Mission of Nombre de Dios

Mission of Nombre de Dios

Mission of Nombre de Dios. From the author’s collection on Flickr.

This beautiful park located just north of downtown St. Augustine is not a graveyard although there are many graves to be found here. Here is where the Spanish colonists first landed in what would become the oldest permanent city in the United States. Here is where the first mass was celebrated and where the first mission was established. The photo above shows a statue of  Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales celebrating that first mass in September 1565 and beyond him is the 200-foot stainless steel cross commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Catholic Church in the United States.

Graves

A view of the Mission grounds. From the author’s collection at Flickr.

Although there are some burials dating back to the 1850s, the majority of graves here date between 1880 and 1900 – the period immediately following the closing of the Catholic cemetery located inside the city limits. An online inventory of the site is available courtesy of the St. Augustine Genealogical Society.

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