Friday, 30 September 2011

The Chapel of the Oak

Some little distance, a few kilometres, from Chavagnes is the Chapel of the Oak - La Chapelle du Chêne. I'm afraid I do not know much of the about it. In fact, if I'm honest, I do not know any of its history. However, it is an oak tree, in the midst of which an altar as been placed, and a chapel has been built through it, to protect it.

You can see here the tree outside the walls, covered in ivy. The altar is flanked by St Anne, with the Child Mary, and by St Joachim.

The Altar is wonderfully busy with thanksgiving offerings. Well, stuff actually. Just loads of stuff. There are ex voto plaques on the wall, and petitions written on little pieces of paper which then have been left in the cracks of the Oak.

It is folk religion. And it is a good thing. Our English Catholicism can be so... well, so respectable! I like a religion that can have a broken snow globe from Lourdes (with neither snow nor water left) left as an offering to the Mother of God in a little chapel surrounding an old oak tree.

That's my kind of religion.

We can be very clever... but we all need a place to leave a clapped out snow globe to say thank you, or to make sure that nothing bad happens.

Our Lady of the broken snow globe in the chapel of the oak... pray for us.
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