Lent Madness: Brendan the Navigator vs. Thecla

March 12, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Brendan the Navigator vs. Thecla

Lent Madness 2015

In the Barbie vs. Ken match up, Barbara was vanquished 33% to Thomas Ken’s 67%. on the Lent Madness site. Thomas Ken also won on the St. Luke’s blog site, but by a narrower margin 54% to 46%.

With Barbara sent home yesterday, today begins the Saintly Sixteen! Today’s first match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Brendan the Navigator vs. Thecla.

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.

St-Brendan-2-247x300Brendan the Navigator

Brendan lived a long a full life in service to God. His courageous and adventurous spirit led him to the ends of the world. The many hagiographies written to honor him speak to the inspiration he provided to the faithful. Even the most fantastic stories give a glimpse of his extraordinary character.

As Brendan and his friends set out to sea he insisted that they follow Jesus’ command to the seventy that they bring no provisions, trusting that God would provide all their needs. He encouraged his fellow travelers, “Fear not, brothers, for our God will be to us a helper, a mariner, and a pilot; take the oars and helm, keep the sails set, and may God do unto us, his servants and his little vessel, as he wills.”….Read more here.


Thecla is among the earliest saints of the church, and is often referred to as “Equal-to-the-Apostles,” for the fervor of her witness to Jesus Christ and the power of her example.

While the story of her life as documented in the Acts of Paul and Thecla may raise a few eyebrows – with its scintillating accounts of Thecla twice making miraculous escapes from martyrdom, including a notable self-baptism by throwing herself into a pool filled with ravenous seals – Thecla’s life and ministry made an undeniable and well-documented impact on the early church.

The great Cappadocian Father Gregory of Nyssa hailed Thecla as an example of holiness and asceticism in one of his homilies, writing that “she undertook the sacrifice of herself, by giving death to the flesh and practicing great austerities, extinguishing in herself all earthly affections, so that nothing seemed to remain living in her but reason and spirit.”.Read more here.

Lent Madness: Barbara vs. Thomas Ken

March 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

Lent Madness 2015

Bernard Mizeki prevailed over Margaret of Antioch, the Lent Madness site, 57% to 43%, and on the St. Luke’s blog Margaret of Antioch killed it winning 62.5% over Bernard’s 37.5%.

Today’s match up is Barbara vs. Thomas Ken. Yes, that’s right…between Barbie and Ken!

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.


Barbara is one of the fourteen Auxiliary Saints. Her story is difficult to reconstruct due to inconsistencies and obvious embellishments. She maintains her place on the Roman Catholic and Anglican lists of saints.

Barbara was born in the third century in either Heliopolis in Syria (or possibly in modern-day Egypt) or Nicomedia in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) to a wealthy pagan family. After the death of Barbara’s mother, her father was worried for her safety so he built a large tower to protect her and her virginity.

A traveling physician introduced Barbara to Christianity during one of her father’s extended absences. She believed the message and was baptized. While her father was away, she hired workmen to construct a third window in her tower to represent the Trinity. She also used her finger to etch a cross upon the wall.….Read more here.

LMThomasKen-202x300Thomas Ken

Born in 1637 and ordained in 1661, Thomas Ken was a bishop, hymn writer, author, royal chaplain to Charles II of England, and one of seven bishops who (in 1688) opposed James II’s Declaration of Indulgence, which was designed to promote Roman Catholicism.

In 1663 Ken became rector of Little Easton, Essex, then rector of East Woodhay, Hampshire, and presbyter of Winchester in 1669. He published A Manual of Prayers foruse at Winchester College in 1674.

Perhaps no story sums up the moxie of Thomas Ken as Royal Chaplain more than an exchange he had with King Charles II.Read more here.

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