Lent Madness: Aelred vs. John the BaptistPosted: March 11, 2010
The Round of the Saintly Sixteen begins with a smackdown of saintly contrasts: Aelred (who advanced against Anskar)vs. John the Baptist (who defeated Martin of Tours). Clean shaven vs. wild beard matted with locusts and wild honey. English monk vs. Biblical ascetic.
Click for the full tournament bracket: Lent Madness 2010
In his writing on Spiritual Friendship, Aelred writes, “Friendship is agreement on all things sacred and profane, accompanied by goodwill and love.” In welcoming Pharisees who have come to see what was happening by the River Jordan, John the Baptist yells, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come!” So it’s safe to say that these two saints take different approaches to their work and ministry.
Aelred (1109-1166) was the Abbot of a community of 300 monks in Rievaulx, England. John baptized Jesus. Aelred is the patron saint of Integrity, USA. John is the patron saint of the Freemasons. Aelred was known as the “English St. Bernard.” John was known as the Forerunner. Aelred died a natural death. John had his head cut off and delivered on a silver platter.
You now get to choose who will increase and who will decrease in Lent Madness. Cast your vote!