Los Angeles: Where did our city name originate?

"El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula" (Yes, that's the original.) I've lived here almost half my life and I did not know. I never took the time to investigate until now.
In 1769, a Franciscan friar who was exploring California named a river "Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula".  In English it means "Our Lady of the Angels of Porciúncula".  That was just the name of the river.
Now for the city.  As a settlement was established, along the banks of this river with the long name, it came to be known as (brace yourself) "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula", or "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River".  A very small town with a very long name!  And, in the naming of the town, the Virgin Mary went from "Our Lady of the Angels" to "Queen of Angels".
Here is the cool historical part. Porciúncula is the most sacred place of the Franciscan Order of the Roman Catholic Church. Actually, it is still a small church in Italy which is now located inside of a larger church called the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The basilica is located near Assisi, Italy in Umbria (central Italy) and it is the place where the Franciscan movement originated. "Porciúncula" actually means "small portion of land" and the humble church, of the same name, is where St. Francis of Assisi died.
Needless to say, this lengthy and descriptive name for our city was obviously, and officially, shortened to just "Los Angeles". Sometimes I wonder why certain words remained over time and others just dropped away. Why did they not retain "our lady" (Nuestra Señora) or "our queen" (Nuestra Reina) to whom the angels actually belong?  I imagine "Porciúncula" was jettisoned early on (sorry Saint Francis). I can't even fake pronounce it in my head.
In spite of the reduced word count, our city name remains in Spanish and it means "The Angels".  As you know, we don't even say "Los Angeles" very much anymore. We just say "L.A.".  Maybe in the future it will morph again into a short grunt or quick hand gesture to save time. In any case, now we know the origins. I feel better.

Views: 54

Tags: Angeles, Assisi, Francis, Franciscan, Friar, L.A., LA, Los, Order, Porciúncula, More…St., angels, city, history, of

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity


Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street shared their blog post on Facebook
10 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post MSHS Girls Volleyball Wills Their Way Into SFL Title Chase
10 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted a blog post

MSHS Girls Volleyball Wills Their Way Into SFL Title Chase

PANORAMA CITY - What a difference a year makes.The Mary Star High girls volleyball team truly has come a long way, from going 2-14 in 2013... to now being one game away from a 17th Star in their gymnasium.Looking to make amends from a an earlier loss to St. Genevieve of Panorama City, the visiting Stars were able to take the game…See More
10 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street shared their blog post on Facebook
yesterday
Larry Momo aka Thomas W Irons updated their profile
Monday
Larry Momo aka Thomas W Irons posted a blog post

Curmudgeon Corner - Another School Shooting

My Rooney thoughts for October 26, 2014Well, it’s happened again, here in the Northwest.  In Marysville, Washington at a local high school a distraught and misguided young man walked into the school cafeteria with a .40 caliber handgun and killed the girl who had refused his amorous advances.  Additionally, he wounded two others students before turning the gun on himself.  It’s a tragedy that’s being played out way too often, not only in Washington but all over the nation.Ironically, on the…See More
Sunday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street shared their blog post on Facebook
Sunday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post Mary Star High Football Finally Earns First Victory Of 2014
Sunday

© 2014   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service