For the sixth year running, people worldwide are gearing up for Lent Madness, the “saintly smackdown” in which 32 saints do battle to win the coveted Golden Halo. Not familiar with this online devotion I started in 2010? Well, you should be!

Lent Madness brings together cut-throat competition, the lives of the saints, humor, and the chance to see how God works in the lives of women and men across all walks of life. What’s not to like?

It’s also a way of reimagining the season of Lent, that time of self-examination and repentance, that precedes Easter. Because while people might think Lent involves giving up chocolate and eating dirt, it’s really about growing closer to God.

Lent Madness allows us to meet some inspiring people who have come before us in the faith. It’s important to remember that these folks weren’t remote images in stained glass but living, breathing people God happened to use in marvelous ways. That’s the thing about saints — they weren’t perfect but faithful.

Here’s how it works: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at www.lentmadness.org about two different saints. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours as participants read about and then vote to determine which saint moves on to the next round. Sixteen saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.

This year Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, biblical and ecclesiastical. The 2015 heavyweights include Teresa of Avila, Frederick Douglass, Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Balthazar and the Venerable Bede. The full bracket is online at the Lent Madness website.

This all kicks off on “Ash Thursday,” Feb. 19. To participate, visit the Lent Madness website at www.lentmadness.org, where you can also print out a bracket for free to see how you fare or “compete” against friends and family members. I mean, who wouldn’t want to “win” Lent?

Like that other March tournament, there will be drama and intrigue, upsets and thrashings, last-minute victories and Cinderellas. If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, consider this your invitation to join in the Lent Madness journey. You’ll need a sense of humor, an open heart and mind, and the desire to join thousands of others in what has been called “the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion.” I think it’s safe to say there’s not a ton of competition.

The Rev. Tim Schenck is author of the newly released “Father Tim’s Church Survival Guide” (Morehouse) and Rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Massachusetts. Visit his blog Clergy Confidential at clergyconfidential.com, or follow him on Twitter at @FatherTim.