Sunday, October 17, 2010

"America's Most Sacred Acre"

If you have visited St. Augustine, FL.,  you  most likely saw the tall cross downtown on the inter coastal waterway.  From a distance, it looks like just another church steeple but if you park and walk through the beautiful grounds to get beside it, you realize just how massive it really is.  It is part of the shrine of Lady of La Leche.  It is the largest cross in the world standing 208 feet above the marshes of the Matanzas River.  It is illuminated by spotlight and visible to ships day and night.  It was erected in 1966 to mark the 400th anniversary of the approximate site where the cross of Christianity was first permanently planted in what is now the U.S.  If you stroll through the peaceful paths of the burial grounds you will see a beautiful little chapel that was built in the 1700's.  It was built with coquina stone which is a natural rock formed by the concretion of sea shells.  The chapel was rebuilt in 1875 and restored again in 1914 to repair hurricane damage.  It seats about 30 people and is open daily to visitors.  As I meandered through the cemetery and read ancient tombstones, I could hardly fathom the history there and what the lives of those  buried on those grounds must have been like.  This site has been called "America's most sacred acre".


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