Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Toribio Romo — Immaculate Conception Church, Sacramento

There are two especially beautiful shrines in the church dedicated to sacred images of special importance to people of Mexican heritage.

A shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe is located just to the north of the right-side doorway.  This image of Our Mother is particularly special to folks with ties to Mexico where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego in December 1531 on a hill near Guadalupe, Mexico.  The beautifully traditional image in this church is modeled from an image imprinted on the tilma of Juan Diego, as the mantle is called, that is now enshrined in a basilica in Mexico City.  The image depicts Our Lady, with eyes humbly downward and hands folded, in a cloak of blue covered with golden stars as she stands atop a crescent moon; behind her, rays of the sun penetrate into the sky-blue background.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico and of the Americas; as well as the Archdiocese of Sacramento (along with Saint Patrick).

Very near the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe on the right side of the nave is a shrine to another special saint of the Mexican people, that of Saint Toribio Romo.  This Saint was a Mexican priest who was shot in his bed in 1928 as part of the persecution of Catholics in the “Cristero War” in Mexico.  Father Toribio, as he is sometimes called, is looked to as a special intercessor for immigrants crossing from Mexico into the U.S. and there have been many reported appearances and miracles attributed to his guidance and intervention.   The lovely shrine in this church features Saint Toribio dressed in a dark brown cassock draped with a Rosary.  To the left of the statue is a glowing gold monstrance which holds a first-class relic of the Saint for veneration.  During the month of November, in addition to veneration of the Saint, the Shrine is also used for commemoration of the departed in the custom of Dia De Los Muertos where photographs and other remembrances of loved ones are placed.  Monsignor James T. Murphy has written an informative book about the “Saints and Sinners” in the Cristero War – see reference below.

References

Murphy, Monsignor James T. Saints and Sinners in the Cristero War. San Francisco: Saint Ignatius Press, 2019.

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