The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios
Located in St. Augustine, the Chapel of our Lady of La Leche is where the religious ceremony of taking possession of the land in the name of God (Nombre de Dios) and of the king of Spain took place and the first Holy Mass was celebrated. Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed in 1565 and laid the foundation of the first Spanish Colony in the new continent. The present building is the fourth building on the foundation. It was rebuilt by Bishop Verot in 1873 and blown down by a storm a year later, then re-erected by Bishop Curley in 1918.
Backstory and Context
The original chapel was destroyed by gunfire during the colonial days and later, by a hurricane. The present chapel now houses a replica of the original statue that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War of March 13, 1936. It was also the scene of the Martyrdom of Father Rodriguez and a Franciscan Brother during the Indian Revolt of 1597, then dismantled and abandoned during the border raids from Georgia. The present building is the fourth building on the foundation. It was rebuilt by Bishop Verot in 1873 and blown down by a storm a year later, then re-erected by Bishop Curley in 1918.
Nearby is the Great Cross. Standing at 208 feet tall, it was erected in 1965 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first parish mass.
Nuestra Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto - Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery. Saint Michael Archangel. . Accessed November 15, 2018. http://www.saintmichaelarchangel.com/laleche.html.
Our Story. Mission and Shrine. . Accessed November 15, 2018. https://missionandshrine.org/our-story/.
The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios. Visit St. Augustine. . Accessed November 16, 2018. https://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/shrine-our-lady-la-leche-mission-nombre-de-dios.