Monday Madness -- Eastertide Edition

Alleluia, Christ is risen and it's time for another episode of Monday Madness! The Lord is risen indeed, and Tim and Scott are here with an action-packed episode. Naturally, they celebrate the incredibly dramatic victory of Dr. José Hernández to win the 2022 Golden Halo. With just a three-vote margin, it was the closest champtionship contest in Lent Madness history.

2022 Golden Halo mugYou might like to celebrate the win of Dr. Hernández by raising a toast in a commemorative 2022 Golden Halo winner mug. Limited quantities will be produced, so get your order in today! We expect them to ship in early summer, but shipping dates and the exact final appearance of the mug may vary due to supply chain issues. But once they're gone, they're gone. Order yours today!

If you do order a mug, when your mug arrives, please send us your mug shot! We love sharing photos of the Lent Madness Global Viewing Public enjoying their coffee (or tea) while they discuss bracketology or relive the drama of the Saintly Sixteen.

Easter Triumph Easter Joy book coverSpeaking of ordering things, if you're looking for a way to sustain Easter joy, Scott's latest book is Easter Triumph, Easter Joy: Meditations for the Fifty Days of Eastertide. You can get it in paper from Amazon, Forward Movement, or your local bookseller. It's also available as an ebook.

Tim wrote a humorous look at the season some years ago, Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter, available as a book and ebook.

Visit the Lentorium regularly for updates on books and merchandise for Lent Madness fans.


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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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Thomas of Villanova vs. José Hernández

Who will face Teresa of Avila for the Golden Halo? That's the question of the day as Thomas of Villanova squares off against José Hernández. Yesterday, Teresa advanced to the championship round by narrowly defeating Madeleine Sophie Barat 52% to 48%. We're getting close!

In case you missed yesterday's episode of Monday Madness, you can watch it here.


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Monday Madness -- Faithful Four Edition

The frenetic pace of Lent Madness continues with the arrival of the Faithful Four! Which of these four amazing saints will win the Golden Halo? Only time -- and your votes -- will tell. Tim and Scott are here with a look at the Faithful Four and the next few days of Monday Madness. The end is nearly upon us and we're anticipating a high energy saintly crescendo.

Besides learning the real names of the first few days of Holy Week, this episode features gratitude to our illustrious company of Celebrity Bloggers and all the others who work hard to make Lent Madness a huge global phenomenon (for a Lenten devotion).


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Teresa of Avila vs. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Welcome to the Faithful Four! From an initial field of 32 saints, we are down to a holy four: Teresa of Avila, Madeleine Sophie Barat, Thomas of Villanova, and José Hernández.

Throughout Lent Madness, our saintly heroes have battled via basic bios, quirks and quotes, and even kitsch. In this round, we let our remaining Celebrity Bloggers loose as they answer the question “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” In other words, they’ve been charged with letting us know why their particular saint is so awesome. We have also invited them to share their two favorite images of their saints.

The Faithful Four continues today and tomorrow and then, on Spy Wednesday, 24 hours of voting begins to determine the winner of the 2022 Golden Halo.


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Thomas of Villanova vs. Thomas Aquinas

Our wild week of kitschy saintly action comes to a conclusion today. One final spot in the Faithful Four remains up for grabs and, while we won't know for 24 hours who has nabbed the last spot, we do know this: his name will be Thomas. Today, Thomas of Villanova faces Thomas Aquinas. To get here, Thomas of Villanova defeated Aloysius Gonzaga and Hilary of Poitiers, while Thomas Aquinas dispatched Jerome (barely!) and Oscar.

Yesterday, Madeleine Sophie Barat easily slid past Origen 72% to 28% to join Teresa of Avila and José Hernández in the Faithful Four.

Enjoy the weekend of palms and we'll see you first thing Monday morning as Teresa of Avila faces Madeleine Barat. Vote now!


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Origen vs. Madeleine Sophie Barat

The madcap Elate Eight continues today as Origen faces Madeleine Sophie Barat. To make it this deep into the bracket, Origen defeated Hilda of Whitby and Juana Ines de la Cruz, while Madeleine took out Mesrop Mashtots and Columbanus.

Yesterday in YET ANOTHER tightly contested battle of Lent Madness 2022, José Hernández squeezed past James Holly 52% to 48% to snag the second spot in the Faithful Four.


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José Hernández vs. James Holly

The Round of Saintly Kitsch continues as José Gregorio Hernández faces James Holly in a battle of the J's. Which J will advance to the Faithful Four? That's up to you. To get here, José defeated Constance of Memphis and Emma of Hawaii, while James took down Lydia and Kateri Tekakwitha.

In yesterday's Elate Eight action, Teresa of Avila trounced Juliana of Liege 75% to 25% to become the fist saint to nab a spot in the Faithful Four.


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Teresa of Avila vs. Juliana of Liege

And then, believe it or not, there were eight! Today, and for the rest of the week, we will work our way through the Elate Eight, aka the Round of Saintly Kitsch. Not long from now, one of these saintly souls will be crowned with the 2022 Golden Halo: Teresa of Avila, Juliana of Liege, James Holly, José Gregorio Hernández, Origen, Madeleine Barat, Thomas of Villanova, or Thomas Aquinas (who snagged the last spot yesterday by sweeping past Oscar).

We kick things off with Teresa of Avila vs. Julian of Liege. To get to this point, Teresa defeated Crispin and Stephen, while Juliana took down Blaise and Cecilia. Don't forget, you can always pull up more...relevant information about the saints in this round by visiting previous battles in the archive on the home page and scrolling down to click on their past encounters.

What exactly is saintly kitsch? You might say it's in the eye of the beholder. Or that you know it when you see it. But, in the end, we hope this round brings out some levity, even as we continue our inspiring Lenten journey.

Oh, and if by some unknown and wholly unacceptable reason you forgot to watch Monday Madness yesterday, check it out here.


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