Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph

Congratulations! You survived the first go-round of saintly kitsch. Which is more than we can say for Herman of Alaska who lost to Harriet Tubman 61% to 39% to claim the first spot in the Faithful Four.

Next up is Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph as they vie to represent the Biblical quadrant in the next round. To make it to this point, Joanna defeated Junia and Bartimaeus, while Joseph took down Joshua and Elizabeth. Now, some saints have lend themselves to kitsch more easily than others. Today’s matchup is a perfect example of the feast and famine nature of the Elate Eight. But this is why we employ such talented Celebrity Bloggers who, at times, must tap into their unceasing creativity to bring the kitsch.

Oh, and PLEASE don’t forget that you can read all the great information posted by our Celebrity Bloggers in previous rounds by heading over to the handy Bracket tab. Time to vote!

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Excitement Builds Over Elate Eight

We’re just getting started in the Elate Eight, as the field of competitors vying for the Golden Halo has narrowed to just eight saints. Excitement is high, and if you want evidence, look no further than the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. They’ve made a fantastic trailer to promote voting in the Elate Eight. We love our fans, and we wanted to share with you this great work from ardent fans.

Turn up your sound, make the video full screen, and enjoy!

Lent Madness 2020 – 'The Elate Eight' from Cathedral of Saint James on Vimeo.

If you haven’t voted yet, go do that. And tell all your friends and neighbors to take part in the World’s Greatest Online Lenten Devotion. We are also the longest-running global bracket competition now at eleven years, since that other basketball bracket thing suspended this year.

Who will win the Golden Halo? That’s up to you, the Lent Madness public. It will all be decided in the next few days.

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Herman of Alaska vs. Harriet Tubman

And then there were eight. Over the course of the past several weeks, we have successfully narrowed the field from 32 saints to eight. One of these holy people will be crowned with the coveted 2020 Golden Halo: Herman of Alaska, Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Brother Lawrence, Margaret of Castello, Joanna the Myrrhbearer, Joseph, or Elizabeth Fry. What a fascinating collection of holy women and men!

In yesterday’s saintly action, Elizabeth Fry snagged the last spot by upsetting Clare of Assisi — trouncing might be an appropriate word, actually — 75% to 25%.

The Elate Eight is also known the world over as the Round of Saintly Kitsch. After basic biographies, quirks and quotes, what else could there be? To kick things off, Herman of Alaska faces Harriet Tubman. To get to this point, Herman defeated Elizabeth of Hungary and Thomas More, while Harriet took down Julie Billiart and James Solomon Russell. To read up on these earlier matches, click the Bracket tab and scroll down.

In case you missed yesterday’s episode of Monday Madness, you can watch it here. Also, you should go to confession.

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Monday Madness — Kitsch Krank Edition

As we post this video, the last battle of the Saintly Sixteen is under way. Which can only mean one thing: tomorrow begins the Elate Eight. With this round, as Tim and Scott remind us, we move from basic biography (Round of 32), quirks and quotes (Saintly Sixteen) into the nether realms of saintly kitsch.

If experience is any guide, this means we will soon meet the inevitable Kitsch Kranks — people who (for some reason!) do not appreciate this round of Lent Madness. The good news is this week’s episode of Monday Madness has all the answers as we once again recall the Great Commandments of Lent Madness.

As a bonus, you’ll get to see a bit of Tim’s personal killer kitsch kollection. Speaking of kitsch, it’s not too early to pre-order your 2020 Golden Halo Winner Lent Madness mug or other items from the Lentorium. Even though the Lentorium is closed to in-person shopping, operators are (safely!) standing by to take your order.

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Elizabeth Fry vs. Clare of Assisi

Hey, today marks the very last matchup of the Saintly Sixteen! Elizabeth Fry faces Clare of Assisi in an attempt to join Herman of Alaska, Harriet Tubman, Hildegard of Bingen, Brother Lawrence, Margaret of Castello, Joanna the Myrrhbearer, and Joseph in the Elate Eight.

As hinted at above, on Friday Hildegard of Bingen took down Elizabeth the New Martyr 57% to 43%. This means that of the quartet of Elizabeths in the 2020 bracket only Elizabeth Fry remains. Will a single Elizabeth continue on in this year’s tournament? Or will the four be barred from further Lenten glory? That’s the decision you’ll make today, friends. Now go vote — it’s the last full week of Lent Madness!

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Elizabeth the New Martyr vs. Hildegard of Bingen

In case you lost track (again?), today is FRIDAY. The only thing that really means is that this is the final Lent Madness battle of the week! We finish things up with Elizabeth the New Martyr facing Hildegard of Bingen for a shot at Brother Lawrence, one of the Cinderellas of Lent Madness 2020.

Yesterday, Joanna the Myrrhbearer slipped past Bartimaeus 65% to 35% She’ll face Joseph in the Elate Eight.

We’ll be back first thing Monday morning for the last matchup of the Saintly Sixteen as Elizabeth Fry and Clare of Assisi vie for the final spot in the Elate Eight. Stay safe out there, everyone, and go vote!

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Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Bartimaeus

Today in Lent Madness, we head back to the Biblical quadrant as Joanna the Myrrhbearer takes on Bartimaeus. The winner will face Joseph in the Elate Eight. Should Joanna have brought gold or frankincense instead? We’ll soon find out.

Yesterday Harriet Tubman swept past James Solomon Russell 75% to 25%. She’ll lock horns with Herman of Alaska in the Elate Eight.

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James Solomon Russell vs. Harriet Tubman

Today two saintly souls, both born into slavery, face each other in a heartbreaking Saintly Sixteen battle. James Solomon Russell squares off against Harriet Tubman with a spot in the Elate Eight in the offing. The winner will face Herman of Alaska.

Yesterday Margaret of Castello (IS she related to celebrity blogger Megan Castellan?) defeated Eva Lee Matthews 69% to 31% to reach the Elate Eight.

Don’t forget in all of these post-opening round matchups, you can always head to the Bracket tab to read write-ups from previous rounds. Now, perhaps, you have a photographic memory and perfect recall. But for the rest of us, everything is archived in one handy place, because an informed voter is the best kind of voter.

Time to vote!

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Eva Lee Matthews vs. Margaret of Castello

“Get thee to a nunnery!” could be the theme of today’s matchup between Eva Lee Matthews of the Community of the Transfiguration and Margaret of Castello of the Dominican Sisters. These faithful women meet in this sure-to-be hotly contested Saintly Sixteen battle.

Yesterday, in a serious rout, Brother Lawrence soundly defeated Margery Kempe 81% to 19% (insert joke about weeping and gnashing of teeth. Brother Lawrence becomes the third saint to reach the Elate Eight, joining Herman of Alaska and Joseph.

If you missed yesterday’s episode of Monday Madness with Tim and Scott, you can watch it here. This historic episode includes the first-ever post-credits scene. Check it out and then go vote!

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Monday Madness — March 23, 2020

As we find ourselves mired in the Saintly Sixteen portion of the Lent Madness season, Tim and Scott are back with another award-winning* episode of Monday Madness. In the midst of isolation and quarantine, they remind you that connection and community are available through Lent Madness. They also highlight (and comment upon) the Top Ten Reasons to Attend Online Church, as Tim enumerated them on his blog. And Scott shares that he offered a virtual sermon on Psalm 23 last Sunday, in the form of an op-ed for a major news website.

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