From the time Spanish explorers established the town of St. Augustine in “La Florida” in 1565, they brought with them a particular devotion to the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.


On Sept. 8, 1565 Pedro Menéndez de Avíles landed and proclaimed this site for Spain and the Church. It was here that Menéndez knelt to kiss a wooden cross presented to him by Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of his expedition. Led by Father Lopez, the Spanish along with the local Native Indians would celebrate the First Thankgsgiving Mass and begin the work of building America’s first Mission Church.   Each year, the Shrine & Mission celebrate the founding day with an authentic reenactment and fMass.   On this spot, known by many as the “sacred acre”, the Spanish settlers would begin the devotion to Our Lady of la Leche in the late 1500’s, thus beginning the first Marian Shrine in what is today the United States.

Most visitors to Mission Nombre de Dios begin their tour or pilgrimage at the Shrine Church which was originally built in 1965 and known then, as the Prince of Peace Votive Church.   It is located at the San Marco Avenue entrance to the grounds in St. Augustine.

The Great Cross, made of stainless steel and rising 208 feet above the Matanzas marshes in St. Augustine, stands as a sentinel over the Mission grounds and a Beacon of Faith for all who pass by. It was erected at the direction of Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley and was dedicated during the diocesan Eucharistic Congress of October 1966. Like the Prince of Peace Church, the Great Cross celebrates the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Mission Nombre de Dios.

For a more extensive history of The Shrine & Mission, visit  www.missionandshrine.org. On our website, you can find information about the schedule of services at the Shrine, monthly activities,  educational tours for school groups, pilgrimage opportunities, and Mission Museum and Gift Shop hours. For those interested in purchasing church supplies or vestments, customer service contact information is listed below.

Lovely Lady of La Leche, most loving Mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Mother, please listen to my humble prayer. Your heart knows my every wish, my every need. I trust, dear Mother, that you will shelter me beneath your protecting mantle, like what you did to your Son. Intercede to Him that I may have the courage and the strength to overcome whatever difficulty surrounds me. Give me the grace to be faithful to you always and may you be my shining inspiration now and forever. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us.

Schedule of Services

Monday through Friday

5:00 p.m. (Adoration)
5:30 p.m. (Rosary)
6:00 p.m. (Mass)


11:30 a.m. (Mass in Historic Chapel)

*Confession is available 1 hour before Mass or by appointment



7:00 p.m.


5:00 p.m.

*There are no scheduled services on Saturday or Sunday.


The devotion to our Lady of La Leche is one of the most ancient of all Marian devotions. Members of Our Lady of La Leche Society support the renovation, pastoral care and maintenance of the shrine. Special privileges and honors are afforded to Our Lady of La Leche Society members as follows:

Great Cross Circle
($1,000 to $2,499)

  • Two tickets to the October 10 & 11, 2015 dedication of the Shrine, Mass and VIP reception
  • Invitation to the annual feast of our Lady of La Leche Mass
  • Personally signed photo and picture with Bishop Felipe J. Estévez

Shrine Society
($2,500 to $4,999)

Great Cross Circle benefits, plus:

  • A commemorative 450th anniversary limited edition medallion

Mission Nombre de Dios Guild
($5,000 to $9,999)

Shrine Society benefits, plus:

  • Four tickets to the October 10 & 11, 2015 dedication of the Shrine, Mass and VIP reception
  • Name inscribed in the “Register of Our Lady of La Leche Faithful Flowers”
  • A personalized 4×8 brick in the Shrine Courtyard*

Mother of Milk Circle
($10,000 to $24,999)

Mission Nombre de Dios Guild benefits, plus:

  • Six tickets to the October 10 & 11, 2015 dedication of the Shrine, Mass and VIP reception
  • A personalized 8×8 brick in the Shrine Courtyard*

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés Founder

Mother of Milk Circle benefits, plus:

  • Eight tickets to the October 10 & 11, 2015 dedication of the Shrine, Mass and VIP reception
  • Private dinner for up to eight with Bishop Felipe J. Estévez
  • Two personalized 8×8 bricks in the Shrine Courtyard*

*The named and memorial brick courtyard will not be established until sometime in mid-2016. Complete information on how to reserve bricks will be provided at that time.

Make A Pledge
Make A One-Time Gift

How Can We Help?

Joanna Stark


27 Ocean Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 824-2809
Toll-free: (800) 342-6529
(904) 829-0819

Stanton L. Cadow, CFRE, ECRF

Director of Development

Diocese of St. Augustine
11625 Old St. Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32258
(904) 262-3200, ext. 171
(904) 262-4779

Ivan Carrillo-Paris, ICC

Rector of the Shrine

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche
34 Ocean Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 207-7117
(904) 262-4779

Support Staff

Laurie Barrancotto

Assistant Manager

Leonel Rodriguez


Kim So

Customer Service