On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, a group of 8 MPWC members toured the Mission and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche located in St. Augustine. The National Shrine is over 450 years old, founded in 1565 when General Pedro Menendenz claimed the land for Spain with the intent to establish a colony and convert indigenous natives to Christianity.
Sheila Turbet gave the museum tour, followed by the grounds tour given by Eric Johnson, the former director of the Shrine. The Mission has a replica of the rustic altar used for mass given by Father Francisco López, who had accompanied General Menendenz on the trip to the New World. The grounds contain many statutes, the tall stainless steel cross which is the focal point of the grounds, and several Civil War veterans’ burial plots. A portion of the grounds has been excavated by the University of Florida and Flagler College, unearthing the Mission’s original buildings.
Several of the group stayed after the tour for lunch in St. Augustine.
Many thanks to Barbara Adams for arranging our tour. For more information about the Mission and the grounds, please visit the website: https://missionandshrine.org/.