A lighthouse and pine tree in shadow at sunset. The words Did You Know are in blue at the base of the image

Did You Know – Why Was Our Fair City Named San Diego?

Do you know why our city is named San Diego?

From Bob Munson, Cabrillo Historian

Spanish tradition was to name someone, or some place, after the saint who is the patron of the day the name was given (the “Saint Day”).
Capitan Sebastian Vizcaino, who mapped San Diego Bay in November 1602, gave it the name of Saint Didacus de Alcala whose Saint Day is 12 November, the day Vizcaino first anchored in our bay.  Saint Didacus was born in San Nicolas del Puerto, Anadalusia, Spain, and was baptized Diego, a short form of Santiago (St. James). As a Franciscan priest he became a noted teacher of the church, and died on 12 November 1463.  So when the Pope declared him a Saint in 1588, his Saint Day was declared to be 12 November (the date of his death).  Although his given name was Diego, Pope Sixtus V gave him the Saint Name of Didacus, a Greek word meaning “great teacher”.

So legally our town and bay should be San Didacus OR Diego el San Didacus de Alcala.

Maybe we should re-name it the name Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo gave it: San Miguel Arc’angel. (San Miguel for short).

And now you know.

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