Are you ready for Lent Madness?

If you have not followed Lent Madness in the past, or, if you need a reminder, you are encouraged to visit the LM website to find the 32 “saintestants” this year:

Lent Madness began in 2010 as a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints. It is a unique Lenten devotion that combines inspiration (and humor) from the lives of the saints with the seasonal enthusiasm for that other madness in March.

The format is straightforward: 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a day (usually) and people vote for their favorite saint in the pair. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship. The winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as they offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and discover a horde of saintly kitsch. You can commemorate the year’s Golden Halo winner with a mug (or, in some years, a beer stein or soup bowl, depending on the winner’s idiosyncrasy).

Last year Absalom Jones was crowned with the Golden Halo. Previous years’ winners include Harriet Tubman, Anna Alexander, Florence Nightengale, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Francis of Assisi.

This year’s bracket includes Wenceslaus, Cecilia, Origen, Melania (the Elder), Hilary (of Pottiers), Felix and Oscar (no, not that couple). The full bracket of 32 is found here:

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