Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Great Cross of St. Augustine

Overlooking Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, you'll find the Great Cross of St. Augustine - not to be confused with the "Cross of St. Augustine" medal or the stone memorial in Kent, England - marking the site where the city of San Agustin was founded on September 8, 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a Spanish admiral. Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, the Spanish fleet's chaplain, performed a Thanksgiving Mass from a primitive altar erected on the shore. (Contrary to everything we were taught in grade school, this is the site of the first introduction of Christianity into America and the site of the first Thanksgiving held in America, not Plymouth Rock and its Mayflower pilgrims.)

The Great Cross was erected in 1965 to coincide with the city of St. Augustine's 400th anniversary, and is designed to theoretically be hurricane-proof.

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