Lent Madness: Columba vs. Joseph

Columba and Joseph square off in more Round One action. This one’s too close to call. In recent action Stephen squeaked past Ambrose. If you hurry, there’s still time to cast your vote for Absalom Jones vs. Julian of Norwich.

Check out the updated bracket here: Lent Madness 2010

Columba (521-597) was an Irish missionary monk known as one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland.” He was born in County Donegal, became a student at Clonard Abbey, and studied under St. Finian.

Around 560 he became engaged in a dispute with St. Finnian of Moville over a psalter he had copied. The dispute somehow led to a battle and a number of men were killed. Threatened with excommunication, Columba suggested an exile with the condition that he would convert as many men as had been killed. This brought him to Scotland where he was granted land on the isle of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. He started an abbey and was zealous in his missionary work.

Columba was a man of letters having transcribed nearly 300 books. But his legacy revolves around the revival of monasticism and Celtic Christianity after the fall of the Roman empire. He died and was buried at his monastery on Iona.

A Collect for Columba: O God, by the preaching of your blessed servant Columba you caused the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we pray, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show our thankfulness to you by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Joseph, of the House of David, was the husband of Mary and a member of the Holy Family. What we know of Joseph comes from the New Testament. He was evidently a carpenter by trade.

Joseph is associated with one particularly critical event in the life of Jesus: the flight into Egypt. Joseph is told by an angel in a dream of Herod’s plan to kill Jesus and orders him to save the boy by taking him and his mother to Egypt. He thereby avoids Jesus’ death in what has become known as the Slaughter  of the Holy Innocents.  After Herod’s death, Joseph is told by the angel in another dream to return with Jesus and his mother to the land of Israel; but when Joseph learns that Herod has been succeeded in Judea by Herod Archelaus, Joseph worries on account of the latter’s ill repute, a further dream guides him to the district of Galilee. And so Joseph takes mother and child to Nazareth and settles there.

The last event mentioning the presence of Joseph is the family’s visit to the Temple when Jesus is twelve-years-old. He stays behind to teach the elders in the temple and Mary and Joseph encounter every parent’s nightmare when they can suddenly not find their child. After this Joseph fades from memory as Jesus embraces both adulthood and his calling.

A Collect for Joseph: God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


3 Comments on “Lent Madness: Columba vs. Joseph”

  1. Tam Hernandez says:

    Boy, this one isn’t even fair? Two of my favorites. But I couldn’t let Columba go with no supporters at all…

  2. don kenyon says:

    Can you update the bracket pdf? It’s hard to keep up with so many matches. I suppose I could just print it out and write it in.

    Anyway, I can’t wait of the Bede pairings. The headlines write themselves:”An Historic matchup,” “Is Bede Vulnerable?” “Bede Makes/Is History!” Or a combo with comment “The Recently Vulnerable Bed Makes (Up) History.”

    Is there a pool?

  3. Father Tim says:

    Well, Don, I try to post an updated bracket with each new match-up. Round One has been fast and furious. Fi we do this next year, perhaps I’ll issue the initial bracket and offer a prize to the person who picks the most eventual winners. I’ll check with my bookie on how to do this.


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