Visit Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is one of the most noteworthy sights to see in the ancient city. For over four centuries, the shrine has stood as a symbol of religious freedom for St. Augustine, chronicling the presence of General Pedro Menendez de Aviles and the rise of Christianity in Florida. 

With its stunning architecture steeped in history and gorgeous grounds along the Matanzas River, it is certainly a top sight in the city. We cover everything you need to know when visiting.


The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is part of a three-part attraction. The first is the shrine itself, a seismic look into the history of the city’s religious faith and early establishment. It’s a gorgeous structure covered in dense moss and introduced with a wonderful stone walkway. The second is a massive cross towering about 200 feet over the city, visible from parts of St. George St. downtown. 

Finally, you can explore the area along the Matanzas River by walking the fields of the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum. It has plaques detailing the creation of the area, gorgeous statues, and well-landscaped greenery.

All three attractions make up some of the most important and compelling attractions for all religions and history lovers. 

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is located at the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. It can be found at 101 San Marco Avenue.


st augustine statue

General Pedro Menendez de Aviles and his men land on the small coast side of what would soon be St. Augustine circa 1565 with the goal of spreading Christianity and securing the land. 

The crew celebrated with the salutes of artillery and the triumphant echo of trumpets. Many local Native Americans watched and even followed the Spanish with curiosity.  

One of the group’s first missions was to build a chapel. By 1600, they developed the first Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States- what is known as Our Lady of La Leche. This became the cultural foundation of the ancient city for generations to come. 

Photo from Shutterstock

The shrine is a testament to the city’s history and formal establishment. In recent years, a nearby cross over 200 feet tall towers over the grounds and river. You can see it from the shrine.

The whole area including the shrine, cross, and museum, is now warmly referred to as the “sacred acre.” It is an impressive and gorgeous sight to behold, especially when you see the bouncing and glowing blue river as its background.

Plan Your Vacation

Contact us for details about possible places to stay on your ancient city vacation. Our Saint Augustine vacation rentals give you quick access to the quiet beachside of the city. Secure your own St. Augustine beach rental today and go on the journey of faith provided through the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche.


Daily mass is also open Monday through Saturday at noon. Prayers for the pilgrims will begin mass daily. It’s a special acknowledgment of the city’s founding and the many that have traversed great hardship to see the cross and shrine. Daily worship often coincides with a special candle lighting event. Face masks are required for entrance for the foreseeable future. You can also visit for an exposition tour Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday noon to 4 p.m.).