Important information regarding Stop #20 closure and Ghosts & Gravestones boarding location:
Our Welcome Center, Stop 20, is temporarily closed. The St. Augustine Ghosts & Gravestones boarding location has changed temporarily to the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 1305 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. These changes will remain until the construction of our new Welcome Center at 27 San Marco is complete (Spring 2019).
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Mission of Nombre de Dios: History is Just Around The Corner

mission of nombre de dios

Established in 1615, many people have traveled here to pray for mothers and mothers-to-be. On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed on this site and proclaimed it for Spain. Prior to raising the King’s flag, Menendez revered a cross dedicating the site to God.  Mission Nombre de Dios was established to bring the Christian faith to the Native people of this land.  This is also the site of the first parish Catholic Mass and first shrine to Mary, Mother of Jesus, in what is now the U.S.  The site is marked by a 208-foot stainless steel cross, an 11-foot bronze statue of the chaplain of Menendez’ fleet, Fr. Francisco Lopez de Mendoza, and other significant memorials.

Mission of Nombre de Dios

Established in 1615, many people have traveled here to pray for mothers and mothers-to-be. On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed on this site and proclaimed it for Spain. Prior to raising the King’s flag, Menendez revered a cross dedicating the site to God.  Mission Nombre de Dios was established to bring the Christian faith to the Native people of this land.  This is also the site of the first parish Catholic Mass and first shrine to Mary, Mother of Jesus, in what is now the U.S.  The site is marked by a 208-foot stainless steel cross, an 11-foot bronze statue of the chaplain of Menendez’ fleet, Fr. Francisco Lopez de Mendoza, and other significant memorials.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

The shrine, located on the grounds, is the first devotion to Mary in what is now the U.S. and is dedicated to motherhood.  The devotion found its way here from Spain in the early 1600s and was a significant part of the spiritual life among the Native People as well as the Spanish settlers. The statue of Mary nursing the infant Jesus symbolizes this devotion and is credited with bringing both hope and solace to visitors. There is an historic, small shrine chapel and a new, larger shrine church on the grounds for this devotion.

Mission Nombre de Dios Museum

The museum focuses on the founding of St. Augustine, the beginning of the teaching of Christianity on this land, and the missionary effort from 1565 to the present.  In addition to many relevant exhibits and artifacts, the museum houses the original casket in which Menendez was buried in 1574(his mortal remains were transferred to a crypt in Spain in 1924).   

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On the Grounds: The Great Cross

Posted on April 30, 2018

Rising 208 feet above the marshes of the Matanza River, the giant stainless steel cross glinting in the sun stands as a sentinel over Mission Nombre de Dios and serves as a “Beacon of Faith” for all who pass by.

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On the Grounds: Statue of Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales

Posted on April 30, 2018

The 11-foot tall bronze statue which, from certain angles lines up directly in front of The Great Cross, depicts Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, considered to be the first parish priest and the first pastor in the United States. The statue, created by Dr. Ivan Mestrovic, a native of Croatia, portrays Father López in his priestly vestments, preaching the Gospel.

Father

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On the Grounds: Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche

Posted on April 30, 2018

 

Under an oak and cedar canopy, the small, simple, ivy-covered Chapel of Nuestra Senora de La Leche y Buen Parto, commonly referred to as the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, is a place of quiet prayer.

 

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On the Grounds: Memorials

Posted on April 30, 2018

Along the marshes of the Matanzas River, the shady, cedar and oak-canopied grounds of the Mission Nombre de Dios are often referred to as “America’s Most Sacred Acre.”

 

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