The Patrons of Central Coast Catholic
Holy Mary, Refuge of Sinners, pray for us!
Our Lady of Refuge, Patroness of California
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the patroness of the State of California under the title of Our Lady of Refuge (Spanish: Nuestra Señora del Refugio). The title “Refuge of Sinners” (Latin: Refugium Peccatorum; Spanish: Refugio de los Pecadores) finds its origins with Saint Germanus of Constantinople († 733 or 740) (cf. Saint Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, p. 746).
On 4 January 1843, the Rt. Rev. Francisco José Vicente Garcia Diego y Moreno, OFM († 1846), 1st Bishop of California, proclaimed Our Lady of Refuge patroness of the Diocese of California (also known as the Diocese of the Californias and the Diocese of Two Californias).
“We make known to you that we hereby name the great Mother of God in her most precious title, del Refugio, the principal patroness of our diocese… With so great a patroness and protectress, what can we not promise ourselves? What can be wanting and whom need we fear?”.~ Bishop Francisco José Vicente Garcia Diego y Moreno, Mission Santa Clara, Libro de Patentes
In 1981, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops petitioned the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for permission to observe the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Refuge on 5 July as an obligatory memorial in all the dioceses of California. This petition was approved on 15 January 1982.
Saint Junípero Serra, pray for us!
Saint Junípero Serra, Apostle of California
Saint Junípero Serra was born in 1713 on the Spanish island of Majorca. He entered the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) in 1730 and between 1769 and 1782 he founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, in what was then Spanish-occupied Alta California in the Province of Las Californias, New Spain.
Saint Junípero Serra died on 28 August 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo. He was buried in the sanctuary of what is now more commonly known as Carmel Mission Basilica.
“So ended Junípero’s life at age 70 years, 9 months and 4 days. He had been a Franciscan for almost 54 years, a priest for 45 and an apostolic missionary for 35. In California alone he had baptized over 6,000 Indians and confirmed 5,308”.~ Martin J. Morgado, Junípero Serra: A Pictorial Biography (1991), p. 51
Saint Junípero Serra was beatified in Rome on 25 September 1988 by Pope St. John Paul II. He was canonized in Washington, D.C. on 23 September 2015 by Pope Francis. His liturgical feast is observed on 1 July, the anniversary of the arrival of the Portolá expedition in San Diego.
Besides extraordinary fortitude, Saint Junípero Serra’s most conspicuous virtues were insatiable zeal, love of mortification, self-denial, and absolute confidence in God. His missionary efforts earned him the title of “Apostle of California”.
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us!
Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint Charles Borromeo was born in Arona, Lombardy in 1538. A descendant of the aristocratic Borromeo family, he had studied both civil and canon law before he was made a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church in 1560 by his uncle, Pope Pius IV. He was soon appointed an administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan.
Ordained to the priesthood on 4 September 1563 and ordained a bishop on 7 December 1563, Saint Charles Borromeo was officially appointed Archbishop of Milan on 12 May 1564. Saint Charles Borromeo took formal possession of the See on 23 September 1565. Together with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Philip Neri, he was a leading figure of the Counter-Reformation, being responsible for significant reforms in the Church, including the founding of seminaries for the education of priests. He died on 3 November 1584.
“It is impossible to understand the charity of Saint Charles Borromeo without knowing his relationship of passionate love with the Lord Jesus. He contemplated this love in the holy mysteries of the Eucharist and of the Cross, venerated in very close union with the mystery of the Church. The Eucharist and the Crucified One immersed Saint Charles in Christ’s love and this transfigured and kindled fervour in his entire life, filled his nights spent in prayer, motivated his every action, inspired the solemn Liturgies he celebrated with the people and touched his heart so deeply that he was often moved to tears”.~ Benedict XVI, Message on the 400th Anniversary of the Canonization of Saint Charles Borromeo, 1 November 2010, n. 3
In 1610, Saint Charles Borromeo was canonized by Pope Paul V “for the holiness of his life and for his renown for miracles” (The Roman Martyrology). His liturgical feast is observed on 4 November, which was added to the General Roman Calendar in 1613.
On 28 August 1968, Pope Saint Paul VI promulgated the Apostolic Letter Evangelii præconum (“Heralds of the Gospel”), designating Saint Charles Borromeo as a principal patron of the Diocese of Monterey in California. In addition, Saint Charles Borromeo is the titular patron of both San Carlos Cathedral in the City of Monterey and Carmel Mission Basilica in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.