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Touchdown Jesus

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Touchdown Jesus Notre Dame

'Touchdown Jesus' is seen here towering over Notre Dame Stadium.

(Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
Definition: "Touchdown Jesus" is the name given to the mural The Word of Life, which famously adorns the facade of the University of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library. The mural overlooks Notre Dame Stadium, and as a result has become one of the most recognizable scenes in all of college football.

The massive mural—134 feet tall, 68 feet wide—is the work of artist Millard Sheets (1907-1989), and depicts the resurrected Jesus Christ standing over his disciples. Though Sheets' work was not intended to reflect anything football-related, the artist's Jesus is raising his arms as if to signal "touchdown." Hence the name, "Touchdown Jesus."

The mural was funded by a $200,000 donation from Mr. and Mrs. Howard V. Phalin and was formally dedicated on May 7, 1964.

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