Mission Of Nombre De Dios

4.7598 Votes Currently Open
  • Address: 27 Ocean Ave, St. Augustine, Florida 32084, St Augustine, United States
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  • Timings: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm Details
  • Phone: +1-9048242809
  • Tags: Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Statue, Family And Kids, Cathedral
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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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  • Mission Of Nombre De Dios Address: 27 Ocean Ave, St. Augustine, Florida 32084, St Augustine, United States
  • Mission Of Nombre De Dios Contact Number: +1-9048242809
  • Mission Of Nombre De Dios Timing: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm
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  • 39.11% of people who visit St Augustine include Mission Of Nombre De Dios in their plan

  • 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

Monday, Tuesday and Sunday

73.08% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Mission Of Nombre De Dios

People normally club together Castillo De San Marcos and Fort Mose while planning their visit to Mission Of Nombre De Dios.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

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