A view of the Great Cross from the bridge

National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios

Historic Catholic site dating back to St. Augustine's founding.

National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios

(904) 824-2809

Just north of downtown
101 San Marco Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Currently open.
Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Hours are for Shrine Church and Historic Chapel

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios traces its origins to 1565. It is the founding site of the oldest Catholic congregation and the oldest Marian Shrine (a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary) in the continental United States. 

History of the Site

On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed and proclaimed this site for Spain and the church. Menéndez named this site Nombre de Dios, meaning "Name of God." He put Father Lopez in charge of the mission, making him the first parish priest in St. Augustine.

On these grounds, Father Lopez celebrated the first parish mass and began work at America's first mission. 

In the early 1600s, St. Augustine's Spanish settlers established the first U.S. shrine to the Virgin Mary. The oldest known shrine was built in 1678, with reconstructions occurring in 1875 and 1915.

The National Shrine of Our Lady de la Leche was elevated to a National Shrine by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2019. The small mission chapel on the grounds holds an image of Our Lady of La Leche breastfeeding the Baby Jesus. Both Mary and the Baby Jesus have crowns on their heads, as they were canonically coronated in October 2021 by Pope Francis. The National Shrine is a destination for pilgrims who travel from all over the world to pray for her intercession.

Visiting Mission Nombre de Dios & the National Shrine

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios is at 101 San Marco Avenue, just north of downtown St. Augustine. In addition to the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, a walking tour of Mission Nombre de Dios includes several interesting stops: the Sacred Acre cemetery, the Prince of Peace Church, the Great Cross, the Mission Plaque, and the Rustic Altar. The Mission grounds are open for visitors on Sunday through Saturday, from dawn to dusk.

Gift Shop & Museum Hours

The Mission Nombre de Dios gift shop and museum are open Monday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.

The Historic Chapel and Shrine Church Hours  

These spiritual and historic sites are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Parking

Mission Nombre de Dios gates are open from dawn to dusk.

Parking is free for anyone who visits the ground for religious purposes. During scheduled confession, mass, or exposition, parking is also free. 

Non-religious visitors can park free for the first hour of their visit, but there is a fee for the following hours. Fees can be paid through the Passport Parking App — there is no cash system for parking at Mission Nombre de Dios. 

Upcoming Events

EventDateTime
Founder's Day 2024Saturday, September 7th, 202410:00 am - 5:00 pm
Christmas Parade 2024Saturday, December 7th, 20249:00 am - 11:30 am

National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios

(904) 824-2809

Just north of downtown
101 San Marco Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Currently open.
Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Hours are for Shrine Church and Historic Chapel