Patrons and Saints

The patrons of Bizkaia are Saint Ignacio de Loyola and Saint Valentin de Berriochoa.

San Ignacio had, from his mother's side, ondarresa ancestry (Bizkaia). He was named Patron of the Diocese of Bilbao by Pío XII with the Bull of the establishment of the Diocese "Quo commmodius" on 2nd November 1949. He had already been chosen Patron of the domain of Bizkaia through the General Meetings of Gernika in 1680, ratified by Innocent XI in 1682.

San Valentin de Berriochoa, was born in Elorrio (Bizkaia) in 1827. He was a Dominican, a missionary and bishop in Indochina. He died as a Martyr in Tonkín in 1861. He was canonized on 19 June 1988 and proclaimed second patron of the Diocese of Bilbao on 18 August 1989.

Nuestra Señora de Begoña is a patron of the domain of Bizkaia but not of the diocese. On 18th June 1738, the General Meetings declared Nuestra Señora de Begoña the main patron of Bizkaia. In 1903, Pío X confirmed this declaration.



Besides San Valentin de Berriochoa who, as we have already said, is the second patron in the Diocese, other saints and devouts of the Diocese are:

Santa Maria Josefa Sancho de Guerra (1842-1912), born in Vitoria, she was the founder of the Bilbao Institute of the Servants of the Jesus of Charity. She was beatified on 27th September 1992 and canonized 1st October 2000.

Devout Domingo Iturrate (1901-1929), born in Dima, was a trinitary priest; beatified 30th October 1983.

Devout Rafaela de Ybarra (1843-1900), born in Bilbao, laywoman and mother of a large family, founded the Religious Institute of Angels Guards. She was beatified 30 September 1984.

Francisco Gárate (1857-1929). This member of the Jesuit Company was beatified 6 October 1985. Born in Loyola (Guipúzcoa), he spent most of his life as a Jesuit in Deusto University, where he served as a doorman.

On 7 March 1999 the agustino-recoleto priest Leon Inchausti Minteguía (1859-1937) was beatified. He was born in Ajanguiz (Bizkaia) and died in Motril (Granada) on 25th July 1937 after 56 years of religious life.

Finally, on 11th March 2001, his Holiness the Pope beatified three nuns, born in Bizkaia, belonging to the Carmelite Religious Institute of the Vedruna Charity. Francisca de Amezua Ibaibarriaga (1881-1936), was born in a small rural house, Traña-Goti, in Abadiño and died on the 19th of August 1936 in El Saler (Valencia) after 36 years of religious life; H. Maria Consuelo Cuñado González (1884-1936), was born in Bilbao and died in Valencia on the 24th of August 1936 after 35 years of religious life; and H. Feliciana de Uribe Orbe (1893-1936), was born in a small rural house in Zubieta, Muxika, and died on the 24th of November of 1936 in El Picadero de Paterna (Valencia), after 23 years of religious life.