Our Lady of Guadalupe
The woman is Mary, the mother of Jesus, who appeared on December 9, 1531, to a simple peasant, Juan Diego, on a hill near Mexico City. She is known and venerated as Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her feast day is celebrated on December 12th. This appearance of Mary is the only one on the North American continent that is officially recognized by the Catholic Church.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is not only the patroness of the Diocese of Sacramento but of two other California dioceses as well, Orange and San Bernardino. Furthermore, she has been declared the Patroness of all the Americas. A beautiful painting of Our Lady and Saints of the Americas (photo at right) is located in the north chapel in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. There is also a downtown parish in Sacramento named for Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The second patron of the Diocese of Sacramento is a man known throughout the western world, Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland. He is called an apostle since he was the first missionary to the Irish people. And the Irish missionaries — both priests and sisters — were among the first missionaries to the Church in California.
As a young man, Patrick was captured and enslaved for 6 years; he escaped, but felt called back to Ireland to proclaim Christ. There, he established churches and primitive monasteries. How appropriate that he is a Patron Saint for the Diocese of Sacramento, named for the Eucharist.
Statues of Patrick can be seen at the entrance to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament as well as within it, near the chapel of the Eucharist.