Anselm of Canterbury vs. Florence Nightingale

Today in Lent Madness, we will finally answer that age old question: Theologian or Nurse? Okay, there's a lot more to Anselm of Canterbury and Florence Nightingale than these two labels, so you'll just have to read on.

In yesterday's action, Henry Budd left Cecilia singing the blues as the patron saint of music lost in a close battle 53% to 47%.

Shockingly (or not so shockingly if you're a longtime Lent Madness participant), we encountered our first case of voter fraud as 546 votes for Cecilia were removed after the ever-vigilant SEC noticed a discrepancy. It was a youthful prank and said youth has since confessed and been absolved. Frankly, there are worse ways for teens to get into trouble on the internet than voting too many times for a saint in Lent Madness.

However, this will not be tolerated and perpetrators face being cast into the outer darkness of Lent Madness where there will be weeping and gnashing of brackets. Do everyone a favor: vote once. If you're particularly enthusiastic, get all your friends, neighbors, and even your enemies (the ones we're supposed to love anyway) to cast a vote for your favorite saint. Big Lent is watching...

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Henry Budd vs. Cecilia

Today in the Saintly Smackdown, we encounter a 19th century Canadian missionary and a 3rd century Roman martyr, as Henry Budd faces Cecilia. Will the entire nation of Canada rise up to vote for one of their own? Or will Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, strike a chord? Only the next 24 hours and your vote, will tell!

In yesterday's matchup, Moses the Black defeated John Wycliffe 65% to 35% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen where he'll face the winner of Raymond Nonnatus vs. John of Nepomuck.

Oh, and in case you missed yesterday's stirring edition of Monday Madness, watch it here. Tim and Scott give shout-outs to parishes and schools who are all in for Lent Madness 2017 (send us your photos!), discuss the importance of the comment section, and invite viewer mail. Yes, YOUR QUESTION for the SEC could be answered in an upcoming episode. Submit them via Facebook or Twitter.

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John Wycliffe vs. Moses the Black

Did you miss us? Well, we're back for the first full week of Lent Madness action! Hopefully you survived the past 24 hours with no voting -- we know it can be tough on the Lenten psyche.

One thing you may not know is that our Bracket Czar, Adam Thomas, wakes up early every morning to updated the online bracket. This is a great service to you, faithful voters, because he also posts links to all the previous battles. This will come in especially handy in subsequent rounds when you want to revisit those early rounds as you make an educated choice based on the all saintly write-ups.

In case you missed the news on Facebook or Twitter, Mechtild of Magdeburg easily swept past Isaac the Syrian on Saturday 77% to 23% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen. A few folks have lamented about the lack of close contests in the first round. This happens sometimes but...just wait.

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Isaac the Syrian vs. Mechtild of Magdeburg

Why is this day unique in the annals of Lent Madness 2017? It is the ONLY non-weekday battle of the season. Yes, we're amazing at math. Thus the first Saturday of every season includes the one and only weekend battle of Lent Madness (trust us - we've done the math).

Yesterday Henry Beard Delany romped to a first round victory over Aelred of Rievaulx 78%  to 22%. He'll go on to face the winner of Anselm of Canterbury vs. Florence Nightingale in the Saintly Sixteen.

Enjoy your Sunday devotions on the First Sunday in Lent (make sure to tell everybody at coffee hour just how much you love Lent Madness) and we'll get back to voting first thing Monday Morning as John Wycliffe takes on Moses the Black!

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Henry Beard Delany vs. Aelred of Rievaulx

Only in Lent Madness will you find a 19th century pioneering bishop squaring off against a 12th century monk. Which, you guessed it, is precisely what we have today as Henry Beard Delany faces Aelred of Rievaulx in the second matchup of Lent Madness 2017.

In yesterday's "Ash Thursday" kickoff, Stephen soundly defeated Alban, 62% to 38% in heavy voting. Indeed, with over 9,600 total votes cast a new Lent Madness turnout record was set! We also love that over 450 people added comments to the post. With his victory, Stephen became the first saint to advance to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen, where he'll face the winner of Henry Budd vs. Cecilia. Somewhere Bob Dylan is singing, "Everybody must get stoned."

Still wondering how to keep up with all the players saints? You need a Saintly Scorecard 2017! While the paper book has passed into the realm of collectors' items, the ebook is available. Pick one up for your Kindle or iPad today! For only $2.99 you'll have the inside track on all things Lent Madness!

Finally, in case you've ever been kept up at night wondering about the inner workings of the Supreme Executive Committee, you're in luck! Tim and Scott recently appeared on the popular Priest Pulse podcast. In addition to discussing all things Lent Madness, they even touch on the roots of their longstanding feud. Enjoy!

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Stephen vs. Alban

Let the games begin! Yes, Lent Madness 2017 begins RIGHT NOW. After months of speculation and the crushing ache of anticipation, "Ash Thursday" has arrived. Over the next (more or less) 40 days and 40 nights, you will have the opportunity to re-immortalize one of our 32 competing saints with the coveted Golden Halo.

Today we see two martyrs squaring off as Stephen faces Alban. Which one will face yet another ignominious exit? That, dear friends, is up to you and your single (we mean that and we have cameras everywhere) vote.

If you’re new to Lent Madness, welcome! If you have any questions about how to participate, just let us know by leaving a comment. The Lent Madness community is both friendly and helpful, often answering questions before the Supreme Executive Committee arrives in their grand purple, if imaginary, chariot.

We urge you to take full part in the Madness. Leave comments here on the website. Read what others have to say. Enjoy the (mostly) friendly rivalry and trash talk on social media. During the day, check in on the website often to see how each day’s contest is going. And above all, delight in seeing how each saint was a powerful witness of Jesus Christ.

Be sure to sign up for e-mail updates on our home page so you never miss a vote, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and encourage your friends to jump into the fray.

We can assure you this will be a wild, joyful, educational, ocassionally gut-wrenching ride. We're delighted to share this journey with you. Let the Madness begin!

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