Safety Harbor in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Espiritu Santo Church
Site of Early Spanish Missionary Eﬀorts
On Pentecost Sunday, May 26, 1539, Hernando de Soto sailed into Tampa Bay and named it “Bahia Espiritu Santo” (Holy Spirit Bay). A decade later it is believed that the famed Dominican missionary, Father Luis de Cancer, was martyred nearby after spending 6 weeks in the area in an attempt to spread the Gospel among the native peoples. The stained glass window over the main doors pays tribute to Father de Cancer. Twenty years later, St. Augustine founder, Pedro Menendez de Aviles came here with a fleet of ships, leaving a captain, 30 soldiers and a Jesuit priest who erected a chapel with the intention of ministering to the native Tocabaga. The mission had to be abandoned within a few years because of hostility and distance. Nearly 400 years later, the present parish was established on this knoll overlooking Old Tampa Bay, close to the site of the ancient Spanish mission on Bahia Espiritu Santo.
Location. 28° 0.67′ N, 82° 41.125′ W. Marker is in Safety Harbor, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker can be reached from Philippe Parkway near Enterprise Road. Touch for map. Marker is affixed to the facade of Espiritu Santo Church near the main doors. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2405, Safety Harbor FL 34695, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Bahia Espiritu Santo Mission (approx. 0.4 miles away); Safety Harbor Site (approx. half a mile away); Odet Philippe (approx. half a mile away); Philippe Park (approx. half a mile away); Safety Harbor Historical Site: Tucker Mansion (approx. 1.3 miles away); “The Baranoff Oak” (approx. 1.4 miles away); Espiritu Santo Springs (approx. 1.4 miles away); Endangered (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Safety Harbor.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Colonial Era • Exploration •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 6, 2011, by Fr. Len Plazewski of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,241 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 6, 2011, by Fr. Len Plazewski of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.