Happy Birthday Mary! Founder's Day in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, September 8, 1565

Happy Birthday Mary! Founder's Day in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, September 8, 1565

Happy Birthday, Mary! September 8th is the day we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. December 8th is the day we celebrate her immaculate conception. September 8th is nine months later. This is truly a happy day for all of us. Mary accepted willingly the Angel Gabriel's annunciation that she was chosen to be the mother of the savior of the world.

Pictured to the left is a photo of the young virgin Mary with her mother, St. Anne. I love this statue of the two, mother and daughter. The statue is from my hometown parish which is St. Augustine Catholic Church, Montpelier, Vermont.
There is no mention of Mary's mother in the Scriptures, but the Proto-Evangelium of St. James, although not an inspired writing tells us the mother of Mary was named Anne which means grace.


I now live in St. Augustine, Florida where September 8 is also known as Founder's Day. It is called Founder's Day because Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine on September 8, 1565. He named the site St. Augustine because he had sighted land on August 28, 1565, the feast of St. Augustine of Hippo, after an exhausting and turbulent oceanic crossing from Spain. Fr. Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, the fleet's chaplain, offered the first parish Mass on September 8, 1565, when Pedro Menendez came ashore and claimed La Florida for God and for Spain. The Mass was held on what is now called the Sacred Acre. When the Mass was finished, Menendez invited all who had attended, priests, soldiers, women and children, and the Timucuan natives to a meal of thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving meal was  held here on the grounds in 1565. The name Sacred Acre is an expression coined by President John F. Kennedy upon receiving copies of historic documents pertaining to St. Augustine in  November of 1963. The grounds are the site of the first mission, Mission Nombre de Dios, Name of God.
Reenactors, Founders Day, September 3, 2022



Bishop Erik Pohlmeier
This past Saturday, September 3rd, Founder's Day was celebrated. This was the yearly reenactment of the claiming of St. Augustine for God and for Spain by Pedro Menendez. Reenactors dressed in original costumes reenacted the historic scenes. After the reenactment, Bishop Erik Pohlmeier, newly consecrated bishop of St. Augustine, offered Mass. Many attended this Mass which is offered on the rustic altar, thought to be the original spot where Fr. Lopez offered the first Mass. Every year people throughout the diocese make it a point to attend Founder's Day recognizing this historic event and embracing the love and devotion of the Blessed Virgin under her title Our Lady of La Leche, a devotion brought by the Franciscan missionaries to the young Spanish colony about 1600. In 2019 the Bishops of the United States recognized the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche as a national shrine, the oldest Marian Shrine in the United States. October 11 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of La Leche.
Dr. Mary Soha
Every year, Dr. Mary Soha pictured to the above gives a talk on the history of Our Lady of La Leche on the Shrine grounds. You can find her talks also on Youtube, EWTN, or by googling the Knights of Columbus talks by Dr. Mary Soha. Besides speaking on Our Lady of La Leche , she also speaks and is the Vice-postulator on the Florida Martyrs. I encourage you to check her talks out. She has a wealth of information on our Catholic history here in Florida.
Happy Birthday, Mary! 
Truly you are the mother of all of us. You were once a young girl and as such we honor your birth and your childhood under the loving and watchful eyes of your mother, St. Anne. 
The Royal Family Reenactors, Founders Day, September 3, 2022

Bishop Erik Pohlmeier giving a blessing
after Founder's Day Mass


From: foods and festivities of the christian year blog



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