I'm posting this event taking place tomorrow - Oct. 10th - if anyone in the SF Bay Area is interested:
Saint Bede's Episcopal Church
2650 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, California 94025
Dear Publicity Director or Ride Coordinators:
I write to ask your help in publicizing our planned "Blessing of the Bicycles"
on Sunday, October 10, 2004. As you can see from the enclosed materials, we are
honoring bicyclists in the year of the 101st anniversary of the Tour de France
and because we have two European shrines to bicyclists to emulate.
We are hoping for a robust turn-out of bicyclists of all persuasions and
abilities. We hope that the publicity provided will encourage groups or
individuals to plan a bike ride that day which would include a stop at Saint
Bede's in time for the scheduled blessing at 9:30 a.m. We anticipate that all
riders will all be on their respective journeys by 10:00 a.m. Last year, the
Alto Velo Cycling Club arranged to stop at Saint Bede's to receive a blessing
before continuing on with their Sunday ride and we look forward to their return.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Rev. Dr. Dennis S.
Tierney, Associate Rector, at (650) 854 - 6555 or dst@s....
We look forward to seeing all interested bike riders on Sunday October 10, 2004
at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Saint Bede's Church, 2650 Sand Hill Road at
Monte Rosa Drive.
Second Annual Blessing of the Bicycles October 10, 2004
Saint Bede's Episcopal Church of Menlo Park California announces the second
annual "Blessing of the Bicycles." In honor of the 101st anniversary of the
Tour de France and following the example of European churches, Saint Bede's will
bless bicycles and their riders on Sunday, October 10, 2004 at 9:30 a.m. in the
church parking lot at 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, located one-half mile
Sand Hill Road is a major bike corridor with hundreds of cyclists passing by
Saint Bede's each week. In honor of this increasingly popular sport, and on the
occasion of the 101st anniversary of the Tour de France, Saint Bede's will
recognize these athletes with an annual blessing for them. In so doing, Saint
Bede's follows the examples of two other churches, one in Italy and one in
The Italian Shrine
The patron saint for cyclists, Madonna del Ghisallo, is located near Como,
Italy. Her feast day, established in 1949 by Pope Pius XII, is October 13th.
The church in Ghisallo is equal part museum to cycling and shrine with an
eternal flame that burns in memory of deceased cyclists. The church is at the
top of a hill and historically was associated with the protection of travelers.
As cycling became more popular in Italy, many cyclists stopped to pray and give
thanks for having made it to the top of the hill. After World War II, Father
Vigano, pastor at the shrine, petitioned to make this church the Italian shrine
The French Shrine
2.5 kilometers from the tiny Landes town of Lasbastide-d'Armagnac sits an 11th
century church dedicated to the Tour de France and to cyclists. Following the
Italian example, the local priest, Father Massie, determined that his church
would become a shrine to the Tour de France and to cycling in general. After
much effort, he convinced Pope Pius XII in 1959 to grant his church an official
designation as the French shrine to cyclists and the Tour de France. Since then
many cyclists, including such Tour de France winners as Lance Armstrong, have
left momentos of their victories at the church, honoring Notre Dame des
Cyclistes. In 1989, the Tour actually passed by the church in honor of the
efforts of Father Massie.
Saint Bede's Church
Saint Bede's, as an Episcopal Church, envisions a more modest recognition of the
joys and challenges of cycling. While a shrine might be possible in years to
come, for now, the goal is to acknowledge and recognize all those who take to
our roads and highways on bicycles. Please join us on Sunday morning, October
10, 2004, at 9:30 a.m. for prayer and a special blessing.