Campus Ministry Landmarks
Our Patron: Our Lady, Queen of the Angels
Catholics believe in the doctrine of the “communion of the saints”, a belief which recognizes the relationship shared among those in heaven and earth. Though different, our heavenly and earthly lives
share the blessings of the one God and the same call to salvation. Those believed to be living now with God in heaven are referred to as saints, for they have reached the sanctity of their place with God in His kingdom.
Traditionally, local communities have chosen a particular saint as their patron, entrusting themselves to the prayers of this saint. As a person may ask a friend to pray for them, or you might pray to a deceased mom or dad saying, “say a little prayer for me (Mom), I need a little extra help right now”, so do Catholics believe that those who are in heaven pray to God for us and bring our needs to Him in a special and close way. It is not the saint who answers the prayer, it is God.
The patron saint of the Bishop Alemany High School community is Mary the mother of God, specifically honored in the title “Our Lady Queen of the Angels”. This patronage has existed since the dedication of our original buildings and the property for the establishment of the Our Lady of the Angels Seminary which formerly occupied this site up until the time of the 1994 earthquake, which devastated the original Bishop Alemany High School property located across Rinaldi Street.
In the scriptures the angels are the messengers of God. Mary, the mother of our Church is the queen of these messengers, directing them (and us) always to bring the Good News of God’s love and salvation to all. The city of Los Angeles itself is the outgrowth of the original settlement “Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles”, established September 14, 1781. The Spanish settlers chose this name because it was on the traditional Spanish feast of Mary, Our Lady of the Angels, that they decided on their settlement.
We continue to join ourselves to the spiritual life of heaven in our prayers to the saints, particularly under the protective and encouraging care of our mother Mary. In the Gospels Mary is portrayed as faithful to God as she directs the people to “do whatever He tells you”. We pray the invocation, Mary, Our Lady Queen of the Angels, pray for us” as we pray that Mary will pray with us, helping us to pray for what is right and encouraging us to be faithful to God.
The Grotto at Bishop Alemany
Our Lady of Lourdes is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparitions which are said to have taken place before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France.
Most prominently among these is the apparition of February 11, 1858, when Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl admitted to her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle, (a mile from the town) while gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar appearances of the "lady" were reported on seventeen further occasions that year.
Bernadette Soubirous was later canonized as a Saint, and Roman Catholics and some Protestants believe her apparitions have been validated by the overwhelming popularity and testament of healings claimed to have taken place at the Lourdes water spring.
In 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized the Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Laurence to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes. In this Marian title, Our Lady of Lourdes has been widely copied and reproduced, often displayed in shrines or homes, most notably in garden landscape.
Throughout the world grottos have been constructed to recreate the cave where Mary appeared to Bernadette. These grottos are places of prayer and reflection, as they are signs of the faith of the people gathered there. Mary is the mother of Jesus and the mother of our faith, as it was she who first said yes to Jesus. Like her, we are to say to God "let it be done according to your Word".