Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Match Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type to a Patron Saint

Image: Church of the Resurrection

On St Patrick's Day, Trevor McMaken of the Church of the Resurrection published in interesting twist on the ever-popular Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator: using your MBTI profile to match yourself to a saint in time for Holy Week.

As an ENTP, I was immediately curious to add a Saint to my collection of characters from Star Wars and Harry Potter characters. This fascination with the MBTI has been habit-forming! Turns out the folks at the Church of the Resurrection reckon that the Patron Saint of ENTPs like me is one St. Thomas Cranmer.

Image: Church of the Resurrection


Frankly, despite my post-secondary education at Notre Dame, I was not familiar with St. Cranmer and so was slightly disappointed that I did not align with someone more popular, like St. Francis of Assisi....

"Now I'm practicing my likeness of St. Francis of Assisi
And if I hold my hand outstretched a little bird comes to me"
                                                     --Elvis Costello, "Bedlam" 

Alas, clearly, I am no INFP, so IF McMaken and Church of the Rez are accurate, I have little hope of Elvis singing about me. However, I mollify myself with the speculation that Mr. Costello is himself a fellow ENTP. And I surveyed the remaining choices and found no descriptions more like me. Those of you who share my MBTI fetish might enjoy reading the choices to see whether you really do align with the recommended saint.


Image: Church of the Resurrection


The Sunday edition of the Washington Post placed this interesting bit of pop psychology into slightly wider circulation under this banner: For Holy Week, Here's How You Can Match Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type to a Patron Saint. I noticed more of my friends participating and commenting after the Post got in on the game. It was at this time that I figured I had better get a better understanding of the life of Thomas Cranmer. And that is when I discovered why the story of Saint Cranmer was not discussed at my alma mater....

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, is revered as a reformer and martyr in ... wait for it ... the Church of England. So, he may be a saint, but not one recognized by Catholics. Thomas made it possible for King Henry VIII to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn, which of course made neither the King nor the Archbishop popular with the Pope.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556). Image: Wikipedia

Henry VIII died at age 55 and was succeeded by his 9-year old son, Edward VI, born by 3rd wife, Jane Seymour. During the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer was allowed to make the doctrinal changes he thought necessary to the church. In 1549, he helped complete the book of common prayer. After Edward VI's death, Cranmer supported Lady Jane Grey as successor. Her nine-day reign was followed by the Roman Catholic Mary I, who promptly tried Cranmer for treason.

Cranmer’s martyrdom, from John Foxe’s book (1563). Image and caption: Wikipedia


To save his life and his life's work, Cranmer recanted. He was even received back into the Catholic church. However, Mary I insisted on his execution. Cranmer was sentenced to be burnt to death in Oxford on 21 March 1556. Before his death, he publicly renounced his recantation. He dramatically stuck his right hand, with which he had signed his recantation, into the fire first.

As an ENTP, I am all about generating ideas for change, for reformation, and for continuous process improvement. I am also quite happy to work hard for causes in which I believe passionately. The whole burned at the stake thing, though. That is a different matter!

I hope this post has you in an enlightened, if somewhat somber, Holy Week mood. And if you are so inclined, feel free to comment or share.


References:

1. Church of the Resurrection
  • Address: 935 W. Union Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187. 
  • Phone: 630-653-3888. 
  • Email: office@churchrez.org. 
  • Website: http://www.churchrez.org 
2. Church of the Resurrection's original publication. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.churchrez.org/news/holy-week-myers-briggs

4. Wikipedia's entry on Thomas Cranmer. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Cranmer

5. Bedlam Lyrics. (n.d.). Lyrics.net. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.lyrics.net/lyric/7543662.

6. A British perspective on Church of England's sainted leader. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/cranmer_thomas.shtml