Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Lady of Rugby

Religion and sport do not comfortably coexist.  After all, if prayers for Divine Intervention really worked then the most devout team would always win.  There would scarcely be time for anything but prayer, and this would make things a little tedious for paying spectators.

Oh, there have been a few minor cultural references to the practice...the movie Angels in the Outfield occurs to me, as of course does the "Touchdown Jesus" mural that overlooks the football stadium of Notre Dame University in South Bend Indiana.

So I was a little surprised to learn that in a small village in southwestern France there is a rustic chapel known as Notre-Dame-du-Rugby; Our Lady of Rugby.

For the past 45 years the little shrine overlooking Larivierre-Saint-Savin has been a pilgrimage for rugby players from France and the wider European community.  It was the project of a local priest who rededicated the abandoned chapel after three players from the area were killed in an automobile crash.

It has some swell stained glass windows:
 This one is named "Above the Scrum".
The Virgin at the Line Out.

A detail of Our Lady holding Jesus....who of course is holding a rugby ball!

No comments: