In 1889, Pope Pius IX declared today, the feast of St. Emidius, Bishop and Martyr, a day of prayer for the State of California. What, you may ask, is the connection between a 3rd century Mediterranean saint and the left coast?
As it turns out, the relics of St. Emidius reside in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, an area prone to earthquakes. As a result, St. Emidius came to be relied upon as a patron against earthquakes, along with St. Agatha, St. Francis Borgia, and St. Gregory Thaumaturgus.
Let it be noted that history has yet to record a major earthquake in California on St. Emidius’ feast day.
As seen in the above image, St. Emidius is often depicted as a bishop with eyes heavenward, stabilizing a collapsing building.
St. Emidius, ora pro nobis!