Madonna del Ghisallo – Patron Saint of Cyclists – a story

kellyegan:  Madonna del Ghisallo - Patron Saint of Cyclists. Medieval legend says that Count Ghisallo was travelling near the village of Magréglio when he was attacked by highway bandits. Spotting a image of the Virgin Mary in a roadside shrine, he broke away from his attackers and ran to it. There he took refuge, pled for Our Lady’s protection - and was miraculously saved from the robbers. As the story spread, the Madonna del Ghisallo became known as patroness of local travellers. In more recent times, cyclists would often stop to rest and pray at the chapel, which is a local landmark, and is at the top of a steep hill. After World War II, FatherItalian shrine for bicyclists, and she was given as patroness of cyclists on 13 October 1949 by PopePius XII.  The chapel has become equal part religious shrine, part cycling museum, with artifacts and photos from the sport. There is an eternal flame that burns there in memory of the cyclists of are no longer with us, and services each Christmas Eve and the Feast of All Souls commemorate them.  Pendent available here.  Nice story, but just how did the Virgin of Ghisallo “miraculously” save the poor traveler from bandits? Did she ride up on her fixed-gear bicycle miraculously powered by her straddled legs and come to a stop without brakes, announcing that it was she, Mary, or as her riding club calls her: The Virgin, and that she was there to set right what has gone wrong? Did she whip out her U-lock, brandishing it menacingly in the air? Did the bandits, unsure of how to react to the miracle they were witnessing, foolishly attempt to knock her off her bike? Did she have to beat them down with the business end of her lock, their bloodied remains scurrying away to tell tales of this “U-lock justice”? Or maybe the leader bandit, suspiciously at ease on a fixed-gear himself (Satan?), challenged Mary to a duel of wits and bike tricks. Did Mary’s one-legged 50 yard skid so shame the bandit leader that he rode away on a recumbent? And did the traveler, now saved by this miracle that is Mary the Virgin, bow down to her in eternal gratitude only to be swept up in her strong arms and thrown prostrate to the ground? Was the last thing he heard before he woke up in tattered clothes with a sore pelvis and a dumb smile on his face: “Stay down little man, The Virgin likes to be on top!”

kellyegan:

Madonna del Ghisallo – Patron Saint of Cyclists.

Medieval legend says that Count Ghisallo was travelling near the village of Magréglio when he was attacked by highway bandits. Spotting a image of the Virgin Mary in a roadside shrine, he broke away from his attackers and ran to it. There he took refuge, pled for Our Lady’s protection – and was miraculously saved from the robbers.

As the story spread, the Madonna del Ghisallo became known as patroness of local travellers. In more recent times, cyclists would often stop to rest and pray at the chapel, which is a local landmark, and is at the top of a steep hill. After World War II, FatherItalian shrine for bicyclists, and she was given as patroness of cyclists on 13 October 1949 by PopePius XII.

The chapel has become equal part religious shrine, part cycling museum, with artifacts and photos from the sport. There is an eternal flame that burns there in memory of the cyclists of are no longer with us, and services each Christmas Eve and the Feast of All Souls commemorate them.

Pendent available here.

Nice story, but just how did the Virgin of Ghisallo “miraculously” save the poor traveler from bandits?

Did she ride up on her fixed-gear bicycle miraculously powered by her straddled legs and come to a stop without brakes, announcing that it was she, Mary, or as her riding club calls her: The Virgin, and that she was there to set right what has gone wrong?

Did she whip out her U-lock, brandishing it menacingly in the air? Did the bandits, unsure of how to react to the miracle they were witnessing, foolishly attempt to knock her off her bike? Did she have to beat them down with the business end of her lock, their bloodied remains scurrying away to tell tales of this “U-lock justice”?

Or maybe the leader bandit, suspiciously at ease on a fixed-gear himself (Satan?), challenged Mary to a duel of wits and bike tricks. Did Mary’s one-legged 50 yard skid so shame the bandit leader that he rode away on a recumbent?

And did the traveler, now saved by this miracle that is Mary the Virgin, bow down to her in eternal gratitude only to be swept up in her strong arms and thrown prostrate to the ground? Was the last thing he heard before he woke up in tattered clothes with a sore pelvis and a dumb smile on his face: “Stay down little man, The Virgin likes to be on top!”

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