Ever wondered who the patron saint of cyclists is? Wonder no more, it’s this lady right here:
The Madonna del Ghisallo. This is an extract from ‘The Tablet’, 14th July 2007.
“According to legend, the medieval Count Ghisallo was attacked by bandits while travelling near the village of Magreglio in Lombardy, northern Italy, when he spotted an image of the Virgin Mary in a roadside shrine and ran towards it. He was miraculously saved from the robbers and, as the story spread, the Madonna del Ghisallo became known as the patroness of local travellers. A chapel in her honour was built at the top of a steep hill overlooking Lake Como, and quickly became popular with cyclists who would stop to rest and say a prayer at the shrine. In 1949, Pope Pius XII declared the Madonna del Ghisallo the patroness of cyclists. The chapel itself has become equal part religious shrine and cycling museum filled with artefacts and photos connected to the sport, including the leader jerseys won by past winners of the Tour de France and its Italian counterpart, the Giro d’Italia.”
Now you know.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2007