Our Lady Of The Place
Country : Italy (Rome)
Year : 1250
What began almost 200 years ago as a small pueblo populated by eleven homesick families from Mexico, stands today as Los Angeles, the world’s largest city named in honor of Our Lady.
The site of the city originally centering near the Junction of the Los Angeles River and the Arreye Sece, was chosen August 2, 1769, the day after the great Franciscan feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula, and so was named in honor of that feast.
The Crown On Our Lady’s Head And The Palm Held Upright In Her Hand Signify Victory – Victory Over Sin, Hell And Death. Above Our Lady Is A Second Almond-Shaped Device Within Which Is The Hand Of God The Father. The Hand Represents The Power Of God, That Power By Which Mary Was Assumed, By Which Her Soul And Body Were Reunited. To God’s Power, Not To Her Own, Is The Assumption Due. At The Base Of The Painting Are Two Angels. They Are: Michael, The Guardian Angel Of The Church And Gabriel, The Angel Of The Incarnation. Legend Says That Gabriel Brought The News To Mary That She Was To Die And Come Bodily To Her Son, Even As The Same Angel Had Once Announced The First Coming Of Christ To Mary, And That Michael Took Care Of Her Departing Soul.
The eleven original families included some of Spanish, Indian and Negro blood. The city’s first real church was dedicated December 8, 1822. Its original is as great and as beautiful as the town it served. Still standing today and commonly known as the Plaza; Place Church, the first structure was built by Joseph Chapman, a shipbuilder – symbolic, since the church is the “bark” or the ship of St. Peter; and Joseph constructed the church named for St. Joseph’s Spouse, Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, who reigns as Queen in every place.
Los Angeles’ first church has grown with the city itself. To date, some 65,500 persons have been baptized in the almost 150-year old baptistery. But while all around it, has risen the steel and concrete giant that is a modern city, the Place (Plaza) Church has remained a center of Latin American religious and social culture; mixing the lives of peoples of many Places into one common blend of devotion to their Heavenly Mother, Mary.
Thy lovely features, Virgin sweet,
I see in pictures thousand-fold,
But none to match the vision bright
I in my inmost soul behold;
The world and all its panoply
Have vanished in it brilliant light,
In place a heavenly serenity
Now fills my heart with chaste delight.