the death and resurrection of our Lord. It’s been a privilege to have you join us on our Lenten pilgrimage. Stay safe out there, and know that you remain fervently in our prayers.

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For the Golden Halo: Benedict the Moor vs. Absalom Jones

The end (of Lent Madness 2021) is near! It's hard to believe we kicked things off over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday” with 32 saintly souls. With your help, the field has been whittled down to just two: Benedict the Moor and Absalom Jones. Who will receive the coveted 2021 Golden Halo? That, friends, is up to you.

This excellent video comes from the Cathedral of Saint James in South Bend, Indiana, makers of the awesome opening video for this year's Lent Madness.

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 before (lots of those this year!) 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 hopefully had some fun along the way.

Of course we literally couldn’t have done this without our amazing Celebrity Bloggers to whom we offer sincere gratitude: Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Fitch Courie, David Creech, Miguel Escobar, Neva Rae Fox, David Hansen, Miriam McKenney, Carol Howard Merritt, Emily McFarlan Miller, and David Sibley. Thanks to Bracket Czar Adam Thomas for his stellar behind-the-scenes work in keeping the bracket updated daily. You all rock!

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