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Everybody knows Indiana Jones. This big-hearted adventurer, terrorized by snakes, and played by Harrison Ford, has managed to enter the pantheon of cinema’s inescapable sagas. Even if you’ve seen the movies a good, good, a bunch of times, it’s very likely that you haven’t noticed this reference.


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Only the penitent may pass it

In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana begins a race against time with the Nazis to find the famous Grail. Only, once in Petra in Jordan, the band of adventurers is surprised by the Nazis and Henry Jones Senior, played by Sean Connery, is shot. To save her father, Indy must then face the 3 trials of the Grail in order to get her hands on the cup. And it is during the first trial, that of the breath of God, that a well-hidden reference is buried.

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Thanks to research carried out beforehand, clues were found as to the resolution of the proofs. In the manner of an enigma by Father Fouras, deadly for this time, only one sentence is there to help: Only the penitent may pass. According to the faithful Larousse, the penitent is a person who presents himself to the priest to confess his sins and receive the sacrament of penance. No priest around, so the blades hidden in the rock will be used for confession. 

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In order to escape a tragic and swift, yet painless death, Indiana Jones must take a penitent’s break: kneel with your back straight, one hand clenching your fist and your head down. Only, the penitent can take different positions according to his religion. And some practitioners would never have been able to pass this test: the Muslims. And for good reason, while Catholics are close to the vertical, Muslims are more horizontal. 

Religious warfare

In the scene of the film, Indiana kneels down before performing a beautiful roll, allowing him to stop the mechanism. Of course, if he had confessed as a Muslim, his head would have ended up separated from his body, like those of the guards a little further upstream. Even if a position is a bit light to justify a reference, other elements of response may help. As you know, the Crusades were intended to defend the pilgrimage routes to Jerusalem of the peoples of the Muslim confessions, also called Saracens. 

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What’s more, Petra, the legendary city carved out of rock, is located in Jordan, just east of Israel according to Google Maps, but also in a predominantly Muslim country. The purpose of these trials was therefore to protect the Grail from Muslim invaders. To this is added the immortality granted by God himself to the knight guarding Joseph’s cup. Knight who participated in the Crusades before barricading himself in these places, adding death traps for Muslims. Hate crime certainly, but with respect for the crusaders, please. 

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