Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche and the Mission of Nombre de Dios

On our last full day at the beach, we drove into St. Augustine to go to the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche and the Mission of Nombre De Dios. We went last year too, but it was raining really hard then, so we didn't get a chance to walk around the grounds. Above is the little chapel where the statue of Our lady of La Leche is displayed.

Click on the picture to read the sign outside the shrine chapel.

The grounds contain an old cemetery (from the 1800s) which has been adorned with various statues and memorial plaques. I took photos of some of them:

A memorial to all babies killed by abortion

a pretty relief carving of Mary and infant Jesus

This huge stainless steel cross stands on the edge of the water at the back of the property. It is the second tallest freestanding stainless steel structure in the United States... can anyone guess what the tallest is?

These beautiful "Florida trees" were everywhere... many of them had grown with twisted trunks, I'm guessing from the wind...

Sitting on a bench overlooking the water

The girls wanted to sit by this statue of Jesus with some children - "because we're children, too!"

standing with a St. Francis statue

another pretty relief carving

There were paths all throughout the grounds, taking you past all the statuary and grave markers.

Here are the girls outside the chapel... I didn't go in this year because I was too busy spending money in the gift shop, ha ha... It closed at 5 pm and they locked the doors. But I took photos of the inside last year.

This was a really neat part... there were seven of these monuments, each depicting a relief carving of one of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. They were spread out along one of the paths so you could walk along and meditate on them in order. I took a close-up picture of each one that I plan to one day make into a little activity for the girls, like the Stations of the Cross Box that I made.

Caroline noticed some flowers on the ground that had fallen off a vine that was growing up a tall tree. She decided to pick up seven of them and leave one at each spot along the way. I love when they come up with ideas like this on their own - it is so sweet!

Cecilia took a little side trip to chase a squirrel... can you see both of them on the tree?

This reproduction of the Pieta was in a little stone grotto-type thing...

This huge statue is near the water, down a path from the giant cross. The statue is of the first priest to say Mass on the North American continent. His name was Father Lopez... and so was my high school's priest!

The sky was beautiful for these photos of the cross...

Looking up... 208 feet tall!

Here is a view of the area from the parking lot... the water in the foreground is a little river/stream that connects to the water that the big cross is near.

Such a beautiful place!! I am so glad we got to take the time to walk around the grounds this year!


Gardenia said...

beautiful. I loved reading the last year's post you linked to too, especially because of the photos of the inside. I visited this beautiful little shrine many years ago, and developed a devotion to Our Lady of Le Leche. I got a Our Lady of Le Leche medal in the gift shop and wear it daily. thanks for this reminisence. I will have to go back there someday with prayers of thanksgiving.

Jessica said...

Such beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing the link with me! I'll have to show these to my kids!