Lent Madness: Roch vs. Julian of Norwich

March 11, 2016 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Roch vs. Julian of Norwich


About today’s match up from Lent Madness:

Today two powerful, trail-blazing women face off as Sojourner Truth takes on Frances Joseph-Gaudet. In the first round, Sojourner made quick work of Soren Kierkegaard while Frances defeated John Mason Neale. The winner of this epic battle will face Absalom Jones in the Elate Eight.

Yesterday’s results:

While yesterday, Sojourner (Nothing but the) Truth slammed the door shut on Frances Joseph Gaudet 67% to 33%.

Sojourner Truth trounced Frances on the St. Luke’s blog capturing 80% of the vote

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.


On the day that Roch/Rocco/Roque snuck by Gertrude for the win, our house was infected with a modern plague: the flu. As we lay weeping and gnashing our own teeth and shamelessly wanting our mommy (this is the 40-year-old talking), our dog got out and was attacked by another animal. In the midst of the plague, my dog needed surgery for five puncture wounds and as I write, he lays at my feet, recovering. He is a good dog.

For a saint that I did not know well going into Lent Madness, Roch seems to be having a rather profound impact on my house in big ways. I cannot help but reflect on the irony of lifting Roch up in the blogging world as plagues and an injured dog infiltrate my world. Such is life. However, this post is not about me, it is about the quirks and quotes of St. Roch.

As I read the MANY comments following Roch vs. Gertrude, several made me laugh–it seems as though a number of readers were deeply appreciative of Roch’s well-formed thigh and dashing pose. Read more here.

tumblr_mnm62qcjT91r94vvxo1_500-195x300Julian of Norwich

As an anchoress in medieval England, Julian of Norwich got to do something most of us only dream of—she went to her own funeral!

The occasion of her being sealed into her cell would have been marked with a momentous liturgy, including a vigil, mass, chanting, and a procession to the anchorage, concluding with a funeral service where Julian would have received the last rites, both symbolic of her death to the world, and pragmatic, since a priest would not be permitted to enter the cell later.

The only thing that prevented her complete isolation from the world were three windows in her cell. One, called the Squint, opened into the church so she could receive communion and follow the services. The second allowed her attendant to deliver food and empty the chamber pot. The third window provided visitors a way to talk to Julian, and if I had been alive then, I certainly would have wanted to!

Julian held a surprising and profound view of sin, especially for her time. On the one hand, she considered self-awareness of our sinful nature to be excruciating: “And to me was shown no harder hell than sin. For a kind soul has no hell but sin.” And yet, she considered sin as an expedient to understanding God’s love. “We need to fall, and we need to be aware of it; for if we did not fall, we should not know how weak and wretched we are of ourselves, nor should we know our Maker’s marvelous love so fully.”...Read more here.

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