Today I accompanied our Chair of the Academy of Common Identity (Ullans) Helen Brooker to see Ken Perry, Principal of Dundonald High School. We had met him at a Community Event organised by the Ballybeen Men’s Motivation Group and was introduced to him by our Patron Andy Tyrie. We were meeting him to inform him about our Feast of Columbanus Event in Belfast City Hall on 21st November 2013..It turned out Ken was an enthusiastic Biker and knew the McBride brothers from Whitespots, Conlig where my friend Gladys Harvey nee Kearney lived…Whites Pots, of course, means Lead Mines in Ulster Scots.
I told him of my nepnew Kevin Beegle who works for Harley Davidson in Seattle and my travels to their headquarters in Milwaukie, which I have visited twice with the famous Irish Fest.
He was delighted to discover that Columbanus is the Patron Saint of Motorcycles and Bikers. Here is their Prayer
|Bikers Patron saint & Prayer of Blessing Prayer of BlessingMay God bless you and keep you safe on this machine.
May you meet encounter the risen Lord in your travels, in the freedom of the open road, the fellowship of other bikers and in each person you meet.
May the Lord be with you at home and on the road.
May He accompany you when you start on your many journeys.
May He fill your life abundantly with his many blessings.
May He keep all your riding safe.
May His mercy, grace and love shine upon your every road.
St Columbanus is the official saint of bikers. He was born in 540 AD and died in 615 AD. He had various qualities that seemed to make him fit the bill.
He appealed to both Christians and Pagans.
He was born in Ireland in Lenster so he was big hearted and friendly. A ruggedly handsome chap by all accounts.
Like many male bikers he was irresistible to women. Jonas his saintly historian wrote that Columbanus left home because he was constantly pestered by a beautiful woman
He was most famous for his miracle. Not the five loaves and two fishes, but the two fishes and loads of beer. He found some hungry and thirsty monks one day and multiplied two fish and a little beer into an almighty knees up.
He didnt ride a bike; he would have we are sure, but the trouble was they weren’t invented at that time.
If he had ridden a bike scholars agree it would probably have been something Italian like a Laverda or a Ducati even a Guzzi . You see he founded his monastery in Bobbio northern Italy and his bones lie there to this day, not far from the Monza racetrack, so beloved by my friend Eddie Irvine, himself a biker
The church got it right for once! A patron saint of bikers would have to be attractive, irresistible, interested in beer and exotic north Italian products. So, St Columbanus really fits the bill!!
St. Columbanus. Window of the crypt of the Bobbio Abbey
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