The Madonna of the Lineout or the Church of Rugby?

This post has been submitted by The Rolling Maul's foreign correspondent, from Melbourne via Birchgrove, now living in Switzerland and on holiday in France where he's found that Rugby really can be a religion.
Note: the views contained in this report are those of the writer only and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Rolling Maul, unless they are particularly funny, in which case they were edits made by The Rolling Maul.

So today we went for a drive around the Dordogne region where we're having a holiday.  We head to a village called Rocamadour, which is a beautiful little place clinging to the side of a cliff.

It was an important medieval pilgrimage site, and still attracts plenty of the faithful to the local church, as well as lots of tourists.

I'm wandering around the church, and decide to look in an open but unmarked door.

Now that's an altar
What the $%&*#?

The first thing I see is a wall full of rugby jerseys!  Hang on, does this church have a sports bar attached to it??  No, next thing I see is an altar, and then I notice one of the most bizarre pieces of religious art I've ever seen.  Forget "The Virgin Mary and Child" -- this is "Madonna of the Lineout" !!

Truly extraordinary.

The Patron Saint of the second row?
So I say a little prayer for the Waratahs (it worked), then head off determined to do some research that night.

Turns out it's not some desperate attempt to increase France's Rugby World Cup chances, but is a chapel where prayers are said for rugby players injured/killed in the line of duty (probably not Rugby duty but the real thing).

The statue was donated by a group connected to the Chapel Notre Dame du Rugby, in a town down in the Basque region of France.  This site gives some more info on this.

And if that wasn't cool enough, check out these rugby-inspired stained glass windows:
A bespoke window grand design
for your renovation perhaps?
Mauling for Jesus?

So what do you know? Rugby really is the game they play in heaven!


Anonymous said…
Does this mean that David Campese really is God?