St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine78 Votes Currently Open [Closes at 05:00 pm]
Tucked away in a corner of St. George Street is a hidden gem radiating light and welcoming people from all walks of life to enter and be blessed. The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, an establishment of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, is devoted to the first colony of Greek people who came to America in 1768. The Shrine consists of displays depicting the life of early Greeks in America and the development of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and the St. Photios Chapel.
All the images and religious paintings in the chapel are traditional Byzantine. The word Byzantine represents the essential Christian Culture of the Christian Empire and in this church it represents the doctrine of the Greek Orthodox Church. The engravings on the icons are in Greek. Peacocks, which were used in Christian art as symbols of The Resurrection hold a scroll containing a verse from the bible.
The chapel is lit by candles to the right and left. An Orthodox Christian enters the church, she will light a candle and make an offering and then kiss the icon of Jesus Christ, who is believed as the Light of the World. Here the icon of St. Photios is to the right and the icon of Mary and Christ is to the left. The kiss signifies an act of worship and reverence to the people who led holy lives. Most of the paintings in this chapel was done directly on the walls and domes and this is called frescoes.
The fresco depicts St. Photios teaching two young missionaries. Constantine and Michael, who went to Moravia and converted Slavic people to Christianity. As you travel through the rest of the church you discover more about Jesus Christ and his disciples. This shrine is dedicated to the first colony of Greek people who came to America in 1768 and consists of exhibits depicting the life of early Greeks in America and the development of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and the St. Photios Chapel.
On Saturday, February 27, 1982, a tradition began. On the dedication day of National Shrine, the beautiful St. Photios Chapel came alive with the glow of candles lighted in memory of the “Protoporoe”, parents, and grandparents, and great grandparents who forged a new life in a strange land so that you may enjoy freedom and a better life.
St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine Travel Tips
- You can also have a candle lit for your family and donate.
- Shop at the National Shrine Store for all your Orthodox religious gifts, icons, religious and historical books.
- They have hymns on audio and video cassettes and an extensive catalogue of quality imported merchandise.
- They have a mutual benefit programme, so they advise you to spread the word around.
- They have a Wall of Tribute for their faithful followers.
- They have imported incense directly from Greece and the cost is $ 14 per quarter pound.
- Fragrances available range from Jasmine, Gardenia, Honeysuckle to Lily, Rose and Gold Musk.
- They hold essay competitions on the immigrant's story which is held as a precious thread of the family legacy.
- The chapel allows you to take time for quiet meditation and reflection.
- There is a welcoming courtyard garden at the entrance where you can sit and relax.
- Taberna del Caballo: Spanish, Tapas
- Spanish Bakery & Cafe: American, Bakery, Spanish, Cafe
- Luvberry Cafe: American
- The Bar with No Name: American, Grill
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6.26% of people who visit St Augustine include St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in their plan
12 PM - 1 PM
41.67% of people start their St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine visit around 12 PM - 1 PM
People usually take around 30 Minutes to see St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine
75% of people prefer walking in order to reach St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine
St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine Reviews & Ratings
Very nice place with pictures of local and southern state clergy. Also pictures and artifacts from Greece. The shrine area is like a tunnel area with painted icons on the walls and ceiling like in the Greek Orthodox Churches. These murals are absolutely beautiful! I visited while they were doing some renovations so I was told there is usually videos playing, but it was closed. If you're in the area, this is a great place to stop and learn some history. The gift shop was open and prices of items were very reasonable! The staff was extremely helpful and friendly! Although it's small, it's very beautiful. I'll definitely stop in again when I'm in the area.
Gorgeous magnificent soul inspiring artful shrine. Overlooked and extra special. Must visit and see the artwork.
Saw this nearly hidden shrine featured in a YouTube video and had never been there in all my trips to St. Augustine. It's beautiful inside with all the murals and altars. The Apostles Creed wall is pretty amazing. There is a gift shop inside as well. Add it to your places to explore.
A hidden treasure. Unbelievable amount if history. One of the top places we visited in St Augustine. Look for it. It is easy to miss.
Brilliant little detour off St. George Street that you’ll miss if you’re not paying attention. It was our second time visiting and we walked past it while looking for it. Lots of history and and great place to enjoy some quiet and reflection off the main street. Beautiful interior and we always leave inspired. Don’t miss it.