Also known as
Our Lady of Ghisallo; Madonna of Ghisallo
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, Father Ermelindo Vigano, pastor at the shrine, proposed Ghisallo as the site of an Italian shrine for bicyclists, and she was given as patroness of cyclists on 13 October 1949 by Pope Pius 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.
bicycle riders, bicyclists, cyclists