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: 79

Comment

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

Join San Pedro News Pilot

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

SPMG Media posted a blog post

SPMG Media Presents… Cheryl Ford Dorsey: Black & Blue

It’s no secret that many Americans today feel there is something gravely wrong with the increased number of African American men and women who have lost their lives to police officers. What is doubly concerning is that it is happening far too frequent, and with no repercussion or consequences for…See More
Wednesday
Scott Gray posted an event

Alcohol Server Training at San Pedro Brewing Company

October 15, 2016 from 9am to 11:30am
Level 1 and 2for off-premises/special events and professional serversComplete ABC recommended content and best practicesLaws, regulations, compliance, enforcementKey knowledge required of all serversEnsuring compliance with standards for properly maintained premisesPlus practical strategies for addressing on-the-floor alcoholic beverage service issuesOn line supplemental and review informationPresented by Visit San PedroSee More
Wednesday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post San Pedro High Girls Volleyball Wins Own Inaugural Tournament
Sunday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted blog posts
Sunday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post San Pedro High Football Holds On To Win At Lawndale
Sep 24
Carolyn Kraft posted an event
Thumbnail

Sustainable Seafood Expo at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles

October 2, 2016 from 12pm to 5pm
Enjoy seafood samples, chef demonstrations, educational activities and much more at the 3rd Annual Sustainable Seafood Expo Sunday, Oct. 2! Actor Adrian Grenier of “Entourage” fame will make a special appearance and discuss his work as co-founder of the Lonely Whale Foundation. After the Expo, join Adrian for an exclusive Chef's Table dinner featuring local sustainable seafood fare prepared by Executive Chef Dustin Trani of J. Trani's Ristorante. Learn how the​ fish on your dish should be…See More
Sep 22

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post San Pedro High Girls Volleyball To Host Inaugural Tournament
Sep 22

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted a blog post

San Pedro High Girls Volleyball To Host Inaugural Tournament

For the first time in program history, the San Pedro High girls volleyball team will be hosting their very own tournament.This Saturday starting at 8 am, all at the San Pedro High Flagship Campus gymnasium, the inaugural San Pedro Invitational will begin as an eight-team tournament with two pools of four…See More
Sep 22

© 2016   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service