Did you know these five things are named after the Virgin Mary?
Did you know these five things are named after the Virgin Mary? The Virgin Mary has been honored with titles and names throughout history. Here are just a few things named after her that might surprise most people.
Here are five things named after the Virgin Mary.
The ladybug is named for the Virgin Mary because of its color and its seven spots.
Ladybugs are named after Our Lady. The tradition dates back to the Byzantine era when the Virgin Mary was traditionally cloaked in red in iconography. Some ladybugs are also covered with seven spots, which were taken to represent the seven joys and seven sorrows of Mary. Farmers were particularly fond of the ladybug, and remain so today as they often devour parasitic pests which can damage crops. For them, the ladybug is a gift from above.
The poor often left marigold for Mary instead of gold coins.
The Marigold flower is one of many species of plants that are named after the Virgin Mary. Monasteries once kept marigold gardens to honor her. The poor who could not afford to leave gold coins as an offering often left marigold blossoms instead. There are possibly thousands of plants named after the Virgin Mary or closely associated with her, including ladyslippers, lilly of the valley, and many others. Of course, the most famous flower of all, the rose, is also associated with the Virgin Mary, although it is not named for her.
The Mercedes is named for Mary, although in an indirect way.
The Mercedes automobile is taken from the Spanish name for an order of monks who once followed Our Lady of the Mercies. The order Mercederian Order was founded in 1218, made a practice of ransoming slaves from the Moors. Its name was taken as inspiration by Emil Jellinek, an Austrian diplomat who invested in the development of the automobile. He contracted Wilhelm Maybach and Paul Daimler to design and build a car in 1901, which was named after Jellinek's daughter, Mercedes. And Mercedes was named after the Mercederian Order, which took their name from Our Lady of the Mercies. So, in a roundabout way, the Mercedes is named after Our Lady.
Of course, people are commonly named after the Virgin Mary.
In fairness, you knew this one. However, Mary has been one of the most popular names in history, and is popular globally. The name is taken from Hebrew, and it means "bitter." But many people associate the name Mary with the Virgin Mary, which is a much sweeter inspiration. Mary also exists in many forms, Marie, Maria, & etc.. In the past decade, the name has declined in popularity in the United States. It was the 127th most popular name for girls in the U.S. in 2016.
The city of Los Angeles is named after Our Lady.
The city of Los Angeles, or L.A. for short, is named for Our Lady. Even most Los Angelenos (natives of the city) don't know this fact. Most people assume the city is named for the Angels, and call it the "city of the angels," but this is not technically correct.
The official and original name of the city of Los Angeles is, "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula," which in English means, "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the River Porciuncula."
The Porciuncula river is called the Los Angeles river today. That river is dry most of the year, and now flows though a large, usually dry canal that cuts though the middle of the city. It is a well-known location and the scene of many movies.
Because the city's name is commonly truncated, or even abbreviated to just "LA.," most people don't realize that it is named after Our Lady.
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