The Innocent and Modest Vibiana
Publication Date: August 6, 2022
Devotions to the Patron Saint of Los Angeles
The Innocent and Modest Vibiana prayer book invites you to grow in devotion to the hidden patron saint of Los Angeles: St. Vibiana. Saint Vibiana was a virgin martyr who lived and died in third-century Rome. She lived in a time of great persecution, when the strong preyed on the weak, and when many young Christian women were put to death for rejecting the depravity of pagan culture. We can be certain of little about Saint Vibiana's life, except that it ended with her entrance into Heaven, and this is the most important thing to know about any life. After her martyrdom, early Christians gathered at her tomb to pray and to remember her great purity.
Over time, however, she was forgotten. In 1853, her tomb was rediscovered, and her bones were presented to Blessed Pope Pius IX. The Holy Father entrusted these relics to Thaddeus Amat, the soon-to-be Bishop of Los Angeles. When Bishop Amat arrived in Los Angeles, the city was a violent frontier settlement, only recently conquered by the United States. Amat entrusted the city to Saint Vibiana's patronage, and built a cathedral dedicated to her. Her relics were placed at the main altar.
From her position at the heart of the Cathedral, Saint Vibiana watched over generations of Angelenos who came to the Cathedral for baptisms, marriages, funerals, and countless Masses. Her feast day, September 1st, was observed with great reverence and devotion. Today her bones rest in the crypt of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, but her soul stands before God, interceding for Los Angeles, and for all those who call upon her name.