Good morning divine devotees, and welcome to Monday’s Lent Madness. 

 Today we find that Florence Li Tim-Oi has taken her place in the Elate Eight, edging out Enmegahbowh who placed a respectable second. As I mentioned last Friday, we can take solace in that a Canadian would win, either way.

Today we’re back to Merrie Olde Anglo-Saxon England, which was generally Merrie except for the Vikings, the massacres, the martyrdoms, the heresies, and all that other stuff. 

 Amidst all this unpleasantness, we find Bertha of Kent, serenely wandering an empty pastoral English landscape, wearing a bright red cloak and listening to a lush soundtrack.


 If you want to buy the CD of the full film, you can do so here.
 I liked how Bertha was described as a “silent influencer” of her royal husband. It’s my experience in ministry that behind every *occasionally* churchgoing husband is a pious and prayerful wife. It’s amazing how many Dark Ages queens seemed to have influenced their husbands – St. Margaret of Scotland is another example. 
As for poor St Edmund, the martyr king and patron saint of pincushion makers, I had thought briefly that the English town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk got its name because he was buried there, but not quite. “Bury” comes from the Germanic “burg” meaning fortress, from which we get our modern word “borough”. However, after he was shot full of arrows and then beheaded by the Vikings, St. Edmund was buried there. 
His shrine had a tradition of miracles and was a famous tourist and pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.

During the Reformation the shrine of St. Edmunds was torn down and looted, as so many saints’ shrines were, since the Reformers and later Puritans had no use for saints or shrines. Thus our little game of Lent Madness is part of a slow process of recovery of famous Christians whose names are gradually being reclaimed as worthy of memory.

So how will you vote? 

Draw you aim, vote here, and let your arrow find it’s mark.
Blessings this day, Michael+