Lent Madness: Polycarp vs. C.S. Lewis

Welcome to the Round of the Elate Eight — it’s not a great name but it’s what I’m going with (suggestions welcome). Thirty-two saints have been whittled down to eight. For this round we’ll be focusing on Saintly Kitsch. Think your glow-in-the dark Virgin Mary nightlight is impressive? I’ll raise you a Mother Theresa bobble head doll! And, yes, bad art counts.

The competition gets stiffer as we move ever-closer to the awarding of the Golden Halo. And we’ll begin with a battle between Polycarp and C.S. Lewis. In the last matchup of the Round of the Saintly Sixteen Constance defeated Basil 58% to 42%. Click Lent Madness 2011 to view the updated tournament bracket. And since I timed this wrong — I was really hoping to wrap this up before Holy Week — we’ll plow right on through the weekend and start with the Final Four on Monday morning.

Polycarp is, frankly, a bit thin on the kitsch. Pictured above, however, is his right arm which is kept in a reliquary in the Holy Monastery of Panagia Ambelakiotissa outside Nafpaktos, Greece. Now, I realize that relics shouldn’t count as kitsch. But still.

Next up is this Vietnamese (I think) mass card that shows Polycarp in what appears to be a diaper. The flames stem from the legend that when he was martyred as an 86-year-old bishop, the fire did not consume him and guards had to stab him to put him out of his misery — his blood quenched the fire.

Finally, how can you go wrong when saints meet Lego? I found this on AKMA Adam’s site — a Biblical scholar, priest, and former professor of New Testament at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (we overlapped briefly) who is now teaching at the University of Glasgow.

C.S. Lewis kitsch and collectibles include more than just poorly illustrated posters of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Check out this Christmas ornament — because nothing says “Ho, ho, ho” quite like C.S. Lewis sitting amidst a stack of books.

And don’t forget the Narnia character action figures. (What no ravenous lion?) These are all, you’ll be relieved to know, based on authorized likenesses from the Walt Disney Company.

Finally, if you really can’t stand drinking coffee (or tea!) without smoking a pipe, this mug with a picture of Lewis smoking his trademark tobacco has you covered.



5 Comments on “Lent Madness: Polycarp vs. C.S. Lewis”

  1. AKMA says:


  2. Susan Elliott says:

    Tim, you’re killing me with this round. Polycarp, my birthday saint, who represents (bypassing the martyrdom piece) the aspirations of us all to live long and faithfully. And Lewis, who formed me as a tween and adolescent and the subject of my first ever “term paper” in high school. Arghhhh!

  3. Father Tim says:

    It appears that I misrepresented Dr. Adam’s lego brilliance as kitsch. Perhaps he needs a slogan: “Biblical Lego — it’s the new stained glass.”

  4. Meredith Gould says:

    Kitsch always rules but gotta go with the Carp

  5. Kelly says:

    I think any association with Disney ups the kitsch factor considerably.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s