Lady of Refuge, Nuestra Señora del Refugio, is Patroness of
California and parts of Mexico.
painting is from the hands of the artist, Joseph de Paez, 1750, Mexico.
The Franciscan missionary Francisco Diego Garcia y Moreno was the first Bishop of Baja, California. He proclaimed Nuestra Señora del Refugio, as Patron on January 4, 1843, at Mission Santa Clara in Alta California.
proclamation included the following:
The entire text of Bishop Garcia Diego's declaration is recorded in
Mission Santa Clara's Libro de Patentes. After citing the early Fathers
of the Church on the practice and spiritual benefits of naming patron
Saints, the first bishop of the Californias stated: "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?"
The Liturgical Feast
In 1981 the California Catholic Conference of Bishops petitioned the Vatican Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship for authorization to observe the Feast of Our Lady of Refuge on July 5 as an obligatory memorial. This was approved by official document dated January 15, 1982, and signed by Archbishop Giuseppe Casoria.
The diocese of Baja California celebrate this patronal Feast on July 4.
In the Santa Clara Mission church the painting of Our Lady of Refuge is
found above the larger picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe in one of the
side altar niches on the left as one nears the sanctuary. Another
painting by Eulalio, a local Native American, is on display in Santa
Clara University’s De Saisset Museum near the mission church.
above image is darker than the Eulalio painting, which has a wood-tone
background. The fower motif is almost the same; the two figuresare
almost identical in both images.
truly believe that Our Lady or my Guardian Angel led me to this image.
While visiting in a locale of a historical Catholic Church
[Traditional], to which is attached a modern wing, for the Novus Ordo
rite, I decided to enter the new section, normally something I have no
interest in doing, especially since I knew kneelers had been
eliminated, etc. For some reason I felt a strong urge to go in.
Immediately I thought there is an image waiting there and sure enough
there was! This de Paez painting was on a small advertisement poster
for an exhibit of the artist's works, covered with text. It had been
left in the "free" basket. It took me a few hours to remove the text
and restore the image to its orginal, thanks be to God! I was also able
to remove the water spots. What an exquisite Madonna and Child!