The Catholics are up to something with this move to bless bicycles Sunday. We're not sure their motivations, so we can only assume they are holy. But if you plan to carry your bike past St. Peter, better bring it down for a touch of heavenly love.
From the church press release:
The Blessing of Bikes event is the first-ever at The Basilica of Saint Mary. The event brings greater awareness to using bikes as a means of transportation. It's a fun family event that encourages bike safety as the number of bicyclists sharing the road significantly increases during the summer months.
The June 7th event is free, and it doesn't matter if your bicycle questions the legitimacy of the papacy.
Blessing of Bikes Event Schedule:
11:00 am: Exhibits and tasty treats
1:15 pm: Bike enthusiasts gather on The Basilica lawn
1:30 pm: Blessing service that includes prayer and readings
2:00 pm: Group ride for all ages and abilities (helmets required)
In addition to have a priest wet your bicycle in holy water, there will be Blessing of the Bikes t-shirt available for purchase. They will feature the Patron Saint of Bicyclists: Madonna Del Ghisallo.
Wha-huh? A Patron Saint of Bicycles!?
According to the legend, the Medieval count Ghisallo was being attacked by bandits when he saw an image of Virgin Mary at a shrine. He ran to it and was saved from the robbers. The apparition became known as the Madonna del Ghisallo, and she became a patroness of local travellers. In later times, Madonna del Ghisallo (the hill) was made part of the Giro di Lombardia bicycle race.
Another reason to love Italians.