'Lent Madness' begins

Fra Angelico, "Crucifixtion with the Virgin, John the Evangelist and Mary Magdelene," tempera and gold on panel, 64 cm x 38 cm, c. 1419-1420. ([Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

While it may not match the popularity of the upcoming March Madness college basketball tournament, Lent Madness launched today touting itself as “the 2014 Saintly Smackdown,” pairing up sets of 32 (including some lesser known) saints to popular vote in a five-round single-elimination competition.

Lent Madness was started in 2012 by Episcopalian Rev. Timothy Schenk of Hingham, Mass., as a way of using popular culture to teach about the church’s calendar of saints. This includes canonized saints as well as men and women who have lived holy lives.

Lent Madness heats things up with celebrity bloggers, great saintly stories and close daily competition – last year to the tune of more than 50,000 hits to the website.

Past winners include George Herbert, C.S. Lewis, Mary Magdelene, and Francis Perkins, and this year’s Lent Madness is sure to serve as a fun and informative Lenten devotion.

[Colleen Dunne is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is cdunne@ncronline.org. Follow on Twitter @coldun14.]

Editor's Note: The National Catholic Reporter is embarking on a groundbreaking project to give greater voice to sisters around the world. To learn more about this project or sign up for email alerts visit, http://ncronline.org/sisters.

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