So I haven’t been posting regularly about Lent Madness, but I’ve been following along and voting every day. The Round of Saintly Sixteen concluded on Monday, and yesterday began the Round of Elate Eight:
Tuesday: Mary Magdalen vs Evelyn Underhill
Wednesday: Dietrich Bonhoeffer vs Jerome
Thursday: Enmegahbowh vs Margaret of Scotland
Friday: Thomas Cranmer vs Emma of Hawaii
I hope you’ve been following along, because in the Saintly Sixteen we got additional stories and quotations for the competing saints every day. This round is devoted to “kitsch”, which takes a sharp turn away from the serious contemplation of the saints’ lives, writings, and legacies to turn an amused eye on what one might call the vulgar (in the sense of “popular”, right?) cult of the saint in material form.
I was a bit taken aback by this, but the comments on Tuesday’s voting round helped me regain my perspective, as Jennifer reminded us all that jeering and mockery really are a part of the Passion story, and Peg brilliantly observed that Lent Madness puts the “ha” in hagiography!
Along the way, I found a couple of really neat items of saintly stuff. Thanks to Mary-Elise, I discovered the Journeys of Paul board game! which I am totally going to lobby for a game night at my school sometime. And via a link that Marilyn provided to a Mary Magdalen icon, I found this absolutely delightful image of a Saintly Tea Party by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS. It was originally created as the cover art for Blessed Among All Women: Women Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. The twelve women depicted in the image include four from this year’s Lent Madness slate — Mary Magdalen, Brigid of Ireland, Joan of Arc, and Margaret of Scotland. And I specially notice Hildegard of Bingen, and cousins Mary and Elizabeth in a very sweet pose.
And oh, my gosh, you can get it on a mug!!! I have to get one of these so I can join the tea party too.