The Saintly Smackdown is Back!
By now you’ve heard that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day coincide this year. The real Lenten love, however, kicks off the next day on February 15. Why? Because for the ninth year running, people of faith are gearing up for Lent Madness, the beloved “saintly smackdown!”
With its unique blend of competition, learning, and humor, Lent Madness allows participants to be inspired by the ways in which God has worked through the lives of saintly souls across generations and cultures. Throughout Lent, thirty-two saints will do battle to win the coveted Golden Halo. Based loosely on the NCAA basketball tournament of a similar name, this online devotion pits saints against one another in a bracket as voters choose their favorites throughout this penitential season.
This year Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. 2018 heavyweights include John the Evangelist, Margaret of Scotland, Richard Hooker, Katharina von Bora, and the apostles Peter and Paul.
This online devotional has been featured in media outlets all over the country including national television, the Washington Post, NPR, USAToday, and even Sports Illustrated (seriously). More importantly thousands of people have been inspired by the saintly stories of those who have come before us in the faith.
If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, join the Lent Madness journey. Lent needn’t be all doom and gloom. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically set aside to get closer to Jesus Christ?
Saint Mark’s will offer two, non-exclusive ways to participate. The first, just play and learn about saints throughout the Lenten Season. The second, play, learn about saints, AND, for $5.00 an entry, participate in the SMLM (Saint Mark’s Lent Madness) Pool! Pool winner(s) will earn the right to designate funds to one of Saint Mark’s Special Ministry Funds. If you miss the Ash Wednesday pay to play deadline, or decide to play late, there will be a 4 day grace period. Pay to play completed brackets will be accepted through Sunday, February 18, for $10.
Brackets will be available in the Parish Hall or can be downloaded here for those interested in participating, or you can visit www.lentmadness.org to print out a bracket.