Since its earliest beginnings Saint Marys has been under the patronage and protection of Mary Immaculate.
Already in 1839 The missionaries were speaking of "St. Mary's Creek," and later "Saint Mary's Mission." The first chapel on campus was dedicated in 1840 to the Immaculate Conception. After High Mass and Solemn Vespers, young Indian girls carried a beautiful statue of the Immaculate Virgin in procession all over the settlement. Today such processions still take place.
In 1849, when Fr. Verreydt expressed to his superior his anxiety that the work of this mission would be destroyed as so many others had been, The Jesuit General, Fr. John Roothaan in Rome, encouraged him, "Establish there solidly the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; it will be an effective preservative."
Years later, in 1869, on hearing that St. Mary's is to become a college, Fr. Gailland wrote prophetically: "Wherefore, Mary Immaculate, through the medium of the college which is to be built and the patronage of which she has undertaken, will undoubtedly through a long succession of years be the glory of the region and the honor of the Christian people, an issue which is the object of our prayers and hopes in God."
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially to her Immaculate Conception, remains to this day a badge of honor for the students and faculty of St. Mary’s College.