Mission Of Nombre De Dios598 Votes Currently Closed
- Address: 27 Ocean Ave, St. Augustine, Florida 32084, St Augustine, United States
- Timings: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm Details
- Phone: +1-9048242809
- Tags: Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Statue, Family And Kids, Cathedral
On September 8, 1565, Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed with a band of settlers to found St. Augustine. It was here that Menendez knelt to kiss a wooden cross presented to him by Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of his expedition. A formal Franciscan mission was founded near the city in 1587, perhaps the first mission in the continental United States. They existed to do God’s work through service to the church and to the community. They demonstrated God’s love, touch spirits and bring people to Christ. They respected the local people and their customs and became known as the Mission of Nombre de Dios.
Timucua were the largest American Indian group in that area and consisted of about 35 chiefdoms, many leading thousands of people. The various groups of Timucua spoke several dialects of the Timucua language. But relation with the Spanish used to be hostile until at least the early 1570's. Efforts to convert the Timucua to Christianity began and a number of Timucua were baptized, including the Cacica (Chieftains) of the town of Nombre de Dios, the name given to the Native American town just north of the Spanish city. These first Christian Indians attended Mass there.
The present chapel was reconstructed in 1915 and enshrines a replica of the original statue of Nuestra Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto – Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery. The Great Cross is the first thing that you may see from the street. It is a huge cross erected on the ground and it is made of stainless steel, rising two hundred and eight feet above the marshes of the Matanzas River, and standing like a sentinel. The cross was completed in 1966 and its inspiration came from the fact that four hundred years earlier, in 1565, Pedro Menendez de Aviles placed a small wooden cross in Florida's soil.
A striking bronze statue of Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of Menendez's fleet is on the grounds as well. It is eleven feet tall and sculpted by Dr. Ivan Mestrovic, a native of Croatia. From the Great Cross area, if you follow the path, you will arrive to the Chapel of Nuestra Senora de La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery) under a canopy of oak and cedar trees. It is known as "America's Most Sacred Acre."
A statue of St. Peter, holding the keys of the kingdom, stands above the outside entrance and below a small mission bell. During the reign of Phillip III in Spain, word spread of how a woman and her baby were saved as a result of the mediation of Nuestra Senora de La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery). The statue placed in this Cathedral by Phillip III, soon found a place in the hearts of many throughout Spain. Visitors made a pilgrimage here to seek the blessings of this deity and to pray for motherhood and be granted a safe and happy delivery. This explains the origins of the mission's name.
On the grounds of the chapel, there are gravestones surrounding the little church, many of which are quite old, from the 1800s, and include some of the founding Sisters of St Joseph. There is also a bell, announcing the morning mass. The museum houses Pedro’s Casket as well as other historical artefacts further along the ground.
Mission Of Nombre De Dios Travel Tips
- While walking on the grounds, respect the fragile conditions of the gravestones as well as the quiet, prayerful atmosphere of the Shrine Chapel.
- The Mission Nombre de Dios Museum seeks to educate and inform visitors about the faith history of the founding of St. Augustine, the missionary effort extending throughout Spanish Florida, and the growth of the church to the present.
- The museum extends an open atmosphere of welcome to visitors of all faiths.
- Religious articles of all types, as well as books, may be purchased at the shop.
- The Gift Shop also houses restrooms, a water fountain, and soda/juice machines.
- A Sightseeing Train and Trolley stop is located within walking distance of the Prince of Peace Church.
- Gifts including statuary, jewellery and books may also be ordered by phone. If you wish to contact the Shrine Shop, you may either call or shop online.
- It is very peaceful, even the birds do not wish to be disturbed.
- They have a 9 minute film which is free and some very nice voluntaries ready to guide you through the facility and answer all questions.
- The self-guided tour of the grounds is free and has some very interesting historical sites.
- Dairy Queen: Fast Food
- Raintree Restaurant: American
- Sluggers: American
- Borrillo's Pizza & Subs: Pizzas, Sandwiches
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47.96% of people who visit St Augustine include Mission Of Nombre De Dios in their plan
4 PM - 5 PM
38.27% of people start their Mission Of Nombre De Dios visit around 4 PM - 5 PM
People usually take around 1 Hr to see Mission Of Nombre De Dios
73.08% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Mission Of Nombre De Dios
Mission Of Nombre De Dios Reviews & Ratings
The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is a historical gem, just outside of the downtown Saint Augustine area. The mission church was established long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Its purpose was to bring Christianity to the indigenous people and be a launching point to establish additional similar structures. The cemetary was old but well maintained. The Cross towers tall above, easily see from a distance over the water. A must see when you visit Saint Augustine!
My wife and I stumbled upon Our Lady of Leche chapel by accident as we toured around Saint Augustine by foot. We could immediately sense that the one acre grounds that it sits on had a sense of serenity and calm. At the time I did not know anything about Our Lady of Leche or of Marian apparitions but since then have learned a lot. If you are in the area, this is definitely a place to visit as is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. And The Grotto, in Portland, OR (both of which I have also reviewed).
You will find this peaceful place before you make it to the Fountain of Youth in St.Augustine. There is so much history here, yet at the same time the spiritual experience will make you savour the time you spend walking the grounds. Going towards the chapel is my favorite part of every visit then taking some time inside to pause and go into contemplation.
Unbelievable peace will overcome you. Our tour guide was adorable and informative. Thank you Margo
This place is so peaceful and holy. Take a walk around the beautiful grounds, visit the shrine, visit the chapel and museum on site. It’s all free and was the most enjoyable part of our visit to St Augustine. This is where it all started.