Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

Mission of Nombre de Dios, Ocean Avenue, Saint Augustine, Florida, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 904 824 2809

Every day: from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm

Thousands of visitors and pilgrims make their way to the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche every year.

Many ask for the blessings of motherhood, beseeching the intercession of Our Lady of La Leche that God will grant them a safe and happy delivery, and healthy children.

Our Lady of La Leche

In the early 1600s, the Spanish settlers of St. Augustine established the first Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States.

The original chapel and several reconstructions were damaged by storms and attacks. The chapel was rebuild in 1875 by Augustin Verot, first bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine. It too fell to the ravages of a major hurricane.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

The present chapel was reconstructed in 1915 and enshrines a replica of the original statue of Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto – Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery.

Throughout its existence, the Shrine has remained a comforting place of prayer for mothers-to-be, for families, for special intentions and for those seeking to strengthen their faith.

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As you walk through the historic grounds at the Mission, you will be retracing the steps of America’s first founding fathers more than 400 years ago.

It was here that Spanish explorers founded our nation’s first permanent community and pioneer priests first planted the cross of Christianity. This is the site where western culture and Christian faith took root in our country.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

Located at the center of the tranquil grounds of Mission Nombre de Dios is the chapel which houses a replica of the statue of Our Lady of La Leche and provides visitors with a quiet place to pray.

Our Lady of La Leche is the first shrine dedicated to Our Blessed Mother in the United States.

The history of the devotion to the Mother of Jesus as Our Lady of La Leche may have roots in a 4th Century grotto in Bethlehem. To this day the Franciscan community maintains a shrine there called the Milk Grotto.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

Its centerpiece is the Blessed Virgin nursing the infant Jesus. Many believe that the crusaders brought the devotion to Mary as a nursing mother to Spain in the Middle Ages.

During the reign of Phillip III in Spain, word spread of a woman and her baby, both expected to die during the birth of the child, who were spared as a result of the intercession of Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery).

The statue, placed in a Cathedral by Phillip III, soon found a place in the hearts of many throughout Spain.

By the early 1600s the devotion, under the title of Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto, had a special place in the lives of the Spanish settlers and the converted Native People in St. Augustine.

It was on these same Mission grounds that the Spanish built the first Marian Shrine in the land, a devotion that continues to this present day.

Thousands of visitors and pilgrims make their way to the Shrine every year. Many ask for the blessings of motherhood, beseeching the intercession of Our Lady of La Leche that God will grant them a safe and happy delivery, and healthy children.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

Many write requesting remembrances in Masses and prayers not only for motherhood but for petitions and intentions of all kinds. All who visit the Shrine find it to be a place of spiritual comfort and renewal.

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Mission Nombre de Dios Museum

The Mission Nombre de Dios Museum seeks to educate and inform visitors about the faith history of the founding of St. Augustine, the missionary effort extending throughout Spanish Florida, and the growth of the church to the present. The museum extends an open atmosphere of welcome to visitors of all faiths.

The Mission Nombre de Dios Museum opened on September 4, 2010 in conjunction with the 445th anniversary celebration of the City of St. Augustine, Flroida and the relocation of the casket of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the founder of the city. The Mission Museum is an entity of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine and is administered by the Mission Nombre de Dios and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

Located at the center of the tranquil grounds of Mission Nombre de Dios is the chapel which houses a replica of the statue of Our Lady of La Leche and provides visitors with a quiet place to pray.

Our Lady of La Leche is the first shrine dedicated to Our Blessed Mother in the United States. The history of the devotion to the Mother of Jesus as Our Lady of La Leche may have roots in a 4th Century grotto in Bethlehem. To this day the Franciscan community maintains a shrine there called the Milk Grotto. Its centerpiece is the Blessed Virgin nursing the infant Jesus. Many believe that the crusaders brought the devotion to Mary as a nursing mother to Spain in the Middle Ages.

During the reign of Phillip III in Spain, word spread of a woman and her baby, both expected to die during the birth of the child, who were spared as a result of the intercession of Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery). The statue, placed in a Cathedral by Phillip III, soon found a place in the hearts of many throughout Spain.

By the early 1600s the devotion, under the title of Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto, had a special place in the lives of the Spanish settlers and the converted Native People in St. Augustine. It was on these same Mission grounds that the Spanish built the first Marian Shrine in the land, a devotion that continues to this present day.

Thousands of visitors and pilgrims make their way to the Shrine every year. Many ask for the blessings of motherhood, beseeching the intercession of Our Lady of La Leche that God will grant them a safe and happy delivery, and healthy children. Many write requesting remembrances in Masses and prayers not only for motherhood but for petitions and intentions of all kinds. All who visit the Shrine find it to be a place of spiritual comfort and renewal.

Mission Nombre de Dios 

Mission Nombre de Dios traces its origins to the founding of the City of St. Augustine, America’s oldest city, in 1565. On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés 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 López de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of his expedition.

It was on these grounds that Fr. López would celebrate the first parish Mass and begin the work at America’s first mission. It was at this sacred spot that the Spanish settlers would begin the devotion to Our Lady of La Leche that continues into the present.

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