THE GREAT CROSS St. Augustine, Florida

Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Holly Miller, Jacque Miller, Matt Miller, Shane Miller

Date: 1967, 1999, 2013, November 2017

At a point of land jutting into Matanzas Bay, the great cross is made of stainless-steel plates packed in concrete in its lower third to keep it from falling over during hurricanes. The Great Cross was built in 1966, stands 208 feet tall and marks the place where Christianity was first permanently established in the United States in 1565 (six months before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock. The cross is illuminated by powerful lights at night making a striking display.  We walked the grounds, a beautiful greenspace with flowers and palm trees. Nearby was the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios. Nearby is a bronze statue of Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Garjales, chaplain of the Mendendez fleet who celebrated the first mass in America at St. Augustine (9-8-1565), was the first missionary and began work at America’s first mission. We visited the nearby Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine (Photo#4). Departing from this holy place we headed to the local beach where we saw God’s handiwork: a turtle nesting in the sand and a handful of starfish (Photo#2 & #3).

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