The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels contains ten devotional chapels on the Plaza level and one on the Mausoleum level. Unlike most Cathedrals, the chapels do not open to the nave. Rather, they are accessible from the South and North Ambulatories which surround the main body of the Cathedral, thereby achieving a more peaceful setting for prayer. The Mass is not celebrated in these chapels.

The purpose of five of the chapels have been designated, the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of the Angels, Reconciliation, Art, and St. Vibiana's. Other chapels will be decorated in the future to highlight a theme, to suit the culture of a particular ethnic group, or to give emphasis to a statue, image, painting or other religious symbol with special meaning to the community. A Cathedral is a work in progress for generations.

Blessed Sacrament Chapel

The first chapel reached from the entrance to the South Ambulatory is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Bronze and silver sconces, sculpted by Max DeMoss, signal the pilgrim that they are approaching the presence of the Eucharist. Each holds a four-inch candle. The grape and wheat motif, a key element of the tabernacle is repeated in the design of the sconces.

The chapel is dedicated to reserve the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist consecrated at Mass and taken to the sick and elderly by Eucharistic Ministers during the week. It is designed to foster devotional prayer and adoration of the Sacrament. Natural light filters through an alabaster shaft, complemented by the original chandeliers from the old St. Vibiana's Cathedral.

The large, angular, bronze tabernacle, designed and fabricated by DeMoss, reminds us of the Jewish Ark of the Covenant, the chest that held the tables of the law, signifying the relationship between God and God's People. Chaffs of wheat, grape leaves and clusters are sculpted on the tabernacle, representing the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

Hanging near the centrally placed tabernacle is the bronze Tabernacle Lamp, sculpted by DeMoss, which burns continuously to remind us of the presence of the consecrated Eucharist.

Our Lady of the Angels Chapel

Along the South Ambulatory is the chapel in honor of Our Lady of the Angels. The beautiful statue of Mary by Italian artist Professor Eugenio Pattarino was commissioned by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre in the 1950s. The chapel gives honor to traditional conceptions of Mary, the Mother of God.

Reconciliation Chapel

The Reconciliation Chapel along the North Ambulatory is for private meditation and community celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of sins and harmony with God. Unlike traditional Catholic churches with confessionals on the sides of the nave, this chapel is separate, offering a quiet place for contemplation and prayer. It presents private rooms for confession with either screened-separated or face-to-face alternatives. They are spaciously designed to allow wheelchair access.

The Art Chapel

The Art Chapel along the North Ambulatory is designed to house major traveling exhibits of Christian works of art. The current exhibit is from the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States, the Basilica in Baltimore, built in 1809.

St. Vibiana's Chapel and Shrine

On the Mausoleum floor is St. Vibiana's Chapel and adjacent Shrine. The name of St. Vibiana was given by Pope Pius IX to St. Vibiana's Cathedral in honor of the virgin and martyr, whose remains had been buried in the Roman catacombs and were preserved in the original Cathedral. She is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


The refurbished marble altar from St. Vibiana's Cathedral features the Lamb of God, an image of Jesus the innocent victim. The beautifully painted ceramic Stations of the Cross were designed by Professor Pattarino and are from St. Basil's Church in Los Angeles.

From earliest Christian times, the bodies of the saints have been revered. In the nearby shrine a marble sarcophagus contains relics of the third century martyr, St. Vibiana. In 1853 her remains were found in a catacomb near the Appian Way.

A marble tablet sealed her sepulcher and can be seen at the Shrine. The inscription reads, "To the soul of the innocent and pure Vibiana." At the end of the inscription is a wreath of laurel, an emblem commonly used by early Christians as a code symbolizing martyrdom.

Pope Pius IX gave the relics to the Bishop of Monterey Thaddeus Amat. St. Vibiana rested in several places until she was brought to the then new St. Vibiana's Cathedral in 1876.

Though we know little about St. Vibiana, she is the focus of prayer and devotion for many believers who call on her intercession. She is at last at peace here for centuries to come.

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