Rorate Caeli

Holy rollers

Fr. Dominique Lagneau blesses Tour de France cyclists on international television
France: SSPX priest blesses cyclists of the Tour de France
Fans of the Tour de France may have seen it on their television screens on Friday, July 16. As the cyclists crossed the Ardeche in mid-afternoon, the camaras paused for a few moments on Fr. Dominique Lagneau at the side of the road as he blessed the riders in a beautiful gesture which was broadcast around the world! The director of Ignatian retreats at the Priory of Gastines (Maine-et-Loire) was relaxing at his parents home nearby and had simply wanted to witness the passing of the famous bicycle race..."Like everyone else, I went to the edge of the road", he told us that evening. "Suddenly, the TV crew doing to coverage stopped where I was and asked me to bless the riders on their way... I didn't have to be asked twice!"


  1. Anonymous11:56 PM

    It is nice to see these acts of charitable witness to the Catholic faith. Sure beats the heavy lifting we do all the time. I wish more priests were the FSSPX priests.

  2. Anonymous12:38 AM

    I am a big fan of the TDF and this was definitely a great moment for those watching the televised broadcast to see. Also, it was impressive to see Alberto Contador and Samuel Sanchez sign themselves with the cross before begining a stage. Contador took 1st place overall and Sanchez 4th.

  3. Anonymous1:45 AM

    nice gesture!

  4. I recall as a kid seeing our parish priest walking around the church saying his office, he would walk and read getting his office done and getting exercise, he lived into his late 80's. Nearby was the local fire station. It was common to see Father stop and bless the fire engine crews as they sped by on their way to their assignment, the same was done with passing ambulances. Witnessing those priestly actions have stayed fresh in my miind for over forty years.

  5. Anonymous7:00 AM

    Thanks for posting this... I missed this portion of the coverage(Stage 12). I found it however and replayed the footage from Versus which I found at the 59 minute mark.

    Phil Liggett comments: "Here's the local Padre, applauding the riders... wishing them all the best."

    The "Padre" removes his baret and clearly blesses the riders in the breakaway with an obvious "Sign of the Cross".

    Sad that Phil got it wrong... The priest was NOT applauding them!


  6. Anonymous1:25 PM

    the readers of Rorate might be pleased to learn that the abbey of Notre Dame de l'Annonciation in France, which has all its offices sung according the traditional rite, won a contest over 70 others convents to record a gregorian chant cd...énédictines-du-barroux-championnent-de-grégorien.html

  7. Thanks Anonymous. Here's a link to a story in English about the Sisters:

  8. Pope Pius XII blessed cyclists & made the Madonna del Ghisallo patroness of cyclists. He also had blessed associations with the great cyclists Bartali & Coppi. He was enthusiastic about cycling.

  9. Anonymous1:06 PM

    The TV crew didn't just ask the good father by chance. This used to be done before every stage. You can still se some of the riders crossing themselves before departure. Indeed, a mountain stage can be dangerous.

  10. Anonymous2:36 PM

    By the way - what has happened to those 20 million Rosaries collected as a bouquet to be presented to Benedict XVI? In a May 10 interview Bp Fellay told THE REMNANT that the bouquet would be handed over "very soon" .............


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!