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Historic District in St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Rustic Altar

 
 
Rustic Altar Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
1. Rustic Altar Marker
Inscription.  This rustic altar calls to mind the Mass of Thanksgiving offered here by Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, Diocesan Priest and the Fleet Chaplain, on September 8, 1565, the day the City of St. Augustine was founded. Gathered about the altar were Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Adelantado of Florida and Captain General of the Indies Fleet, with his colonists, soldiers and the Timucuans who lived on these shores before The Lord Jesus was born.

John Gilmary Shea, historian and Christian humanist, reflects on that scene: “Mass was said to hallow the land and draw down the blessing of heaven before the first step was taken to rear a human habitation. The altar was older than the hearth.”

Following Mass, Pedro Menéndez hosted a feast for his companions and their new native friends. Thus began the first permanent Christian settlement in what is now the United States of America.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionColonial EraNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is September 8, 1565.
 
Location. 29° 
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54.312′ N, 81° 18.899′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. It is in the Historic District. Marker can be reached from the intersection of San Marco Avenue (Florida Route A1A) and Old Mission Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Marker and subject altar are located along the walkway near the northeast corner of the Our Lady of La Leche National Shrine grounds at Mission Nombre de Dios. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 San Marco Avenue, Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche (within shouting distance of this marker); Our Lady of La Leche (within shouting distance of this marker); Archaeology at the Nombre de Dios Mission — Nuestra Señora de La Leche Shrine (within shouting distance of this marker); Nombre de Dios Mission (within shouting distance of this marker); An Archaeological Discovery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Archaeology at the 17th Century Shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Leche (about 300 feet away); Msgr. Harold Frederick Jordan (about 300 feet away); The San Agustín: St. Augustine’s Workboat (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Augustine.
 
Also see . . .  Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios. On September 8,
Rustic Altar Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
2. Rustic Altar Marker
Marker visible to left of altar.
the feast day of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Spanish on the ships, sailors, soldiers, tradesmen and priests, come ashore. Following Menéndez' veneration of the Cross, thus proclaiming this land in the name of God (Nombre de Dios) Father López celebrated Mass at a rustic altar made of wood. The sky served as the roof for what was the first parish Mass in what is now the United States. (Submitted on March 11, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Rustic Altar image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
3. Rustic Altar
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 11, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 573 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 11, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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May. 18, 2024