Want to be inspired by some saintly souls this Lent and have fun along the way? Join with thousands of Christians across denominations who have discovered the joyful online learning community that is Lent Madness.
With its unique blend of competition, education, and humor, Lent Madness allows participants to be inspired by the ways in which God has worked through the lives of saints over the generations. Based loosely on the NCAA basketball tournament of a similar name, this online devotion pits 32 saints against one another in a single-elimination bracket as voters choose their favorites throughout Lent.
Here’s how to participate: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at lentmadness.org about two different saints. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours as participants read about and then vote to determine which saint moves on to the next round. Sixteen 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; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.
The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.
This year, Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. 2019 heavyweights include Ignatius of Loyola, Nicodemus, Margaret of Cortona, John Chrysostom, and Nicholas of Myra (aka St. Nick).
The full bracket is online at the Lent Madness website and, while not necessary to participate, you can order The Saintly Scorecard: The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 2019 at forwardmovement.org. This companion guide includes biographies of all 32 saints, a fullcolor bracket, information about how to fully participate, and a series of Pocket Lent trading cards.
Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck. He and Forward Movement executive director the Rev. Scott Gunn comprise the self-appointed Supreme Executive Committee and are accompanied by eleven Celebrity Bloggers, clergy and lay people from across the country who shepherd several saints each throughout the season of Lent.
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?