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Some say it holds sacred power, others believe it emanates spiritual strength. Find out for yourself what makes the St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Grotto Shrine so special. It was built in 1922 on orders of the sisters of the holy name of Jesus and Mary who believed the coral rock shrine would protect Key West from the devastation of hurricanes. After the tragedy of the 1919 hurricane that caused massive destruction and killed hundreds of residents, Sister Louis Gabriel decided a shrine was a necessity. To this day, people from all over the island come to the site to pray when a hurricane threatens. The legend still lives on although Key West has had its share of damaging storms and near misses.
Visitors enjoy seeing the historic grotto and catching a little bit of island history and mystery while they’re at it.