Below the Dome, is a statue of Jesus amid sidewalks that form a heart, in the shadow of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, bearing the inscription in Latin: “Come to me, everyone.” His arms are outstretched, facing the Dome with Mary atop it, and so the statue has acquired the nickname, “Jump, Ma, I’ll catch.” It might sound irreverent, but it’s theologically sound. Trust in God and you’ll be fine. That’s what Mary did when she took quite a big jump by telling the Archangel Gabriel that, sure, she’d consent to the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her so she could bear the Son of God in her womb.
G.K. Chesteron was also captivated by this scene. After a visit to Notre Dame, he wrote:
I have seen, where a strange country
Opened its secret plains about me,
One great golden dome stand lonely with its golden image, one
Seen afar, in strange fulfillment,
Through the sunlit Indian summer
That Apocalyptic portent that has clothed her with the Sun.
Catholic writers like Percy and Chesterton aren’t the only ones who have been intrigued by these otherworldly images and ideas. Sports Illustrated broke out Latin on the cover of its November 26, 2012, issue just before Notre Dame played Southern Cal: Splashed across the top were the words “Miraculum Dominae Nostrae MMXII,” or Miracle of Our Lady 2012. It could have been a church-lady journal.
Notre Dame’s coach Brian Kelly, amid all his practical football talk, throws in those ancient references too. Not long after he was hired, I went to a Notre Dame Club of the Hudson Valley event at West Point featuring Coach Kelly. He announced that “first and foremost, we must play for Our Lady.” That’s the language of a medieval guild. No one talks like that anymore, except Notre Dame people.
Total Rip-off Tuesday: Notre Dame
Wherein I "rip-off" another writer from the web. Not taking credit, just sharing good stuff. I figured I owed the Notre Dame fans a little something, so here is Joseph Lindsley, Jr.:
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