Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mission of Nombres de Dios

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away - I think we're just going to stay in Chicago rather than fight through the airport nonsense. We'll see.

Everyone thinks the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving up there in chilly New England in 1620. Well, that might not be true.

On September 18th, 1565 Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St Augustine on the very site where these photos were taken. On the same date, Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales held the first mass on American (then Spanish) soil & soon after a Thanksgiving celebration was held in a combined fellowship with members of the Timacua tribe. That in itself must have been a sight. The local natives were very tall, averaging 7 feet or better. The Spaniards were short - Pedro Menendez was the tallest of the settlers at only 4 feet 11 inches.

The cross was erected in 1965 to acknowledge the 400 year history of the old town. They say that since it was erected - a hurricane has never made a direct hit on the area. Hopefully that continues to hold true.

Here's an inside view of the chapel that sits in the middle of the grounds. It's surrounded by old graves & monuments.

It's open every day & many of the locals visit to say prayers. Had to wait a while to get a picture when it was empty.

This is one of the old graves. Looks like a mason needs to do some repair work soon.

Did I mention the cross is made of bronze??? You can see if from a great distance from anywhere near the coastline, harbor or bridges. So that's the nickle tour of Mission de Nombres de Dios. It's one of many pretty cool places to visit in My Town.